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Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: DFSRN] #2757224
08/09/18 08:04 PM
08/09/18 08:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,082
In the Ozarks of Missouri
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Markarian, you state close the wag gap so more families can afford a quality piano and lessons. I think for the most part a piano and lessons may be a matter of priority. I know people that contend lessons and a piano are too expensive. However, they have a high end car, nice home theaters, and take expensive vacations. I had a friend take a trip to Disney a few years ago and spent over $4,000 to take her family. That could have bought a decent used acoustic piano. This is just an example to illustrate my point. I think it is a matter of choices and it comes to priorities.

I agree there are more activities for children to do, gaming is big. Piano is probably not as exciting as drone racing or video games. As a Boomer, all those electronic gadgets were not available. Also, careers in music for the most part are not lucrative. Musicians compared to to other fields have more difficulty finding employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of musicians and singers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026. I read a few years ago in the wall Street Journal there was one flute opening for a major symphony and there were 500 applicants. BLS notes there is a lot of competition for musician jobs. College is expensive. When I went to college I wanted a return on investment, eventually student loans come due.

I know people who want to learn to play, but tell me its too much time to practice to get decent. Piano is a labor of love, it takes a lot of time and dedication. Those who take music lessons derive health benefits. I would like to share my publication on "Prescription for Music Lessons."

https://www.mdedge.com/fedprac/article/106295/mental-health/prescription-music-lessons



Deb, I have to agree with you. It really is a matter of choices and priorities. Also, your publication was excellent! Too bad it is not mandatory reading! thumb

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Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757246
08/09/18 10:08 PM
08/09/18 10:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 710
Melville Saskatchewan
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It's probably an artifact of how I grew up (see above) but I still find a certain kind of magic in the fact that I can take a printed sheet of paper and turn that into music.

There are thousands of obscure Tin Pan Alley pieces that nobody has heard or played in the past 100 years. Sometimes there's good reason for that. smile

There's probably a poem in there somewhere. The value of music on a sheet that's never played....


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
We got both kinds of music: Country and Western!
Casio Celviano AP-650
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757249
08/09/18 10:28 PM
08/09/18 10:28 PM
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Posts: 1,357
Nashville, TN
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My mom was our church pianist. She played about 95% by ear and could only really read a melody line as far as reading music. She insisted that my brother and I take lessons and couldn't stop until we could play any hymn in the hymn book. Many times we wanted to stop so my mom would get out the hymn book, pick a hymn that we didn't know in a difficult key like E or Db, and ask us to sight read it. Of course we were completely unable to do this. By the time I COULD sight read any hymn I was playing the piano well enough that I didn't want to quit. She was a pretty smart cookie.


Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757263
08/09/18 11:52 PM
08/09/18 11:52 PM
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Posts: 391
Toronto, Canada
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I know a few older people who listened to Classical music on radio for years and even have an extensive collection of music CDs & DVDs. Getting down to playing is another thing. Some older adults get into painting but they feel that in order to learn piano successfully you need to start at a young age. Parents have kids who took lessons and after they left home the piano sits as another piece of furniture. A few cases the kids got into a Suzuki or Yamaha music program. At least 1 parent is supposed to accompany the child to his/her lesson. After the kids quit music lessons, the piano becomes a piece of furniture. Even the parent who learned along with the child don't get into playing.

Some took lessons for years but after they stopped going to a teacher, they stop playing altogether. Nowadays sheet music is online and very accessible and we are seeing pianos becoming pieces of furniture. People have get-togethers to play sports but very few have parties where they would play music together.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2757268
08/10/18 12:23 AM
08/10/18 12:23 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 8,980
Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Once I was in a church service and the pastor asked churchgoers to donate money for a new electric organ costing many thousands of dollars. The only justification is a nicer sound for playing a few hymns on Sundays. The church is already collecting money from goers every week. If a preacher asks me to donate money for a piano or an organ so that I would have a better chance of going to heaven I'm going to pass. In this case the church administration didn't have the budget for a nicer instrument, at least they should be able to get a keyboard with a few buttons for piano & organ sound. Governments need to exercise fiscal responsibility but people running a church think they can always turn to the faithful for money. .

