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#2168907 - 10/20/13 11:56 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4739
Here in the UK, we use the terms 'Mickey Mouse degrees' for students who go to university to get degrees which don't equip them for anything resembling a career or even any meaningful job.

And unfortunately, they are the most popular ones (maybe because they're the easiest to obtain for the least work) - Media Studies and Psychology.

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#2168909 - 10/20/13 12:00 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13757
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: boo1234

The problem is that majority of them are paying $50k+ per year for degrees in things they like (languages, sociology, renaissance art, underwater basket weaving grin ...) rather than something that will get them a high paying job.


Where are the stats on this?

My understanding is that even degrees which used to be very employable (education and law for example) are no longer a guarantee, given the large number of people pursuing those degrees.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news...ns-glum-703430/

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/nyregion/20teachers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

And the "majority paying $50k+ a year" is nonsense. That kind of figure is reserved for private colleges. The University of Michigan, which is one of the more expensive public universities, costs less than $30,000 a year (including tuition, fees, materials, housing, and estimated personal costs.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2168929 - 10/20/13 01:10 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4413
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...you need professional guidance re: career options and how to pursue them... I'm suggesting you need a mentor - someone... who can advise you on the pros and cons of "this" road "vs" that road...someone who can tell you WHO they've seen do what you're now looking to do and WHO they've seen reach goals from the background and circumstances you know have.

"If you do your research all will become clear. Bottom line: you NEED a career/educational counsellor and you need a mentor..."


Dear Mo',

There is one suggestion I was given 'back when', which I think might help. I was told to write to people in the field I was considering, and to ask them to grant me an informational interview. Not everyone will be willing to give you some of their time, but some will--- maybe more than you think. It's a great way to get an inside view of that line of work, and it's less of a commitment than becoming a mentor. It's also less pressure on both of you, than your asking them for a job.

The big challenge is, identifying these people. If you are as unsure of yourself as I was, the other big challenge is in working up the self-confidence to make the requests. The result for me was that I made only a few of these requests, in a very limited area. Now, I realize what a valuable tool this is, and realize that a wider spread of my focus would have told me a lot more.

Another thing of value might be to make friends with a librarian. A great deal more is published now about careers in music, and thanks to inter-library loans, you can have these volumes in your hands. Some of them are actually fun to read, for example, Million-Dollar Mistakes. A helpful librarian can help you find your way through the maze, and get to the information which is actually useful to you. Or, you can just buy these books outright. Bookstores, big music stores, online music instrument retailers, etc.

As for your 'old-fashioned' style. The pendulum swings, and it may become in demand again. Despite your screen name, I have the impression that you are not actually a moron, but are smart enough to know that your informant was trying to direct you toward a compositional style or format that is marketable today--- so you can get a paycheck sooner than 40 years in the future.

There is actually a vast market. A tiny slice is for headliners; a much bigger piece of the demand pie is for things like incidental music for TV, films (every genre--- not just the big movies for cinema release), video games, commercials. If you're good enough, and flexible enough, session work is a definite market, though the by-the-piece job security is not all that. I'm not sure you would have the temperament for a job being told what to play, when, and how. But there are many situations where that might not matter so much... and, you're smart enough to muffle your prickliness enough so that you can actually hold a paying job in the field you choose.

I can't say for sure that your formal training will definitely advance you, but I can say that lack of it can definitely hold you back, and that you may find doors closed in your face so quietly that you may never even know they exist. Your training does demonstrate a commitment and an aptitude; this is a calling card that may make a potential employer look twice.

Good luck to you.
_________________________
Clef


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#2168938 - 10/20/13 01:22 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: boo1234]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4526
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: boo1234


The problem is that majority of them are paying $50k+ per year for degrees in things they like (languages, sociology, renaissance art, underwater basket weaving grin ...) rather than something that will get them a high paying job. Compound that with them not being able to get important internships during school because their major has no practical application and you have a lot of unexperienced/un-hireable people with a boat load of debt that they have no way of repaying.

