A piano virtuoso and extraordinaire, Lang Lang has done more for the piano and that of keeping classical composition exciting than possibly any artist alive today. In his latest venture, the Chinese pianist is seeking to invest in bringing the joys of piano to the most deprived schools in the country in an effort to help not only educate but create opportunity for those who show musical talent but lack access to instruments.
Lang Lang - Image: Shore Fire Media
Music education has been long neglected in schools across the past decade, as with many of the arts, with many schools placing less of an emphasis on these subjects and more on the sciences and maths, as a result many students are not given access to equipment (or even music lessons at all) and for the heads of musical departments, finding funding is almost always an uphill struggle.
We speak with many teachers across the country all of whom share the same languish and exhaustion for lack of funding, in some cases a music department may have a budget of just £50-60 per year…and with the cost of even just one standard weighted piano being that of close to £300-£400, most rely on that of external funding or charitable donations for any kind of equipment.
This is not the first time Lang Lang has used his fortune to help others and similar schemes have been run in both China and the US with great success. In the US for example, these piano labs have already been set up in 86 schools giving 70,000 children access to digital pianos. Similarly in China, he has installed them in 104 schools, enabling 110,000 children to make music.
Having access to instruments is fantastic, however that is not where these labs end as every lab is also accompanied by a curriculum created by the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, Lang Lang already has many books written about getting started with piano practice, particularly geared towards young learners that depict the pianist as a superhero (The series even appeared in our best beginner books for young pianists here)and we believe that the same technique will be used here to help encourage experimentation as well as understanding within the classroom.
With so much emphasis on creating excitement around the piano, we do believe that Lang Lang’s phenomena has the potential to sweep the nation and inspire a new younger generation of piano players to receive access to real music education and equipment. We too share this vision and have reached out to the Lang Lang foundation to support their goal and are willing to donate acoustic instruments to pupils that have shown particular promise and desire to excel their piano playing.