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Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757794
08/12/18 04:07 AM
08/12/18 04:07 AM
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Finland
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It is true that often in piano studies music seems to come second and accumulating "skills" seems to be more important. It does not make it very tempting for creative young people who are not interested in a career as a pianist. For me piano is first a musical intrument that happens to produce tones that I love, not a device to show my finger agility. There are many ways to use it. After I quit lessons as a teen I still used the piano for other things such as learning songs as long as I had access to one. The only reason I started lessons at an older age was to experience recreating and listening to music in real time that I enjoyed so much to listen to. And hopefully do it in a way that adds my own personal touch to it. I generally find the focus on learning skills by standard curriculum rather off-putting. Some people go to great lengths to convince everyone that there's only one good way to study piano, no wonder it's not popular with the younger generations in the west who are often used to making their own choices and also have a lot to choose from... Before pianos were more common in households so one could just play around with them in many ways. Now it's often: You can get a piano if you promise to work hard with lessons...

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Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Groove On] #2757820
08/12/18 07:35 AM
08/12/18 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Groove On
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.

When you play Für Elise and play with your own expression and individuality, aren't you re-creating it? Just like when you improvise, you're using a lot of well-practiced licks and sequence of chords, and 're-creating' them in different scenarios.

BTW, not everyone wants to, nor have the talent to compose, though most musicians I know have a small stash of music they themselves composed - often when they were young - and never play it for anyone. Or they burn it, realizing that it can never compare to the 100 year old pieces written by dead composers that everyone plays......

Quote
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.

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.

You've touched on the problem that learning the piano faces - people these days expect instant gratification, not hours and years of daily practice to get to a reasonable skill level.

With a computer keyboard, you can press one key and get a complete F#m7 chord in third inversion. Then add something, like a melody, and press another key, click a bit etc. Think of it, and you get it with one press, no practicing required. Why spend years practicing to develop a fluent technique, when you just want to 'create' nice tunes?


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757829
08/12/18 08:29 AM
08/12/18 08:29 AM
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Taking music lessons doesn't necessarily turn people into performers. The same can be said with people learning foreign languages in class. Not everybody would become a fluent speaker. Time and time again the phrase making music gets repeated by different people.

Coming from a family of non-musicians, took a few piano lessons at age 5 but didn't get past "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". Mom can't play an instrument while dad can sort of play the accordion at the basic level. Didn't get back to playing piano until a few decades later. In those days the parents didn't make a fuss if the kids stick with piano for another 2 years something great would happen.

I play with a music group in church so for the past few years have many opportunities to perform in front of an audience. I do support people uploading their work onto Facebook, YouTube and other social media outlets. There are people in the family who took lessons for at least 5 years and they can't even play Happy Birthday for another family member. What is the whole point of wasting time & money with music education if you can't sightread some easy pieces? Some people think social media is about instant gratification. At least people have an outlet to share their creativity. I wouldn't be taking lessons for 10 years and not perform in front of an audience once. If the teacher is the only person listening every week, I'd quit taking lessons after the second year. At least with social media you listen to people like yourself who are playing their version of the Mozart "Turkish Rondo", Beethoven "Moonlight Sonata", Chopin Nocturne, etc. and you are constantly striving to play better (to the next level). It's not all about entering notes on a computer and generating an electronic version of your music. Every time I arrange a score with a notation program, I'd play it a few times on a piano / keyboard and put some personal touches into the music. Music that came out of a computer with you pressing the [Play] button is like no effort was put in to make a piece your own by performing it yourself.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2757831
08/12/18 08:51 AM
08/12/18 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Some people think social media is about instant gratification. At least people have an outlet to share their creativity.

Social media is all about instant gratification, however you like to dress it up.

If no-one comments or gives you "likes" (thumbs up) on what you want to share, would you bother? There was a new item this week on BBC about its effects on us. People upload something on Facebook etc, then anxiously keep checking and re-checking to see how many 'views' and 'likes'. It's as if their self-esteem is entirely dependent on people viewing their efforts and 'liking' them. If they don't get any 'likes', their world falls apart......