Seriously, who else would they turn to for money ha- and why do you assume that churches aren't fiscally responsible? smile

We formed our church 10 years ago with 150 members. We've since grown to over 400 members and have an annual operating budget of $900,000. I serve on the finance committee that monitors expenses on a monthly basis and makes adjustments as needed to stay within budget (just as I did when working in government). All revenue is derived from parishioner donations - and 10% of our budget is devoted to support other ministries. Our parishioners freely give of their time, talent and resources. I doubt anyone gives to the church because they think it will increase their chances of getting into heaven. smile From what I can tell, they give because they support the mission and work of the church - and they derive personal satisfaction from their involvement. In addition to our small ministerial and office support staff, we pay a part time choir director, organist and section leaders for our choir. We are within a couple of years of paying off the $2M mortgage on our facility. We initially raised $5K for a 30 year old Allen organ, which met our needs for several years until it started to die. Three years ago we took a leap of faith and raised $80K for a new custom built digital organ. We also raised $13K to purchase a 20 year old Baldwin SF-10 to replace the 70 year old 4'11" barely functional baby grand that came with the building. Both instruments have significantly enhanced the overall quality of the music during our weekly services. We set high standards for our music program, and our parishioners appreciate our focus on traditional sacred music. Bottom line - we have made an effort to live within our means and use the resources available to us - but our members have freely stepped up - without being strong-armed or coerced - to support the growth of the church and its programs. Plus, we believe in providing opportunities for the youth in our church to participate in special services as instrumentalists and vocalists.

Just thought I'd offer a different perspective. smile


.


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Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757281
08/10/18 02:50 AM
08/10/18 02:50 AM
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CO, USA
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Interesting thread, thank you, but to the OP seeking piano dealers near, how about:
https://www.nashvillepianorescue.com

Last edited by phacke; 08/10/18 02:54 AM.

phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Toccata (G minor) BWV 915
(and trying not to forget the other stuff I know)
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Kenji13] #2757290
08/10/18 04:50 AM
08/10/18 04:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 71
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Originally Posted by Kenji13
Although I love and value piano and other instruments, I think today's society does not help people to value the piano. In fact, we don't hear much about piano on TV, Newspaper, and popular radios anymore. The environment (the society) has so much impact on us. I guess one hopeful media is the internet, because each user gets to choose what he/she wants to know. But I think educating parents can make big difference.

I had one student (age 10), whose family is very conservative. At one lesson, I asked her who is your favorite musician and she told me "Mozart" without hesitation. Because her parents value Mozart and other classical composers, it seems the student value it too.


You made very good points about how social values or surrounding cultural environment could affect parenting styles, which in turns, may bring up certain types of youths...


"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue."
-- Plato
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Carey] #2757320
08/10/18 07:36 AM
08/10/18 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Once I was in a church service and the pastor asked churchgoers to donate money for a new electric organ costing many thousands of dollars. The only justification is a nicer sound for playing a few hymns on Sundays. The church is already collecting money from goers every week. If a preacher asks me to donate money for a piano or an organ so that I would have a better chance of going to heaven I'm going to pass. In this case the church administration didn't have the budget for a nicer instrument, at least they should be able to get a keyboard with a few buttons for piano & organ sound. Governments need to exercise fiscal responsibility but people running a church think they can always turn to the faithful for money. .

Seriously, who else would they turn to for money ha- and why do you assume that churches aren't fiscally responsible? smile

We formed our church 10 years ago with 150 members. We've since grown to over 400 members and have an annual operating budget of $900,000. I serve on the finance committee that monitors expenses on a monthly basis and makes adjustments as needed to stay within budget (just as I did when working in government). All revenue is derived from parishioner donations - and 10% of our budget is devoted to support other ministries. Our parishioners freely give of their time, talent and resources. I doubt anyone gives to the church because they think it will increase their chances of getting into heaven. smile From what I can tell, they give because they support the mission and work of the church - and they derive personal satisfaction from their involvement. In addition to our small ministerial and office support staff, we pay a part time choir director, organist and section leaders for our choir. We are within a couple of years of paying off the $2M mortgage on our facility. We initially raised $5K for a 30 year old Allen organ, which met our needs for several years until it started to die. Three years ago we took a leap of faith and raised $80K for a new custom built digital organ. We also raised $13K to purchase a 20 year old Baldwin SF-10 to replace the 70 year old 4'11" barely functional baby grand that came with the building. Both instruments have significantly enhanced the overall quality of the music during our weekly services. We set high standards for our music program, and our parishioners appreciate our focus on traditional sacred music. Bottom line - we have made an effort to live within our means and use the resources available to us - but our members have freely stepped up - without being strong-armed or coerced - to support the growth of the church and its programs. Plus, we believe in providing opportunities for the youth in our church to participate in special services as instrumentalists and vocalists.

