Special Technology Needs for Music Majors
Due to the many changes we are facing from the Corona virus and required social distancing guidlines, we have assembled the following list for Fall 2020. The items below may, or may not, be needed for your particular class schedule. Please review the list and carefully consider which will apply to you:
Network access and speed
Wi-fi speeds are quite impressive when no one else is in the building. We clocked 75 Mb download and upload. However, as more users are online, the bandwidth will be shared and, therefore, could be problematic at times. Further, coverage will vary around the building. If your hardware offers an Ethernet jack, you will have a much faster, more stable connection. However, in order to connect your hardware to the wired network, you will need to get it registered on the CWU network. This is done through “Hostreg,” which will automatically show up in your browser the first time you connect your ethernet cable to an active jack in the building. (note that you may need to turn off your devices wi-fi to get this working). When you see the hostreg page come up, enter the basic information, and follow the instructions.
If you will be doing lessons via Zoom or another online option, and you have a loud instrument, like brass, you may want to consider an external USB microphone. The Blue Yeti series offers great microphones at various price points. Even the least expensive Yeti microphone will perform better than your built-in microphone. You may want to try your built-in mic first, though. Maybe it will work fine for your instrument and style. If not, look for a well-reviewed USB microphone, like the Blue Yeti. Availability may prove difficult and become a deciding factor, though. Please communicate with your applied professor to see if they can recommend a microphone that works best with your instrument.
Any good quality, well-reviewed, headphones will work fine. However, you may want to consider Open-Air (Open-Back) headphones as opposed to the typical closed ear design. While closed back headphones are generally easy to find and less expensive, they can make if difficult to hear yourself and your pitch. Open-Air headphones can help alleviate this issue. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune. Nor do you really need wireless headphones for lessons in the practice rooms. If you want wireless for other reasons, fine, but don’t spend the extra money if you don’t need to. Most likely, you will need a 1/8” (3.5mm) jack, so make sure the headphones you choose have this connector type. Here are a couple of reasonable choice, but there are literally hundreds of options out there.
- Sony MDRZX110 - $15.00
- Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X - $78.00
Currently, Zoom appears to be the software of choice. However, there is talk of switching to Microsoft Teams. Neither of these will cost you anything. Ultimately it will be up to you and your professor to determine what works best for you.
The question of a webcam is the most complicated. While all Apple devices have built-in cameras that will work fine in most cases, PCs do not typically include a camera. Further, if you are a pianist, aiming a built-in camera can be difficult. There are many webcams out there that will work fine, but finding one in stock may also be difficult. Again, I would suggest a basic model with good ratings on Amazon if your built-in camera is not an option.
Depending on your particular needs, the pianos in the practice rooms or the keyboards in the piano lab are available. However, the piano class will be recommending you acquire one of the following keyboards:
- Casio CTK-3500 61-Key Touch Sensitive Portable Keyboard with Power Supply, Black $139
- Joy 61-Key Lighted Touch Sensitive & USB-Midi(App) Keyboard Kit with Stand, Stool, Headphone & Power Supply (KL-92UT-KIT) $150
- Casio Casiotone, 61-Key Portable Keyboard with USB (CT-S300) $150
- Casio WK-245 76-Key Touch Sensitive Keyboard with Power Supply $168
- Yamaha PSRE360 61-Key Touch Sensitive Portable Keyboard with Power Supply, Dark Walnut $200
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