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#2104926 - 06/19/13 03:20 PM Summer??
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
What is your summer policy?
Flexible--students can take lesson as their wishes and only pay for what they attend
Strict--students have to pay for all weeks of lessons and schedule make up lessons if they miss it
Moderate--let's say students missed total of 6 lessons during summer, they are obligated to pay for 3 lessons and schedule for make up lessons when they come back. They will just skip for another 3 lessons
Others: Please share!

What is your view for America's extended summer no schools for 2+ months?
Good--Students will break away from regular schedule to explore new things freely that they do not have chances during school year
Bad--Students will break away from regular schedule and being too wild and unable to come back to regular schedule when school starts
Others: Please share!

Thanks!!
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
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#2104931 - 06/19/13 03:33 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 470
Daughter's music lessons have no changes over summer. Some families leave and come back in the fall (no guarantees of their schedule).

What is your view for America's extended summer no schools for 2+ months?

I wish it was a solid 3 months off. I'd also like school to be an hour shorter each day. My daughter's biggest cognitive jumps have been over the summer. She is able to read what she wants to read (no pointless AR tests!), discover what she wants to discover, try different arts, crafts, and entertain herself (imaginative play, writing, time to think). It's fun - I come home and she has made a city out of cardboard and paint or brown paper bags. She taught herself how to knit. It's just a very nice relaxing time for her. There is camping, hiking, swimming, gardening and ice cream trucks to chase. She can look for specimens under her microscope and just be herself. In the evenings we have dinner, go for walks, hang out with friends. There is no frantic pace of dinner, homework, shower, bed.

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#2104947 - 06/19/13 04:27 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
catpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/12
Posts: 55
Very flexible. I tell students and parents that I will be available for regular teaching hours all summer (minus a couple vacations), but I understand if they choose to take time off. I only have 1 student who's taking the whole summer off. I have one who's taking July off and starting again the first week of August. I have a few who are going away to sleepaway camp but I'll still be teaching their younger siblings while they're away.

I think summer break should be longer than 2 months! Kids need the break. In my experience it doesn't take most kids that long to settle back into the routine of school, maybe a week at most.

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#2104951 - 06/19/13 04:36 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1313
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
What is your summer policy?
Strict



I strictly enforce that students avoid me in July, August, and September. If we encounter each other by chance on the street, we pretend not to know one another.

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#2104964 - 06/19/13 05:20 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
MaggieGirl Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 470
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
What is your summer policy?
Strict



I strictly enforce that students avoid me in July, August, and September. If we encounter each other by chance on the street, we pretend not to know one another.


LOL!

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#2104967 - 06/19/13 05:26 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Students take 5 or 7 lessons (based on if they have 30 or 45 minutes during the school year) and continue to pay the same rate per month as during the school year. They can schedule their lessons any time I have available (shown on my online summer calendar) and can reschedule with 24 hours notice.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#2104975 - 06/19/13 05:36 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I forgot to answer you 2nd question. I think a holiday is great, 2 months is okay for the kids who's parents can afford enrichment activities for them (camps, seminars, classes) which is why I schedule fewer but longer lessons in the summer.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#2104976 - 06/19/13 05:38 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Stanny:
Your online schedule page for Summer is excellent! A few questions for you:
1. Is this a public page that "everyone" can edit?
2. Do you had experience of parents deleting other kid's name and put their kid's name on the slot that has already taken?
3. Parents need to have google account to edit your document?

I would consider something like yours too if possible.

Thanks

Sue
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
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#2105069 - 06/19/13 09:20 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Brinestone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 350
I'm pretty strict, I guess, but I work with parents more. I tend to do hour-long lessons for students who take a week off to make up for the time. I am letting one family take the whole month of August off because they'll be at their grandparents' for three weeks. But generally, I expect students to either be at their lessons or let me know so we can make other plans. I've tried being super flexible, and I ended up teaching about three lessons a week because lessons would be cancelled on a whim. I can't afford to take the summer off. I tried requiring eight lessons all summer, with lots of advance notice of cancellations, and it was really stressful on the parents. So I just charge my normal monthly rate and make it easy to reschedule.
_________________________
Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC

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#2105077 - 06/19/13 09:39 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: MaggieGirl]
kck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 265
Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl

I wish it was a solid 3 months off. I'd also like school to be an hour shorter each day. My daughter's biggest cognitive jumps have been over the summer.


