Conspiracy theorists get ready to rub your hands in glee; robots may be poised to take over the world. Well…the piano teaching world at least.
Researchers at Georgia Tech have just released “Mobile Music Touch” – a glove that teaches you to play the piano. Using vibrations that single out each of your fingers, the Mobile Music Touch uses a smartphone programmed with piano music and a vibration motor to power this new way of learning to play the piano. When you feel your finger vibrate, you press a key.
So, hang up your treble clef emblazoned cardigans my piano teaching friends, like video rental stores and VCR repair men, we’ve been replaced.
Of Course I Joke, But Still… This Glove Makes Me Think
Mobile Music Touch was developed solely as a therapy tool to help improve the fine motor control of those suffering from spinal cord injuries. But I have to wonder. Is this what “teaching piano” is all about? Does it simply come down to getting the right fingers to hit the right keys? Are we as piano teachers simply a glorified and friendlier vibration motor?
Why We’re Safe…
I’d like to shake this glove’s hand. Why? Because it has further solidified my conviction that our profession is one of the (few!) that is safe from technological advances. While the rest of the world scrambles to avoid becoming redundant or replaced, we’re still using instruments that haven’t changed for hundreds of years. We don’t even rely on electricity! Give us a piece of paper (no iPads needed here!) and a chunk of wood filled with hammers and stretched wire and we make beautiful things happen. Aside from our keen eye on current trends to keep students motivated with interesting repertoire and our with-it teaching methods… not much changes. There are hundreds of “learn to play piano online” courses, but regardless of the popularity of the internet, we all still have students.
…And Why We’ll Never Be Replaced!
Because piano teaching is an art, and art cannot be replaced with machines. Because piano teaching has heart. And this is the one thing that can never be replicated.
Do you have the art and the heart covered… but feel like something is still missing? Our e-book “Piano Hands Shouldn’t Flip Burgers” is 115 pages of answers to your piano teaching questions. Find out why a teacher recently wrote to say “I was up until midnight reading this book. I didn’t want to put it down, but my eyes were too tired so I had to. I’m halfway through and can’t wait to finish. This book is great. You gave ideas I hadn’t heard before. I think this is a must have for every piano teacher.” And did we mention it’s only $9.95?!