The Orpheus Institute research project PEYOTL is the result of a collaboration between pianist-researcher Luk Vaes and composer-teacher Hans Cafmeyer, who worked together to create new repertoire introducing young pianists to extended techniques, and doing so with a pedagogical rationale. The techniques include cluster-playing, prepared piano, playing directly on the strings or other non-keyboard parts of the instrument, using objects, etc. Special care is taken to allow for the integration into the general pedagogical process, to incorporate the learning process of proactive listening to sounds, and to accommodate the multitude of piano models and their inside lay-out.
While improper piano playing is virtually as old as the instrument, the pedagogical applications show how much of a taboo this type of approaching the instrument still is. Especially the pre-conservatory teaching suffers from a limited repertoire: pieces are often really for professional pianists but made technically 'simple', or they rely on graphical notation that sparks only a specific kind of interpretation and learning curve, and often neglect the aesthetic interests of children.
Video-taped performances are available on Hans Cafmeyer's youtube channel, new materials (including volumes 2 and 3) will be announced on the project's Facebook page, more information on extended piano techniques based on Luk Vaes' doctoral research can be found here.