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Steinway Piano Launches New Advertising Campaign

Maroon 5 keyboardist Jesse Carmichael is a pretty Zen kind of guy, at least that’s the way he’s portrayed in a new 90-second online video for Steinway & Sons. Just back from a grueling tour with his Grammy-winning rock band, the flannel-clad Carmichael seeks solace in his book-filled music room where a long black piano stretches out atop an Aztec rug.

“I come home from a Maroon 5 tour, and maybe I’ve spent a month and a half traveling from a different city to a different city every day,” Carmichael’s voice Steinway Pianonarrates as he plays in the spot below. “This piano physically connects me back to being home.”

The piano in question (a Model B grand with an ebony satin finish) is an attention grabber. And so is the video: It’s one part of a sweeping new marketing effort for the American piano maker—the largest branding initiative in its 163-year history. Some of the pieces quietly appeared this week; the ad campaign makes its official debut Monday. New York-based Light + Co is the agency behind the effort.

Synonymous with concert hall pianos, Steinway Piano might seem like one of those rare companies that doesn’t need to do much marketing. And, in fact, Steinway generally hasn’t. But the acoustic piano business isn’t what it used to be. At a time when fewer kids are taking lessons, electronic keyboards have steadily gnawed at market share and competition from less expensive foreign brands rumbles like a minor chord, even the legendary Steinway sees the need to sing its own praises.

“There are drastic changes in the market, and it’s up to us to do something about it,” said Steinway CMO Darren Marshall. “We have an absolutely iconic brand, a product that is the peak of quality and excellence, and we have such a great equity in that space, but we haven’t talked about it in a long time.”

In fact, he added, “We haven’t talked about anything in a long time.”

Steinway is talking now—with a series of videos featuring influential tastemakers, a revamped website and a new ad campaign. In some instances its message is a familiar one: Steinway pianos are still made by hand, here in the United States. But Steinway is also attempting to present itself as a brand in step with the digital times.

Steinway Piano Ad Launch Continues…

Robert Klara in Adweek

Learning To Play Piano Can Bring A Lifetime Of Pleasure

Playing the piano is not something you can fully master in a few practice sessions or lessons. Yet, it is enjoyable all along the way if you find ways to keep up the excitement. From the time you begin playing, you never have to quit as long as you can sit up, move your hands, and your mind is still functioning. That is a very long time for most people.

Even if you go for a few years that you do not have a piano for some reason, you can easily take it up Learning To Play Pianoagain when you have one once more. You might be a little rusty, but you will not be starting over at square one. You will have a vast store of knowledge in your mind to guide you as you refresh your playing skills.

During hectic days, you will find that playing the piano gives your life balance. What is more, you will have a center of peacefulness to your days. Your family will come to understand that you need your time with your piano to concentrate on something completely different than everyday problems.

When your children go off to college, if they have not gone already, you will find yourself spending more time at the piano. You will suddenly have more time to focus on your practice sessions. Your friends and family will notice the improvement and might ask you to play for them frequently.

As your golden years approach, you can revisit songs of your youth by playing them on the piano. It is often easier to find piano music for old songs than to find the recordings. On the other hand, you might want to keep up with the kids and learn all the new songs. The choice is yours and you can spend your time playing whatever you want to play.

There are few other really interesting and enjoyable hobbies or pastimes you can be involved in during your advancing years. Too many times, older people are given boring tasks or busy work to try to make their days go faster. How much better it is when the elderly can manage their own time learning to play piano with some favorite music. It makes them happy, as well as those around them.

No matter how you look at it, learning to play piano now is only a prelude to the happiness the pastime will give you in the future. If you keep playing, you will find all sorts of occasions where you can play for fun or profit. If you only play in the privacy of your only home, though, you will get a peace and contentment that is unique to people who find fulfillment in their music.

Therefore, learn all you can and keep your interest alive, but do not feel that the benefits are short-term. Plan to make playing the piano a part of your everyday routine for the rest of your life. You will be pleased that you took the time to find a pastime that offers you so much.

If you have never considered learning to play the piano before, now is a good time to explore the option. It is never too late as long as you have all your faculties intact. However, the longer you have to play, the more you will get out of it. If you are truly interested in playing the piano, do not put it off another day. Start learning all you can from this moment on. It may be the best thing you ever did for yourself.

Choosing A Piano Teacher

When you are beginning to learn the piano, you might feel that you need all the help that you can get. You might look for lessons online or through the mail. Choosing a piano teacher may be a priority for you.

