Polycom rocks….

Yeah – my Polycom camera and software arrived on Friday – yippeeee! (Thanks Steve!!!)
Haven’t had a chance to load it all up yet – have allocated Thursday for that!

And right as my camera arrives – here’s a great case study about Polycom technology: Video Conferencing and Music Performance Education – Around the world with the Manhattan School of Music

"We initially explored videoconferencing technology to accommodate the touring schedule of world-renowned violinist, conductor and MSM faculty member, Pinchas Zukerman, so that he could teach his students while concertizing around the globe. The program proved so successful that Manhattan School of Music decided videoconferencing presented great opportunities for the conservatory environment. We have since expanded our program to include master classes, workshops, clinics, one-on-one teaching, education and community outreach, professional development, coaching and the creation of a new elective class, ‘Videoconferencing for Performers & Educators,’ designed to expose students to the virtual learning environment.

…our staff faced technology limitations with videoconferencing. Most systems proved inadequate for the high fidelity sound and acoustical requirements of music instruction. Finding a suitable system involved a long search for the best sound quality and greatest flexibility. In the past, videoconferencing provided only monophonic sound, which was unacceptable for delivering the superior quality necessary for music education. In addition, vendors did not allocate extra bandwidth necessary for high quality audio. Since sound is a paramount requirement, the school thought existing systems were unacceptable.
Then we discovered the Polycom VSX 8000, which offers 14kHz StereoSurround capability that can allocate 96 kbps of sound quality, including full-duplex stereo echo cancellation. The VSX series also maintains unsurpassed video quality, allowing students and teachers to see the minute details of the physical performance such as fingering and bowing. "

This is really amazing! I’ve seen videoconferencing used to teach dance students – but music? Fantastic!
My only concern is…well, as a budding cellist…my cello partner and I have a deal – we call it "bow synching"- that means when you get stuck or lost, you just…well…bluff it until you catch-up again! BUT if the Polycom videoconferencing is this good – they’d find us out….wouldn’t they!!!
Just makes you realise, that the use of technologies to enable learning is only limited by your imagination …. NOT the technology!