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#2022561 - 01/28/13 01:48 AM Being forced to play piano.
Debbusyist Offline
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Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Well, this isn't about me (<3 piano for life) but regards my youunger sister. My parents believe that my sister should also play piano (or at least know how to) as it builds character in the form of patience and diligence (according to them). However...my lil sis absolutely hates playing piano. She finds the entire process of having to learn all the notes, get dynamics right, get touching and phrasing right, etc. a hard and boring routine. She simply hates piano (and is slightly annoyed at me for wanting to play piano of my own accord. :\).
So do you think she should continue? She's been pianoing for 4 years, always angry at the piano and always happy when she gets an A in her exams. I don't know what to do or how to help.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

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#2022577 - 01/28/13 02:14 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
personne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/12
Posts: 123
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I have an acquaintance who was forced to play piano by her parents.
She says she closed the piano lid and never opened it again as soon as she completed all exams - and years later has absolutely no passion for it.
So I guess someone can be forced to learn piano, but cannot be forced to play it smile
_________________________
Playing on Roland HP-507RW

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#2022580 - 01/28/13 02:25 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1317
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
I'm not sure why you would be involved in this issue. Isn't this something between your sister and your parents? And realistically, isn't this something between your sister and just one parent? (Is your sister 8yo, or 18yo, or 28yo?)

In any case, it might be a good idea, if she continues, that she has a different teacher than her brother has, to avoid some of these dramas.

Do your parents play any instruments themselves, or sing?



Edited by Peter K. Mose (01/28/13 02:28 AM)

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#2022581 - 01/28/13 02:25 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: personne]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: personne
I have an acquaintance who was forced to play piano by her parents.
She says she closed the piano lid and never opened it again as soon as she completed all exams - and years later has absolutely no passion for it.
So I guess someone can be forced to learn piano, but cannot be forced to play it smile


OH dear. I think that's what will happen to my sister. Did she ever complain about it?
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2022582 - 01/28/13 02:25 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
No, she shouldn't carry on... Absolutely not!

I was kinda forced into piano lessons since I couldn't find the right teacher (I've changed half a dozen teachers over my studies of piano), but I never stopped caring for the piano and music itself, so it's hugely different!
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http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2022588 - 01/28/13 02:34 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Nikolas]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
No, she shouldn't carry on... Absolutely not!

I was kinda forced into piano lessons since I couldn't find the right teacher (I've changed half a dozen teachers over my studies of piano), but I never stopped caring for the piano and music itself, so it's hugely different!


But...how would you convince the parents? frown
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2022590 - 01/28/13 02:41 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose


Well, I'm involved as sometimes I'm asked to help my lil sis by my parents. :\ however these sessions don't go well as she never listens to me and the rare times when she does listen, she actually improves quite a lot.
Both parents are trying to help and encourage her to learn, as they never got the chance to learn (:\ typical asian parents. Always wanting their children to do what they wanted to but never got to do. Me and my family are asian btw, so no racial offense intended.) My sister is 9yo and does have a different teacher (the teacher is one of my past teachers).


Edited by Debbusyist (01/28/13 02:42 AM)
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

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#2022592 - 01/28/13 02:46 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Debbusyist
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
No, she shouldn't carry on... Absolutely not!

I was kinda forced into piano lessons since I couldn't find the right teacher (I've changed half a dozen teachers over my studies of piano), but I never stopped caring for the piano and music itself, so it's hugely different!


But...how would you convince the parents? frown
I really don't know... I'm a professional musician, yet I've never put pressure to my kids to play the piano, or study music. The old one just does and is having great fun... :-/

Though, I think that some study subjects are not the same as others... Give them an example: Tell them that fox hunting (!!!!) is a great sport, since it combines being on a horse, sporting and regulating the fox population, being agile, being good with guns, having plenty of dogs... It's brilliant actually, since you probably will be spending time with Prince Harry in the UK! grin.

No, really, though, point is that if they think that piano/music is good for her, despite her complains, offer them other ideas, to show that even if THEY think is good for their kids, it doesn't necessarily mean it's good for her.

and remember, we're not talking about math, or spelling/dictation/social studies... We're talking about something that could be a hobby for lots of people, etc...
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2022595 - 01/28/13 02:55 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Nikolas]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Originally Posted By: Debbusyist
Originally Posted By: Nikolas



haha, fox hunting indeed. laugh

I think that's where parents who don't play instruments go wrong - they see music as maths, english, science, etc.

