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Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Swarth] #2348630
11/11/14 03:25 PM
11/11/14 03:25 PM
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Posts: 2,182
First Town, First State
BrianDX Offline
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Originally Posted by Swarth
Politics might influence all this a bit. October 17, 1979, the day our Federal Government decided that to push their propaganda they needed to "control" all public education. 35 years later I see the wreckage of this decision. Oh yeah for all you political types, It was under a democrat...but seriously in my mind they are ALL the same.

You are SO right about this. I abandoned any political affiliations many years ago. I feel sorry for those who almost automatically try to ascribe anything happening in this country (either good or bad) to one political party or the other.

Its silly, counter-productive, and in most cases, untrue.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
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Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Retsacnal] #2348661
11/11/14 04:17 PM
11/11/14 04:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 121
MADISON, MISSISSIPPI
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Piano Practice Offline
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MADISON, MISSISSIPPI

After quickly reading through the thread, I gathered there is a waning interest in piano lessons/piano education too... It makes one to wonder, is there a direct correlation between the declining US sales of acoustic pianos and the declining math and science scores of US students? In nations such as Japan or China, where math and science test scores are strong, aren’t piano lessons/piano education extremely popular? Is this true in other countries such as the UK or Germany? I bet there’s a lesson for those of us here in the US could learn from smile.


Piano Practice
_______________
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Casio CDP 100

Soli Deo Gloria
Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Retsacnal] #2348664
11/11/14 04:24 PM
11/11/14 04:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
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jacksonville
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Those countries have a level of cooperation between their own citizens these days

that we've lost- and mostly during this period.

We've deified competition, and esoteric philosophies of unspoken tripping of "the competition" abound-

please don't insinuate we need boot camps of math-
they are learning and concerned with education

We are about tackling, puking in parking lots

and who's the big shot / big shots who get to call the uninspiring dull shots.

Do they have armed guards at their schools? Doubt it.

Last edited by harpon; 11/11/14 04:25 PM.
Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Piano Practice] #2348680
11/11/14 05:18 PM
11/11/14 05:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
turandot Offline
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Originally Posted by Piano Practice

After quickly reading through the thread, I gathered there is a waning interest in piano lessons/piano education too... It makes one to wonder, is there a direct correlation between the declining US sales of acoustic pianos and the declining math and science scores of US students?


Direct correlations are extremely difficult to prove. When I mentioned the declining SAT scores in the seventies among high school students, a decline that could not be explained away by demographics, I wrote that it might not be relevant to piano sales at all. The piano's problems could have simply been that the presence of pianos in households had reached the saturation point, or that the decline was in fact more gradual than the steep slope in the chart cited here indicated.

However, it is certainly true and provable that the current reliance on standardizing testing in all levels of education in the US -- testing which annually sends hundreds of millions of tax dollars earmarked for education to those whose test instruments are widely used -- has given primacy to math and science at the expense of the arts.



Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: BrianDX] #2348683
11/11/14 05:43 PM
11/11/14 05:43 PM
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Like many have sort of mentioned before, I think it has more to do with other options to spend your time and money. In the 80's computers were expensive, several thousand dollars. Many families probably had to choose either a computer or a piano. The benefit to children was more obvious since you could do your homework on it.

1981: The first IBM personal computer, code named “Acorn,”
1983: Apple’s Lisa is the first personal computer with a GUI.
1985: Microsoft announces Windows,
1986: Compaq brings the Deskpro 386 to market.
1990: Tim Berners-Lee, develops HyperText Markup Language (HTML), giving rise to the World Wide Web.
1994: PCs become gaming machines as Command & Conquer, Alone in the Dark 2, Theme Park, Magic Carpet, Descent andLittle Big Adventure are among the games to hit the market.


And then mix in there Atari, Nintendo, Sega, World of Warcraft, etc...

http://www.livescience.com/20718-computer-history.html


Last edited by michaelha; 11/11/14 05:44 PM.
Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: BornInTheUSA] #2348718
11/11/14 06:42 PM
11/11/14 06:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
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Originally Posted by michaelha
Like many have sort of mentioned before, I think it has more to do with other options to spend your time and money. In the 80's computers were expensive, several thousand dollars. Many families probably had to choose either a computer or a piano. The benefit to children was more obvious since you could do your homework on it.