LOL - this is why we homeschool. My oldest went to school for 2 years. It was a academic high achieving, popular school with nice families and a long waiting list. He didn't learn anything there! More time for music too. smile Both my kids test way beyond grade level. I know that doesn't work for everyone, but it has saved us sanity wise from trying to get square peg kids to fit in a round hole.

On the topic of scheduling summer, we have one teacher who I think is doing it well. In April, the teacher puts out a calendar of the times he will be teaching. He teaches 10 to 12 weeks, not remembering. The minimum number of lessons he requires is 8 (he will make exceptions, but you have to be a beloved advanced student with a unique summer to get around it probably). You can chose to have 2 lessons one week and zero the next. You can chose daytime lessons when that works, and evenings when kids are in day camps. The only thing I wish this teacher would change about summer sign up is giving a window of opportunity for blocking your current lesson time as your first choice for particular weeks.
_________________________
Amateur musician, piano and violin parent

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#2105131 - 06/19/13 11:04 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11403
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
If students want priority scheduling in the fall, they need to take a minimum of 6 lessons in the summer. Most students do more than the minimum. I usually give them a selection of 8-9 weeks I am available to teach, and which days within those weeks; the rest I have off. They pay for all the lessons at one time (I make exceptions in some circumstances).

I like having the change of schedule, and I enjoy seeing my students in a less frazzled state. I also need the summer to do my own musical endeavors, so it really is a good "break" for everyone, but not so much of one that they regress.
_________________________
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2105170 - 06/20/13 01:19 AM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5414
Loc: Orange County, CA
All the more reasons to send kids to piano competitions during the summer!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2105217 - 06/20/13 05:49 AM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1313
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
To answer Ez's second, broader question, and to answer it seriously: I think the American and Canadian custom of roughly ten to twelve weeks off for students each summer is a poor one academically. It seems too long a time away from sequential learning, without sufficient benefit. As a piano teacher, however, I have decided not to fight this, and instead use my summers to do other things and come back refreshed.

There *are* school districts in N. America that are now using different models of shorter vacation periods (4 weeks or so). Good for them, I say. In continental Europe, I believe kids are generally back in school after a summer break that is much shorter than our norm. I'm sure we have PW posters who can fill us in more on such competing models.


Edited by Peter K. Mose (06/20/13 06:10 AM)

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#2105219 - 06/20/13 06:05 AM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5209
Loc: Europe
Peter: In Greece kids get out of school of June the 15th and get back on September the 15th (with a lot of breaks after that)... Of course it's Greece and we need to be honest with ourselves: Too much heat!

I'm trying to get more info on home schooling in Greece, but I get a feeling that it's currently illegal. Once I know more I'll repost.

For me summer is vacation for the kids and composing ( = vacation ) for me! grin
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2105225 - 06/20/13 07:08 AM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5897
Loc: Down Under
Generally in Australia we have 6 weeks off in summer, from just before Christmas until the end of January. There are shorter breaks through the year - where I am there are 2 weeks in autumn, 2 in mid-winter and another 2 in spring. So we probably have the same number of school weeks as you do in the US (about 40) but more evenly spread over the year. I find the 6 weeks break for the Christmas/summer holidays are just long enough to have a real break but not long enough to forget everything you've been doing.

The only time I thought it wasn't long enough was when I was school teaching. laugh
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2105254 - 06/20/13 09:02 AM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
Whether summer vacation is too long in American schools seems to be a major debate these days. I think both camps have a point. For some kids, school is the major place for learning to happen, and for them, summer is indeed way too long. Studies have shown how much these kids forget by the time the new school year starts. For other kids, summer is an important learning time----academic camps, music camps and festivals, work and research experience, etc.---- and for them, summer could be a bit longer. Surveys have shown that middle-class kids actually go back to school in the fall with improved academic performance. In other words, some kids forget what they've learned after a long break; other kids improve a lot academically during summer. Our district has free summer academic schools for kids who are "at risk" (kids enroll by teacher recommendations), as well as music intensives and such for those who want to keep learning in the summer.