Here Are Possibilities To Consider When Choosing A Piano Teacher:

There are many different people and companies offering piano lessons online. Some of the lessons are very expensive and some cost less. It may be difficult to find out the price of the lessons without committing to them, but you can do it if you are careful.

You should definitely make sure that you are going to be getting lessons from a reputable teacher. Do not be afraid to ask for qualifications and accomplishments. Some websites offer several free lessons to get you started and give you an idea of what is to come. One website offers over 100 short free lessons before you buy.

Online piano lessons might be helpful to you. The problem is that they are very generic and do not Choosing A Piano Teacheraccommodate your own personal learning curve. They are not designed with you in particular in mind. You can get most of the information from reading.

On the other hand, a piano teacher might be more helpful, providing she is a good one. You must expect a lot from a piano teacher. Look for someone who will change her teaching style when her original methods are not helping.

Try to find a teacher who works with scales, chords, and improvisation. More piano teachers are training their students on these subjects now than ever before. Make sure you find one of them, and not someone who sticks to written music alone.

Get a music teacher who plays well herself. Regardless of what has been said about, “Those who cannot do teach,” your teacher might be a very able piano player. It is to your advantage if you can find someone who knows the tricks of the trade from experience.

Interview piano teachers to find out which one you might get along with the best. Personalities are important. You will want someone who will inspire you, but not someone who will be unkindly critical. You will want someone you can talk to on an equal level when the subject is not piano playing. After all, you should be given the respect that is due any adult learner.

When you believe you have found a piano teacher who can help you, you can begin your lessons as soon as she can work you into her schedule. Do not leave it at that. Always be aware that you can change piano teachers at any time.

If your piano teacher does not seem to know much about the kind of music you want to play, do not do the easy thing and stay in her lessons. In time you will completely lose interest in playing the piano and quit. Keep searching until you find that special teacher that can help you learn all you want to know.

It might take awhile to find the right piano teacher. In the meantime, you can keep your interest alive by studying the piano on your own. Learn about how to read music, play scales and chords, and improvise. It can only help you when you are ready to learn with formal lessons through a piano teacher.

Tips For Learning Piano

To get a jump start on learning to play the piano, you can use a few extra tips. Some of them are obvious, but they need to be said anyway. Others, you might not have thought of at all. Keep this list in mind as you start to learn.

1. If you are really not interested in the piano, do yourself and everyone else a favor. Do not try. TIps For Learning PianoMaybe you reason that it would be advantageous to play the piano, but your heart is not in it. In that case, you could listen to lots of piano music and see if you develop an interest. Do not start trying to play until you are happy at the thought of learning.

2. Play what you like. In the old days, and often even today, piano teachers spent months with their students before they were allowed to play anything they enjoyed playing. You will get more gratification if you find ways to play at least simple or improvised versions of songs you know and like. That will keep you going.

3. Dive right in. Do not wait for the sun to turn purple or even to learn all the scales. Start playing music as soon as you can. The more you play, the more you will learn. The more you learn, the more you will play. It creates an upward spiral that will increase your abilities.

4. Try to play on the best piano available to you. Of course, you can learn quite a bit with even a small electronic keyboard. If you have a Clavinova it is better because this instrument has all 88 keys. Some would say that an upright piano is better still. Undoubtedly, if you have access to a good grand piano, play it.

5. Do your best not to disturb others in the household. They will almost certainly hear you play. In most houses, there is no getting around that. Yet, you can be considerate of the times when other members of the household need quiet time to study or do work that is intellectually challenging. Maybe they have had a hard day and just need a little peace. If you ignore their feelings, friction between you will make your practice unpleasant.

6. Set up your own reasonable discipline. Do not be harsh with yourself. If you will not allow yourself to stop a practice no matter what exciting thing is happening in the household, you will come to resent the piano. Allow yourself a little leeway. At the same time, keep up the practice as much as you reasonably can. It is with practice that you will develop your ears, your eyes, your hands, and your mind.

7. Keep a journal of new things you learn. If you come across a new term, look it up either in a music dictionary or on the internet. Write it in a notebook or make a document on your computer to type in all the things you have learned. You can also write in the notebook what has worked for you and what has seemed to make things harder. Do not forget to record your accomplishments.

As a beginning piano player, you have all the time in the world to learn new things abut your instrument. Each time you find something that makes your life easier; remember it so that you can use it again. When you do that, you can build on each lesson and advance to higher and higher levels.

