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#2227670 - 02/07/14 08:54 PM Picking out music for a school presentation
M321 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Indiana, US
Hey everyone!

As a warm-up speech of sorts for my public speaking class, our next assignment is to attempt to ďsellĒ something. Quite fortuitously, there happens to be a piano in the room! Iím a piano enthusiast and, although Iím somewhat out of practice, I had the crazy idea of selling (as per the assignment) the piano. I thought a cool intro would be to play VERY briefly something to get their attention. The class is populated predominantly by kids my age in their low to mid 20ís, so in other words, I need to find some contemporary music that would be palatable to most peopleís taste. An added twist, however, is that the girl Iím absolute crazy about is in this class, so I need to give an awesome speech to woo her over, so to speak. I know, I know, Super Matt Super Star!

Iím also willing to consider something classical or jazzy (I had Rhapsody in Blue in mind because that seems to appeal to the general population of people not versed, or familiar at all, with anything NOT mainstream). Iím able to play Chopin waltzes, a little Mendelsohn, and with practice and a little trouble, Iím able to play Rhapsody in Blue (adapted for solo piano, needless to say).

Does anyone have any suggestions? Her favorite song is something by Matthew West Ė a horrible song, I admit, but I like her anyway!!! smile I was planning on making a trip to the library tomorrow to acquire some sheet music, or whatever I canít find there, online someplace (reluctant though I am to use up printer ink because Iím REALLY stingy with printer ink haha).

I would greatly appreciate any ideas you may have as to what would be the best to play, not only for the class, but for this girl Iím sooooooooo crazy about.

Thanks a bunch,

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#2227824 - 02/08/14 08:47 AM Re: Picking out music for a school presentation [Re: M321]
Eric Gloo Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1364
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Check the piano ahead of time, to make sure it's in tune, and that everything seems to be working OK.
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

#2227941 - 02/08/14 03:54 PM Re: Picking out music for a school presentation [Re: M321]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1850
How about something by the Beatles? I am not sure you will capture the attention of modern youth with Chopin, alas.

#2228185 - 02/08/14 11:28 PM Re: Picking out music for a school presentation [Re: M321]
BruceD Online   content

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 20032
Loc: Victoria, BC
Hang on, a sec! It's a great idea, but ...

This is a public speaking class and you're going to try to "sell" the piano by playing an excerpt from Rhapsody in Blue?

If I were your teacher, I would already have told you that the emphasis would have to be on your ability to sell something through a convincing argument. That argument would have to be well structured (why having a piano is desirable, why this piano is a particularly good one, why this is a deal your potential buyers won't want to miss), and I would expect the presentation to be well delivered.

Of course, selling the piano involves demonstrating it, but not giving a mini-recital, not for a public speaking class. The focus of the sales pitch is on your selling skills, your speaking abilities, but not on your playing techniques.

Check out the piano before hand, make sure you have a few brief musical excerpts to demonstrate the various "qualities" of this particular instrument, and be prepared (I would think) to have a reasonable price for the instrument based on current market research. In this case, you may have to pretend that this is a good instrument when, in fact, it may not be in good condition.

If I were your teacher grading you on this assignment, I would pay less attention to the particular music you select to appeal to the crowd of twenty-somethings and more on how the music you select will help to sell the qualities of this particular piano.

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#2228274 - 02/09/14 07:46 AM Re: Picking out music for a school presentation [Re: BruceD]
M321 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Indiana, US
Thank you, everyone, for your prompt replies.

Checking out the piano ahead of time, Eric, is a great idea! I have to have back-up ideas for sure.

RPA, I love The Beatles (Hey Jude might be something to consider), so thank you for your input.

Bruce, you raised some very interesting points. Perhaps I should elaborate a little further. It's supposed to be an "infomercial" with the emphasis that it's entertaining, so I thought playing a few 4 seconds here or another 5 seconds there would be a good way to hold their attention, because the book said that if an audience isn't interested they will on average listen only 8 seconds, so you can begin to see why I should have a strong 5-6 sec introduction. The idea is to say what its benefits are, how it works, and why other products aren't as good, while reminding the audience that it's easy and that you SHOULD buy it NOW. That's the general idea. If I'm on the right track (and I will talk to my teacher about my ideas ahead of time), what kind of music would you suggest?

Thanks again, you guys. smile

Edited by M321 (02/09/14 07:48 AM)


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