Just thought I'd offer a different perspective. smile


.


I know we're way off topic here, but...

Thanks for sharing Carey! I couldn't have said it better myself. I know there are RARE situations where ministers use unethical tactics to gain contributions from parishioners, but that is RARE. It does cost money to operate a church. And the church in general does not "charge" for it's routine services. People are free to attend whether they give financially of their own free will or not.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757326
08/10/18 08:04 AM
08/10/18 08:04 AM
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I'm brainstorming here, but 1st a little story about my son. He's 16 and started his Jr. year in High School. He has autism and has several obsessions, one of which is the drums. He works very hard at it, and is quite good. I use drums in the music at our church and he plays with me often. He's been in the school band for several years now. He says he wants to be a musician as an adult. This year he had time in his schedule for some electives, so he chose to take Beginning Piano. He started school this week, and came home with his Adult Beginning Piano I Method and Theory books. Last night after supper, he came to me and said he wanted to show me what he had learned in Piano class. I told him that I'd be there in just a minute, and I stepped to the restroom. I rarely raise the lid any more on my S&S B these days. There's usually a lot going on and it's too much due to our open floor plan. But when I came around the corner he had raised the lid to full height and put the music rack up to play the 3 little right hand only etudes he had learned. I should have taken a picture. It was priceless, and he was so proud of himself! I'm glad he's showing some interest. I've tried to teach him a little at home, but that's Dad and sometimes that just doesn't work.

Back to brainstorming and my thoughts on reviving a culture that values the piano. A couple of these seem outlandish, but hey, you never know who reads these posts. Maybe they'll give me a shout-out if the take my ideas and run with it.

We have "School of Rock" schools in our area. It's kind of like Karate' for musicians. Parents enroll their kids and they go a couple of times a week to learn to play together in a band. What if there was something like that for the piano?

What if there were a "Piano Idol" Competition TV Show that focused on Piano from a Pop / Jazz / Rock / Country perspective. Most piano competitions focus on Classical. I know the classics are foundation, but so few are actually interested in learning them. Maybe the winner would have the opportunity to play in a band, work in a studio as a session player. Maybe the competition would include elements of arranging. The modern music world focuses so much on the vocal out front holding the guitar and dancing around, but the whole musical package is put together by very creative musicians and it's rarely the one out front. It's a producer / arranger behind the scenes who often is a piano player like Burt Bachrach or David Foster.

I big "piano" pop star would definitely help, of course.

I like the various things Rich and Hugh are doing at Cunningham piano with media. I'd like to see more of that on a much larger scale. Again, I think it needs to feature pianists playing more of the Pop / Jazz / Country / Rock music young people are interested in these days.

Maybe we as pianists could find a way to expose people in group settings thru our community involvement like our churches.

Maybe we should entertain more in our homes around the piano. Have people over to sing and play together.

Just some thoughts. You get the idea.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757328
08/10/18 08:15 AM
08/10/18 08:15 AM
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Florida
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I like the suggestions:
A few more. More involvement by local acoustic dealers, much like what Rich is doing at Cunningham Pianos
Local symphony kids educational events: “here are all the instruments, followed by short performance. It does not need to be classical.
Volunteer as a pianist to give a brief lecture and performance at local schools: couldn’t area piano teachers help with this?
Small performances at local churches...

I think we have discussed enough that we have a problem...but not enough about solutions


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757336
08/10/18 08:44 AM
08/10/18 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Pianolance
What can we do to bring back a culture that values learning to play the piano? We need to produce an environment where people want to learn to play the piano - the way we did when we were kids.


