In 2011, Elizabeth and her sister, Sonya, set a goal to create free and engaging access to music and arts for young audiences. Young people often reject classical music in particular, and they often claim that “classical music is boring” before ever having heard an excellent performance. The sisters' goal was to reach children with classical music, fun stories, and inspiring art to give the kids a positive experience with classical music before they developed any biases.
In order to meet the goal, Elizabeth devised an audio CD experience of 14 musical pieces and stories called Piano Carnival, intended for free online distribution, so that all children would have the opportunity hear excellent classical music in a captivating framework of creative stories.
To fund the recording and bring attractively framed classical music and stories to kids, the sisters raised $12,800 on a fundraising website called Kickstarter. Elizabeth recruited artists, musicians, writers, and engineers to contribute their creative ideas and expertise, and released the first recording in January 2012.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Canada Council, the Piano Carnival Project has now released an interactive Ebook which integrates technology with the art, stories, drama and music. The Ebook is available free on iTunes.
The Piano Carnival Ebook offers phenomenal quality of audience engagement through its immersive, multi-sensory, interactive presentation. Audiences of all ages participate with the performances and explore different media independently or as a combined experience. Technology and new media play a large and ever-increasing role in the lives of young audiences, and the Piano Carnival Ebook is designed to appeal to tech-savvy young people while offering accessible arts experiences to all ages.
Please visit www.PianoCarnival.com to read about the continuing project and to view lesson plans and educational materials.