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#14465 - 11/12/03 10:40 PM Re: Playing for our students
NancyK Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 644
Loc: North Dakota
I think there is room for all of it. I have played straight classical music in church many times. I have played other things as well. I think we do need to expose people to more classical music for sure. At Christmas time, when playing Christmas music out places, I almost always also play some classical music off and on inbetween. I add in some of my own piece as well. Classical music is beautiful and it's great to dress up and go to concerts etc. It's also great to play and enjoy other types of music in a more casual setting. I think the stuffy part comes in with peoples attitudes. NOT from the musicor setting.

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#14466 - 11/13/03 01:30 AM Re: Playing for our students
Piano lady Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jalapeņa:
Classical music should be taught, & it should be played for recitals & weddings, at nursing homes, etc. How else are you going to present this beautiful music to the masses?

As I've posted before, I didn't grow up in a family that appreciated classical music, & I wasn't exposed to it except through the music my piano teacher assigned to me to play. Were it not for her, I would not have developed a love for classical music.

Yes, many people think classical music is stuffy, but I don't. I do believe that part of a piano teacher's job is to nurture & mold students' tastes in music, much as an English teacher would try to get students to read classic literature & an Art teacher would try to get students interested in fine art.

I don't think dressing up once in a while is stuffy, either... but this is where I guess I differ with a lot of folks. ;\)


I said it has become stuffy. I didn't say the music IS stuffy. To tell you the truth, I saw some far better dressed people (as in to the nines) at the jazz recital than I see at classical performances. I'm usually way over dressed for classical concerts (as in top artist concerts and symphony concerts).

The whole thing is about the music for the sake of the music. We're all drawing from the same space. Some people get too much ego involved and the music starts screaming "Me! Me! Me!" and I leave. This is across the entire spectrum.

We play for the sake of expressing our art and sharing that expression with others. A small group is starting a noon time concert series at our community college. Bring your sandwich and hear solo piano, chamber, jazz, whatever people decide to play. That's a step in the right direction.

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#14467 - 11/13/03 06:04 AM Re: Playing for our students
Vivace' Offline
Star Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1717
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Arlene Steffen:
Really? I actually despise those. To me, it makes it seem like the classical music isn't good enough to stand on it's own or that it's not "spiritual" enough.


DITTO!!!!!!!
_________________________
Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us,and never stop learning." ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

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#14468 - 11/13/03 07:05 AM Re: Playing for our students
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
I love the classical-infused hymns & carols because, quite frankly, the traditional hymn "arrangements" (I use that term very loosely) :rolleyes: found in the Protestant church hymnals are chordal (SATB; no piano accompaniment whatsoever) & flat out boring to play & to listen to. They're useful for congregational singing, but that's about it. As Chef Emeril would say, the music needs to be "taken up a notch." (actually, more than one notch, if you ask me) ;\) \:D

Lillenas publishes several books of well-composed church hymns & Christmas carols. I really like them. \:\) These are, IMO, the best arrangements to play for Christians who love hymns & Christmas carols & would not otherwise care to hear classical music. Even my 85-year-old mother, who says she doesn't like classical music, loves it when I play these arrangements.

As a performer, you must consider your audience & carefully select music that will appeal to them. If you can find a way to include classical music, please do so. It's the only way you're going to get some people to listen to it.

Pianolady: Maybe classical music has become stuffy because the performers refuse to include other styles of music in their performances. Also, like you said, they need to get over themselves. I doubt that will ever happen, though.

[ 11-13-2003: Message edited by: Jalapeņa ]

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#14469 - 11/13/03 07:42 AM Re: Playing for our students
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
I hate that combo stuff too. Makes me feel like I'm stuck in a elevator at the mall with an entire chapter of the Christian Women's Temperance League.

If you're playing classical music and not getting compliments on it and that's what you truly desire, then switch to a more mellow type of classical music like what's in Alfred's Melodious Masterpiece series. I, of course, experiencing a declining Estrogen Factor, would recommend that you just Not Care and play classical music to your heart's content to expose it to the recalcitrant masses. And if some hussy on the Music Committee is brazen enough to say something I would give them my best cheerleader grin and say, "Why, bless your heart! You can just BITE ME!!!"

oops, I digressed a little... \:o

Also, I threw out my copies of Dress for Success years ago. My standard uniform consists of jeans & sweaters. Natural fiber, of course, but so what. :rolleyes: ;\)

Lisa, feeling a little churlish this a.m.

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#14470 - 11/13/03 07:55 AM Re: Playing for our students
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
I played classically arranged hymns & Christmas carols for offertories at church for many years because it was a way for me to play the music the congregation liked & wanted to hear in the musical style that I loved. I was the only one in my church that ever played classical music, in any form, for church services. Some members of the congregation really appreciated it when I performed these arrangements, & so I felt I was doing my part to keep classical music alive. I think that's the reason these arrangements were created, & I believe there's a place for them to be used.

Of course, I also performed Contemporary Christian music. Whenever I got up to sing or play, people never quite knew what to expect out of me. \:D A few old fogies got bent out of shape because I occasionally performed music that they didn't think should be played at church (not the "right" chords or rhythms, I guess), :rolleyes: but that's a topic for a different thread.

Again, consider your audience. If Lisa, Viv & Arlene come to my house & want to hear me play, I promise I won't perform one of my Lillenas arrangements. \:D I'll stick to pure, "unadulterated" classical pieces for you folks, okay? ;\) \:D

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#14471 - 11/13/03 03:52 PM Re: Playing for our students
Arlene Steffen Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
I play both classical music and hymn arrangements at my church. I just don't like hymn arrangements that have classical music woven into them.

I found two books really great hymn arrangements: Praise in Classical Style by James Clemens (Flammer Music)-Jim Clemens is a college classmate of mine and I was pleasantly surprised to find this a few years ago- and The Emergency Piano Book (sorry I don't have the publisher on that - it's in the van and my husband just left to take Joe to soccer).

What I like about these two books is that they are musically interesting and they aren't the same old hymns that are in every other book of arrangements. I get tired of "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness" after the umpteenth time!

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#14472 - 11/13/03 04:18 PM Re: Playing for our students
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
 Quote:
Originally posted by Arlene Steffen:
I get tired of "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness" after the umpteenth time!


Me too! Seems like most piano books contain the same hymns over & over again, even though the hymnal contains hundreds of hymns. Of course, I know a few song directors who have the congregation sing the same hymns & praise/worship choruses week after week rather than trying to teach the congregation to sing something different. :rolleyes: They get stuck in a rut, I suppose. Sure is irksome when you consider how many nice hymns there are!

Where do you order the books you mentioned above, Arlene? I'd like to know. Thanks. \:\)

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#14473 - 11/13/03 08:26 PM Re: Playing for our students
Arlene Steffen Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
I found them at my local music store.

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#14474 - 11/14/03 07:51 AM Re: Playing for our students
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1573
Loc: Chicago
Mmmm. Well, speaking as a member of the congregation I used to hate it when they played a different arrangement of my favorite hymns. I loved to sing the well-known favorites. Every once in awhile they'd have a congregation sing-along to introduce new hymns. Ick.

Now, as a teacher, I am in need of Catholic hymns that are recommended for instruction. They can't have that "sacred" or "praise band" sound to them. I know of Catholic websites for purchasing materials, but I'm looking for recommendations.

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