Long, Lost and Forgotten: Silent Movie Music for the Piano Studio

Silent movie piano music is fun to play. It helps students come to an understanding of the emotional content of music that can be related back to everything they work on as an interpretive pianist. Why, then, are we not familiar with music used for silent film—music that was so popular between 1915-1930, that it was often published as sheet music in advance, advertising these movies? We’ll explore beautiful pieces written by women, less familiar music by well-known classical composers and the very beginnings of Jazz!

Penny Lazarus, NCTM, maintains a 45-student piano studio in Newburyport, MA. With degrees in piano performance, psychology, art history, and education, Penny is known for her creativity in teaching, silent movie music projects and collaborations with music studios around the world. Penny presents for NCKP, such as “El Sistema’s Inspired Joy of Community” and publishes frequently, including the Winter 2020 edition of The Piano Magazine on “When Our Students Inspire Others: The Socially Conscious Piano Studio.” This year, her project-based studio studied women composers, producing 12 early-leveled arrangements of historic pieces composed by women.