Even though I have no interest in social media, I have succumbed to this sort of mentality, when I sent fellow travellers photos I took of them after the trip, via e-mail. If no-one bothers to reply, I wonder if they received it. (More likely, they're only interested in their Facebook, not in acknowledging e-mails). 'Repeat offenders' wink stop getting any more photos from me. Maybe they thank me via Facebook, but I don't use it (I certainly know some have uploaded the photos I sent them into their Facebook pages).......


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There are people in the family who took lessons for at least 5 years and they can't even play Happy Birthday for another family member. What is the whole point of wasting time & money with music education if you can't sightread some easy pieces?
I wouldn't be taking lessons for 10 years and not perform in front of an audience once. If the teacher is the only person listening every week, I'd quit taking lessons after the second year.

Why do you repeatedly think that everyone should be like you, and keep dissing people - in thread after thread after thread - who aren't?

I took lessons for ten years without ever performing for anyone (unless you call exams 'performing for the examiner'). I was in love with the music, not in showing off what I could do, certainly not in "sharing" my piano playing with the world at large.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: bennevis] #2757852
08/12/18 10:58 AM
08/12/18 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Some people think social media is about instant gratification. At least people have an outlet to share their creativity.

Social media is all about instant gratification, however you like to dress it up.

If no-one comments or gives you "likes" (thumbs up) on what you want to share, would you bother? There was a new item this week on BBC about its effects on us. People upload something on Facebook etc, then anxiously keep checking and re-checking to see how many 'views' and 'likes'. It's as if their self-esteem is entirely dependent on people viewing their efforts and 'liking' them. If they don't get any 'likes', their world falls apart......

Even though I have no interest in social media, I have succumbed to this sort of mentality, when I sent fellow travellers photos I took of them after the trip, via e-mail. If no-one bothers to reply, I wonder if they received it. (More likely, they're only interested in their Facebook, not in acknowledging e-mails). 'Repeat offenders' wink stop getting any more photos from me. Maybe they thank me via Facebook, but I don't use it (I certainly know some have uploaded the photos I sent them into their Facebook pages).......


Quote

There are people in the family who took lessons for at least 5 years and they can't even play Happy Birthday for another family member. What is the whole point of wasting time & money with music education if you can't sightread some easy pieces?
I wouldn't be taking lessons for 10 years and not perform in front of an audience once. If the teacher is the only person listening every week, I'd quit taking lessons after the second year.

Why do you repeatedly think that everyone should be like you, and keep dissing people - in thread after thread after thread - who aren't?

I took lessons for ten years without ever performing for anyone (unless you call exams 'performing for the examiner'). I was in love with the music, not in showing off what I could do, certainly not in "sharing" my piano playing with the world at large.


Yes, Yes and Yes bennevis on all points. I agree with you!

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757875
08/12/18 12:06 PM
08/12/18 12:06 PM
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Georgia, USA
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Well, I've managed to stay out of this thread thus far...

Not that is not interesting or relevant or important by any means. Besides, anything that Pianolance posts is interesting. smile

However, and this is usually the case, most members here have an opinion, and sometimes an agenda, and they do not drift very far from the status-quo under most circumstances.

That said, I'll state my opinion regarding the subject matter, which is how do we bring back a culture that values the piano, which some posts have drifted rather far away from the original topic, and that happens often on PW. Personally, I don't think much will change now or in the near future regarding current cultural trends. There will still be piano enthusiasts, like myself, and even piano fanatics, which they are out there as well. I can't speak for the cultural trends in other countries, because I have no clue what they are, other than what I see on TV, read in the news, or read here on PW.

