ARLINGTON, Va.—In what may be the first-ever award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to a musical ensemble, the Miami Beach-based New World Symphony (NWS) has received a grant to enhance its connectivity to the Internet2 network and help form a global music education network that can train musicians regardless of geographic location.
Through the greater bandwidth made possible by the NSF grant, NWS will create a network among music educational institutions for the exchange of music experience, education and collaboration. The New World Symphony, which provides post-graduate music education and professional development, and 11 other institutions will soon join or enhance their connectivity to the Internet2 network, thanks to NSF's High-Performance Network Connections (HPNC) program. Internet2 is a consortium of more than 200 universities working with industry and government to support high-performance networking within the U.S. research community.
"Networking empowers people, and its full impact is yet to be seen. With this award, computers talking to computers will change how musicians communicate with musicians," said Thomas Greene, NSF senior program officer. "The HPNC program has had tremendous success as a bridge from research on networks to network-enhanced research in many fields. With the enthusiasm of organizations such as the New World Symphony, exciting things are bound to happen."
As part of Internet2's Abilene network, the New World Symphony (NWS) will extend music education beyond geographic boundaries. Interactive master classes will involve students and educators at several locations; local and remote groups will perform together in artistic events. The increased bandwidth will also open up new opportunities for the NWS's Distance Learning Program, in which world-class artist-teachers at Internet2-connected universities in the United States and other institutions abroad share their expertise with NWS fellows.
"One of the key ingredients for success in using this technology is the partnership and support of other educational institutions," said Tom Snook, Chief Technology Officer of the New World Symphony and principal investigator on the NSF grant. "For the field of advanced music education, this technology will make it possible to collaborate over distances and to develop novel technologies such as sending uncompressed audio and video or creating immersive musical experiences."
Over the years, NSF has made numerous awards in neuroscience, psychology and computer science related to music and how humans experience music, but the award to the New World Symphony is the first award made to a musical ensemble at least since the 1970s, when NSF began maintaining computerized records. It is the first award to an institute of music education through the HPNC program.
For the past eight years, the HPNC program has helped extend the reach of the country's network infrastructure to colleges and universities, research centers, and museums. The HPNC program has given scientists and engineers at nearly 250 sites better access to research facilities across the United States.
HPNC awardees use the funds to connect high-performance networks such as the Internet2 consortium's Abilene network and benefit from network speeds up to 2.4 billion bits per second. The two-year awards average $150,000; recipients provide matching funds at least equal to the award amount.
In 2003, the HPNC program's nine awards are supporting 12 additional sites in providing the connections that open up new opportunities for researchers, educators and students. The latest institutions to be connected by the HPNC program are:
New World Symphony: http://www.nws.org/
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Receive official NSF news electronically through the e-mail delivery system, NSFnews. To subscribe, send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the body of the message, type "subscribe nsfnews" and then type your name. (Ex.: "subscribe nsfnews John Smith")
Useful NSF Web Sites: