What would you say if I told you my 11 year old son actually thinks classical music is cool? You’d probably either think I am lying or assume he is what (in my middle school days) we used to call a “band geek”. Nope – neither of these are the case. He’s just fan of The Piano Guys!
In case you haven’t heard of the four dorky dads who took YouTube by storm known as The Piano Guys, let me give you a little backstory. The Piano Guys are made up of four dads: of Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Paul Anderson, and Al van der Beek. Anderson owned a piano shop in Utah and was trying to brainstorm ways to advertise his shop on social media when he came up with the idea of creating videos of Schmidt playing his piano and uploading them to YouTube. Eventually, the other members of the group (including Nelson on cello) were brought in and they began uploading their very well shot videos and took off on social media.
If you haven’t already, check out their musical performances on YouTube. Not only do they combine popular songs (often chosen by their own kids according to Schmidt and Nelson) with classical pieces, their videos are shot in some unusual and beautiful places! They have played on the Great Wall of China, under the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio and everywhere in between. No concert halls or music studios for these guys!
The Piano Guys are mash-up experts. By matching classical pieces by Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi and many others with popular artists including Adele, Coldplay, One Direction, Taylor Swift and even Disney, they have succeeded in making classical music cool again! You might have seen their version of Disney’s “Let It Go” mashed up with Vivaldi’s “Winter” a few years ago.
The Piano Guys do more that just deliver amazingly beautiful music during their show. They entertain and dazzle with their breathtaking videos, interact with the crowd and goof around drawing lots of laughter, and share their own love of all things music.
Authenticity is a word often thrown around as something to strive for. These guys are the epitome of authenticity and it is because they don’t try to be authentic, they just are. They allow their true personalities to come through in the their show and they really are just some extremely likable dads. You wind up thinking how much fun it would be to just hang out and talk to them. They share their own awe at what they have been able to create and are quick to pass the credit along to God rather than take it for themselves.
The audience in Milwaukee ranged from preschoolers to seniors and everyone responded to each song with a smile, a tapping foot, and thunderous applause. (There were even some moments of audience participation.) If you have the chance to see The Piano Guys on tour, I highly recommend going. Bring the whole family – their appeal spans every generation and they provide truly family friendly entertainment that everyone can enjoy! The Piano Guys tour schedule can be found on their website.