Someone recently passed along to me this video of a group of piano dancers performing the Latin American song Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. It put a big smile on my face as I remembered dancing on a Walking Piano at FAO Schwarz in NYC and the famous scene from Big (1988)where a young Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia play a 4-footed medley of Heart and Soul and Chopsticks. I wondered: Who are these people? How much music training did they have? Who designed the routine? How long did they practice? Is this skill offered as a class? The questions poured out as I imagined the troupe being featured on Johnny Carson or David Letterman. A quick search on the internet revealed a whole world of fancy footwork. The name of the big piano band in this video is Pianoforte Gigante and they perform all over Italy in shopping malls, public squares, wedding receptions, etc. THIS compilation of the “Top Ten Giant Piano Performances” struck me as I noticed that many of the songs (except Heart and Soul) have been performed on our piano recitals over the years: Star Wars Theme, The Entertainer, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, Jingle Bells, Bach Toccata in D Minor and this year the Liszt Rhapsody #2 (7’15”) will be played for the first time by Sanjay Aiyar. Way to go Sanjay!
As we press forward with online piano lessons and prepare for our first digital recital at the end of this month, I hope this video puts a smile on your face too. Joe and I have been delighted with the great strides that you have been making during the quarantine. Many of our students are finding peace and comfort through the piano and the guitar. Families are playing duets and even siblings are sharing the bench for 4-hand music. Students who were struggling to balance high school demands and piano practice have been given the gift of time and have been able to accomplish much more than normally would during “exam period”. We are very much looking forward to the day when we can resume our in-person interactions with you. In the meantime, may the gift of music continue to lift our hearts, light our days and fill us with joy during these challenging times. And, if your fingers need a break, we might consider adding a big piano FEETure to our offerings!