Now when they sit down at one of 14 brand new Roland electric pianos and turn it on, they also turn on the new Apple computers attached to each one. They adjust the computer monitor’s movable arm so they can see the front of the classroom, where professor Kaleel Skeirik uses a Roland to write music on the overhead computer screen.
As he plays a riff on the piano, the computer displays the musical notes on the screen—and on each student’s personal monitor—while the sound plays from speakers near the ceiling and in their individual headphones. On his computer, Skeirik adds to or changes the notes on the screen. Together, as their pianos and computers communicate with each other, the class composes music in real time.
The $55,000 makeover created a state-of-the-art music theory and practice lab, a welcome improvement for Xavier’s music program that provided top-notch equipment, improved sight lines and better lighting controls. And the modest $10 fee that each of the 57 music students pays for their lab class will repay the cost of the upgrade and its eventual replacement within six years. Now that’s something worth singing about.