Playing Music In Public

If you practice and play the piano long enough, you might get enough experience to play outside your most intimate social circle. You might be asked to play piano for a church service or as a member of a rock band. You might be given the opportunity to play the piano as a paid soloist for a wedding, engagement party, or funeral. There are many chances to play the piano in public if you are someone with reasonable talent and experience.

If you are playing from sheet music, you can make your life easier by preparing your sheet music or Playing Music In Publicsongbooks ahead of time. Get some plastic sleeves that you can put a page of music into and place each sheet in a sleeve. If you own a book, you can cut the pages from the book and insert the ones you need into the sleeves. Then, clip the sleeves in order into a ringed binder.

Using a binder makes it easier to turn pages without dropping your sheet music or fumbling with a bulky book. The music is all right there, and you will not damage the corners by trying to turn the pages too quickly. Another advantage of using the binder is that you can put all the written music for the entire performance in one binder. Then, you do not have to keep going from one sheet or book to the next over and over.

You might get some butterflies in your stomach when you play for a crowd. It is perfectly natural. The main thing to remember is to relax. Tighten up your muscles and then let them go. You will feel a sense of calm after you do this. If the situation is right, you can calm your nerves by talking softly to other musicians while you are waiting for the event to begin or the curtain to go up. Never talk when you will disturb the audience, though.

The most important thing to do when you get nervous  about playing music in public is to concentrate on the music. Let your mind drift away from the audience and the circumstances of your playing. If you have chosen your song well, concentrating on the music will carry you through the nervous times. You will not have to do much thinking about the event you are covering because the song will speak for itself.

There are times when you play with other instrumentalists, such as in a rock or country band. You might have written music, but often you will be improvising. Sometimes, you will be trying to imitate someone else’s version of the song you are playing. Be sure you know the goals of the group in this regard.

When you are playing with others, do not hog the limelight all the time unless you are the featured player. In most cases, you will be just one member of the ensemble, doing your own individual part to make up a balanced act. Remember to let others have their turns to shine.

If you accompany a chorus, you can lead them to a certain extent. You can set the pace according to the lead of the choral director. On the other hand, if you accompany a solo singer, your job is to provide just a framework for the singer. At the same time, you need to be flexible enough to mold your playing to the variations the singer makes in her performance.

Playing music in public venues need not be scary. You do not have to be a musical genius to do it either. Just do your best and your experience should see you through.

Playing The Piano For Family And Friends

Now that you have learned to play some songs very well, your family and friends might want to hear you play. This is no time to disappoint them. Play your heart out and give them a show to remember. There are a few things to consider when you are in this position.

First of all, when playing the piano for your friends and family can be your kindest audience or your Playing The Piano For Family And Friendsharshest critics. Most of your loved ones will want you to do well. They might be so careful of your feelings that they tell you how great you played even if you know you made a lot of mistakes.

There is nothing like the loving kindness of a friend or relative. You can become more confident if you know you are going to get praise when you play. However, if the admiration is not sincere, you will feel cheated. You might eventually stop playing the piano for them because it does not seem to matter what you do – you always get the same reaction.

When family members or friends try to help you polish your act, they can be troublesome as well. They might or might not know something about playing the piano. If they know nothing about it, their advice will be nothing more than an irritation and an annoyance. It will not help you in the least when it comes to correcting any mistakes.

If there are other piano players in your intimate circle, they can be demanding. If you can play better than they do, they might be jealous. They might say things to demean you. If you are not as advanced as another piano player in the room, you may be up for some pretty harsh criticism. Family members amd friends often feel as if they have the right and even the responsibility to set you straight every time you miss the mark.

In the end, playing the piano involves performing the pieces that you enjoy  and hope that everyone likes it as well. You cannot please everyone, nor should you try to. It is far better to play without fear of what others might say than to worry about every little note. Remember that your loved ones generally want what is best for you. They just have a strange way of showing it sometimes.

Choose times to play for your friends and family when music seems a natural part of the occasion. If there is a birthday, ask if the host would like you to go to the piano and play Happy Birthday. For Christmas parties, you can volunteer to play carols for the group to sing. For a casual evening, you might see if people want to hear current songs. It is important to bring the others into the event and let them be a part of it.

When you are playing the piano for a small, casual group like this, it is a good idea to start a conversation with the others about what they would like to hear. If you know how to play it, or can improvise it, perform it for them right away. If it is something you are unfamiliar with, suggest that one of you looks for the sheet music for a later song fest.

