The beauty behind Roland’s Kiyola KF-10 Digital Piano

Out of all Roland’s products released at NAMM 2016 (here’s a quick overview in case you missed it!), their Kiyola KF-10 digital piano really shone out for us. It really is a thing of beauty: It’s physical and design aesthetic is matched by the technology that it contains within and, like all Roland pianos, its sonic identity is peerless too. The piano is the product of a collaboration between Roland and the artisan craftsmanship of Japanese furniture specialists Karimoku. Each piano is handcrafted in Japan using all-natural, ethically sourced solid wood. The result is slim, stylish, and individual, revealing unique grain patterns through...

Read More

Spandau Ballet’s Drummer John Keeble on hybrid kits

In this exclusive video interview, filmed behind the scenes on the band’s current tour, Roland interview original drummer John Keeble talks about how he’s using Roland’s gear as part of the live shows. John has been Spandau Ballet’s heartbeat since 1981’s Journeys To Glory album, and in modern times, he’s using a hybrid acoustic/digital kit to give his adventurous drum parts added flair and flexibility. Here, John explains how his old-school shells are augmented by Roland’s RT-30 Acoustic Drum Triggers, with his snare and kick hits triggering “beefed-up” sounds from a Roland TM-2 Trigger Module. “It just gives you fantastic versatility,” he...

Read More

10 top tips to improve your musical production skills

We’ve long been fans of Roland’s How To guides. The latest one explores ten simple ways that you can improve your skills of musical production without breaking the bank. 1: Use improvised materials to control the acoustics of your home recording studio. If your vocal or instrument recordings round roomy and boxy, the problem almost certainly lies with the room, not with the recording equipment. While full-scale acoustic treatment is expensive, you can make a vast improvement by hanging up blankets, sleeping bags or duvets around the area you’re using to record or mix in to dry up the...

Read More

UCan Play is working all over the UK with instrumental teachers – from Northumberland to the Isles of Scilly!

Those of you who are regular visitors to this site will remember that last year UCan Play worked with NYMAZ, North Yorkshire Music Service and the University of Hull to explore and implement a technical solution to hep instrumental music teachers teach their instruments online. This was trialled through our work with primary schools in geographically isolated parts of North Yorkshire. During the summer, the partnership applied for further funding from the Arts Council to explore this approach more widely in other parts of the UK. This work began in October and is beginning to reach its peak. We are...

Read More

Roland’s new product range for 2016

Roland’s new product range for 2016 contains some beautiful, and perhaps even iconic, new products. For our principle customer base, educators and students, there are some really exciting new items and one that is, at least to our knowledge, unique! Starting with the pianos, we love the look of the new FP-30, featured here in this performance by singer songwriter Tom Crouch: The piano has a loads of functions that will be perfectly suited to educational settings, including bluetooth wireless connectivity to apps such as Garageband, and is priced at the same point as Roland’s F20 which has sold brilliant...

Read More

Roland’s new V-1HD HD video switcher

Roland have announced the release of their new V-1HD HD video switcher. This compact and powerful piece of technology allows you to connect and switch video cameras, smart phones, computers, tablets, Blu-ray players and other HDMI video sources with a simple push of a button or slide of the T-Fader. It supports professional compositing effects such as picture-in-picture and keying allowing for graphic insets, titling or even “green screen”, ideal for news broadcast or corporate training productions. Within educational settings, we anticipate that the V-1HD will be highly popular for schools and colleges that are wanting to improve their...

Read More

An amazing offer on the PreSonus AudioBox iTwo Studio!

PreSonus have announced an amazing offer on their AudioBox products in the run up to Christmas this year. All products have seen their prices slashed for the next few weeks only! Here at UCan Play, we have been particularly impressed with the offer for the AudioBox iTwo Studio. This all in one recording solutions provides everything that you need to get started and make high quality digital audio recordings with your computer. It is an ideal kit for schools who are looking for solutions for PC labs, for the budding podcaster, or anyone else for that matter wanting an...

Read More

Our Day at the Music Learning Revolution

In this post, Jonathan Savage, MD of UCan Play, reflects on his day at Musical Futures’ Music Learning Revolution.  Musical Futures know how to put on an event! Our day at The Brewery yesterday, just next to the Barbican in London, was fantastic for so many reasons: a great location, free coffee, lovely food, excellent organisation, stimulating content. We really enjoyed exhibiting our products and services. Numerous productive conversations were had and demonstrations were done both in seminars and on the stand. Our huge thanks to Geraldine, Joseph, Josh and our friends at Bose for their support throughout the...

Read More

Sandbach Then & Now

Sandbach Then & Now is a new community project being run by UCan Play, supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund with additional funding from UCan Play. During 2016, school children, and then the general public, will be able to explore the heritage of Sandbach associated with the First World War through a geocache trail and linked virtual resources. The trail and resources will allow users to appreciate more fully the contribution that Sandbach, its people, places and buildings, made to the First World War. Following their experience of the trail, workshops will be held in...

Read More

Josh Savage explores Roland’s RC-505

Over the summer, we invited Josh Savage, a jazz drummer and percussionist studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, to explore Roland’s first desktop looper – the RC-505. You can watch the results of his explorations here, with four new pieces that show the potential of the RC-505 for classroom activities including the use of keyboards, found sounds and vocal techniques. These materials formed the content of presentation given by Josh Savage and Jonathan Savage, MD of UCan Play, at Musical Futures’ Music Learning Revolution at The Brewery in London on the 23rd October...

