With so many of the other pieces in our Education Guides in print and in this Education section on our website devoted entirely to the education of the young and impressionable, I thought it fitting that we take a look at the education of the ancient and jaded. Well, not necessarily ancient, but aged enough to feel way too far over the hill to learn, or relearn, how to play the piano. Scott Houston—aka the Piano Guy of public television—feels our pain and is offering a reasonably priced cure.
Houston’s Play Piano in a Flash show has truly hit a chord (pun intended) with PBS viewers of all ages. While Houston is an admittedly just so-so professional pianist himself, he has come up with a no-frills, cut-to-the-chase teaching method for piano playing that is selling like hot cakes everywhere instructional music is sold. He has already raised more than $10 million for PBS by pitching shows as premiums during station fund drives. Move over John Tesh and Yanni. But there’s a big difference between Houston and those two guys, beyond the hairstyles. Houston is not promoting himself and his own music, but rather selling the radical concept of having fun playing music.