1981: The first IBM personal computer, code named “Acorn,”
1983: Apple’s Lisa is the first personal computer with a GUI.
1985: Microsoft announces Windows,
1986: Compaq brings the Deskpro 386 to market.
1990: Tim Berners-Lee, develops HyperText Markup Language (HTML), giving rise to the World Wide Web.
1994: PCs become gaming machines as Command & Conquer, Alone in the Dark 2, Theme Park, Magic Carpet, Descent andLittle Big Adventure are among the games to hit the market.


And then mix in there Atari, Nintendo, Sega, World of Warcraft, etc...

http://www.livescience.com/20718-computer-history.html



I don't know how old you are Michael, but my gut tells me that you're experiencing the eighties through research, rather than spending time there.

The listed technological advances in computers were much niore important for business than for home entertainment options. Word processing, storage, and especially data processing were the enticements for business Those cutting edge computers didn't replace the piano. They replaced stuff like office typewriters and microfiche.

I was just getting into education then. Teachers started buying Apple products for word processing and storage. Apple in those days directed its marketing toward education and profited well from that early focus going forward. Every year Apple offered special prices and interest free payment plans for teachers. Within a few years all the mimeograph and ditto machines disappeared from teacher workrooms along with the messy stencils, but the school piano in the auditorium lived on, usually hopelessly out of tune.

The computers most people with kids had for home use were the Arari and Commodore types. They were not expensive, but their processors and storage capacity was laughable by today's standards. With those things, you could look at them as an option for spending free time. I know. I frittered away hundreds of hours plugging my River Raid game cartridge into my Atari. grin Gaming was where it was at, not HTML.


Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: turandot] #2348733
11/11/14 07:28 PM
11/11/14 07:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,043
San Francisco Bay Area
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Originally Posted by turandot
Originally Posted by michaelha
Like many have sort of mentioned before, I think it has more to do with other options to spend your time and money. In the 80's computers were expensive, several thousand dollars. Many families probably had to choose either a computer or a piano. The benefit to children was more obvious since you could do your homework on it.

1981: The first IBM personal computer, code named “Acorn,”
1983: Apple’s Lisa is the first personal computer with a GUI.
1985: Microsoft announces Windows,
1986: Compaq brings the Deskpro 386 to market.
1990: Tim Berners-Lee, develops HyperText Markup Language (HTML), giving rise to the World Wide Web.
1994: PCs become gaming machines as Command & Conquer, Alone in the Dark 2, Theme Park, Magic Carpet, Descent andLittle Big Adventure are among the games to hit the market.


And then mix in there Atari, Nintendo, Sega, World of Warcraft, etc...

http://www.livescience.com/20718-computer-history.html



I don't know how old you are Michael, but my gut tells me that you're experiencing the eighties through research, rather than spending time there.

The listed technological advances in computers were much niore important for business than for home entertainment options. Word processing, storage, and especially data processing were the enticements for business Those cutting edge computers didn't replace the piano. They replaced stuff like office typewriters and microfiche.

I was just getting into education then. Teachers started buying Apple products for word processing and storage. Apple in those days directed its marketing toward education and profited well from that early focus going forward. Every year Apple offered special prices and interest free payment plans for teachers. Within a few years all the mimeograph and ditto machines disappeared from teacher workrooms along with the messy stencils, but the school piano in the auditorium lived on, usually hopelessly out of tune.

The computers most people with kids had for home use were the Arari and Commodore types. They were not expensive, but their processors and storage capacity was laughable by today's standards. With those things, you could look at them as an option for spending free time. I know. I frittered away hundreds of hours plugging my River Raid game cartridge into my Atari. grin Gaming was where it was at, not HTML.


