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#1217946 - 06/16/09 07:28 AM End piano lessons!
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Hi guys,

I have played all my life which is aprox. 30 years. Although well versed in the rudiments and theories of music, I have not had a teacher except for the past year and a half. We have mastered quite a few classical pieces by various composers including Chopin, Bach, Mozart, and Handel.

One of my reasons for taking lessons was to improve my reading skills and to eliminate the fear of learning difficult pieces. At this point, my teacher is moreso a coach and is really not teaching me anything new, except pointing out minor flaws which I can pretty much spot after spending enough time with the piece.

I have spent a lot of money and want to take it on my own from here. Mastering a piece for me now depends merely on putting in the necessary practice time. What do you think?
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

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#1217964 - 06/16/09 08:17 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: ClassicalMan]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Hi ClassicalMan,
So far you've told us two goals you've had: improve reading and eliminate fear of learning difficult pieces. Sounds like you've reached your goals.

It is nice to be in lessons and have a coach. But it's a question of whether it is worth your money. It's not about practice time because you'll be practicing anyway. Without new goals to reach, it sounds like you're finished with lessons.

You may want to discuss this with your teacher and see what goals your teacher would suggest. Or perhaps see what options are available for occasionally checking in with your teacher...having a lesson at your teacher's convenience when you feel it would be helpful.

I can sympathize. It's not easy to decide when you're going to consider yourself to be finished with lessons.

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#1217965 - 06/16/09 08:17 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: ClassicalMan]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I think you most likely have a poor technique and your teacher is not picking up on the fact.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1217973 - 06/16/09 08:31 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
I think you most likely have a poor technique and your teacher is not picking up on the fact.

I'm curious how you reached that conclusion. Could you elaborate?

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1218000 - 06/16/09 09:31 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
Sounds to me like you need a break from lessons for awhile. Why not explain this to your teacher/coach--he or she will probably understand and relate (I know I would!). Framing this situation as a "break" instead of "quitting" keeps the door open to working with this teacher again sometime in the future, or at least being able to make pleasant conversation if you happen to run into them at a music store or concert someday!

Just my 2¢ worth...
_________________________
Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir

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#1218013 - 06/16/09 09:45 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
SV, not to be argumentative, but the odds are 1000 to 1 that a student with only 1.5 years of formal training, but self-teaching for 30 years, has technique problems of major magnitude. Even teachers, returning to lessons after years of teaching, discover that they've picked up bad habits which need correction. Which is why teachers are encouraged to continue lessons periodically.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1218029 - 06/16/09 10:38 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Thanks John, must be the way I tell 'em.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1218058 - 06/16/09 11:37 AM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I never realized that such a foregone conclusion can be made without hesitation based on circumstance rather than evidence. Personally, I wouldn't be at all pleased to be judged as having "poor technique" by someone who hasn't heard or seen me play; there are certainly less harsh ways of conveying such an assumption even if it's true.

John, I appreciate your explanation even though I think that your thousand-to-one odds are hypothetical and hyperbolic. kbk, IMO your smugness doesn't help the OP at all.

I wonder why the OP's teacher is "not picking up on" technique problems of a major magnitude, never mind apparently not working to rectify them either. Do you reckon it's apathy? Ignorance? Incompetence? If it's truly a case of blind leading the blind, I wonder how prevalent a situation that is music education.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#1218094 - 06/16/09 12:55 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: Ann in Kentucky]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Hi ClassicalMan,
So far you've told us two goals you've had: improve reading and eliminate fear of learning difficult pieces. Sounds like you've reached your goals.

It is nice to be in lessons and have a coach. But it's a question of whether it is worth your money. It's not about practice time because you'll be practicing anyway. Without new goals to reach, it sounds like you're finished with lessons.

You may want to discuss this with your teacher and see what goals your teacher would suggest. Or perhaps see what options are available for occasionally checking in with your teacher...having a lesson at your teacher's convenience when you feel it would be helpful.

I can sympathize. It's not easy to decide when you're going to consider yourself to be finished with lessons.


Thank you Ann, sounds like a wise perspective. I'm thinking of maybe dropping in when I need him to play a piece. He charges $75 an hour. However, the boss empathized and they charge me $50/hr once per week. He can play most advanced pieces at first sight without having seen or playing them before! The guy plays Chopin's fantasia (sp) from memory (He's only 24 yrs old). So Ithink it's worth keeping him as somewhat of a consultant. Maybe I'll offer him $25 (for half hour) once a month if needed. I use to pick up a piece and "cry" just from looking at. Now I realize if I sit down, analyze the piece and practice bit by bit daily, hands seperate, pay attention to timing, etc., what appears as a mountain within weeks isn't much of a challenge.
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

Top
#1218096 - 06/16/09 12:56 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I wanted to play the Chopin Concert Rondo op. 14 more
than anything else. I asked around, and the response
I got was contemptuous: an inept amateur like myself
doesn't even think about playing impossibly difficult
stuff like that. So eventually I simply started to
play it, note by note, one bar a day, initially,
and after many yrs. of brutal repetitive toil I
can play it at about 3/4 speed, and getting it perfected
now looks tantalizingly with the realm of possibility.

