Sunday, February 28, 2010

Amplify one, then amplify all.

Last night was the final round of Greeley's version of the Kiwani's Stars of Tomorrow competitions.  We had three students from our piano studio make it into the finals and they all played quite well, but none of them won.  Nonetheless, it was a very positive experience for all.  Furthermore, all of the winners played well and deserved recognition.  Elementary, Middle, and High School divisions were all awarded to pianists all from the same family.  The Best in Show award went to a high school violinist.

O.K., here is the gripe.  This is a talent show that accepts any kind of performer.  Singers and dancers are very popular and are always amplified.  In between singers, there are young pianists that are not amplified.  They sound like they are playing in another zip code.  The only way to compete in this situation is to resort to theatrics and banging the piano to smithereens.  Therefore, tasteful, polished performances don't stand a chance against loud, crass, and sloppy playing.  This is especially true in the elementary and middle school divisions because of smaller hands and smaller sounds.  If everyone were amplified then the pianists would be on equal footing with the 7 year olds singing something cute, the middle schoolers singing something country (and flat!), and the High-schoolers singing something inappropriate.  Not only that, but the expressive players would be on equal footing with the pounders.

It would be nice if they would have the piano tuned as well.  Maybe that's why they won't amplify the pianos...