I think (yeah I know, who cares) that the most significant factors in the decline were:

  • By 1980, most Boomers were out of High School and College and in the workforce - perhaps starting their own families. Their parents, arguably the last generation to have grown up with substantial general music education and appreciation for the arts, no longer had influence over things like piano lessons.
  • At least in California, Prop. 13 decimated the public schools and in particular music education. The economic troubles of the 80's certainly impacted music education during that time, and interest in playing the piano waned.
  • There were very few piano playing pop artists that young people wished to emulate. Other than Elton John, there weren't many prominent music icons at the piano, like the former Ferrante & Teicher, Liberace, John Lennon etc. Everyone wanted to be like John Denver or Crosby Stills & Nash.
  • Starting with the late 70's, the American piano manufacturers somewhat followed GM's model in delivering instruments that were, well, challenged at best. And who could blame children, who grew up playing on an Aeolian or Currier spinet, to never want to touch a piano again, and certainly wouldn't subject THEIR children to that torture.
  • By 1980, the Japanese companies seemed determined to destroy the American piano business, and were largely successful. By the late 1980's, there were virtually no American pianos other than Steinway that a consumer could consider. While the Japanese companies (both Yamaha and Kawai) put significant resources into piano programs for children in Japan, there were no such learning opportunities for children in the USA who could not afford private lessons. With the destruction of the American piano manufacturer, there was no support network for education.
  • Certainly, the proliferation of TV as a family's primary source of entertainment supplanted the desire for a concert by one's 10 year old after dinner. And TV generally shifted from being a source of cultrual programming to sitcoms (All in the Family) and Reality TV (Dallas eek) Gone were the days of station sponsored Orchestras that rivaled any regional symphony, and Lawrence Welk had overstayed his welcome.

These myriad of factors caused a perfect storm resulting in the decline, yet I'd venture that no one item could be deemed the culprit, with the possible exception of the adult American public's disdain for anything cultural. Perhaps one bright light is our growing acceptance of Jazz and a resurgence of young pianists, both in the popular and classical realms, and may result in the trend reversing itself.


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Berkeley, CA

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Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: turandot] #2348736
11/11/14 07:36 PM
11/11/14 07:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,365
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Originally Posted by turandot


I don't know how old you are Michael, but my gut tells me that you're experiencing the eighties through research, rather than spending time there.

The listed technological advances in computers were much niore important for business than for home entertainment options. Word processing, storage, and especially data processing were the enticements for business Those cutting edge computers didn't replace the piano. They replaced stuff like office typewriters and microfiche.

I was just getting into education then. Teachers started buying Apple products for word processing and storage. Apple in those days directed its marketing toward education and profited well from that early focus going forward. Every year Apple offered special prices and interest free payment plans for teachers. Within a few years all the mimeograph and ditto machines disappeared from teacher workrooms along with the messy stencils, but the school piano in the auditorium lived on, usually hopelessly out of tune.

The computers most people with kids had for home use were the Arari and Commodore types. They were not expensive, but their processors and storage capacity was laughable by today's standards. With those things, you could look at them as an option for spending free time. I know. I frittered away hundreds of hours plugging my River Raid game cartridge into my Atari. grin Gaming was where it was at, not HTML.


That timeline focused more on the initial release of a major breakthrough. For example, I'm not sure what the IBM Acorn is, but the IBM XT was pretty popular. The IBM AT was fairly capable at playing flight simulators. Or the Apple Lisa wasn't widely adopted, but the Apple II later was. Similarly for Windows 1.0, that didn't catch on but Windows 3 did.

Re: my age. I'm a very late GenX'er, just missed GenY/Millennials by a season or two of Three's Company, but caught up on the reruns. But no, I was fully self-aware in the 80's.

I agree that computers in the 80's weren't as useful as they are today, but I still sunk a lot of time in them even if it wasn't playing games. And I did play quite a few games even on my old 286. And don't forget Solitaire! And I think 1/2 the time spent on computers back then was trying to get the stupid thing to work, or get Windows to boot again.

But most of the fun was on Atari back then, we had one, but had even more fun on the Nintendo. I remember my mom was always yelling my sisters and I to practice piano when we were busy playing Mario.


Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Retsacnal] #2348739
11/11/14 07:44 PM
11/11/14 07:44 PM
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I figured it out!

