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July 3, 2019

CIM's Chief Technology Officer Keeps Conservatory on Cutting Edge of Innovation


John Malcolm

Whether it’s in teaching or music performance, CIM Chief Technology Officer John L. Malcolm IV is making sure the Conservatory stays on high-tech’s cutting edge. Technology’s continuing role in educating the world’s next generation of classical music students is undeniable and keeps changing by the minute, he says.

And Malcolm should know. He has served in multiple technology leadership positions throughout his career. Among his many accomplishments prior to his CIM tenure, Malcolm modernized enterprise systems for large and small organizations such as the State of New York Office for Persons With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) for more than 8,000 end users across multiple state locations during his time with Microsoft partner company Mid-America Consulting Group.

Malcolm was invited to give a presentation last week in Trieste, Italy, before an international gathering of the Global Music Education League (GMEL) about those rapid changes, what the future may hold and how CIM is working to utilize new technologies.

CIM uses Internet2’s Low Latency (LoLa) audio and video conferencing to connect and collaborate with music students and teachers from all over the world via an Ohio Department of Higher Education-based reliable high-speed backbone, OARnet. With this technology, faculty and students can take part in anything from teaching international master classes to studying conducting skills with maestros from Europe to Asia.

Malcolm said connecting to diverse cultural and world populations through innovation and new digital technologies is critical to the growth of classical music. The popularity of classical music in many countries (such as China where the number of children learning to play the piano is estimated at 40-60 million) provides a clear example that there is opportunity to expand the genre into countries expected to double and even triple in size – including India and Nigeria.

Posing the question of how conservatories will need to connect with these populations and continue to provide effective collaboration and pedagogy, he emphasized that implementing innovative programs utilizing new technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, low latency connectivity and high definition audio and video “will allow conservatories and schools to connect with and promote the next generation of classical musicians and patrons.”

The GMEL, based at the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing, is a nongovernmental organization established in 2017 to promote the development of music education teaching across the globe. As a member of GMEL, CIM joins the likes of the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, among others, as one of 30 member schools from 14 different countries across four continents – North America, Asia, Australia and Europe.

Malcolm said he was gratified to participate in such an important global music education conference.

“We must embrace and support traditional teaching methods with new innovation in the age of digital transformation by implementing innovative programs utilizing such technologies as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, low latency connectivity and high definition audio and video and others to assist conservatories and schools in connecting and promoting the next generation of classical musicians and patrons,” he said. “Technology in music education isn’t just the wave of the future – it’s already here and changing at break-neck speed. Everyone must keep up with the changing times.”