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#1218097 - 06/16/09 12:57 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
I think you most likely have a poor technique and your teacher is not picking up on the fact.

I'm curious how you reached that conclusion. Could you elaborate?

Steven


Thank you sotto, this is not the first time you came to my rescue. Like the real world, there are some really negative folk around!
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

Top
#1218098 - 06/16/09 12:59 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: lalakeys]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: lalakeys
Sounds to me like you need a break from lessons for awhile. Why not explain this to your teacher/coach--he or she will probably understand and relate (I know I would!). Framing this situation as a "break" instead of "quitting" keeps the door open to working with this teacher again sometime in the future, or at least being able to make pleasant conversation if you happen to run into them at a music store or concert someday!

Just my 2¢ worth...


This too sounds like a viable option!
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

Top
#1218104 - 06/16/09 01:12 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: ClassicalMan]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11756
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
We cannot learn everything we need to know from one person. It sounds as though it might be a good time to take a little break with this teacher, but keep your eyes out for another one. Just because this teacher may not have things that they can point out to you, doesn't mean that there aren't things to be learned. One discovery I've made in my musical pursuits is that the more you know, the more you realize you don't know, which means there's always something new right around the corner!

Finding a teacher that can take you to that next level (assuming you want to go there) is key.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1218110 - 06/16/09 01:31 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: ClassicalMan]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: ClassicalMan
Like the real world, there are some really negative folk around!
Pay me $75 an hour and I'm sure I could be just as positive!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1218130 - 06/16/09 02:05 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: ClassicalMan
Like the real world, there are some really negative folk around!
Pay me $75 an hour and I'm sure I could be just as positive!

That's an exceedingly sad statement of ethical principles on multiple levels.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#1218131 - 06/16/09 02:09 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
ClassicalMan ... of course you should take it on your own. A good teacher's job should be to get you to learn on your own. Unless of course, they want to drain you of your money.
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1218133 - 06/16/09 02:13 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: ClassicalMan
Like the real world, there are some really negative folk around!
Pay me $75 an hour and I'm sure I could be just as positive!

That's an exceedingly sad statement of ethical principles on multiple levels.

Steven


What do you expect for nothing?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1218137 - 06/16/09 02:28 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: ClassicalMan
Like the real world, there are some really negative folk around!
Pay me $75 an hour and I'm sure I could be just as positive!

That's an exceedingly sad statement of ethical principles on multiple levels.

Steven
What do you expect for nothing?

The OP didn't come here for an assessment of his technique, but you went out of your way to offer a negative one. Apparently, then, negativity is the default and can be provided gratis, while being positive is for profit.

That's sad—and if by "positive" you meant passive flattery of the sort you and John seem to believe the OP's present teacher is supplying rather than constructive or corrective steps, it's sadder still.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#1218149 - 06/16/09 03:01 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
How about I cry all the way to the bank?
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1218156 - 06/16/09 03:15 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
How about I cry all the way to the bank?

Are you off your meds today?
_________________________
Play New Age Piano
http://www.quiescencemusic.com

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#1218165 - 06/16/09 03:37 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: eweiss]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Just trying to get my daily laugh.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#1218166 - 06/16/09 03:37 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: eweiss]
GreenRain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/08
Posts: 888
Loc: Somewhere in Europe
Steven, further replys are pointless, since it's obvious that kbk deals with his daily problems by "arguing" with other members on this board. When he runs out of "arguments", he stops replying or writes something childish like in his upper posts. It has happen a million times before.

While we can't deny that kbk knows a great deal about piano, and that he offered good advices to many members, including myself, it's also the truth that he needs help, because he can't deal with problems.

No offense.


Edited by GreenRain (06/16/09 04:45 PM)

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#1218167 - 06/16/09 03:38 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
GreenRain Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/08
Posts: 888
Loc: Somewhere in Europe
Laughter is a good therapy, but you need a doctor.

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#1218168 - 06/16/09 03:39 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: GreenRain]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: GreenRain

No offense.
None taken! Maybe you're right - it's a cry for help! (strange place to do it in)
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1218182 - 06/16/09 04:14 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: keyboardklutz]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4783
Loc: South Florida
I'm sure I will be ignored, but my take: this is a typical forum discussion with an incredible amount of assuming and very little information.