We try to send kids to music camps and other camps in the summer. It's nice to have a broader experience.

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#2105317 - 06/20/13 12:01 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: childofparadise2002]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3149
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: childofparadise2002
Surveys have shown that middle-class kids actually go back to school in the fall with improved academic performance.


Yes, and that disadvantaged kids learn at the same rates as the middle class kids during the school year, but backslide as soon as summer comes, getting a little further behind each year.

This shows the importance of learning during the summer, and I think suggests it is time to abandon a school year based on an agricultural economy that no longer exists.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2105366 - 06/20/13 01:51 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 421
Loc: Vancouver BC
I don't think summer means no schools. It only means you need to pay extra for the schools. And since your are paying a la carte, you got to choose and have a sense of freedom.

The freedom, of course is a double edged sword, good for some, and bad for the others.

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#2105367 - 06/20/13 01:57 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Variety is the spice of life as they say!

Summer is variety! Time to do something different. Take a break from the schedules. Get out and play at the lakes, pools, playground, baseball parks, or just sleep in.

I think if more mothers were home, that would improve kids lives, and homes in general!
_________________________
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Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#2105369 - 06/20/13 02:05 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: TimR]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

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


This shows the importance of learning during the summer, and I think suggests it is time to abandon a school year based on an agricultural economy that no longer exists.


It will work for some, not for all... For kids whose schools can provide what they need, yes, more schools. For those whose schools don't quite provide what they need, summer is precious learning time.

I think Mark Twain said this: I never let my schooling interfere with my education.

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#2105370 - 06/20/13 02:07 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 470
My best friend is a single parent. Her child does a summer program offered by a local organization. She sprinkles in half day camps with other programs - this year she gets to go to a robotics camp and a Harry Potter camp in addition to the regular camps day trips the beach and local pools. Some friends are sahm's and they have kids going to these camps too and offered to drop off and pick up.

If you want experiences for your child, you find a way to make it happen - even on a limited income (my mother was a big fan of summer library programs and free community concerts).

I'm a working parent - I've had the "gift" of an unemployed spouse. It has created many struggles, but it allows our daughter to have a great childhood summer.

I don't think longer school years are the answer.

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#2105373 - 06/20/13 02:08 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: Diane...]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
Originally Posted By: Diane...


I think if more mothers were home, that would improve kids lives, and homes in general!


Or fathers. In America, mothers are the primary breadwinners in 40% of the families (according to census bureau data). The society has turned the corner.

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#2105376 - 06/20/13 02:24 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
KurtZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 849
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
In some houses there is a culture of education. When they were in the Elementary grades, both of my kids did Bridge activity books over the summer and were expected to read a (real) book a week. These books took a half to three-qarters of an hour--not very onerous if you ask me. Reading time was credited one-to-one for what our family calls "screen-time"--any time in front of a screen be it computer, TV or video games. After 4th grade they both also learned to type during the summer using software on the computer. NONE of these were expensive and have nothing to do with advantaged or disadvantaged.

The piano teacher takes two weeks off and offers classes the other weeks on a pay as you go basis. Unfortunately for us, going all summer accrued no benefit when it came to fall scheduling. It's one of the few things that I didn't like about her studio. We would have perfect attendance and go all summer but every fall she would move of us around repeatedly to try to make room for other students. I guess it's because we did try to be accommodating because we liked her but at times I did feel somewhat punished for being good.

Kurt
_________________________
I just wanted to be just "a" guy. That's enough of a life.

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#2105382 - 06/20/13 02:53 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: Kurtz
We would have perfect attendance and go all summer but every fall she would move of us around repeatedly to try to make room for other students.