Hi Pianolance,

Could you more specifically state why you think this is important? More to the point, could you state what effect of this piano-valuing culture you want to see? How would it manifest itself?

Before that quote, you spoke mostly of dealer scarcity in the Nashville area. I might say that's due to regional income levels; the Northeastern U.S. has many states with high per-capita income, which might be a strong predictor of piano availability and dealer presence...likely a stronger predictor than city size. I'm in squarely middle-class Chicago, the third-largest city in the country, and dealers here are scarce.

I'm not really sure myself if anything needs to change just yet, but I'd like to hear what you think the effects of these boosted piano-values are.

MC

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757342
08/10/18 09:10 AM
08/10/18 09:10 AM
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It's strange because one would have thought with this plethora of digital pianos and piano modelling/sampling software that is constantly coming out, that the piano was indeed more common than we thought.

I guess maybe it is, but not in the "classical" sense that we mean. There's a few rock and roll bands that I can think of that currently are very piano oriented, but I don't think they're actually that well known.

Matt Bellamy of Muse I think brought the piano slightly more in to mainstream focus with his Rachmaninov-style sections in their live gigs (not to mention his direct lifting of a few bars of Rachmaninov here and there). And maybe a few other similar bands as well.

I noticed though when I was deciding what "keyboard" to buy, and I say keyboard because I got a VPC1, not a digital piano, that when I was watching youtube review videos and suchlike, that all the pianists played this kind of either lounge music, or this saccharine type of music (I'm not sure what you call it) that sounds a bit like the theme tune to Hill Street Blues, but not quite as good.

So maybe to be more precise, it's not the piano per se, but the acoustic piano and classical music that isn't so prevalent? If that's the case, then I would simply cite difficulty as one of the reasons a lot of people don't go for it. I've noticed that seemingly we live in an attention-deficit society where the concept of practise and concentration seem to have waned somewhat, although I could be wrong. Also, us being slap bang in the middle of the age of dumbing down and mediocrity doesn't help.

This is a shame because nowadays we do have things like the internet and youtube, and so one would have thought it would be more accessible, which it is. One can pick up a digital piano and teach oneself to a certain extent.

The piano is pretty difficult though, seems to be the general consensus. A lot of young people go for the guitar instead for this reason, I think, although as I said before, I think the age of the guitar is waning slightly, being saturated to the brim.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: phacke] #2757355
08/10/18 10:14 AM
08/10/18 10:14 AM
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Posts: 1,357
Nashville, TN
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Nashville, TN
Originally Posted by phacke
Interesting thread, thank you, but to the OP seeking piano dealers near, how about:
https://www.nashvillepianorescue.com

I know about Nashville Piano Rescue and The Nashville Piano Room but I was talking about new piano dealers. Nashville Piano Rescue recently had to dispose of a mountain of used pianos that they couldn't sell. Check out this pile of pianos headed to the incinerator. https://www.facebook.com/1730493427...258/1655045124530938/?type=3&theater


Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: mcontraveos] #2757359
08/10/18 10:24 AM
08/10/18 10:24 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,357
Nashville, TN
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Nashville, TN
Originally Posted by mcontraveos
Originally Posted by Pianolance
What can we do to bring back a culture that values learning to play the piano? We need to produce an environment where people want to learn to play the piano - the way we did when we were kids.


Hi Pianolance,

Could you more specifically state why you think this is important? More to the point, could you state what effect of this piano-valuing culture you want to see? How would it manifest itself?

Before that quote, you spoke mostly of dealer scarcity in the Nashville area. I might say that's due to regional income levels; the Northeastern U.S. has many states with high per-capita income, which might be a strong predictor of piano availability and dealer presence...likely a stronger predictor than city size. I'm in squarely middle-class Chicago, the third-largest city in the country, and dealers here are scarce.

I'm not really sure myself if anything needs to change just yet, but I'd like to hear what you think the effects of these boosted piano-values are.

