Kick-ass piano sessionWant to lead a kick-ass senior living discussion? Try something that mixes the familiar with the risqué or with controversial topics. Try talking about the piano.

Yes, you can have a wonderful positive discussion on styles of playing and sing songs that mention the piano. And, with some folks that is as far as you want to go.

Every now and then, there are those senior living residents who like deeper, grittier conversations. With those folks it is time to bring out the risqué or controversial topics.

Think of pianos as a safe topic?

Composers like Irving Berlin have often selected lyrics which portray the wholesome side of the piano. For example, Berlin’s “I Love a Piano” mentions types of pianos (grands and uprights), a famous performer (Paderewski) and parts of the instrument (keys, ivories, peddles).

Think again…

Contrast that with Berlin’s “Try It On Your Piano”.

This risqué song was published in 1910. It still mentions a famous performer (Rubinstein) and musical keys. Yet it is more the about the suggestive exchanges between Benjamin Manner and Lucy Brown. It makes use of entendres and amusing mentions of sex.

Controversy has also entered the concert hall. The 1952 John Cage composition “4’33” “has led many into the conversation of what is and what isn’t music.  Share the video and be open to where the conversation leads.

Even popular music hits can lead into deep discussions. Every used “Ebony and Ivory” to lead into a discussion on racial boundaries and relationships? (If you need comments to fuel the conversation, Mixed Race America can be support information.)

Kiss-ass or Gentille?

The choice needs to be made with the senior living participants in mind. Their needs, interests and openness to various subjects needs to guide the choice.

Which ever you chose, enjoy your session on piano.