In all honesty, I think the best thing we can do to help bring back a culture that values the piano is to share with others the joy and contentment that the piano has brought to our own lives. For example, when you walk into my door, you will immediately see two nice acoustic grand pianos, one on the right and one on the left. As you walk into the next room you will see another acoustic upright piano. If you'd like I can play you a tune or a song, or something that you may like or have heard before. Not that I can play all that well, but it will likely help bring a smile on your face. Or, you can sit down and play something. I've had guests visit my home who were very good pianists. It was a joy to hear them play my pianos, even if they could play better than me, which doesn't take much. smile

In terms of sharing our music on social media, that is part of the current culture in which we live today. And, yes, I'm guilty of sharing my music via social media, though not sophisticated or exceptional by any means. Yet, for some reason, a lot of viewers seem to like some of my music videos on YouTube. One of my music videos posted on YouTube has almost 4 million views (3,800,000+). Others have tens of thousands of views. Why? Not because I can play a piano all that well, but because I demonstrated in the videos that I really enjoy my pianos and have a lot of fun with them. That is how we can promote the value of the piano in our culture, at least in a small way.

I've received hundreds of emails regarding my music videos on YT from individuals who said that I had inspired them to want to learn to play the piano based on watching my music videos and the expression of joy and happiness that it seems to bring to me. They see that I enjoy it and it makes me smile, and they want to enjoy something that makes them smile. Again, my playing is not all that good, but the smile on my face and the happiness that is conveyed is easy to see. It's kind of like Louie Armstrong's song (which I play sometimes:-) "when you're smiling, when you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you"... smile

Just a few thoughts...

Rick



Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757882
08/12/18 12:17 PM
08/12/18 12:17 PM
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Soundthumb, for adults with children, music lessons being good for child development should be a significant factor for enrolling children in some type of music lessons.

https://metropolitanarts.org/14-reasons-take-music-lessons/

My parents made me do things I did not want to do, however, this was good training for college and the workplace.

Working for a Veterans Affairs in education, I sometimes have classes for pre-med students and other clinical area students. These students are highly intelligent, however what I found there is often a lack of social skills because the younger generation likes to text instead of talk. They have difficulty with conversation. Belonging to a school orchestra or band, may help children develop social skills.

Commenting on "being good for you is not enough reason..." I know lots of people that go to the gym to work out several times a week. A lot of them do not find it enjoyable, but do it for the health benefits. I am fortunate, I like to exercise.

KLX-F1 I agree music needs to be more than a hobby to get people to value it again. Looking on college as a return on investment, music does not have that return compared to other degrees. A person could prepare for this career field and never make it. Also I read symphony attendance is down. My parents made me go with them to concerts, I did not appreciate it then, but now I realize where my passion comes from--it was exposure as a child.

Pianolance, I agree there are a lack of piano dealers, I had to drive an hour to go to a store. Unfortunately, he retired and no one took over the store. I was glad it was there when I was looking. I would have been willing to drive within 4 hours and just would have made it an overnight fun trip with my husband.

Jarobi, a lot of non-profit organizations depend on the generosity of the public/or members. Our church asks for donations for special projects, but it is not required to give. I donate to the school where I take lessons as it is non-profit and serves mainly children. I also donate to a non-profit play house, they give discount rates to schools to take kids on field trips. Because I love the arts, that is where I am willing to donate. I never have felt like I had to.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757908
08/12/18 01:19 PM
08/12/18 01:19 PM
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Florida
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How about a PianoWorld YouTube channel where members could post? It could be an improvisation, a composition, Jazz, blues, pop or classical..,,,, all of the types of music that are played here. Frank could use it as PW advertising

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: DFSRN] #2757912
08/12/18 01:27 PM
08/12/18 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN


Jarobi, a lot of non-profit organizations depend on the generosity of the public/or members. Our church asks for donations for special projects, but it is not required to give. I donate to the school where I take lessons as it is non-profit and serves mainly children. I also donate to a non-profit play house, they give discount rates to schools to take kids on field trips. Because I love the arts, that is where I am willing to donate. I never have felt like I had to.

