So this past Friday I was asked to go to a local university and speak with their grad. piano majors as part of a performance practices class.
No I did not coach them on their performances of Brahms and Schumann (Although I have an opinion on this as well). I was there to talk about the technical differences between the 2 or 3 21st century brands that all of these players knew and the 19th century instruments that the Romantic composers they were playing wrote for.
We were able to use a late 19th century Boesendorfer as an example. I also used overhead pictures of different period pianos that we have worked on, as well as professional diagrams of the actions, from Streicher (and earlier) to an early 20th century WNG action.
I HAD A BLAST! I wasn't given nearly enough time though. I feel like i could teach a semester class on the the technical aspects of the modern piano alone, let alone the major technical hurdles and the changes that the instrument has gone through into modern times.
Frankly, there were a few that did not care to hear about this. Questions were slow coming and of the 18 or so students that began with us only 9 stayed for a picture:
(I am the one on the immediate left of the piano)
Those who stayed though were really into it. I was asked some very insightful questions that really got ME thinking as well.
I wonder if anyone else, as a student, professor, or outside expert has lectured on this particular subject. I have not yet heard from the professor how she thought it went over. I hope she felt it went well because I have already thought through how I would do it differently next time.