Piano

Morley trials new technology for musical instrument maintenance

We're excited to announce that we are experimenting with the use of new, Internet of Things technology to help us keep our musical instruments in top condition while also saving money in the long term.

Morley currently owns a total of 33 pianos and two harpsichords, each of which is tuned twice per term. This is both costly and time-consuming, especially since some instruments may be used more often than others and the environmental conditions can vary between classrooms. But now, through a partnership with Jisc and Safehouse, we have installed two types of sensors in each of the instruments - an environmental sensor that records temperature, light levels, and humidity, and an accelerometer, that measures the intensity with which the instrument is played.

Speaking about the trial, which is part of a larger "Intelligent Campus" project run by Jisc, Head of MIS Jon Cole said, "We hope that once the data starts populating the dashboards Jisc has built for us, we will begin to see how we can be more efficient with our maintenance.  Who knows, if we find that some pianos are being played too intensively, we may even be able to use the data as a teaching aid."

The trial is also part of a wider scheme to understand how environmental conditions in the rest of the College can be improved. Along with the pianos and harpsichords, five rooms on campus have had environmental sensors installed. These rooms also have feedback buttons that staff and students can use to report how happy they are with the conditions of the rooms. This can provide valuable data that will help with timetabling, environmental control, and room allocation.

Find out more about the Intelligent Campus project on the Jisc website here.

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