With what I've read here I know nothing about ClassicalMan's weaknesses or strengths, and I have no way to judge the effectiveness of his teacher.

I see a lot of generalizing and projection—and posturing.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1218210 - 06/16/09 04:54 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: Gary D.]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I'm sure I will be ignored, but my take: this is a typical forum discussion with an incredible amount of assuming and very little information.

With what I've read here I know nothing about ClassicalMan's weaknesses or strengths, and I have no way to judge the effectiveness of his teacher.

I see a lot of generalizing and projection—and posturing.


Your post is not to be ignored at all, Gary. Classical man, in response to your original post: I think I can relate a bit to what you are asking us: "what do you think" of dropping lessons and going it alone. I believe this to be a gut feeling thing that we each answer accurately for ourselves. I have not taken regularly scheduled lessons for many years and actually teach beginners to play. I can learn new material on my own. When road blocks come up, I take an occasional lesson for support from a master teacher. It's a personal thing.


Edited by Barb860 (06/16/09 04:56 PM)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1218227 - 06/16/09 05:20 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: sotto voce]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7348
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
I never realized that such a foregone conclusion can be made without hesitation based on circumstance rather than evidence. Personally, I wouldn't be at all pleased to be judged as having "poor technique" by someone who hasn't heard or seen me play; there are certainly less harsh ways of conveying such an assumption even if it's true.

John, I appreciate your explanation even though I think that your thousand-to-one odds are hypothetical and hyperbolic. kbk, IMO your smugness doesn't help the OP at all.

I wonder why the OP's teacher is "not picking up on" technique problems of a major magnitude, never mind apparently not working to rectify them either. Do you reckon it's apathy? Ignorance? Incompetence? If it's truly a case of blind leading the blind, I wonder how prevalent a situation that is music education.

Steven


I stand corrected. I was going to say a million to one, but thought that might be interpreted as hyperbole, so said a thousand to one.

Your second point, yes. It's truly a case of blind leading the blind, and I'm guessing it's fairly prevalent. However, to be fair to the teacher, it could be that constructive, but critical comments are not well received, so are not offered.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1218271 - 06/16/09 06:03 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: eweiss]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: eweiss
ClassicalMan ... of course you should take it on your own. A good teacher's job should be to get you to learn on your own. Unless of course, they want to drain you of your money.



Except for sotto voce's reply, this is the best reply I have received on the this thread. That's my goal: to learn on my own! He's gotten me to that point. I can always look up symbols and signs, terms, etc. I have forgotten in a reference book or even right here on the net. Short of that I can listen to recordings of the piece on youtube or purchase .99 mp3 recordings. I think I'll say my teacher, I need a little break right now and I'll be in touch. If he says, well I'm only available for regular lessons then, its bye bye!
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

Top
#1218272 - 06/16/09 06:04 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: GreenRain]
ClassicalMan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/05
Posts: 165
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: GreenRain
Steven, further replys are pointless, since it's obvious that kbk deals with his daily problems by "arguing" with other members on this board. When he runs out of "arguments", he stops replying or writes something childish like in his upper posts. It has happen a million times before.

While we can't deny that kbk knows a great deal about piano, and that he offered good advices to many members, including myself, it's also the truth that he needs help, because he can't deal with problems.

No offense.


So true!
_________________________
The thought of eternal efflorescence of music is a comforting one, and comes like a messenger of peace in the midst of universal disturbance--Roman Rolland, Musicians of Former Days

Vast untapped resources lie within.

Top
#1218277 - 06/16/09 06:14 PM Re: End piano lessons! [Re: John v.d.Brook]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
SV, not to be argumentative, but the odds are 1000 to 1 that a student with only 1.5 years of formal training, but self-teaching for 30 years, has technique problems of major magnitude.

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I stand corrected. I was going to say a million to one, but thought that might be interpreted as hyperbole, so said a thousand to one.

Your second point, yes. It's truly a case of blind leading the blind, and I'm guessing it's fairly prevalent. However, to be fair to the teacher, it could be that constructive, but critical comments are not well received, so are not offered.

Clearly there's a business model here that transcends what would otherwise appear to be mere arrogance: teachers have an obvious financial incentive to promote and perpetuate the idea that self-teaching is bad.

Given that lazy or incompetent teachers are admittedly "fairly prevalent," I wonder what the odds are that students who've had years of instruction from such teachers will also have "technique problems of major magnitude."

Even if studying with a teacher were always unequivocally beneficial, pulling patently absurd statistics out of thin air (like, for instance, there's a million-to-one chance of a self-learner learning correctly) creates suspicion, not credibility. kbk's rude remark about "crying all the way to the bank" confirms that teachers' and students' interests here aren't necessarily congruent.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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