Should I ask my piano teacher what to do? (of course, I'd be asking it as though I didn't have much connections. Or should I just not be involved? 'shrug' I love my sister though.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2022601 - 01/28/13 03:07 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
Wait... you never got back to us about this: How old is your sister? I mean I'm guessing that when she reaches the age of 13+ (15?!??!) she will have her way no matter what. I mean up to a certain age, parents tend to disregard the kids wishes, but every month/year the kids earn their ground...
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#2022603 - 01/28/13 03:15 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
What an cruel indictment ... “my lil sis absolutely hates playing piano”
and the goodly parents make the poor child grind away at lessons for 4 years!! ...
“as it builds character in the form of patience and diligence”... what utter rot! ...
a guarantee for the child hating the piano for life!
As Piano Teacher, I can’t think of a worse torture than being forced to take lessons ... perhaps the Spanish Inquisition conspired more murderous torments for body and soul.

My heartfelt recommendation is to persuade the old folks to free the shackles on baby sister ... and let her expand her personal talents in the Wonder-World out there. Unlike yourself Debussyist, she is not cut out to play the piano and will probably later qualify as an astrophysicist or win the Nobel prize for literature ... who knows?

But talking of your own bread-and-butter list of keyboard studies ... I’ve made a few comments ... sadly not at all encouraging ... what gives me the jimjams
is how any Piano Teacher can present such a dull list (except for the Chopin 15/2)

Bach Prelude and Fugue in G minor (BkI)
As mournful as the preceding piece is gay.
Beethoven Opus 2, no. 1
LB in his infancy ... a dull work dedicated to his mentor Haydn ...
the great man has not as yet thrown off the shackles of Haydn and Mozart ...
only by Opus 13 does Beethoven show his true masterly colours.

Debussy Prelude 1 from Book II Brouillards
Doesn’t get a mention in my reference book ... the puzzle is how could you miss out
on the master piece La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair)

Messiaen Regards no. 2
I’m not big on Messiaen ... so will duck any comment (see later)
Chopin Nocturne in F# major Opus 15/2
This is a simplistic lyrical Larghetto work by Chopin which every aspiring young pianist gets under the belt ... the opening single-note outline and first introduction to block
chords provide a delightful slow-moving dip at the magic of Chopin.

Postscript
Subsequently listening to a slim Asian girl play Messiaen’s
Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jesus No. 2 ... the piece
clearly searches the sonority of the Grand Piano in typical
Catholic faith Messiaen jagged jumps ... a bit harsh for my ears ... but my main concern, giving top marks to the spectacled pianist, under close scrutiny of grey-haired Asian judges, was please give a thought to fattening up the skinny young pianist.







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#2022606 - 01/28/13 03:30 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Nikolas]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: Nikolas


She's 9 as of october. However, she's already getting quite an attitude.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2022616 - 01/28/13 03:59 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: btb]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: btb


Thank you for the critique on my Amus pieces, but I don't really have much choice in the pieces (AMEB syllabus dictates what I can and can't play for Amus. >< However, I could play some of the harder pieces in the list, but 3rd time trying amus, I have to pass. :< Personal enjoyment of the pieces will come soon. ) What do you think of Brahms Ballade 3 op10? I forgot to change my sig.

------------------------------------------------------------
Back to the issue. Have you ever had a student grind past the bottleneck (place where things start getting hard)? Generally after that bottle neck, things get a lot easier. When I was my sister's age I didn't really like piano either (albeit I endured practice with more patience), but I'm hoping that she'll be able to get past this 'bottleneck'.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2022671 - 01/28/13 07:51 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11440
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Does she have any interest in studying a different instrument? I agree it's not for you to get involved in, but since your parents are putting you in the middle, you might as well offer them your "professional" opinion as the pianist of the household. If she has an interest in another instrument, perhaps she will agree to study that for at least X number of years. Benefits that you get from piano playing you can also get from studying other instruments, and if she doesn't love it then it's actually torture to make her do it.

I presume her teacher has tried to help her by finding music that she loves and trying to play that on the piano? If not, perhaps your sister can talk to her piano teacher about how she feels and ask if there's something she can do to make it more interesting to her.