How many of the top touring concert pianists have come out of conservatories who were not already famous before they went into one? I'd venture to say the number is quite low, making me believe that if you have not been discovered by the time you're about to go into college, it's not going to happen for you if you dream about being a touring artist, therefore you should pick something else to do.

I think it's partly the parents fault and a society that indoctrinates kids with the belief that they can do anything and will be happy if they follow their heart's desire. Well, yes you can be anything and study anything in school, but you're going to be saddled with a lot of debt on your way out if you choose poorly.



Oh I truly feel bad for you that you believe this.

But you're also so, soooooooooo wrong... 50k a year?! I'm sure that there ARE people that pay that, but that's so ridiculous and doesn't happen very often at all. I've done 10 years of professional training, and my debt is not even a QUARTER of that! Jesus...

It's SOCIETY's fault that they are making you think you should be wasting your life working jobs you hate, and slaving away all your life to pay for the perfect 2 million dollar house, have the perfect car, eat gold, whatever. Sorry, but that's not the essence of life and I feel truly sorry for you if you think it is...................

Oh, and plus - you'll be "saddled" with a lot of debt on your way NO MATTER WHAT you choose, it seems.

But like I said, there are ways to avoid that.


Edited by Pogorelich. (10/20/13 05:45 PM)
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2169043 - 10/20/13 05:27 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Jeff Clef]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 355
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef


I can't say for sure that your formal training will definitely advance you, but I can say that lack of it can definitely hold you back...


There *is* that consideration, which I think is the crux of the matter. In some cases, education holds a young person back because of enormous debt and impracticality, but in this case (in light of the OP's stated financial self-sufficiency and low educational costs) I really can't see the drawback to furthering his musical education... unless it's a question of the curriculum being irrelevant to his own musical interests/inclinations. What sayest thou, Happy?

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#2169045 - 10/20/13 05:44 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Pogorelich.]
boo1234 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 504
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: boo1234


The problem is that majority of them are paying $50k+ per year for degrees in things they like (languages, sociology, renaissance art, underwater basket weaving grin ...) rather than something that will get them a high paying job. Compound that with them not being able to get important internships during school because their major has no practical application and you have a lot of unexperienced/un-hireable people with a boat load of debt that they have no way of repaying.

How many of the top touring concert pianists have come out of conservatories who were not already famous before they went into one? I'd venture to say the number is quite low, making me believe that if you have not been discovered by the time you're about to go into college, it's not going to happen for you if you dream about being a touring artist, therefore you should pick something else to do.

I think it's partly the parents fault and a society that indoctrinates kids with the belief that they can do anything and will be happy if they follow their heart's desire. Well, yes you can be anything and study anything in school, but you're going to be saddled with a lot of debt on your way out if you choose poorly.



Oh my god, you really must be a sad person who's had really bad luck in life. So, I'm sorry for that.

But you're also so, soooooooooo wrong... 50k a year?! I'm sure that there ARE people that pay that, but that's so ridiculous and doesn't happen very often at all. I've done 10 years of professional training, and my debt is not even a QUARTER of that! Jesus...

It's SOCIETY's fault that they are making you think you should be wasting your life working jobs you hate, and slaving away all your life to pay for the perfect 2 million dollar house, have the perfect car, eat gold, whatever. Sorry, but that's not the essence of life and I feel truly sorry for you if you think it is...................

Oh, and plus - you'll be "saddled" with a lot of debt on your way NO MATTER WHAT you choose, it seems.

But like I said, there are ways to avoid that.


I am very happy with my life. I am well compensated for what I do and have enough disposable income to travel and buy almost anything I want within reason. I'm also debt free.

Why do think I would be a sad and miserable person because I am giving practical life advice to someone? I didn't say to stop playing piano all together. I merely suggested to do that as a hobby and find a career path that pays well and is in high demand.