Deb, My comment was aimed at the OP's assumption, not the pastor or church members. It sounds like you have commendable priorities. Keep up the good work.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757941
08/12/18 03:36 PM
08/12/18 03:36 PM
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I am sure there are as many individual reasons for playing the piano as there are individuals. None right, none wrong, just different. I have taken piano lessons for a number of years so I could play all that gorgeous music I spent my life hearing--maybe not well but I love playing. And, I just love the sound of the piano. Occasionally I will play a passage and the sound of the piano is so beautiful, it gives me chills. I have never played for an audience and I am not on Facebook--not my thing. I guess we should try to encourage piano playing for any reason--for any joy an individual can take from the process. We probably won't convince all, but maybe we can make learning the piano a viable alternative to all the other choices and activities for both children and adults.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757943
08/12/18 03:46 PM
08/12/18 03:46 PM
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Interesting thread. As an elementary Music teacher and friends with local piano teachers, I have some insight. Is it kids or is it parents? I have talked to so many parents who feel that their kids might want to "try" music lessons to see if they like them. ( Eye roll inserted here.) I have parents who tell me their kids are not allowed to bring their recorders home because they are offensive to their ears. Kids like music, they want to play the piano, they need encouragement and access. Parents need to make music more of a priority in their homes, not the last on a list of seemingly endless activities, most of which are sports related. (Sports are great, don't get me wrong, but Arts funding just can't compete - and why not?) Kids love to sing, love to listen to music, generally like music but they haven't been told that it is just like hockey or any other activity where you have to practice to improve. There is very much an expectation by parents and kids that music will magically appear once they buy the instrument. We have lost Music teachers in our school division, often Music as a subject is just not valued and I have had conversations with other teachers in my province that say their positions are often in danger of being eliminated.

My students LOVE our acoustic pianos - our old Heintzman is the most incredible workhorse. It is just the best most dependable piano a school could have. It just keeps going with almost no maintenance, except yearly tuning and it brings such joy to our students. I play it daily, and encourage my students to chord along. Other kids I set up on portable keyboards and the other upright and we add chords, to simple xylophone /recorder pieces. They love playing and they all want to play those pianos, even the most hardened hard to focus students wants to play the pianos.

I agree with comments above where members said we need to broadcast what pianos can do, and how "easy" they are for kids to create music. My average student is not taking piano lessons but they sure would love a piano in their house. Many of my students can't afford it. We practice simple chords and the kids can create some cool stuff in an ensemble. Maybe the digital is just the entry to buying that acoustic, I don't know. But, the more press pianists like Lang Lang get, or any other musician the better for the piano world. Kids want to recreate pop songs they hear on the radio, most don't want the Royal Conservatory route. If we can light their fire by recreating music they hear over the radio, then often we can get their attention long enough to teach some theory and note reading. (We also focus on folk songs.) We have had exchange students from China just blow us away with their piano playing. Great for all kids to see. Any of my students who are taking lessons I showcase and we do talent shows and quick performances in class at the end of class. Luckily I was "forced" to take Royal Conservatory, and I thank my Mom for that. I try to encourage all the kids to take piano lessons but it is difficult when you know many cannot afford it. So, I offer Music clubs at school. Long live the piano, especially the acoustic.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2757950
08/12/18 04:11 PM
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Great post Spuds--you are absolutely fighting the good fight. I wish there were many, many more music teachers like you.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: GC13] #2757995
08/12/18 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GC13
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.


I took piano lessons for a few years through the Suzuki music program. We are required to do a year-end recital before moving onto the next level. We would get together as a group and make music together. Like at a X'mas party some of us in Suzuki would take turns at the piano playing seasonal favorites. It's a lot of fun. Playing music together is something that is part of human history since the beginning. Everybody would come together as a community to sing, dance, bet the drum, etc.