The point is, not everyone is going to love piano (I know, it seems really odd to me) and no matter what you can't make someone love something, or even like it. Just because you're good at it doesn't mean anything. Personally, I would say let her quit piano and see if she ever returns to it. It is possible it's hard for her to like it because she's forced into doing it and when she finally has freedom to choose, she may return to it. Or perhaps she really does hate it and will never go back.


Edited by Morodiene (01/28/13 07:53 AM)
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#2022696 - 01/28/13 08:37 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
I've heard of so many such parents. It's not easy for them to change their mind because they are not willing to be open-minded. Maybe you could talk with them about letting your sister pick a different instrument, or maybe even pick a different (non-music) activity which she will promise to do seriously. Maybe buy your parents a book or two about how to bring up musical kids, which should usually have sections about not forcing the child, building interest, choosing the right instrument, etc. But I don't understand this piano playing builds patience and diligence idea. I think the study of any subject, if one wants to do well, builds patience and diligence.

But I'm not optimistic about you being able to change your parents mind, to be honest. Another thing to try is to support your sister, try to help her make the practice fun, pace it so that the practice is more tolerable. Maybe talk to the teacher (if the teacher is not of the same mentality as your parents) and see if the teacher can help your parents see how meaningless it is to force art on someone.

I understand the stubbornness of parents who force music lessons on their kids and I truly think that most of them have the best intentions for the kids. But it's too bad that their lack of music education themselves makes it very hard for them to accept other, less traumatic approaches.

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#2022724 - 01/28/13 09:39 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1317
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
If you want to meddle/intercede, suggest to your folks that it is now time for your sister to move to another instrument, one of her own choosing. She has had 4 years of solid grounding in piano, and that's a lot. Tell them she needs to get out of your large shadow as a pianist, that this is hurting her psychologically.

Ask your parents to please recall each of their own sibling rivalries of childhood.

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#2022730 - 01/28/13 09:54 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Forstergirl Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 57
Loc: Ontario
Perhaps she would like to sing?

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#2022851 - 01/28/13 01:42 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Morodiene]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5422
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
The point is, not everyone is going to love piano (I know, it seems really odd to me) and no matter what you can't make someone love something, or even like it.

Some parents, driven by their own childhood deprivation of piano lessons, might be too tunnel-visioned to comprehend the points you've made.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2022895 - 01/28/13 02:57 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2846
Loc: UK.
Is she any good at it?

What sort of things is she playing?
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2022948 - 01/28/13 04:19 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Chris H.]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3166
Loc: Virginia, USA
I told my kids they had to do two years of music, any kind of music, that it was a mandatory skill just like math or reading.

The older one made it through one year of piano lessons then bargained to drop piano and join the track team. The younger one made it through one year of band, then made a deal to drop band for chorus, and then the school cancelled chorus after her schedule was fixed.

The kids were smarter than Daddy, which isn't hard.

Although, I still think I was right. <g>

Years later the older one started subbing in a handbell choir - doesn't have to her notes, still reads music and counts better than the experienced ringers. The younger one now has performed in musicals, writes her own songs, and plays ukulele. Enough of that one year stuck to make a difference.
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gotta go practice

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#2022953 - 01/28/13 04:28 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11579
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR
I told my kids they had to do two years of music, any kind of music, that it was a mandatory skill just like math or reading.

The older one made it through one year of piano lessons then bargained to drop piano and join the track team. The younger one made it through one year of band, then made a deal to drop band for chorus, and then the school cancelled chorus after her schedule was fixed.

The kids were smarter than Daddy, which isn't hard.

Although, I still think I was right. <g>

Years later the older one started subbing in a handbell choir - doesn't have to her notes, still reads music and counts better than the experienced ringers. The younger one now has performed in musicals, writes her own songs, and plays ukulele. Enough of that one year stuck to make a difference.

You cannot know whether such choices created the outcome, or if outcomes happen despite choices.

One of my kids started an instrument, then asked to wait until later, so we did. He started again two years later, got top marks in music at a special high school, and then entered music in university. So you forced your kids for two years. I gave my kids total freedom. Does it prove anything?

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#2022961 - 01/28/13 04:47 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3166
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR
I told my kids they had to do two years of music, any kind of music, that it was a mandatory skill just like math or reading.