Your family members and friends will enjoy your playing if you are committed to making their experiences pleasant or moving. It is also good if you always look for ways to keep your repertoire up to date so that you can surprise and amaze your small audience. After awhile, your loved ones will look forward to hearing you play.

Learning Piano On Your Own

If you are learning piano on your own as an adult self-learner, you will do best if you work in some practice time most days. You might like to establish a routine of how you will go about your practice. You can do things in a certain order, or you can mix things up differently every day.

One thing you should always do when you practice is to play scales. You do not have to play every scale every day. You might want to focus on the flat scales one day and the sharp scales the next. You do not Learning Piano On Your Owneven have to take it that far – just be sure that you practice scales of some kind for awhile before you begin to play.

Next, play some chords. Build on the scales you have played and make up as many chords as you can manage in the time you have allotted to spend on the exercise. The more you play your scales and chords, the better you will be when it comes to improvising. You will even play written music better because it will make more sense.

It is a good idea to have a set musical piece to play every time you practice before you start playing other songs. It can be any song that you can play fairly easily. Something that gives you a feeling of satisfaction is always a good choice. Make sure you do not pick a song that is new or tricky for this. You want to start out with a positive experience. You can work on the hard music later in the practice session.

After you have played your starting piece, go on to play songs you have been working on. Go over the rough spots carefully and try to play them from beginning to end without stopping. At this point it is a good time to sight-read any new music you have on hand and want to try. Then, take a little break.

Get a drink of water, eat an apple, or make a phone call. Then, go back to the piano and finish your practice. Many people believe that you have to sit down and play until you are exhausted. They never consider that taking a break can breathe new life into your playing.

Once you have had a break, you can use the rest of the time to improvise. You can make up music based on the chords and scales you played earlier. If you prefer, you can go in a completely new direction. Let this be your time for enjoyment and pure pleasure. With the right attitude, improvisation does not seem like work at all. It feels like complete freedom.

While it is good to practice most days, do not hesitate to take a day off if you are feeling bored with it. There is nothing that kills enthusiasm like overwork. Take off just enough time to renew your excitement about playing the piano. It should not take long.

If you are learning piano on your own and are having trouble finding motivation to practice, go to a piano concert, buy a piano player’s CD or MP3 download, or listen to a movie soundtrack based on piano music. Whatever it takes to get you back in the groove, do it.

Choosing Music To Play

You can learn and enjoy yourself by playing music you make up and write, or make up and improvise on the spot. Sooner or later, you will want to find some sheet music or songbooks for more music. You can get music in music stores or online easily, but it may not be the music you want to try and play.

You need to find music that suits your level of play. The best way to do this is to just look at the music. If you are buying in a store, you can examine the books or sheet music thoroughly before you buy.

One thing you can look at is how many sharps or Choosing Music To Playflats the songs in the songbook tend to have. A song that uses too many of the black keys is harder to play when you are first starting out. Also, for some reason, many people find the sharp key signatures more difficult to manage than the flat key signatures.

Look, too, at the difficulty of the chords. If the chords are clusters of many notes, you will know that the chords will not be as easy as simple triads. Take note of whether there are chords of four or five notes together on both left and right hands. You can learn these if you want to, but be prepared to work a little bit.

Look for difficult rhythms. You might see a lot of dotted notes or notes with different values mixed together to make up a measure. Again, you can take your time and learn these songs. You can clap out the rhythms until you have them down before you play. However, if you are looking for some quick success, look for more even and simple note values.

Besides looking at sheet music and songbooks that are already printed, there is another way to buy music in a music store now. Many stores have a special computer set aside for making copies of music. You choose the song you want from a list. If you only know a few words, you may still be able to find the song if the search tools are good enough.

After you have selected your song, you get the opportunity to look at the music. You can look at the music from beginning to end, but you cannot copy it until you agree to buy it. The artists are protected in this way because the store pays the royalties from your payment when you buy the copies. You should expect the copies to be high quality, and on good paper.

You can also get sheet music to play online. When you buy online, you usually do not get as good of a look at the music you are about to buy. You are more likely to get a small sample to give you an idea of what the music is like.

The online companies do not like to show too much because it is too easy for people to steal work that is printed on the internet. They will send you your choices by mail or by download as soon as you pay.

No matter how you get your music to play, be sure that you get the music you like and you will be able to play in the near future. There is no need to stockpile music for that someday when you will suddenly be playing like a pro. Instead, get songbooks and sheet music that you are ready to use right away.