MC

My point is that learning to play the piano is becoming rare in our society and I think that's a shame. This is reflected in the lack of piano dealers. I think less interest in the piano, in general, is a bad thing. Learning to play the piano is a valuable skill, unlike learning to play a video game. Music teaches us culture, history, math, science, hand eye coordination, a sense of beauty, and in general is good for our culture. Is there a way to bring back a culture that values the piano as well as other instruments?


Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757366
08/10/18 10:41 AM
08/10/18 10:41 AM
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Virginia
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Bennevis, (I am a Boomer), I am fortunate to have had parents that exposed me to the arts. I had violin and piano lessons. I had tap and ballet lessons as well. Not saying I enjoyed all of that at the time. I also had to go to live plays and concerts with my parents. I grew for a good portion of my childhood in Chicago, so my parents took me to museums and art galleries. As I developed into adulthood I understood why they did that, most likely that is why I appreciate taking music lessons again. I have been taking lessons for 5 years. One instructor I had was a symphony musician. The one I have now is a jazz musician and is the orchestra director at a church. Piano is a lot of work, I do not think I would have progressed as I have if not for face-to-face instruction by qualified teachers. Interesting, the music director where I take lessons, told me I was the longest adult student she had. She has been in business about 20 years. She said on average an adult will take lessons for a year.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757383
08/10/18 11:47 AM
08/10/18 11:47 AM
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The city school district in my area is tragically under funded (what else is new) but our local symphony has really helped by giving children's concerts and sending musicians to schools for a variety of programs. They have also funded after school activities. Much of the money raised goes to in-school music education and after school programs. I have only seen the reaction of pretty young children but they seem very interested in classical music and extremely interested in how certain instruments actually "make the music". If there was just some way to hang on to that enthusiasm as the kids get older. Here we also have a "Pianos for People" organization that was started by the parents of a promising young pianist who was killed. The group provides and maintains a piano for promising local piano students who might otherwise not be able to have one at home. I realize this is only a drop in the proverbial bucket, but it does give me some hope for the future.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757393
08/10/18 12:30 PM
08/10/18 12:30 PM
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Excellent posts by all on this thread.

To add - all we can do as individuals is to keep the flag raised in our own piano playing. Keep going strong.

I find the same with boxing actually, I like boxing - I realise many don't, but that's not the issue. Also, Karate. Both of these disciplines have faded in modern culture, probably being replaced by mixed martial arts, or somesuch. When I say I like boxing, people call me old-fashioned.

I pride myself in being old-fashioned in this modern society of throw-away culture. I think old-fashioned is almost a counter culture in itself, in a funny kind of way.

I also love things like Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, etc.

What we players gain in this society as pianists is standing out as being individual and having our own thought processes - at least individually I think this is definitely something to be proud of. We are independent thinkers.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Zaphod] #2757404
08/10/18 01:06 PM
08/10/18 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod
I pride myself in being old-fashioned in this modern society of throw-away culture. I think old-fashioned is almost a counter culture in itself, in a funny kind of way.

I think there are at least two types of what one might call "old-fashion", and I react to them differently. One variety is to appreciate the finest of what culture offers, even if that is old and if the number of appreciators drops in contemporary society. Listening to Wagner and the Beatles and baroque music on original instruments, reading Shakespeare and Proust, playing a Grotrian, watching Citizen Kane and Laurel & Hardy, using vacuum tube amplifies amplifiers (for a warmer sound), etc. This is valuing the finest aspects of earlier cultures, times, and technologies. I personally favor and value this.

Then there is being old-fashioned because you feel the world is moving too fast and you want to climb into a cocoon to shelter yourself, as well as just for nostalgia. Examples might be to collect and program old personal computers from the 1970's, using old flip phones, shunning modern technologies and software, etc. While I can understand why there are people who do this, I personally have trouble understanding this sort of Neo-Luddism. For instance, why would one want to spend days programming an 8-bit CPU which has no relevance to life today, for example? I personally know someone like this, and he has tried to explain his past-times, but I simply don't get it since there is just nothing "better" about what he does than what is more commonly used, even being very generous about this. In fact, it's worse, because in the case of older technologies, the power consumption is through the roof. I see it a little bit as trying to bring by the coal/steam locomotive for day-to-day rail travel.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: mcontraveos] #2757409
08/10/18 01:20 PM
08/10/18 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mcontraveos
I'm in squarely middle-class Chicago, the third-largest city in the country, and dealers here are scarce