The problem of learning piano today is that we get stuck in the lessons mode. We go to a teacher week after week and turn music into an academic exercise. We can practice music week after week and get very little out of it or we can share our music with others. The people who can't play an instrument can sing, clap their hands, etc. Making music together is a shared experience.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2758006
08/12/18 09:00 PM
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Music changed..when I was much younger,we had Floyd Cramer for country piano,Jerry Lee Lewis for rock,and Liberace exposed many of us to classical music.Several of my contemporaries learned piano because of musicians like these.I was learning guitar because of people like Merle Travis,Chet Atkins and Maybelle Carter.All the old instrumentalists died out or retired and no new ones came along to take their places.Music now sounds like it's poured out of a can..

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Spuds] #2758012
08/12/18 09:52 PM
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Jarobi, thanks for the clarification. I appreciate your response.

Spuds great post. I would like to respectfully comment on can't afford music lessons. I realize people do fit in the category, and depending on income music lessons are expensive. If the family cannot afford a piano, used keyboards are fairly inexpensive. Also, maybe someone who plays at the church can mentor children who they know parents cannot afford lessons. I know people who say they can't afford music lessons, but spend a lot on a car and trade in often. My car is 10 years old, I have a Yamaha YUS 5 and take lessons twice a week. I can know why some people can't afford lessons, I just have to walk in their home or hear about their last vacation, or new ........... For me, life is about setting personal goals and having experiences. I want to feel a sense of accomplishment (at something) and not merely live day to day. Piano is much more satisfying to me than upgrading cars or buying more things. I actually know people whose goal is getting their next new car.

I had not seen a friend for awhile and knew she was taking lessons for a few years, or so I thought. We met for dinner and I was excited about my progression on the piano. She said I wish I could play, I responded you have been taking lessons for years. She said she quit awhile ago, the reason was she did not like to practice. Her kids are grown, so I asked what have you been doing instead ( she works) she said nothing. I consider piano is an investment in myself. Music is an investment in kids, I think it makes them well rounded adults, even if they do not pursue it in adulthood, the child has exposure. It is like going to college, education makes you think differently. If parents could think about it as an investment in their child's education, maybe music would be more valued. Sports is sure valued.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2758022
08/12/18 10:24 PM
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DFSRN - yes, I agree. Many people could afford lessons, but don't prioritize. Many of my students that are super keen on music are new immigrants to Canada. Mom and Dad work two jobs and music lessons are a want not a need. But for a lot of the other kids, I think most could afford it. As you say, it is an investment in their life long education. I wish I had more parents that felt like you.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2758027
08/12/18 11:02 PM
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I think for the original question we might get quite a few different answers, partly depending on location. For example, one member might live in a place where there are simply no piano shops or teachers.

However, my opinion is that people are too darn lazy round where I live. Almost every music shop advertises piano lessons, and there are loads of piano shops. I think the shops just get little kids whose parents want a break for an hour. I know a few of the guys who work in the music shops and this is the impression I get.

Aside from that, and probably more relevant to our age range. It's my theory that "ADHD" is the new trendy condition to have. It was "Bipolar" a while ago. I haven't heard anyone say "I'm bipolar" for a little while now, but all the time I'm hearing this "Of course, I have ADHD so I can't concentrate" phrase that people keep saying. Usually when they have something new they've got to learn which will take a lot of work, or they have to concentrate especially hard on something. Now, I don't know who actually has ADHD, perhaps all of them do? Perhaps it's a result of social media?

But whatever the case, one cannot learn the piano effectively with ADHD. However, it would help ADHD to learn something very involved like the piano, but of course they don't want to apply themselves in such a committed fashion because they have ADHD. I still think what I said earlier in this thread that to pick up a guitar, learn "Wonderwall" and to sing it as well then have that as your achievement is a lot easier than learning the piano up to a decent standard. So they go for that instead.

Loads and loads of guitar players. I use the word "player" in a very loose sense. No piano players, or maybe there's some people that can muck about with chopsticks or again, a few bars of Coldplay or something.

I know one or maybe two decent piano players around my way that I can think of, and probably around 20 to 25 guitarists.

The age of "X Factor" and mediocrity.

