Instruments In addition to the two concert Steinway grands and Walker digital organ in the Reynolds Recital Hall, the department maintains about a dozen other fine quality grand pianos in rehearsal rooms, faculty studios, and piano major practice rooms. New Boston uprights are located in various music classrooms and other practice rooms. The class piano lab was completely refitted with Roland F150 digital pianos in June 2012. A Roland Fantom G8 synthesizer/workstation and other synthesizers are used for performances. Percussion students study and perform on a full range of professional-level equipment including a new set of Adams timpani. The music education classroom lab is outfitted with classroom instruments of all kinds, including guitars, Orff instruments, auxiliary percussion, and hand chimes. For students enrolled in instrument classes, or for unusual instruments, the department has an excellent collection of top quality instruments from makers such as Selmer and Yamaha.
High Tech Music Instruction Students link their mobile device to fully integrated MIDI workstations to complete assignments and master skills in ear training, theory, MIDI sequencing, digital audio production, music scanning and engraving and composition. Music classrooms are equipped with SmartBoard technology. Students are provided with the latest versions of advanced music software including Sonar (Cakewalk Pro Audio), Finale, Band in a Box, SmartMusic, and SmartScore. McGamut software is used in aural training classes.
Practice Rooms Private or semi-private Wenger practice suites are available to music students. Mobile device docking stations and a speaker system enable students to practice interactively using recordings, internet downloads, or other software. Beyond the normal 28 practice rooms, students have access to two Wenger V-Room practice suites. Wenger's V-Room technology enables users to change the acoustics of the room to simulate different performing environments. Like 'virtual reality' for the musician, V-Room technology is available at NMU, the only state university in Michigan to offer this innovation. During the renovation of the Thomas Fine Arts building in 2005, Wenger corporation installed the biggest soundproof facility in its history for the rehearsal space of the department's percussion ensemble. Students also have access for the Reynolds Recital Hall for practicing, by faculty reservation.