Thursday, April 30, 2009

Technology and Classical Piano

Last weekend in Princeton, I had finished adjudicating a student and then took a break. I came out in the hallway, and she was there, texting. For whatever reason, I decided to joke and make small talk with her and told her if she gave me her number, I'd text her the results of the exam before her teacher found out.

She stopped dead in her thumb thumping tracks, looked at me dumbfounded and said, "You TEXT?"

(Oh, No, I thought momentarily, I must look really OLD!) I laughed and said, "yes, and I Twitter, I blog, and have a Facebook too. Why?"

No kidding, she dropped her phone! I was then told that I was definitely not from around her area, because the teachers around there don't even know what Facebook is. Her teacher doesn't have a cellphone or email.

Interesting. I'm really going to have to think about the ever growing generation gap that technology is making. Can you relate to a piano student at their level, in their world? In my opinion, and that is all it is, I can not expect them to want to know about my wonderful world of classical music, the history, literature, pianists, or the amazing sounds of it all, if I do not also expect myself to learn a part of their world.

Some of the piano teacher colleagues in my world will view this blog and shake their heads; they know of whom I speak. It is obviously not about you because you're reading this! Our state music newsletter will soon come via email only, unless you specifically request a paper copy. Many of our elder colleagues do not want email. I have a concern that we may lose millions more students who will see our antiquated ways as quaint, and from a different age.

I am ever a student, even if texting is the way to ask them if they've practiced yet today. Your opinions?


  1. Ya gotta roll with the times or be left behind. Especially now when technology changes minute by minute.

  2. I agree with you & Ronda Laveen, tho I do find in my own case I keep quite well up on technology I use & don't necessarily incorporate technologies that aren't needed in my daily life-- no Blackberry for instance. However, if I lived a different lifestyle, I'm sure I'd be using one of those as well-- just not needed in my circumstances.

  3. Yeah, I don't have a blackberry either. And I got a phone with a qwerty keyboard so that I would not overextend my thumb use. Pianists do NOT want loud thumbs most of the time!

  4. Do you send out mass texts to all of your students to ask them if they've practiced? That would be hilarious! And it might work too....

  5. Yes, sometimes. I have middle school and high school students that have phones. They think I'm crazy, but it works! My favorite one is simply:

    Have you practiced today?


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