I came across a great article today called “11 Sounds Your Children Have Never Heard“; a summation of 11 sounds that have all but become extinct. Check out the list below. I’m betting you’ll agree that your piano students have not heard these sounds in an authentic setting:
A rotary dial telephone, a manual typewriter, a coffee percolator, a flash cube (from an instamatic camera), A TV Channel Selector (remember that click click click?), a record changer, a gas station driveway bell, a TV station sign-off, a cash register, a film projector, and a broken record.
Now they may have heard some of these on their iPhone apps… but I’m betting that they’ve never heard them in “real life”.
And it kind of struck me as sad. I’m (gulp!) old enough to have had at least 7 of those sounds ingrained in my memory. The fact that my daughters will not have the same aural experiences really woke me up to just how quickly our world is changing.
What Have Your Piano Students Missed Out On?
And then I got to thinking about the piano. And I came up with my own list; a list of the “11 Pieces Your Piano Students Have Never Heard”. These are pieces that were a part of my own childhood… and that I know for a fact my piano students have never heard (before they met me!) Check out my list below:
1) The Music Box Dancer
2) Claire de Lune
3) Heart and Soul
4) Rondo Alla Turca by Mozart
5) Bach’s Prelude No 1. In C Major
6) Chopin’s Op. 28 No. 15 “Raindrop Prelude”
7) The Theme from “Love Story”
8) Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Brahms
9) Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
10) Any of the “Carnaval des Animaux”
Isn’t this a shame? These were pieces that were such a part of me that when I reached the point of being able to play them on the piano it was a thrill. When my piano students reach this point and I pull out my book with much fanfare and excitement… they look at me blankly.
So let’s change this!
I’ve implemented a “Piece of the Week” at my studio in an attempt to prevent this music from going the way of gas station driveway bells and film projectors. It’s simple – each Monday morning I send out a studio-wide email with the piece of the week. My students all know that if they can pick the Piece of the Week out of my “name that tune” line-up at their next lesson (and name the title and the composer) then they win a treat. Bribery… yes… but without a little encouragement we run the risk of future generations missing out on this fabulous piano music. Are you in? Give it a try at your own studio 🙂
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