Designer uses computers to link musicians

By Rick Appelin and Sarah King

A software developer has created a new way to interconnect musicians from different locations over the Internet via computer.

  Andrew Mercer, developer of the Online Conservatory spoke to the participants of STEM~Net's Hook, Line and Net ‘99 conference on July 7th. The theme of the conference Create I.T. goes hand in hand with Mercer's idea for musicians, both amateur and professional, to play together from remote locations (i.e. drummer in New York and guitar in Rigolet, Labrador) using a 28.8 kbps modem connection.

Launched in 1995, the Online Conservatory began by offering NetSessions - music lessons over the Internet. This breakthrough in music education allows a student in one part of the world to take a music lesson from a music teacher living in another part of the world. Someone who wanted to learn either Jazz or Rock could post their request for a lesson online at the Online Conservatory and then the staff of the Full Tilt Design would locate a musician who specializes in that specific field of music.

Andrew Mercer is a teacher, musician and entrepreneur, a native of Clarke's Beach, Newfoundland.

"In the future, I would like to establish a worldwide group of teachers teaching all sorts of music and a body of students of all ages," he says.

Alex Hickey of the Department of Education in Newfoundland and Labrador, says of Mercer: "He's not afraid of taking chances."

To contact Mercer about taking a piano lesson online or to find out about some of the requirements needed to take a lesson, you can email him at: andrew@fulltiltdesign.com