Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for How To Get and Keep Kids Interested In Concert Music

How to Get and Keep Kids Interested in Concert Music – Progress Report

A progress report on my daughter Lillian Patricia (LilyPat), who began piano lessons 9 weeks ago, on March 5. (The post that started it all) Readers of this blog will recall that at 6½ years of age, I was concerned that she might be a bit young to happily deal with the discipline required of a piano student. (I’m a believer in letting kids be kids for as long as possible. Discipline and responsibility become our shared lot in life soon enough, and once they do, they remain our constant companions for the duration.) Nevertheless, LilyPat’s insistence that she was ready for lessons won the day, and we started her up with a wonderful local teacher and childhood friend of Lily’s mother named Tamara Saunders. Well, color me an over-concerned gasbag. My fears were completely unfounded. Lily is having a grand old time with her lessons, and thus far, it is all we can do to get her away from the piano so that she might eat her breakfast and dinner and do her homework. (Yes, homework: in kindergarten. Don’t let me get started on that.) Because I think it is irresistibly sweet (though as a father, what else could […]

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How To Get and Keep Kids Interested In Concert Music – Part Nine

Suggestion number nine for getting and keeping our kids interested in music: acquire a piano. The medium-to-long-term denizens of his site have heard this particular song before, though I will repeat it, because like any good tune, repetition breeds familiarity and perhaps even affection, and I need us all to like what I’m about to propose. Acquire a piano. Yes. Some personal background. When I walk into someone’s house, there are two things that are guaranteed to make me feel immediately at home: a piano and books. Admittedly (if painfully), books are an increasing rarity, so perhaps I should be satisfied with a Kindle in every corner. But a piano; well, that’s another story. The presence of a piano in a house tells a story: a story of striving forward through lessons; of house-hold music making; of sonic joys and alternative realities; of a pianistic repertoire endless and sublime. That’s what the presence of a piano says about a home, and it’s as sexy as Sophia Loren in latex. Speaking of the pianos: it doesn’t have to be a 10’2” Fazioli” F308 (list price around 200k); nor even my personal piano of choice, a New York Steinway “D” (at 8’ […]

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How To Get and Keep Kids Interested In Concert Music – Part Eight

Suggestion number four for getting and keeping our kids interested in music (FYI, suggestions numbers one through three were posted, respectively, on February 21, 24, and 25): introduce them to the unparalleled joy of live music, an experience is increasingly undervalued in our YouTubeocracy. The issue of consuming music “live” brings up two ginormous issues. One of them has to do with the tribal nature of our species, and the other has to do with the role of an audience in a live performance. I wax for a moment.. When home video tape recorders appeared back in the late 1970s, the movie industry screamed bloody murder, claiming that the technology spelled the end of the movie theater. Well, here we are, 35 years later, and there’s still no sign that movie theaters are about to go the way of dial up. Why? Part of it has to do with the visceral power of watching a movie on a large screen. But there’s another reason as well, and that has to do with the nature of the group experience. Yes, I will admit that the cretin sitting behind me chomping on his popcorn and the imbecile sitting in front of me […]

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