The older one made it through one year of piano lessons then bargained to drop piano and join the track team. The younger one made it through one year of band, then made a deal to drop band for chorus, and then the school cancelled chorus after her schedule was fixed.

The kids were smarter than Daddy, which isn't hard.

Although, I still think I was right. <g>

Years later the older one started subbing in a handbell choir - doesn't have to her notes, still reads music and counts better than the experienced ringers. The younger one now has performed in musicals, writes her own songs, and plays ukulele. Enough of that one year stuck to make a difference.

So you forced your kids for two years. I gave my kids total freedom. Does it prove anything?


I attempted to force my kids, it didn't work. Hee, hee.

However, music is so difficult to pick up late in life, if given no early exposure, that I still think it made sense to treat it as just another academic subject. But not to make them work it forever.

Did you give your kids total freedom when it came to math?
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2022962 - 01/28/13 04:49 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11579
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR


Did you give your kids total freedom when it came to math?

We homeschooled. laugh
They both knew that people use math. in life, and they wanted to learn math. Young children emulate adults. Their morning subjects revolved around the three R's and this was mandatory, but there was a lot of freedom within that. When they entered high school they did more than what they were asked, and were able to weigh their decisions because they were used to make decisions. This also had positive results in adulthood.

Since you asked. smile

There are no "superior choices".


Edited by keystring (01/28/13 06:01 PM)

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#2022971 - 01/28/13 04:59 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: TimR]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 422
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: TimR
The younger one now has performed in musicals, writes her own songs, and plays ukulele. Enough of that one year stuck to make a difference.


What year is it? Year 7?

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#2022973 - 01/28/13 05:01 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: TimR]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
Originally Posted By: TimR


Did you give your kids total freedom when it came to math?


I always assumed that all public schools have to offer music as part of the curriculum. At least in the schools that my kids go to, musical instrument is required for two years. So there you go. Parents don't need to force private lessons on kids, and parents don't need to give kids total freedom on math in order to justify giving kids total freedom on private music lessons.

It's really, really difficult to determine the causality of parenting decisions and the kids' outcome.

I love music, and fortunately my kids love music. So there is no conflict. But I have always been ready to let my kids quit lessons if they want to. There really are lots of worthwhile activities for kids.

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#2022978 - 01/28/13 05:03 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 471
I wouldn't force my daughter but...
a just turned 9 year old with a bratty attitude who has played since she was 4ish who gets good results on exams and is proud of her "grades" but appears to have no pride in her efforts, is a little too immature to decide she doesn't want to take piano.

As her big sib, it might be better to tell her to suck it up, try to get pleasure out of it (play popular music as well), and enjoy her progress and the process and appreciate the expense mom and dad are taking on to maintain an instrument and afford a teacher.

Bad attitudes and whining don't work for me. Those are character issues and yes, piano and guidance from mom and dad and older siblings might help!

(I am just a mom, not a teacher fwiw)

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#2022987 - 01/28/13 05:23 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: MaggieGirl]
Chris H. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2846
Loc: UK.
MaggieGirl, that's exactly what I was thinking.

A 9 year old really isn't mature enough to make the decision about what they should or shouldn't study.

I also think there is a world of difference between a 9 year old who has played for years, got nowhere and shows no interest or aptitude and one who is talented and plays to a reasonable standard but doesn't like it because the parents turn it into a battle.

It's not enough to tell children they must study piano because it will be good for them academically. The best way to help them is to show an interest, support and encourage them. If they think that music is important and enjoyable to you then it's more likely to work for them. And even then some will still dig their heels in. Then it's up to the adults to decide if it's all worth it.

I would suggest the parents have this conversation with the teacher.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2022990 - 01/28/13 05:31 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: MaggieGirl]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11579
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl

a just turned 9 year old with a bratty attitude

Do you know this child?

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#2022991 - 01/28/13 05:33 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: keystring]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 422
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl

a just turned 9 year old with a bratty attitude

Do you know this child?


From the OP:

Originally Posted By: Debbusyist

She's 9 as of october. However, she's already getting quite an attitude.

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#2022995 - 01/28/13 05:36 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11579
Loc: Canada
An older brother is talking about his little sister. None of us knows this child.

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