The Frankenstein Piano Project

What can you do instead of a piano recital when you can’t get together?

Normally (P.C., pre-covid), once or twice a year, my piano students play a recital with a band. This is more fun than is probably legal, especially for the parents. So much laughter, so little nervousness. The band literally has their backs the whole time.

Last spring (C.E., covid era), my piano students recorded videos of themselves playing songs, with a fake band in their earbuds, i.e. backing tracks created by me. We held a watch party where I queued up all the videos in a playlist and shared them via Zoom video. Again, much laughter, but I guess I was a little nervous. We all were back then.

This fall I didn’t want to do another round of videos with backing tracks but didn’t know what we were going to do instead. Then one Friday night my partner and I were laying on the living room floor listening to music, as we often do on Friday nights, especially of late, and we started down the rabbit hole of well-known rock instrumentals. “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Group came to mind, and I thought it would be fun to have ALL the kids play on the SAME song. After all, even the original version was so named because it was a bunch of disparate licks cobbled or “frankensteined” together.

So I gave each student four measures, and they sent me videos. (Next time I’m NOT going to let them use their OWN metronomes… who knew 96 beats per minute was different on different metronomes and metronome apps???)

Anyway, here’s the result. One of my older students — with a power assist from his dad — whose encouraging words, “We’re always up for a challenge,” made my whole year — provided the drum track. I did synth bass in the studio. Enjoy!

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