Seven-year-old pianist "failure" featured in short film "Pianist" at Houston Worldfest
For immediate release
In a short film Pianist accepted by Houston’s Annual 51st WorldFest, a 7-year-old YouTube star that has amazed a million viewers with her piano skills developed through Soft Mozart computerized curriculum acts as an unhappy child. The movie is a manifest against the child abuse often hidden in traditional piano lessons.
April 29 at 5PM at the International Film World Festival in Houston (WorldFest) the film Pianist, created by the studio "Territory of Cinema" (Minsk, Belarus) will be featured at Cinemark 18 in Memorial City.
This film reflects the global problem in teaching music to children, associated with the hidden humiliation and abuse that can be a part of traditional music and piano lessons. This problem is not widely covered by the media, but many people know the frustration and disappointment children can experience while taking piano lessons.
Few people know that the cause of the abuse is not because of malice from the piano teachers, but the approach used in teaching, in which children are compared with the greatest players, regardless of their interests or personalities. Sheet music is also used as a "sacred cow." In teaching reading, we adjust the text to the eyes of the child, but in music, it is “one size fits all.” Because of that belief, children are forced to adjust to a user-UNfriendly interface with printed music.
Significantly, the small performer in the main role of the film -- Sofiyka (7 years old) -- actually learns music and plays piano using a revolutionary new system. The author of the system is Hellene Hiner, a musicologist from Houston, the author of "Soft Mozart," a new computerized approach to teaching music. Sofiyka started studying with the system at the age of 3. Her success in music is so amazing that the video about her development has gained more than a million views on YouTube, with the number growing every day.
WorldFest was founded as an International Film Society in August, 1961, when it became the third competitive international film festival in North America, following San Francisco and New York. WorldFest is the oldest Independent Film & Video Festival in the world. It evolved into a competitive International Film Festival in April, 1968. It was founded by award-winning producer/director Hunter Todd to present a quality film festival for Independent filmmakers. Hunter Todd has been honored with more than 115 international awards for creative excellence in film production, and he has been the producer, director, writer and/or cameraman on more than 300 motion picture and video productions. The mission/vision statement of WorldFest is “to recognize and honor outstanding creative excellence in film & video, to validate brilliant abilities and to promote cultural tourism for Houston, to develop film production in the region and to add to the rich cultural fabric of the city of Houston.” All members of the WorldFest staff are filmmakers.
About Studio "Territory of Cinema":
"Territory of Cinema" is an educational and practical platform for young actors, directors, and scriptwriters in the city of Minsk (Belarus). Created by talented director Alexandra Butor, it is her artistic workshop. Alexandra Butor is a screenwriter, director, member of the Belarusian Union of Cinematographers, and the producer and artistic director of this wonderful studio.
About the "Soft Way to Mozart":
This is a computerized piano/music curriculum that was created in Houston in 2002 and endorsed as an academic study guide by the leading universities of the world, including the St. Petersburg Conservatory (the university where Peter Tchaikovsky used to teach) and the Herzen University. At the heart of this interactive program is a modification of the musical notation from the elementary to the traditional. Currently, "Soft Mozart" is used in 60 countries around the world. This system teaches a new generation of children – gifted or not. It is also very effective for children with disabilities.
About Hellene Hiner:
Hiner is the author of “Soft Way to Mozart” software and curriculum and the head of Music Vision International, based in Houston, TX.
Video: Sophiyka (3) starts her piano journey with 'Soft Mozart'