Don't get me wrong - genuine ADHD is a real condition, I've encountered people with this. And so is bipolar. I have bipolar a bit but I combat it with things like playing the piano and exercise. I don't consider it too much of a problem to overcome so long as I do these things with a certain level of commitment. Also, proper guitar players are a different thing - I have one friend who's an excellent jobbing blues guitarist and another friend who's a classical/Spanish guitarist. But these guys commit and concentrate over a long period of time. Something which people don't seem to be willing to do as much in this age of instant gratification.

Sorry if this post seems a bit "dry" so to speak, I just mean it as an observation. It could be a completely different story in a city other than mine. This strange "I've got ADHD" thing that people keep saying. Have they really got it, or has it become a trendy thing to say? I'm sure if it's the latter then it's a bit insulting towards genuine sufferers.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2758114
08/13/18 10:19 AM
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Someone had posted that $250 (monthly spending on private lessons) is a lot of money. If that's the case, $500 average car payment in America is also a lot of money (this excludes people who don't own cars or have no loan balance i.e. $0 payment). A car does get you to work so that you can earn money to buy things and music lessons don't, but I don't buy that an "average family" couldn't downsize their "average car" if they truly wanted the money for something else. People will buy what they consider important.

Forget about piano specifically for the moment, I think it starts with getting music education considered important, part of core learning. If parents don't learn that view from their own parents or from general society, it has to be reaching children in the schools and lack of support makes it harder for school music teachers.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2758196
08/13/18 04:18 PM
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It all comes down to priorities and what we value. In my travels tuning pianos over the last 35 years, I've seen a big shift away from pianos since the 1980's. Computers, Cable TV, Video games, and Social media have taken over. How much time each day do you waste watching TV, social media, of just surfing aimlessly?


It 's hard to learn a musical instrument, and our culture likes things that are easy. We went to the moon because it was hard. That was a different age.

How things have changed - since I tuned my first piano. Fortunately, there is still a segment of the population that desires a real piano.

So how do you change Priorities and Values? It might be easier to deal with Global Warming.




Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2758207
08/13/18 05:17 PM
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I've just returned from playing my regular monthly recital, where I had an interesting chat with a man in his sixties.

He told me he has a (NY) Steinway upright of about 50 years old in his home, a 'heirloom' in excellent condition that he inherited from his wife's American mother, which he had shipped all the way across the pond - after replacing the ivory keys with plastic in order to get past the authorities in USA.

It's been sitting in his living room for several years in a prominent place, and looked after lovingly like vintage furniture, unplayed.....because he and his wife couldn't, and neither could his daughter (who lives nearby).

Now, I don't know about others here, but if I couldn't play, and I paid for the replacement of the keytops and the shipment of such a lovely piano across the Atlantic, I'd get a teacher and start learning. Why did he only seriously thought of that after hearing me perform this evening?

Because he thought he was probably too old to start learning, and didn't know any good piano music that he liked until he heard me play (a mixture of fairly easy and difficult pieces, all tuneful) - and that sparked a (? latent) interest. And he was going to retire soon, and realized he had no outside interests or hobbies to occupy his time....and his free time was mostly spent on watching TV, social media and surfing the web.

It's obvious to me that if home computers aren't so cheap and ubiquitous (say, if it was 1990 today), he'd almost certainly have started learning to play as soon as he got that piano into his home. Still, better late than never thumb.

There was a time when almost every middle-class home had a piano, and the kids - and at least one of the parents - would play. I still see many old uprights when I visit elderly folk in their homes, some of them still being played - but only by said elderly. (Their children and grandchildren aren't interested - usual story: computer games, social media etc.) When they pass, those pianos would go into landfill, or maybe requisitioned as street pianos.......



"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Spuds] #2758234
08/13/18 07:34 PM
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Spuds, Where I take music lessons (non-profit) there are a couple of adults that take. I volunteered to help with the end of the year recital, there were few Caucasian children, most were foreigners. The foreign doctor I worked with hired a master's prepared math tutor to advance his children in math while they were in elementary school. I agree with the other posts in this forum, the value has to come from the parents.