The Karate Kid (1984)
Probably 3/4 of the boys said, "screw the piano, I want to learn Karate!"
[Linked Image]

Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Retsacnal] #2348751
11/11/14 08:11 PM
11/11/14 08:11 PM
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Noise & Cost:
About 70% of my students purchase and practice on digital keyboards, not pianos. Obviously that could not have been the ratio fifty years ago - it would have been 100% acoustic pianos. The reasons for choosing DPs are both financial as well as practical - they want to keep expenses low, and here in NYC avoiding noise complaints from neighbors is a BIG factor in the purchase of digitals. Is there a significant difference between piano sales in cities versus suburbs, or buyers living in apartment buildings versus free-standing houses?

Space:
A common misconception I hear from beginners (nearly every time) is their assertion that a piano is far too big for their modest apartment. I must explain over and over that if the digital keyboard is in a permanent assigned space next to a wall, an upright piano may be only 3 inches wider (depending on make, of course) and the vertical height is usually irrelevant to their spacial needs. They find this impossible to believe - the picture of a DP shows only a sliver of an electronic gizmo, whereas a picture of a vertical piano shows hundreds of pounds of lumber and metal - so they choose to disbelieve the horizontal numbers.

Attitude:
Among beginners there is definitely the feeling that a DP is less of a commitment than an acoustic piano - they are experimenting with a new hobby and not certain how far they will want to go with it. It is an open question how many consumers are motivated by love of music, or by love of gadgets.

Work Ethic:
I will add that the acceleration of instant gratification as a consumer value undermines the sensibility of developing a long-term craft that is no longer esteemed in American culture as it once was; when my grandmother wanted a dress, she bought the fabric and made it. When my grandfather wanted another chair, he went to the basement, cut the wood and made it. Those days are gone, and with them the idea the work is involved in acquisition.

As an example, when I ask prospective students if they have either a piano or digital keyboard, sometimes the response is, "Why do I have to get a piano, can't you just teach me to play the piano at your studio?" And, of course, "How long will it take me to learn to play the piano?" thus indicating a determination not to invest too much of their recreation time without a reasonably quick return on their time-investment.

Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: master88er] #2348764
11/11/14 08:31 PM
11/11/14 08:31 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
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Originally Posted by master88er
Certainly, the proliferation of TV as a family's primary source of entertainment supplanted the desire for a concert by one's 10 year old after dinner.


I hate TV, but to he honest, given that choice................ grin


Quote
These myriad of factors caused a perfect storm resulting in the decline, yet I'd venture that no one item could be deemed the culprit, with the possible exception of the adult American public's disdain for anything cultural.


At what point did you realize you shold ber selling snadwiches? grin


Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Jonathan Baker] #2348783
11/11/14 09:03 PM
11/11/14 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Baker


A common misconception I hear from beginners (nearly every time) is their assertion that a piano is far too big for their modest apartment. I must explain over and over that if the digital keyboard is in a permanent assigned space next to a wall, an upright piano may be only 3 inches wider (depending on make, of course) and the vertical height is usually irrelevant to their spacial needs. They routinely find this impossible to believe.

Among beginners there is definitely the feeling that a DP is less of a commitment ...


Well you could fold up the stand and throw the DP in your closet until you find a buyer on Craigslist but can't with an upright. Also the weight adds to the sense of burden, not as easy to move. Perhaps that's why people prefer lighter looking, more minimalistic Ikea furniture than the more traditional solid wood furniture.

Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Retsacnal] #2348787
11/11/14 09:28 PM
11/11/14 09:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 280
jacksonville
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master88-

you forgot Billy Joel- had "The Stranger", "52nd Street" and "Turnstiles" albums- GREAT stuff-
Saw Elton in concert in '74, John Denver that same year, and Billy Joel in 78- (Steve Martin too then.)

Loved his song with Ray Charles- "This Baby Grand"- saw Ray at the Hollywood Bowl in '85

Got the first casio- MK 500 in 1987- 49 mini keys and began to learn to play at 33.

but HAD to have a Yamaha soon after - because they had 100 voices, so I got a PSS 480 with synth function and melody record-

and had a few real piano lessons about then- 1988

Used a Commodore 64 in a word processing course, but Atari was the thing for music sequencing then, and I dreamed of a modular midi system with a weighted controller.

