Skip to nav Skip to content

January 26, 2022

By Rebecca Mohr, Capital University Communications Manager

Playing from a Screen: A Closer Look at Project Indigo through a Musical Lens

Music stands have traditionally only held sheets of music, but iPads and Apple Pencils now accompany musicians and music educators from sight-reading sessions to final performances at Capital.

A self-described technology enthusiast, Lance Witty, D.M.A., has embraced Project Indigo in and outside of his classroom. Witty, assistant professor of trumpet, oversees the trumpet program, directs the trumpet choir, coaches chamber ensembles, and performs with the Capital faculty chamber and jazz ensembles.

“I’ve used an iPad for a long time, and Project Indigo allows me to integrate technology into the classroom,” said Witty. “It’s endless what I can do with it.”

Capital is committed to removing financial and technology-based barriers through equal access to education. Students, faculty, and staff have received an eighth-generation Apple iPad, first-generation Apple pencil, and a library of apps designed to help them succeed both on and off campus.

A recent transplant from Austin, Texas, Witty has used an iPad in his professional practice since 2017 and is excited that his students and colleagues have embraced the technology just as much as he has.

“It’s actually less work for my students. If you ask them to do something that’s going to cause more work, of course there are students that are going to resist that change, but I haven’t felt that,” said Witty. “As we get more familiar with our iPads, I would love to show other faculty members how I use it and hear how they use it. Combined knowledge is always better.”

In both his Introduction to Listening to Music course and his fundamentals sessions, he encourages his students to use apps that will enhance both their music education at Capital and their lives in the professional world.

“I have every student download the TonalEnergy app. It gives them a metronome, a tuner, and a way of recording themselves,” said Witty in regards to his Applied Trumpet students. “If you went out to a music store to buy a stand-alone metronome or tuner, you’re looking at spending at least $40. If you purchase the app, you’re looking at something closer to $10. It’s cost efficient and you can customize it to any sound you want.”

Project Indigo has allowed Witty to use different media in his classroom that encourage interactive learning.

“A big portion of what we do is listening,” said Witty. “If we’re discussing a piece of music, I can stream it really quick, then we can go back to what we’re doing. It keeps class fun because I’m changing it up. We’re not just staring at a book for a whole hour.”

Witty adds, “For the other classes I teach, FYS Intro to Listening to Music and Brass Methods, I heavily use the university’s learning management system, iLearn. Using this in the classroom has created better organization, more student engagement, less student confusion, and the ability to seamlessly connect to audio and video materials, enhancing my content.”

Using his iPad as his primary teaching tool has eliminated the need to print pages of music and has made his classroom a more sustainable environment.

“Some directors still prefer paper and that’s fine. I understand that there is a tradition,” said Witty. “Overall, I think the iPads are a great investment and it’s a great addition to what we do.”

For more information on the Conservatory of Music at Capital, go to https://www.capital.edu/academics/conservatory/.

To learn more about Dr. Witty, go to https://www.capital.edu/academics/faculty/lance-witty/.

To read more about Project Indigo, go to https://apps.capital.edu/indigo/.