Read More

Life on Shuffle

UCan Play is keen supporter of the Love Music Trust; MD, Jonathan Savage, volunteers as the Chair of Trustees. This film shows some great work going on in Crewe through a collaboration the fabulous Love Music Trust, Brighter Sound and Cheshire East. Life on Shuffle saw staff working with young people to help them produce a range of original music. Funding for the project came from Youth Music. Congratulations to all involved on what was a tremendous project....

Read More

Dissolve JazzLab

UCan Play is proud to be supported Jazz UK’s Dissolve JazzLab’s new programme of improvisation workshops in Coventry and Bournemouth. This exciting new programme aims to reach out to young people from diverse cultures and backgrounds, particularly those who are disadvantaged, and bring enjoyment and well-being through the disciplines and freedoms jazz improvisation can provide. Working with Coventry Performing Arts Service and SoundStorm in Bournemouth, Jazz UK staff will explore improvisation using a wide range of instruments and musical traditions, including folk, Asian and western ‘jazz’, in large and small ensemble formats. The leaders for the project are drawn from...

Read More

New models of business development in education and the arts

Our work with NYMAZ is featured in a video on new models of business development published by NESTA UK today: The final report of NYMAZ’s Connect:Resound project was published last week. UCan Play provided the technical solution, support and consultancy for the project with research being undertaken by academics from the University of Hull. Further information about the new business models that this, and other innovation projects that NESTA have invested in, can be found here. This week, we have been fielding many phone calls and enquiries from other music education organisations wanting to explore similar options for a blended approach...

Read More

Talking Music Education #2

Talking Music Education (#talkingmusiced) is a new series of videos from UCan Play. In Talking Music Education, Jonathan Savage, Managing Director of UCan Play, interviews leading figures in music education, discussing a range of topics of current interest. Each interviewee is also asked about the music they enjoy and to recommend a piece of literature that has helped them develop their own understanding about music education. This month’s episode is an interview with Mike Challis, a sound artist, maker and educator. Mike and Jonathan, MD of UCan Play, both taught together at Debenham High School in Suffolk during the 1990s. In this interview,...

Read More

Connect:Resound Final Report published

We are delighted that the full report on the Connect:Resound project has been published today. You can read it here: The report makes a strong case for using internet technology to deliver aspects of music education in schools. Following a trial in primary schools across North Yorkshire, the Connect: Resound pilot project has identified a high-quality, online method of delivering instrumental tuition to children living in rurally isolated areas, whilst also enabling significant cost savings for the local Music Education Hubs: “It’s an incredible step forward for music education. Music teachers in rural areas could spend far less time...

Read More

Music is good for you throughout your entire life!

It was great to see CNN produce this film on the significant benefits that music education can bring to young and old alike. Our fellow music education researcher from Northwestern University, Nina Kraus, is featured in the first part of the film. Her work on ‘neural timing’ is fascinating. The benefits of learning music in childhood extend throughout one’s entire life. Practical music making from the youngest age really is good for you –...

Read More

The new piano laboratory at Lakenheath High School

Over the summer, UCan Play, working with our consultant Nicholas Haines, have installed a new piano laboratory at Lakenheath High School. Those readers of a certain age will remember the traditional language learning laboratories that were popular in schools during the late 1960s onwards: These ‘learning laboratories’ allowed students to practise speaking a foreign language individually whilst being monitored by their teacher. The teacher’s control system allowed them to speak to the whole class, listen to each student individually or talk to them individually to give them feedback on their work. Backing tapes of language exercises were played through the...

Read More

Talking Music Education #1

Talking Music Education (#talkingmusiced) is a new series of videos from UCan Play. In Talking Music Education, Jonathan Savage, Managing Director of UCan Play, interviews leading figures in music education, discussing a range of topics of current interest. Each interviewee is also asked about the music they enjoy and to recommend a piece of literature that has helped them develop their own understanding about music education. Talking Music Education began with an interview with Professor Martin Fautley from Birmingham City University, an international expert on assessment in music...

Read More

‘A specter is haunting music education: it is the specter of El Sistema’

Jonathan Savage, MD of UCan Play, writes about Robert Fink’s critique of El Sistema ‘A specter is haunting music education: it is the specter of El Sistema’. So starts Robert Fink’s brilliant exposition on the theme of El Sistema (published for free here at Academia.edu). I would urge you to read his paper in full. It is a beautiful and challenging critique of El Sistema that utilises powerful metaphors to bring about a new understanding of this influential music education movement. At the heart of El Sistema, Fink argues, is a fantasy. It is a fantasy of music appreciation...

Read More

Connect: Resound: Using digital technologies to deliver music education

Primary school pupils across North Yorkshire have been learning new instruments for the first time this year – without meeting their teacher. The Connect: Resound project is exploring the ways digital technologies like Skype can help children learn music. Written by Emily Penn and first published by Music Mark. Emily Penn is the project manager for Connect: Resound. The Digital R & D Fund for the arts is a £7 million fund to support collaboration between organisations with arts projects, technology providers and researchers. It is a partnership between Arts Council England, Arts and Humanities Research Council and NESTA. More...

Read More

Archives

Categories

Recent Comments