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Recent NIU violin alumna enjoys master class via Internet 2 with teacher in Barcelona, Spain

June 15, 2011
Manel Porta (on screen) teaches a lesson to recent NIU School of Music alumna Katelyn Kozinski via Internet 2.

Manel Porta (on screen) teaches a lesson to recent NIU School of Music alumna Katelyn Kozinski via Internet 2.

Violin and bow in hand, Katelyn Kozinski stood quietly and patiently Wednesday morning among microphones, video cameras and computer monitors inside the darkened Recital Hall.

Promptly at 10 a.m., the May graduate of the NIU School of Music was bathed in light. The blurry images on the movie screen behind her sharpened into a clear, albeit off-centered, view of Ann Doyle and Manel Porta.

Doyle, director of arts and humanities initiatives for Internet 2, and Porta, professor of violin at the Conservatorio Superio de Música del Liceu, were in Barcelona, Spain, looking directly at a video image of Kozinski.

Through the magic of Internet 2, the 18-year-old DeKalb native was about to perform in real time for Porta, who then would teach her a “private” lesson.

Kozinski, who studied violin performance under Mathias Tacke and will return this fall for graduate school, smiled and confidently raised her bow and began to play Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3 (“Ballade”) from Op. 27.

When she finished a few minutes later, having taken listeners on a ride that began slowly and ended with flurries climbing up and down the scales, applause greeted her from both her face-to-face audience on campus and the one seated on the other side of the world.

“Bravo! Well done!” Porta exclaimed into his Barcelona microphone. “You’re a great player!”

Katelyn Kozinski

Katelyn Kozinski

The promised lesson then began in earnest, filled with more praise of Kozinski’s artistry but also some hints about technique and musical interpretation as well as a few “tricks” up Porta’s sleeve.

Other than an occasional bump into a microphone, the ocean separating teacher and pupil was forgotten.

The NIU School of Music’s still-burgeoning experience and global reputation in the use of Internet 2 video technologies comes thanks to effective support from Information Technology Services and Media Services.

Paul Bauer, who has championed Internet 2 capabilities on campus, believes that forward-thinking educators can and should adapt the technology to virtually all teaching and learning.

“Every time I see it in action,” said Bauer, director of the NIU School of Music, “I’m more convinced.”