Music students are able to give full flight to their creativity in the updated computerized piano lab at Tennessee Tech University.
The lab features 10 new Apple computers, with a full-sized keyboard attached to each. The computers are on a swinging arm, so students can take advantage of the full range of the instrument.
“We can use it as both a computer lab and for composition,” said chairperson of the TTU department of music and art Arthur LaBar. “We have certain classes that all music majors take, including one about computer applications in music, so it helps students with the required classes.”
With a keyboard connected to a computer, notes played by a student are recorded on the computer. The old computer lab had a similar setup, but the keyboards did not have a full range and the computers were old.
Funding for the updates came from the budget of TTU’s College of Education, which houses the music and art department.
All music students are required to learn the basics of piano. Since many come to college focused on one instrument, the keyboards are a good way to learn.
“One of the fundamental aspects of music is to learn piano, so this is where many of our students begin,” LaBar said.
The lab is located in a highly-trafficked hallway on the ground floor and will be open all day for students to use. More computer stations may be added later.