Thank you, Guns N’ Roses!
Many of you grew up in the same decade that I did. And with that came listening to a lot of rock music, when rock was really in its prime. Speaking of….has anyone noticed that there’s no rock music really on the pop radio stations anymore? Country is the new rock music! Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker is now a country singer, and even Staind lead singer Aaron Lewis has gone country! Dare I even mention that the Backstreet Boys currently have a hit on country radio?
But I digress….
Today I’m talking about Guns N’ Roses. Why? Because if it wasn’t for Guns N’ Roses, I wouldn’t have the love for music that I have today, and we wouldn’t be here today teaching over 600 students each week at our Harrison & New City locations!
I grew up learning classical piano. And while I enjoyed it and bonded with my dad (also a pianist) over playing music together, there came a time around 7th grade that I really wanted to quit piano. Yes, I wanted to quit! I think almost every parent sees their child want to quit music lessons at some point in the learning process. But my parents, knowing that most adults regret having quit lessons once they are older, pushed me to continue lessons. And this is where Guns N’ Roses comes in.
My Aunt came over for a visit one day, and brought with her the sheet music to the Guns N’ Roses song “November Rain.” And that is what kickstarted my renewal for the love of piano. I sat down at the piano with “November Rain” a song I REALLY liked that was being played at the middle school dances (usually followed at the dances by TLC’s “Waterfalls” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”….anyone else remember that?!?!) And I realized that hey….piano can be FUN when I’m learning the music that I WANT to learn! I sat down and played the piece all the way through and suddenly wanted to learn MORE rock piano pieces.
Next came Billy Joel, Elton John, Journey, etc. And from there I spread out into Jazz, and eventually learned pieces in many different styles.
Now, even though the main instrument Guns N’ Roses is known for is the guitar (Slash!), it was the piano part in that song that ignited my love for the piano.
Is your student struggling at home to practice and get motivated? We are proud to say here at the New City School of Music, that we teach students the songs that THEY want to learn (while sneaking in the music theory and technique that the NEED to learn….shhh! Don’t tell them!) because we want to see students develop a LOVE for music and enjoy the learning how to play!
Speak to your teacher about having your student learn one of their favorite songs! For me, it made a lifetime of difference!
~ Samuel Faraci, M.M.