Had for awhile an early model of an Akai 7000 sampler, but a pain in the ass because you had to load single voices one at a time with floppy disks- sometimes three floppys a voice- but it sounded good.

also had a casio sk-5 sampler- and still do- the same one, even after it was under mud and water for several hours a few years back. the Yamaha 480 wasn't so resilient- but I just replaced it last week with a used unit from ebay. Great.

Took piano lessons then in Ventura in '92 on class pianos, and then at LA City College in the mid 90's, and rented a piano back then, before getting and old upright I guess the apartment neighbors might not have appreciated.

the 80's may have been a falling away for the piano industry, but it was my start

Last edited by harpon; 11/11/14 09:32 PM.
Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: turandot] #2348804
11/11/14 10:14 PM
11/11/14 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by turandot
Originally Posted by master88er
Certainly, the proliferation of TV as a family's primary source of entertainment supplanted the desire for a concert by one's 10 year old after dinner.


I hate TV, but to he honest, given that choice................ grin


LOL...


Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Retsacnal] #2348834
11/11/14 11:24 PM
11/11/14 11:24 PM
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Posts: 448
SF Bay Area Ca.
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Prop 13?? You must be joking?


Quid est veritas et mendacium, cum orbis terrarum.
Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Retsacnal] #2348952
11/12/14 08:44 AM
11/12/14 08:44 AM
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boston north
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During the 70s, I was teaching at Baldwin.

Although a classical pianist/organist, I quickly learned to teach popular organs. There seemed to be more sales in pop organs than pianos. Probably half my students (40) were organ students by 1980.

Buy a piano once. Buy several organs (they traded up). Sales must have been reflecting that...

and there were several companies offering pop organ.

My second guess would be the decline in the importance of music as a requisite for young ones.


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Retsacnal] #2348959
11/12/14 09:03 AM
11/12/14 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Among the recurring themes here on PW is the general decline of the piano in western culture, and how that manifests: fewer dealers, fewer technicians, fewer options for buyers, etc. The piano sales data from a "bluebookofpianos" website has been mentioned a number of times. Out of curiosity, a while back, I pasted it into Excel to look at it graphically.

U.S. Piano Sales:
[Linked Image]

The graph seems to depict strong sales growth right up until about 1980, at which the trend turns decidedly downward. In contrast, however, the sale of grand pianos shows slow but steady growth through the end date of the data (2007).

I wondered if the graph was telling the whole story, and it occurred to me to adjust it for population growth to see if it told a different story.

U.S. Piano Sales per capita (1000):
[Linked Image]

At a high-level, the graph depicts the same down-turn in ~1980; however, it shows a little different perspective in the years leading up to it.

It seems that between WWII and 1980, Americans were buying 1.1 new pianos annually for every one-thousand people. Between 1980 and 2007 those annual sales of new pianos dwindled to 0.1 per 1000 people.

In other words, the demand for new pianos has declined by about 90%.

Interestingly, the sales of grand pianos remains fairly steady, but this definitely seems like a seismic shift in the popularity of the piano in American culture.




Neat trick, to leave the oxymoron upon which this is founded until the last two words of your post.
laugh

Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: BDB] #2349192
11/12/14 04:23 PM
11/12/14 04:23 PM
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Reseda, California
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Originally Posted by BDB
Ronald Reagan.


I'd say Reagan accounts for the grands, and digital keyboards for the uprights.



-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Retsacnal] #2349335
11/12/14 09:43 PM
11/12/14 09:43 PM
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The four letter word may be "SONY"
the various Walk_Person devices, etc.

Golly Gee, however did they let Apple take it all ?
{rhetorical}

Re: What happened in 1980? [Re: Retsacnal] #2349350
11/12/14 10:45 PM
11/12/14 10:45 PM
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Posts: 280
jacksonville
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"The Final Countdown" happened in 1980,
but everyone in Xanadu is back to splashing zeros again.

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