From astahfrith: note found on piano in The Haunted Bookshop, Iowa City, Iowa. Also, for those who want to know: Maurizo Pollini.
Recently I sent one of my fine students home with the sheet music to "Fireworks" from the Harry Potter soundtrack. It's such a cool piece, full of bold accents and a driving 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2 left hand rhythm. My student returned the following week and I asked her how she liked the piece. "Oh, it's great!" she said, lighting up. And then, laughing a bit sheepishly, "Actually, I've been banned from playing it."
Ask any piano teacher and they will tell you stories about banned music. I can sometimes anticipate these censorial happenings when I send a student home with, say, The Can Can, or pretty much anything from Martha Mier's "Jazz, Rags & Blues" book (Ragtime Do-Si-Do, I'm looking at you). The Entertainer should really only go home after a permission slip has been signed. I admit that as a piano teacher it is pleasant to indulge in picturing Rockwellian scenes of domestic bliss when I imagine my students practicing at home: The devoted student sits at the family piano, the dog thumps his tail underneath, and mom or dad bustles about the kitchen making dinner while little brother wrangles some math homework at the table, all the while the awkward but endearing sounds of the piano wend their way around the household. Reality, however, surely paints a thousand different pictures - as you are fully aware if you have a piano student in your home!
One of these is the following: The devoted student returns home joyfully (giocoso) from a lesson, pumped to begin learning some new song; the devoted student learns the song lickety-split (presto) and with gusto (con fuoco); the new student plays the song about a gazillion times in a row, usually as fast (prestissimo) and loud (fortissimo) as manageable; the devoted student drives everyone in the household CRAZY (maniaco) playing that HORRIBLE SONG which surely used to be beautiful to SOMEONE at some point but now is TRULY AWFUL and you will go berserk if you hear it ONE MORE TIME so will you please STOP RIGHT NOW FOR CRYING OUT LOUD (fine). And bam! There you have it. Banned music.
I would very much enjoy it if anyone, students or families or teachers, would like to write in with their favorite banned songs. If I get enough interest I will post your horror stories here. The reality is that these songs are beloved to students and so they all have a special place in my heart. Let me hear from you so their power can be used for good and not for evil!