It was 2011. Late in the year. What started as a small town ambition to sell pianos through social media had shown some promise as a standalone YouTube music video channel. We had a few videos under our belts. We had a handful of subscribers. We were building steam. We were loving it! But one looming, sour-faced, obstinate obstacle stood in the way.
How could we sustain this? How could we keep this pace? We had robbed too much time away from family, day jobs; we were living two lives — nocturnal and diurnal — in an attempt to write music and film videos in every spare second. Our day jobs, including the Piano Store itself, saw a sharp decline due to negligence. Reality hit. It hit hard. Our music videos were not providing near enough to provide for our families, our number one priority. They say that the only difference between a large pizza and a professional musician is that a large pizza can feed a family of four!
So we hatched this crazy idea.
What if our genesis, as official full-time “Piano Guys,” could be “crowd funded?” What if we offered special packages to people in exchange for their support to help us get our wheels off the ground? We launched the “Founders” program. We were cautious in our optimism, but we were completely overwhelmed. The generous support of so many people gave us the wings we needed. And it gave us a boost in confidence, enthusiasm, and commitment to the people listening and watching.
Now here we are. Over fifty videos with 700 million views, four million YouTube subscribers, a million Facebook fans, and four albums with Sony. We’ve sold out shows in the U.S., Mexico, China, Germany, Canada, Singapore, Hungary, Austria, England, Scotland, France, Korea, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and Japan. And best of all, our families haven’t starved! All because of our Founders. Had it not been for your support and faith in us, we would not be The Piano Guys today.
If you’re a Founder, you know that we do all we can to ensure that our music videos are not just a “product.” We put everything we’ve got into them. All of who we are. There is a spiritual component to them. We try to “break the mold” with them. We want something on the internet that grandparents, parents, and children can enjoy. Together. Our mission has always been to lift people with what we do. Prompt a smile. Hope. Encouragement to keep practicing or to take up an instrument! A moment of escape from a world that can all too often peddle darkness on us. Life is made up of moments. Small things snowball into great things. We wanted to do something small that could help someone to be great. And if all we did was help one person it would have been worth it.
Because of you, we’ve reached people that we couldn’t dream of reaching. Many of these people have talked to us at our concerts, posted on our walls, messaged and emailed us with their stories. They are inspiring. They are miraculous. They are stories of people rekindling long lost relationships, surmounting mountainous challenges, finding meaning in life, chasing out life’s “demons,” starting and excelling at an instrument, reconnecting with God, or being emboldened in a career choice. They are your stories. You made them happen. Thank you from all of these good people, whose souls’ worth is incalculable. Thank you from our spouses. Our children. Thank you from the bottom of everything we have and everything we aspire to be. You remain our inspiration. Our benefactors. Our Founders.
We love you.
Please accept this video as a very small token of our appreciation for you. Your names are printed on what we now affectionately call our “Founders’ Piano” and “Founders’ Cello!” For your video we put together an arrangement of a super cool tune called, “A Sky Full of Stars,” by Coldplay, because we feel like the REAL stars of the Piano Guys are our Founders. As we were writing and recording this we prayed that we could pour our sincere gratitude into each and every measure. After we finished with the music we determined to film in a place you may recognize, the Salt Flats where we filmed “Moonlight.” What better venue than a place of our “roots” and where your names would be the “stars” of the film, starkly contrasted against the eternal white salt stretching as far as the eye can see? We hope you enjoy this video It is dedicated to you!
Filmed at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah Music “Sky Full Of Stars” written by Coldplay & Swedish DJ Avicii The Piano Guys arrangement produced by Jon Schmidt & Steven Sharp Nelson; written by Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson & Giles Reaves Performed by Jon Schmidt: Piano Steven Sharp Nelson: Cello, cello percussion Recorded, mixed & mastered by Giles Reaves at Annex Recording Studios www.annexrecording.comVideo Produced & Filmed by Paul Anderson & Shaye ScottEdited by Shaye Scott Special Effects: Nathan Christofferson Production Assistants: Kyle Fisher & Jeremy Crawford Drone pilot: Paul Anderson, Shaye Scott Piano Stunt Coordinator: Jeremy Crawford