I have to confess, when I was in college years I thought those who majored in music were there to have fun. I am now 58, and after taking lessons for 4 years along with separate theory classes, I realize how hard learning music is if you want to be good. I think adults may see it as, I will never get that good and it is a lot of work. I listen to my teacher play and think, why can't I do that? It is a mind set. My husband and I have hired my teacher on occasion for events, after I hearing him play I am more motivated. Since children like video games, there is video game piano music, this may spark an interest.

When taking tickets for the children's piano school recital, one women with a couple children asked to come in, she wanted to expose her children to a music recital. What a great way to introduce them to the world of piano music.

Respectfully,


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: DFSRN] #2758245
08/13/18 07:51 PM
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There is another reason to play the piano or any instrument, or indeed take up any skill later in life, aside from the "Getting good at it" reason, and that's character development. Keeps the mind and concentration sharp, adds balance and perspective to life. Acts as therapy or a meditational device. Gives one self esteem. And so on and so on.

Also, even if one is say 65, within 5 years one can become at least semi-decent. So at 70, one is semi-decent, which is a whole lot better than nothing.

I've had this a lot in my life. I'm never going to be the best at anything I do, but I carry on doing these things because it definitely makes me a better version of myself, which is one of the main goals in life. But I have had a big battle in doing so, because my ego attempts to tell me "It's not worth it, why bother"? One has to ignore one's ego.

Perhaps if more people understood this mindset, they would be more willing to give things a try, despite the crushing ego-driven thought that one will never be as good as one hopes. This is not the point. The point is to become better than one was. And that in itself is worth a massive amount.

It is indeed a counteraction to entropy, one could say.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Zaphod] #2758299
08/13/18 11:36 PM
08/13/18 11:36 PM
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Zaphod, What wonderful wisdom! THANKS!


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: Pianolance] #2758304
08/14/18 12:25 AM
08/14/18 12:25 AM
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How do you foster a piano culture? Well, first you have to have a culture. The USA is a corporatist-consumer capitalist enterprise. There is no culture other than the next big "product." Today that means cell phones and Facebook.

Classical piano is an art. You know it's an instance of art as in liberal arts. Liberal arts are ridiculed in the USA because of low ROI. Some state University systems are trying to eliminate liberal arts. STEM only advanced education. In a nation of programmers, engineers and accountants, who needs pianists?

This is the reality of life today. Culture will continue to be devalued because you cannot monetize it. Or put more accurately, only things that can be monetized are promoted. Bye-bye piano culture.

Add to that, the piano is one of the most difficult instruments to learn. Unless you're a prodigy it will take 8-10 years to gain proficiency if you're really talented. Otherwise, add 4-8 years to that. Frankly it's a miracle people are still around who try to play piano. Only the most obsessed keep at it. Why do I play piano? Because I have to. I'll do it even if I never get good at it.

But oddly enough my teacher's studio is chock full of adult beginners. I have a hard time getting a regular slot. Go figure.


Baldwin SF-10 (1979)
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2758358
08/14/18 08:15 AM
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Groove On posted this YouTube video in the Composer Lounge, but it also seems appropriate to a discussion of promoting classical music

Blue Man Group and classical music

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2758414
08/14/18 01:03 PM
08/14/18 01:03 PM
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A few people got into the topic of posting videos online and getting instant gratifications. It is true that practically everybody who post their videos online probably wish their work would go viral. However, the response you get is not always predictable. Sometimes you may be wondering why the video a 3-yr old kid banging on piano keys would generate a few thousand or even a few hundred thousand views in a week while somebody who takes piano lessons for a few years and can play reasonably well at an advanced level gets less than 100 views during the same period?

