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Famous copywriter, John Caples, wrote this ad that was considered the very best of its time and is still a classic.
They Laughed When I Sat Down At the Piano But When I Started to Play! --
"Can he really play?" a girl whispered. "Heavens no!" Arthur exclaimed.
"He never played a note in his life."
Arthur had just played "The Rosary." The room rang with applause. I
this would be a dramatic moment for me to make my debut. To the amazement
my friends, I strode confidently over to the piano and sat down.
"Jack is up to his old tricks," somebody chuckled. The crowd laughed. They
all certain that I couldn't play a single note.
"Can he really play?" I heard a girl whisper to Arthur.
"Heavens, no!" Arthur exclaimed "He never played a note in all his life...
just you watch him. This is going to be good."
I decided to make the most of the situation. With mock dignity I drew out
silk handkerchief and lightly dusted off the piano keys. Then I rose and
the revolving piano stool a quarter of a turn, just as I had seen an
of Paderewski do in a vaudeville sketch.
"What do you think of his execution?" called a voice from the rear.
"We're in favor of it!" came back the answer, and the crowd rocked with
Then I Started to Play
Instantly a tense silence fell on the guests. The laughter died on their
as if by magic. I played through the first few bars of Beethoven's
Moonlight Sonata. I heard gasps of amazement. My friends sat breathless --
I played on and as I played I forgot the people around me. I forgot the
the place, the breathless listeners. The little world I lived in seemed to
fade -- seemed to grow dim -- unreal. Only the music was real. Only the
and visions it brought me. Visions as beautiful and as changing as the
blown clouds and drifting moonlight that long ago inspired the master
It seemed as if the master musician himself were speaking to me --
through the medium of music -- not in words but in chords. Not in
but in exquisite melodies!
A Complete Triumph!
As the last notes of the Moonlight Sonata died away, the room resounded
sudden roar of applause. I found myself surrounded by excited faces. How
friends carried on! Men shook my hand -- wildly congratulated me --
on the back in their enthusiasm! Everybody was exclaiming with delight --
me with rapid questions... "Jack! Why didn't you tell us you could play
that?"... "Where did you learn?" -- "How long have you studied?" -- "Who
"I have never even seen my teacher," I replied. "And just a short while
couldn't play a note."
"Quit your kidding," laughed Arthur, himself an accomplished pianist.
been studying for years. I can tell."
"I have been studying only a short while," I insisted. "I decided to keep
secret so that I could surprise all you folks."
Then I told them the whole story.
"Have you ever heard of the U.S. School of Music?" I asked.
A few of my friends nodded. "That's a correspondence school, isn't it?"
"Exactly," I replied. "They have a new simplified method that can teach
play any instrument by mail in just a few months."
How I Learned to Play Without a Teacher
And then I explained how for years I had longed to play the piano.
"A few months ago," I continued, "I saw an interesting ad for the U.S.
of Music -- a new method of learning to play which only cost a few cents a
The ad told how a woman had mastered the piano in her spare time at home
without a teacher! Best of all, the wonderful new method she used,
laborious scales -- no heartless exercises -- no tiresome practising. It
so convincing that I filled out the coupon requesting the Free
"The free book arrived promptly and I started in that very night to study
Demonstration Lesson. I was amazed to see how easy it was to play this
Then I sent for the course.
"When the course arrived I found it was just as the ad said -- as easy as
A.B.C.! And, as the lessons continued they got easier and easier. Before I
it I was playing all the pieces I liked best. Nothing stopped me. I could
ballads or classical numbers or jazz, all with equal ease! And I never did
have any special talent for music!"
Play Any Instrument
You too, can now teach yourself to be an accomplished musician -- right at
home -- in half the usual time. You can't go wrong with this simple new
method which has already shown 350,000 people how to play their favorite
instruments. Forget the old-fashioned idea that you need special
"talent." Just read the list of instruments in the panel, decide which
one you want to play and the U.S. School will do the rest. And bear in mind
no matter which instrument you choose, the cost in each case will be the
same -- just a few cents a day. No matter whether you are a mere beginner
or already a good performer, you will be interested in learning about
this new and wonderful method.
Send for Our Free Booklet and Demonstration Lesson
Thousands of successful students never dreamed they possessed musical
until it was revealed to them by a remarkable "Musical Ability Test" which
send entirely without cost with our interesting free booklet.
If you are in earnest about wanting to play your favorite instrument -- if
really want to gain happiness and increase your popularity -- send at once
for the free booklet and Demonstration Lesson. No cost -- no obligation.
Right now we are making a Special offer for a limited number of new
students. Sign and send the convenient coupon now -- before it's too late
to gain the benefits of this offer. Instruments supplied when needed, cash
or credit. U.S. School of Music, 1031 Brunswick Bldg., New York City.
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