And finally, I save peoples' lives every day. What do you do that is as important?

Exactly...

Thank you for your concern.

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#2169049 - 10/20/13 05:52 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4526
Loc: in the past
Btw I edited that part out because I realized it was mean.

I may not save lives literally, but I do enrich them. What we do is very special. And I take my work very, very seriously. Many would argue that what we do is almost just as important as your field. Picture a life without any art at all... Yeah. Thank you.

Maybe you want to do this with all your heart - and that's great - so why advocate robbing someone of doing what THEY want? It's a big world; there's space for everybody.


Edited by Pogorelich. (10/20/13 05:54 PM)
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2169050 - 10/20/13 05:53 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4526
Loc: in the past
Also you may find pleasure in all those wonderful things you can buy, but (and not to sound cliché) there are far greater things that your money cannot buy.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#2169051 - 10/20/13 05:57 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: boo1234
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: boo1234


The problem is that majority of them are paying $50k+ per year for degrees in things they like (languages, sociology, renaissance art, underwater basket weaving grin ...) rather than something that will get them a high paying job. Compound that with them not being able to get important internships during school because their major has no practical application and you have a lot of unexperienced/un-hireable people with a boat load of debt that they have no way of repaying.

How many of the top touring concert pianists have come out of conservatories who were not already famous before they went into one? I'd venture to say the number is quite low, making me believe that if you have not been discovered by the time you're about to go into college, it's not going to happen for you if you dream about being a touring artist, therefore you should pick something else to do.

I think it's partly the parents fault and a society that indoctrinates kids with the belief that they can do anything and will be happy if they follow their heart's desire. Well, yes you can be anything and study anything in school, but you're going to be saddled with a lot of debt on your way out if you choose poorly.



Oh my god, you really must be a sad person who's had really bad luck in life. So, I'm sorry for that.

But you're also so, soooooooooo wrong... 50k a year?! I'm sure that there ARE people that pay that, but that's so ridiculous and doesn't happen very often at all. I've done 10 years of professional training, and my debt is not even a QUARTER of that! Jesus...

It's SOCIETY's fault that they are making you think you should be wasting your life working jobs you hate, and slaving away all your life to pay for the perfect 2 million dollar house, have the perfect car, eat gold, whatever. Sorry, but that's not the essence of life and I feel truly sorry for you if you think it is...................

Oh, and plus - you'll be "saddled" with a lot of debt on your way NO MATTER WHAT you choose, it seems.

But like I said, there are ways to avoid that.


I am very happy with my life. I am well compensated for what I do and have enough disposable income to travel and buy almost anything I want within reason. I'm also debt free.

Why do think I would be a sad and miserable person because I am giving practical life advice to someone? I didn't say to stop playing piano all together. I merely suggested to do that as a hobby and find a career path that pays well and is in high demand.

And finally, I save peoples' lives every day. What do you do that is as important?

Exactly...

Thank you for your concern.


I think you're misunderstanding what pogo is saying,which is money isn't everything. The way you have worded your posts makes it seem as if we should all stop doing what we enjoy and do something we dislike purely for finacial stability. It comes across as pessimistic. Nobody said you do a worthless job, but everyone has their place in this world providing services to others in different forms.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

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#2169053 - 10/20/13 06:04 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Kreisler]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19199
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
[quote=boo1234]My understanding is that even degrees which used to be very employable (education and law for example) are no longer a guarantee, given the large number of people pursuing those degrees.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/nyregion/20teachers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
As a former teacher I find that article on how difficult it is to land a teaching job very depressing. I don't think there was any problem like that when I taught, but the last job I took was around 30 years ago.

I do know that in NYC there is incredible competition among those who want to tutor. There are many very expensive private schools in NYC, and a huge percent of the students in those schools get private tutoring in at least one subject. For one tutoring job I got, the parent said there were 250 replies to their Craigslist ad.

