Rehearsalnet - University of Houston
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Rehearsalnet

REHEARSALNET

The Moores School subscribes to this Internet site which offers students a multitude of classical music midi-files which may be played on computers with compatible sound cards and also on the Yamaha® Disklavier. These files may also be played on Rehearsers, custom-designed carts containing DSR-1 Playback devices and speakers which may be checked out of the music library and wheeled into practice room or used during applied lessons. These midi-files will consist of instrumental and vocal accompaniments and solo piano literature. Each work in the on-line catalog will have a series of rehearsal tracks to help students master the various challenges which scores present. Some tracks will have metronomic settings assigned and others will be played with rubato and include wood block cues to help coordinate ensemble.

Piano accompaniments will help instrumentalists or vocalists learn their music; and pianists who are trying to learn their piano accompaniments will have access to only the solo line to practice hearing and playing along with the 'virtual' soloist. These files are not designed to replace human interaction; they are conceived as practice tool (somewhat like a batting cage is for the professional baseball player), to help refine collaborative skills.

Custom-designed files will also be produced according to the student's wishes.

The necessity for a tool like this is apparent in virtually all music schools, where the inherent lack of willing and able student pianists to assist instrumental and vocal students creates less-than-ideal learning situations. In many cases, having a less-experienced accompanist can be a hindrance, ultimately leading to the last-minute hiring of a professional accompanist to play examinations or recitals. Student pianists are usually over-burdened by their own solo literature and place accompaniments last on the list of preparation. The reason that these piano students are usually over-burdened is due to the lack of a broad-base of instruction in the earlier crucial years of study. Their training should include collaborative skills and sight reading; however, due to the double-edged sword of competitions, students end up focusing on just a few solos, playing them over and over at various auditions. Competitions are good in that they encourage performance experience and instill confidence and self-esteem; but, competitions also prevent the students from progressing in the well-rounded manner essential in order to become properly equipped to survive and excel in the professional musical world. Rehearsalnet will help to fill this gap in training, avoiding future stress among piano students and training instrumental and vocal students by the touch of a finger. Students are able to study a work with professional quality accompaniments on the Yamaha Disklavier or computer, and then have the option of hiring an outside professional accompanist if a student accompanist is not available. The purpose of Rehearsalnet is to assist humans, not replace them.

Upon entering the Rehearsalnet site, students or faculty members log-in, accessing both the midi-file catalog and the Accompanist Scheduler. The Accompanist Scheduler is a complicated scheduling system which helps coordinate rehearsals and lessons within the school not only with student accompanists, but outside professional accompanists as well. After uploading their own information into the system, students and faculty will have access to all pertinent information as well as the catalog of uniquely created midi-files.

Rehearsalnet also provides a detailed scheduling database which facilitates the coordination of student accompanists with soloists. All contact and schedule information is entered into the Rehearsalnet system and the easy manipulation of this data is an invaluable tool for the Keyboard Collaborative Arts Area.