Wait! You said you have perfect attendance during summer and your teacher is moving you around to squeeze other students in during fall? Am I understand you correctly? If yes, it sound unethical to me.
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http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
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#2105384 - 06/20/13 02:59 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
For middle and upper class, maybe parents can afford for different activities such as camps and trips for summer, it will stimulate kids' learning experience. So, summer is good.
For lower class, summer=no learning if they cannot even afford to hire babysitter since now during summer kids sit at home all day without school and both parents has to work to support the family.
Problem is, how much middle class we have left here in America?
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2105400 - 06/20/13 03:32 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Have you not heard of Boys and Girls Club? Free activities all summer. The city park department, the public library and several other places often offer free summer activities.
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#2105402 - 06/20/13 03:37 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Yes I heard of these free activities. Who will be taking kids there if both parents are working? Babysitter? Or maybe a premature 7YO can walk there by themselves for free activities in summer? During school, there is school bus taking them to school, how about in summer? I am not sure.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2105405 - 06/20/13 03:40 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Online   blank
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 470
I grew up on welfare. My mom worked and my brother and I were latchkey kids from age 7 on. My mom made sure we had weekly library visits and in the evening we went to free summer concerts. With change we walked to the city pool, the library and park. We filled our library logs and as soon as I was 9 I was a library volunteer. We looked for cans and bottles to recycle and earned enough for occasional ice cream cones. We also played cards and kept basic math skills fresh.

We never entered school "behind" in the fall.

You can't change the culture of a household by extending the school year (because often it's not more school days, they are just spread out over the year). My cousin went to a year round school and her district is a failing district. My aunt moved her to private for high school because as the kids got older, the schools became more dangerous.

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#2105407 - 06/20/13 03:41 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3149
Loc: Virginia, USA
I don't know what the answers are for improving education.

But the US system was designed to have a long summer off for child labor to work on family farms, during a time when only 50% of the population went to school as far as 5th grade.

I just suspect there is so much more to learn now that it doesn't all fit in 8-9 months out of the year.

Could be wrong.

But if we had a longer school year, maybe we'd be able to fit in more band, choir, drama, art, etc. That would be my hope anyway. My kids didn't even get gym class in most of high school.
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gotta go practice

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#2105413 - 06/20/13 04:02 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: MaggieGirl]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11548
Loc: Canada
@MaggieGirl, thank you for both your posts. I hope they get read. smile

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#2105430 - 06/20/13 04:37 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: MaggieGirl]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl
We were latchkey kids from age 7 on. With change we walked to the city pool, the library and park.

Not sure I'd like to see a "7 year old" walk to the city pool alone!? Not in this day and age!!!


Edited by Diane... (06/20/13 04:38 PM)
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Diane
Jazz/Blues/Rock/Boogie Piano Teacher


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#2105731 - 06/21/13 12:31 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
re22 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 147
I charge a yearly tuition (From Sep to Aug) that covers 42/52 weeks of lessons, recital fees, etc.

- In the summer students have 5 weeks off (their choice)
- They can make up missed lessons from the school year
- They can pay for extra lessons
- If they miss a lesson in the summer they can choose to make it up or not (but by Sep 1st - the start of the next 'year')
- I keep the same schedule as the school year unless a parent asks for something else in the summer.
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Private Piano Teacher

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#2105906 - 06/21/13 06:16 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1313
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re22, I'm not sure what 42/52 means. Are you open for business 52 weeks a year?

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#2105928 - 06/21/13 07:23 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
re22 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 147
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Re22, I'm not sure what 42/52 means. Are you open for business 52 weeks a year?


Oh, I'm sorry. It means I teach 42 weeks out of the 52 week year. To answer your second question, if they family wants yes I will teach 52 weeks a year smile
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher

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#2109638 - 06/28/13 12:16 PM Re: Summer?? [Re: ezpiano.org]
Meilen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Switzerland
I live in Switzerland and my daughter has five weeks off. I take the full five weeks off, too, unless someone specifically requests lessons and I am around and willing to teach. It wouldn't work any other way here, and to be honest, I look forward to the five weeks away from teaching.

As an aside, my daughter (8 years old) does walk everywhere by herself, but that's completely the norm here.
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