I realize the word scarce is subjective, even when it's in bold font. But I just purchased a piano this week and told my wife I was so glad we live some place where I can go and try any piano brand I can think of, both new and used. I don't think I traveled more than 30 minutes to find a showroom that had what I wanted on display.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757490
08/10/18 05:07 PM
08/10/18 05:07 PM
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In Nashville you can buy a new Yamaha or Steinway or Seilers made in Asia. You can't buy a Kawai, a Bechstein, a Mason & Hamlin, a Schimmel, a Bosendorfer, a Petrof, a Fazioli, a Charles Walter, an Estonia, a Bluthner or a Grotrian. You can't even buy a Hailun.


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Very part time piano broker.
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757528
08/10/18 07:47 PM
08/10/18 07:47 PM
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My shop neighbor is a company called Himalayan Dog Treat. They have employees from every ethnic group present in the USA. I am pleasantly surprised by the number of them who express interest in playing the piano. I haven't sold them any of mine as they mostly live in apartments and have yet to buy a house so they have digital pianos. But they salivate when looking and listening to the ones in my shop when they drop by from time to time. Very few of the ones who express interest would be characterized as white.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: JohnSprung] #2757537
08/10/18 08:20 PM
08/10/18 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by dogperson
More television exposure (not sure how to make that happen)


On commercial TV, it would be a very tough sell. PBS is the way to go. They have far less material than the commercial networks, so they run things over and over and over. They also have very little money to acquire shows, so something that could be made very inexpensively and offered free to PBS would definitely get plenty of air time. Scott Houston's series is still in re-runs on PBS.


I just watched a few of Cunningham's videos on the web. Some of their material could be re-formatted for PBS, if they wanted to look into it.


-- J.S.

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Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: JohnSprung] #2757632
08/11/18 09:32 AM
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You know, that's not a bad idea. I can totally see Rich Galassini as a host of a PBS show about pianos, piano players, piano rebuilding, all things piano. Shoot, they have shows about painting, quilting, sewing, cooking, trains, wood working, decorating, etc. Why not have a show about pianos. I think Rich could be the next Chris Kimball.


Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757733
08/11/18 05:59 PM
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I completely agree. Rich Galassini would be awesome as host of such a show.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757735
08/11/18 06:04 PM
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Listen to the radio for a day, tuning from station to station. Or fire up Pandora and do the same. Keep track of the number of songs that contain a keyboard, it will be something less than 100%. Now what percentage of those keyboards are pianos? Finally, what percentage of those songs with piano sounds feature the piano vs just provide some backing or a bridge. It is going to be a small number that approaches zero unless you happen to hit a number of jazz stations. Why would people want to learn to play an instrument that is so rarely used in the music they hear around them every day? Maybe we should be surprised that there are still so many people interested in learning to play the piano.

Many, many years ago Latin was taught in high schools across the country because of its cultural value even though it had no immediate relevancy. Today, my understanding is that it has become very rare. Just being "good for you" is not enough of a reason to dedicate time to learning it. I think that promoting the cultural value of learning piano is an up hill battle. It takes a new crop of Elton John type performers to motivate a new crop of piano students.


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Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757737
08/11/18 06:08 PM
08/11/18 06:08 PM
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Quote
. But they salivate when looking and listening to the ones in my shop when they drop by from time to time. Very few of the ones who express interest would be characterized as white.


This is pretty well same all over the world now.

P.S. Saliviating with excitement is a good thing.
"Sweating from practicing the piano" is even better.

Having the strong suspicion that this is increasingly the exact same group.

Those in business today know exactly what I mean...

Good luck everybody!

Norbert


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Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: MarkL] #2757755
08/11/18 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkL
I realize the word scarce is subjective, even when it's in bold font. But I just purchased a piano this week and told my wife I was so glad we live some place where I can go and try any piano brand I can think of, both new and used. I don't think I traveled more than 30 minutes to find a showroom that had what I wanted on display.


Wonderful, that is outstanding news -- congratulations!

I love the feeling of being able to find what I want in a piano store, but I have had very close to the opposite experience. With that, I should not have been so forceful with my typesetting...