Music Terminology You Should Know

There is a lot of music terminology for musicians and even experienced piano players come across new terms for their music. Some music terminology is more common than others, and few of these terms are listed here.

 

Accelerando – getting faster as the section of the piece marked goes on.

Adagio – played very slowly

Allegro – played at a fast tempo and with a cheerful mood

Andante – played moderately slowly

A tempo – go back to the original tempo

Beat – the basic unit of time in music, it is a regular tap of the foot, for example

Chord – when you play three or more notes together all at once

Coda – an ending that is different that previous verses in the musical piece

Crescendo – getting louder and louder through a marked passage

Diminuendo – getting softer and softer through a marked passage

Dolce – sweetly

Ensemble – a musical group, it could be anything from a band to a classical group

Forte – means to play the piece loudly, forcefully

Fortissimo – play the piece very loudly

Genre – the category of music (or any other artwork), rock and blues are examples

Glissando – playing down the keyboard rapidly, usually by sliding thumb down the keys

Interval – the distance between two musical tones

Largo – very slow and broad

Mezzo forte – play the piece somewhat loudly

Mezzo piano – play the piece somewhat softly

Phrase – a unit of music, denoted by a curved line under or over notes phrased together

Pianissimo – play the piece very softly

Piano – play the piece softly

Presto – play extremely fast

Semitone – also known as a half step

Staccato – play notes quickly, crisply, and detached from each other

Tempo – the rate of speed of the musical piece; it can vary during songs when marked

Variations – when you play a basic tune and then play different versions of it that retain the same basic melody.

These are the most frequently used music words used by pianists, along with the words that have already been used in previous lessons. Keys and key signatures, the time signatures, half notes, whole notes, quarter notes, etc. There are always more words that can be added to your musical vocabulary.

Some of the words above are written out above or between the staffs. Some are noted by using a mark of some sort. There are many markings to learn, but some of them are easy. This is because the word is often written out along with the marking.

As an example, a crescendo marking starts as a point on the left and opens up wider to the right. Sometimes, the word crescendo will also be written somewhere either in the marking or under it to help you. Some markings you will have just have to learn. Staccato music is marked by dots under the notes you are to play short and crisp.

When you learn all of this music terminology, do not sit back and ignore the rest of the words and markings you find. Keep learning and you will never get bored. There is always more to know when learning the piano.

Sight Reading Piano Music

Sight reading piano music is playing music as you see it for the first time. When you first get a piece of sheet music or a new songbook, all the music will be unfamiliar to you. You can get overwhelmed if you try to play perfectly from the very first glance. There are a few tricks you can learn to make it easier.

1. Look at the key signature. This could possibly be the most important piece of preliminary information ight Reading Piano Musicyou can have. Think very hard about which sharps or flats are listed in the key signature. You will want to remember to use those notes whenever they occur throughout the piece.

2. Look at the time signature. The measures will not make much sense to you if you do not know how many beats there are in each one of them. If you do not know what kind of note makes up a beat, you will be lost.

3. Look over the piece for any changes in key signature and time signature. You may be playing along and come across a change out of the blue. If you are not prepared for it, you might end up playing the song incorrectly from that point on.

4. Notice what note you will start on and what note or chord you will end on. It helps to know the starting point and the ending point of any song before you start to play it. This will guide you towards the finish of the song.

5. Glance at the type of rhythm that is used in the left hand. The left hand is usually the rhythm hand, though not always. If you count out the notes of the left hand before you begin, you will have a better idea of how the song is going to go.

6. Do a one-handed once-over of the melody. Just play the melody line by itself to get the sound of it into your mind. Once you know that sound, you have unlocked the uniqueness of the song. When you begin to play the song all together, the melody will stand out in your mind as a significant thread.

7. Look at any other markings that are on the piece. . They include the loudness or softness of a piece, how short or long you hold the notes, and the overall speed of the music.

8. Take a deep breath, focus, and begin to play. You should try to play the song all the way through when you sight read it for the first time. There will be time later to break it down into measures and work on each one if that is what you want to do. For the time being, however, just do your best and keep going.

You might wonder why it is important to know how to sigh read in the first place. After all, you could learn the song a little at a time. Sight reading forces you to keep trying until you reach the end of the song.

When you sight read piano music properly, you avoid some bad habits. You avoid the habit of looking at each note slowly before you play it. You also avoid the habit of starting and stopping every time something goes the least little bit wrong.

If you want to play perfectly from the very first sight of a song, you might as well forget it unless you are very experienced or talented. Sight reading gets you started on the road to learning to play better.