School of Music Forges Partnerships in Costa Rica
Since August 2010, the NIU School of Music has been working to establish partnerships with two institutions in San Jose, Costa Rica - La UNED, Universidad Nacional de Educatión a Distancia, and Instituto Nacional de Musica. From March 11 to 16, several School of Music representatives were in San Jose to demonstrate not only the power of Internet2 technology as it relates to education, but also how inexpensive it can be to access Internet2.
Following meetings with top administrators at both schools, the final event of the week was having NIU music professor Rodrigo Villanueva provide a master class to more than 20 students and faculty from Instituto Nacional de Musica. Rodrigo was set up in the NIU Music Building, and appeared on a 50-inch monitor in real time and in high definition at a studio at La UNED. The master class was scheduled for one hour, but it was going so well that it extended to two hours and was stopped at that point only because several of the INM students had rehearsals to get to!
Traveling to San Jose to set up the technology, meet with officials and sign formal partnership agreements were College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Rich Holly, Director of the School of Music Paul Bauer, and School of Music technician Dan Nichols. Already in San Jose for a sabbatical was School of Music Professor Robert Chappell, who was instrumental in arranging all meetings and events.
Five backpacks, each filled with a laptop, mics, cables and speakers were brought to Costa Rica in order to demonstrate how to access and use Internet2 technology, and one was left with INM so that NIU and INM can continue to collaborate using the technology. One of INM's harp students had previously met Faye Seeman, professor of harp at NIU, and with the backpack now in San Jose, Faye will be able to provide lessons to the student there over the internet in real time and high definition.