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Pianos without borders links students, teachers through technology

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Pianos without borders links students, teachers through technology Pianos without borders links students, teachers through technology

You may have heard of the program, Doctors Without Borders. Well, let us introduce you to a new local program called Pianos Without Borders.

It's a creative solution and a partnership between Kansas City, KS public schools and the University of Kansas.

"The piano relaxes me and makes me feel like I'm in a good place. i wanted to learn how to play here so i can play at church," one student told us.

Another student says she's not very athletic, so she wanted to learn an instrument.

"It was between the violin , harp or piano," she said.

But for students at Eisenhower Middle School in KCK, piano lessons are nearly impossible to come by. There are no private piano teachers within a ten mile radius, and even if you can find one, it's pricey.

"All of a sudden this opportunity came up," 7th grade student Harleigh Pettey said.

Through donations, a beautiful baby grand piano was moved into Eisenhower, and now, piano lessons are given every Thursday after school.

The catch, the teacher is 40 miles away at the University of Kansas.

"I can communicate most of the things I would teach in a one-on-one session," Paul Adams, a masters student at KU said.

Adams helped connect the midi technology to the remote piano so both teacher and student can not only see and talk to each other via skype, but can watch the keys move in real time.

"It provides them access to very good teachers and gives us a chance to teach," Adams said.

Frankly , these students and instructors don't even seem to notice they're not in the same room.

"i really think it's close to have the person next to you," said Yuta Sugano, a doctoral student at KU.

The pianos without borders program is a pilot effort, so just nine Eisenhower students have an instructor from the KU School of Music.

But, now that time, space and distance are no longer obstacles, this could become the music lesson of the future.

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