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Warning - Long Post! But thought provoking!

I was typing a response to the Playel demise thread but I think this needs a topic of its own.

IMO the piano manufacturers and dealers are going about the "Demise" problem all wrong. The issue is not competition from slave labor countries, but a lack of overall interest from the general public in Piano playing in general... let alone an interest in classical music. I know, as a small business owner, one operates a business to make a profit. However there needs to be a paradigm shift in how to go about doing this and think more long term than "How can we compete with Pearl River or Yamaha!" panics all the time.

You can't compete for young people's interest or anyone's for that matter directly against modernism in the form of gadgets, quick fixes and the ease of a simply turning on an mp3 player to hear a piano sonata rather than spending ten years to learn to play. It's no contest when simply presented like that. When its looked at from that perspective the average person is going to inevitably choose the course of least resistance. So it has to be an issue of something greater and of much more value than this.

In other words there is a lack of Pride. Pride in our western culture. There needs to be a revival of western arts, literature and music.

For instance, my wife being Chinese and growing up in Indonesia, I have been able to learn quite a bit about a whole new world that she comes from and there is quite an effort, although accepting modernization, to preserve traditional ways there and in many other parts of the world. We went to a Traditional Chinese Performing arts show called "Shen Yun" and it was incredible. With all the efforts of the CCP in China to eradicate the history and culture, it amazing that this show is doing so well and so many millions of people around the world have been able to see a part of THAT culture so well preserved in that format. And guess what... its working. People love it.

So, although there is freedom to do that type of cultural show and preservation here in the West, for whatever reason, we don't do enough. We simply don't do enough to promote the very culture that gave birth to this incredible art-form of Classical music and the like. If it goes on like this our arts and culture will die out in a few more generations. Some extremists may want that but a larger number would not. It just an issue of knowing about the problem and waking up the larger group.

Once again I think its an issue of pride and there needs to be more of it and many of us, whether we are westerners or not, are only shown the mistakes and bigoted side of our history rather than our vast amounts of accomplished that I believe far outweigh our mistakes. Every society makes mistakes and it evolves intellectually into the modern era so we should be able to separate the accomplishments from the mistakes of any peoples and celebrate them.

Now enter the piano manufacturers and dealers:

I personally believe there needs to be a concerted effort on part of the manufacturers and dealers to take the lead in this cultural effort. Not necessarily preserve a particular company for sentimental reasons, but I think the individual companies would not be in as much trouble if there was more of an effort to make classical music not simply a musical CHOICE but a complete CULTURAL IMMERSION EXPERIENCE. Kids and adults alike need to and will see the tremendous benefit for the EXTRA EFFORT it takes to approach Classical Music like this but I believe it would be an investment that would return tenfold in potential customers wanting to learn.

This is not a one way street commentary BTW... I think traditional cultural values are fading in many cultures and there needs to be an examination why.

Also, I am not advocating the eradication of other types music I like most other types of modern music, even electronica. Once again its not about a musical choice but a cultural experience.
Yes, as I mentioned in another thread, the huge volume being manufactured by China must have SOMETHING to do with the huge popularity of the piano as an instrument there!
Exactly. Kids today aren't interested in Piano. They could care less. The Previous generation (Baby Boomers etc.) cared far more about music and the arts. Literally, everyone had a piano back then. It was a source of 'entertainment.' There weren't any cell phones, computers, or Ipods, just a few channels on TV that broadcast at a Certain time. And Piano makers were rolling their instruments out by the hundreds of thousands. For Example: In the years between 1950 and 1960, Wurlitzer (The American Wurlitzer) alone manufactured about Two Hundred thousand pianos. People wanted Pianos. Today, people don't see pianos as 'entertaining.' It doesn't matter what type of music; classical, boogie woogie, ragtime.....most people today would prefer other music types. Let me take Modern Pop for example. Kids are too used to the computer sound. It's awful that they would prefer that to good piano music! Wonderful artists like Ray Charles, Beethoven, Vince Guaraldi, Pete Johnson, Liberace and so so many others are probably rolling around in their graves! >8(
FWIW

I estimate that there are 100,000 kids taking piano lessons in the SF Bay Area.

There are approx. 2,000 piano teachers.

But what do I know.
We are a nation of shopkeepers. If "culture" does not generate profit for some corporation, it has no reason for being. Therefore, it will die.
Originally Posted by Plowboy
We are a nation of shopkeepers. If "culture" does not generate profit for some corporation, it has no reason for being. Therefore, it will die.


You need to get professional help. I am quite serious.
Originally Posted by Furtwangler
FWIW

I estimate that there are 100,000 kids taking piano lessons in the SF Bay Area.

There are approx. 2,000 piano teachers.

But what do I know.



I will bet that 80% of those 100,000 kids are Asian
For me it's a simple matter of economics. The world is struggling financially. If a product doesnt generate the necessary revenue then it will considered a luxury. And then a non vital product. Not a priority. We can't afford that now, it should close.
Sad state of affairs but money is king unfortunately.
Originally Posted by VGrantano
Originally Posted by Furtwangler
FWIW

I estimate that there are 100,000 kids taking piano lessons in the SF Bay Area.

There are approx. 2,000 piano teachers.

But what do I know.



I will bet that 80% of those 100,000 kids are Asian


..and of those 95% want to make sure you can teach their child to win the competition! It's not even about music more often than not. What do you end up with? I'm not sure but I've seen a few of these piano playing robots and it is almost painful to listen to. Why? For me it's simple, no joy. Makes me think how many of these kids will continue to play into adulthood and/or promote their children to do the same.

The main problem with the piano today is it takes to much effort to become reasonably proficient. Humankind is moving at a much faster pace these days.
Originally Posted by WurliFan
Exactly. Kids today aren't interested in Piano. They could care less. The Previous generation (Baby Boomers etc.) cared far more about music and the arts. Literally, everyone had a piano back then. It was a source of 'entertainment.'


Well my 9 year old daughter definitely cares. Even tho our house has never had a piano and we don't often have music playing she'd love it if I got a piano!
Whenever I take her in the music shop in town she has a little play on a piano. Just random note grabbing but its there. She's interested.
And I bet a lot more young uns would too if given the chance!
We mustn't give up on em!
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