Spirio | r intensifies the listening experience for Philip Powell’s music students to a level where he is witnessing more positive outcomes as they advance in their studies.

Dr. Powell admits he was skeptical when Jyotindra Parekh of Rice Music House introduced two of Steinway‘s latest high-resolution Model D’s to All-Steinway Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. “I thought it was a gimmick, and I wasn’t sure how practical a Spirio | r would be in an institutional setting.”


Philip Powell

A piano faculty member since 1988, Dr. Powell has performed extensively with the South Carolina, Jupiter, and Long Bay symphonies. He also serves as president of the SC chapter of the American Liszt Society.

Once the Steinways arrived on the idyllic Myrtle Beach campus, he soon discovered advantages that stretched beyond the fingers of a few piano students.

“I am a Luddite, but I quickly converted to the amazing capabilities of Spirio | r,” said Dr. Powell, who holds a doctorate in music from Indiana University. The enhanced ability to record performances and authentically hear what they just played helps students maximize their potential, he adds.

Dr. Powell likes to have students step away from the bench and sit in the hall so they can experience their music the way the audience will. It is completely transformational.

“Honestly, students think they know how they sound, but a standard recording never comes out as imagined. I say: ‘let’s listen to you the way I hear you.’ And that’s where the magic happens with Spirio | r.”


Each performance, not right or wrong, is different, and Spirio | r can demonstrate the possibilities.


One student swore he was counting correctly. “We listened on Spirio | r, and he immediately heard how much he was shaving off the value of the quarter note. He was able to impact a change in his playing immediately.”

Dr. Powell encourages students to get contrasting perspectives by listening to three performances in rapid succession. “Each performance, not right or wrong, is different, and Spirio | r can demonstrate the possibilities.”

He stresses the importance of not compromising a beautiful sound.

“Today, we listen to music through tiny speakers designed for mosquitoes’ ears. But listening to Spirio | r is a unique experience. You are listening to a Steinway. I love how it enables me to get into specific little details with every performance. Every student that has used it has loved it.”

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