Take a popular playing piece the "Minuet in G" from the Anna M Notebook for instance. Every student who took music lessons would have played this piece at some point. And if you do a search online there must be at least a few thousand video uploads of this piece. Someone who posts another video of the "Minuet in G" can't expect the upload would go viral because there are practically thousands of similar recordings online unless his/her video is really that original.

Social media can be a useful tool for education. An example would be a friend who played a specific Beethoven sonata before and you are just learning it. You upload a video of yourself playing for your friend to critique. The setting is on Private only for your friend. On the other hand, people get into social media for many other reasons than learning to play music and sharing their performances online. Many people have the perception that learning to play piano is too difficult / too time consuming or they lack the talent. Some people get into playing for a little while, don't seem to get anywhere and quit early instead of persevere by playing the same piece over and over until they can do it. And there are those who would only play in front of a teacher in their weekly lessons that once they stop seeing a teacher they stop playing.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Zaphod] #2758446
08/14/18 05:00 PM
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Zaphod, thanks for that post. You don't have to be good at piano to enjoy doing it, feel challenged, and like you are accomplishing something and doing something worth while for yourself. I coordinate an employee scholarship program for the government, I have employees say I am too old to go back to school. I say, how old are you going to be in 4 years, and how old will you be if you don't go back to school. Though I will never be really good, I am better than I was 4 years ago, and I figure another 4 years I may be descent. I enjoy the journey, never really know where it will take you.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Tomboy] #2758447
08/14/18 05:01 PM
08/14/18 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomboy


Take a popular playing piece the "Minuet in G" from the Anna M Notebook for instance. Every student who took music lessons would have played this piece at some point. And if you do a search online there must be at least a few thousand video uploads of this piece. Someone who posts another video of the "Minuet in G" can't expect the upload would go viral because there are practically thousands of similar recordings online unless his/her video is really that original.



Not everyone uploading a piece of his or her playing piano meant to have it "go viral" in social media, my fellow. Sure, Minuet in G is a popular student piece. Nonetheless, Minuet in G and Fur Elise are first milestones to show that a student is wrapping up a beginner's initial learning phase and making an entrance into classical piano music. Such milestones are worth celebrating and sharing to other piano learners or to other pianists....No matter how many (million) times these pieces have been played, each person plays (renders) these pieces in his or her unique way...whether on a 61-key keyboard or a grand piano! So, who to say that their playing is not "original"? wink

While it is preferable to learn standardized techniques to master playing a piano, no social or musical rules dictate that only experienced musicians or only professional pianists would be cheered on. Rather, Jazz, or Rock, or Blues, or Country, or Gospel, or Classical... all genres and styles, all songs and etudes... can be played over and over, skillfully or not skillfully, by students or by concert musicians.... of all levels.

In this framework, each time a piece of music is played, the performance is as beautiful as it could be -- because the performer did the playing with his or her best effort...!


"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: DFSRN] #2758457
08/14/18 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
I say, how old are you going to be in 4 years, and how old will you be if you don't go back to school.


I have a Murray Banks record somewhere where he talks about this - "How old will you be if you do something" and "How old will you be if you don't do it".

Very wise.

I'm glad my post was appreciated. Just a few psychological things I've learned along the way in my own journey.

It's a difficult journey one way or another, for us all.

Re: How do we bring back a culture that values the piano? [Re: Pianolance] #2758475
08/14/18 07:46 PM
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I can only speak from my limited, and probably unusual, personal experience.

I still upload my music, even though maybe half a dozen people view it. I can't not compose, I can't not play. I need it and I've needed it since I was young.

I haven't read the whole thread but I feel like a LOT of classically-trained musicians are shoehorned into the endeavor by parents that want them to learn. It was obligatory and beneficial, like going to school or bedtime. For me it was on the same rank as eating candy or playing Nintendo. It was a fun and expressive thing I wanted to learn, so I taught myself and found I could play by ear, and over the years never stopped. I think valuing the piano as an acoustic instrument vs a digital will be a losing battle for all but the most serious and wealthy households, going forward, but the drive to make music and experience the keys is alive and well.


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
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