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In 2011, Sonya and Elizabeth Schumann 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' hope was to reach children with classical music, fun stories, and inspiring art, offering children a positive experience with classical music before they developed any biases.

In order to meet this goal, Elizabeth devised an audio CD experience of 14 musical pieces and stories called Piano Carnival, offered for free online, so that all children would have the opportunity hear excellent classical music in a captivating framework of creative stories.

In order 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.

The Schumanns' Homemade Kickstarter Video

Project Classical, Inc. is currently distributing the Piano Carnival Book and CD free to educators along with lesson plans and suggested activities.


Thanks to a generous grant from the Canada Council, the next step of the Piano Carnival Project was the December 2013 release of an interactive E-book which integrates technology with the art, stories, drama and music. Please click here to download the free E-book on Itunes.

The Piano Carnival E-book offers phenomenal quality of audience engagement through its immersive, multi-sensory, interactive presentation. Audiences of all ages can 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 E-book is designed to appeal to tech-savvy young people while offering accessible arts experiences to all ages.


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