It's more accurate for me to say that while I can name eight dealers within Illinois and a 1.5hr drive from Chicago, only two of them have a reasonable selection of larger pianos (7 ft and up), which is what I have been looking for.

Anyway...back to the topic at hand!

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: GC13] #2757773
08/11/18 09:57 PM
08/11/18 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by GC13
I'm brainstorming here, but 1st a little story about my son. He's 16 and started his Jr. year in High School. He has autism and has several obsessions, one of which is the drums. He works very hard at it, and is quite good. I use drums in the music at our church and he plays with me often. He's been in the school band for several years now. He says he wants to be a musician as an adult. This year he had time in his schedule for some electives, so he chose to take Beginning Piano.


The story reminds me of the English piano virtuoso Derek Pavavicini who was born blind and with severe autism. Very early on fell in love of the piano. He can remember a song after hearing it once and transpose it to another style and Key in an instant. The classic case of someone with an obsession for music & piano playing.

Know someone across town who started out as a normal young man with average intelligence. Like his other siblings the parents enrolled them in piano lessons for a few years. Shortly after he entered high school, the young man was showing anti-social behavior to the point he didn't want to be in school with other students. A condition you might describe as "Agoraphobia" in medical terms. Another member of the family who is a doctor thinks he may have signs of "Asperger Syndrome". Something that is similar to Autism. The young man just like to play video games all day to the point you can call an obsession. Unfortunately he doesn't have any interest in music or express himself through music. Partly the fault of the parents making practice time like an academic exercise where you learn to read music and regurgitate pieces assigned by your teacher. The kids' music lessons became boring and repetitive that after a few years instead of fun and engaging. Nobody in the family wants to touch a piano again.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: SoundThumb] #2757782
08/12/18 12:53 AM
08/12/18 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SoundThumb
Why would people want to learn to play an instrument that is so rarely used in the music they hear around them every day? Maybe we should be surprised that there are still so many people interested in learning to play the piano.

Many, many years ago Latin was taught in high schools across the country because of its cultural value even though it had no immediate relevancy. Today, my understanding is that it has become very rare. Just being "good for you" is not enough of a reason to dedicate time to learning it. I think that promoting the cultural value of learning piano is an up hill battle. It takes a new crop of Elton John type performers to motivate a new crop of piano students.

I agree with this. The Piano is becoming less and less relevant to up and coming music makers (young and old). We need to stop pushing piano as “it’s good for you” and show them why it is useful for making music.

The Piano was culturally valuable for centuries because it was the most the most powerful tool for making music. Nowadays would-be musicians are reaching for their laptops and iPads instead ... and they are making tons of music without the piano. Just listen through any of the top Spotify playlists and the lack of of a Piano song borders on nearly 100%. And yet there is more music than ever.

It doesn’t help that there is an appalling disconnect between “piano lessons” and making music. There are too many “good piano students” who can play the crap out of 100 year old pieces written by other people, but can’t play the simplest creation of their own.

My teenage niece and nephew have several friends who gave up piano lessons but are always uploading their musical creations to Facebook and YouTube. Their musical weapon of choice? The computer/smart phone/tablet. And after some conversations - I found out these kids self-learned enough composition and arranging concepts that they can very intelligently explain how they apply them in different programs. They’ve even took a summer DAW class to learn more. (In addition to a singing class, thanks to to popularity of the TV shows).

I’m not sure how to convince these kids to apply those music making skills to piano, but every few days, they post another one of their musical creations. They may not be the piano player “performers” coming out of the piano lesson industry - but they are developing composing and arranging skills that many, many piano students will never acquire. And I have to wonder which way is actually creating “musicians”.

You can say what you want about the ease of making music on a computer. But many many musically inclined people are gravitating toward the computer - not the piano.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757783
08/12/18 01:04 AM
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Well, I am just finishing recovering the keys of my local high school's 1923 Baldwin D. One of the middle schools has one from 1921, and I am working with the music teacher to restore that, as it is in much worse shape. I am kind of old for that sort of work, but we may be able to get it to be a class project, so the students would be involved with it. These are small steps, but they are steps forward, nevertheless.


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