I had a lovely comment at the end of March from Adrienne McKinney, a piano teacher in Lexington, KY. She’d read my “Two Things I’ve Written” post, and my recent piece in the Wall Street Journal on alt-classical music. I’m touched that she took me seriously, and replied like this:
In reading your piece here and the WSJ article, the general idea seems
to be that if we want to save classical music we need to ‘let it go,’
in a sense, or at least loosen up a bit. We need to be willing to
embrace something different that has a chance of attracting a bigger
audience, like the nonclassical nights in NY, in order that the
concerts we love to attend now — the traditional classical symphony or
piano recital for that matter — can still exist.
What can I as an independent music teacher do? How can I break out of
my mainstream mold and take this concept to heart? How can local music
teaching organizations get involved?
These are terrific questions. She found one answer, which she put out on Twitter:
Thinking of having each student bring me a CD or mp3 of a favorite song so we can do a studio project. Hoping to build on @gsandow ‘s ideas.
The idea, of course, is to engage with the nonclassical music her students like, and bring it into their lessons with her. I like that! Could help develop a student’s musicianship, for one thing, if with Adrienne’s help they take a recording of a song and do something with it on the piano. And of course it puts the classical music they normally play at their lessons alongside other music they know.
So what do the rest of us think? Does anyone have ideas for Adrienne? And for all the piano teachers out there? This could be a very productive discussion.