WBU on Cutting Edge of Global Music Technology

July 1, 2020


graphic of hands playing a piano with the Wayland and Steinway logos superimposed

Wayland Baptist University and Weatherford College have announced a groundbreaking collaboration involving Steinway & Sons and the innovative Spirio | r high-resolution player piano capable of live performance capture and playback. The two institutions will join with Lubbock Independent School District, Arlington ISD, and the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences to create the first consortium of its kind in the world.

The Steinway Spirio | r provides powerful new tools of expression and new ways to access, share and experience performance. The consortium will link students from high school to college via coordinated distance piano education allowing real-time sharing of live performances, one-on-one lessons and group masterclasses between remote locations.  

Steinway & Sons CEO Ron Losby said the consortium will serve as a beta test group to be replicated with other groups around the globe.

“Our collaboration with Wayland, Weatherford College, the Lubbock and Arlington school districts, and The Buddy Holly Hall will set an example for the world that this new pedagogy has global implications,” Losby said. “We will work with them as they visualize and explore the best pedagogical use of this technology in diverse educational settings."

Wayland became an All-Steinway Institution in 2014, raising more than $630,000 from privately-funded donations to upgrade almost 30 pianos to the Steinway family of branded instruments.

"Wayland has been providing real, meaningful college classes in numerous academic disciplines online since 1997,” said Dr. Bobby Hall, Wayland president.  “We are excited to be part of this next generation of distance music education. Under the leadership of our visionary music faculty, we will cultivate fresh, distance partnerships while refining the curricular impact of the Spirio | r. In doing so, this will greatly increase our capacity to provide high-quality piano instruction for those in urban, low socioeconomic, and remote locations."

Dr. Tod Allen Farmer, Weatherford College president, echoed those sentiments.

“The Spirio | r beta test group of educational institutions, the first such group in the world, puts Texas on the cutting edge of technology,” said Dr. Farmer. “That is precisely where we should be in the Information Age.  Weatherford College is very proud to partner with these fine organizations as we collectively create new knowledge.”

For information on the School of Music at Wayland, visit https://www.wbu.edu/academics/schools/school-of-music/index.htm

To learn more about the Spirio | r, visit www.steinway.com/spirio/spirio-r.

####