I think most readers will find this article about tutoring in NYC almost unbelievable. Can you imagine paying six figures for your child's tutoring?
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/education/08tutors.html?pagewanted=all


Edited by pianoloverus (10/20/13 06:09 PM)

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#2169054 - 10/20/13 06:07 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: Jeff Clef]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
"...you need professional guidance re: career options and how to pursue them... I'm suggesting you need a mentor - someone... who can advise you on the pros and cons of "this" road "vs" that road...someone who can tell you WHO they've seen do what you're now looking to do and WHO they've seen reach goals from the background and circumstances you know have.

"If you do your research all will become clear. Bottom line: you NEED a career/educational counsellor and you need a mentor..."


Dear Mo',

There is one suggestion I was given 'back when', which I think might help. I was told to write to people in the field I was considering, and to ask them to grant me an informational interview. Not everyone will be willing to give you some of their time, but some will--- maybe more than you think. It's a great way to get an inside view of that line of work, and it's less of a commitment than becoming a mentor. It's also less pressure on both of you, than your asking them for a job.

The big challenge is, identifying these people. If you are as unsure of yourself as I was, the other big challenge is in working up the self-confidence to make the requests. The result for me was that I made only a few of these requests, in a very limited area. Now, I realize what a valuable tool this is, and realize that a wider spread of my focus would have told me a lot more.

Another thing of value might be to make friends with a librarian. A great deal more is published now about careers in music, and thanks to inter-library loans, you can have these volumes in your hands. Some of them are actually fun to read, for example, Million-Dollar Mistakes. A helpful librarian can help you find your way through the maze, and get to the information which is actually useful to you. Or, you can just buy these books outright. Bookstores, big music stores, online music instrument retailers, etc.

As for your 'old-fashioned' style. The pendulum swings, and it may become in demand again. Despite your screen name, I have the impression that you are not actually a moron, but are smart enough to know that your informant was trying to direct you toward a compositional style or format that is marketable today--- so you can get a paycheck sooner than 40 years in the future.

There is actually a vast market. A tiny slice is for headliners; a much bigger piece of the demand pie is for things like incidental music for TV, films (every genre--- not just the big movies for cinema release), video games, commercials. If you're good enough, and flexible enough, session work is a definite market, though the by-the-piece job security is not all that. I'm not sure you would have the temperament for a job being told what to play, when, and how. But there are many situations where that might not matter so much... and, you're smart enough to muffle your prickliness enough so that you can actually hold a paying job in the field you choose.

I can't say for sure that your formal training will definitely advance you, but I can say that lack of it can definitely hold you back, and that you may find doors closed in your face so quietly that you may never even know they exist. Your training does demonstrate a commitment and an aptitude; this is a calling card that may make a potential employer look twice.

Good luck to you.


A very insightful post jeff clef, thank you.
Fortunately, I have little interest in being a headlining act and am far more interested in the other aspects of the music industry you have listed. Finding someone to contact is going to be the hardest part, as you say. I may know someone who I can ask, which I will get round to doing this week.
As for my screen name, whether I am a moron or not I do not know, although I have definitely done some moronic things in my life (as I've no doubt others have aswell!) But it actually comes from a poem which I think describes life quite well! grin
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

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#2169058 - 10/20/13 06:16 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: cefinow]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef


I can't say for sure that your formal training will definitely advance you, but I can say that lack of it can definitely hold you back...


There *is* that consideration, which I think is the crux of the matter. In some cases, education holds a young person back because of enormous debt and impracticality, but in this case (in light of the OP's stated financial self-sufficiency and low educational costs) I really can't see the drawback to furthering his musical education... unless it's a question of the curriculum being irrelevant to his own musical interests/inclinations. What sayest thou, Happy?


I believe last time I checked the fee was 9000 a year which is more than enough debt to make me think twice. Which is why I was curious as to what a higher education can offer me in terms of career. I personally feel, now especially, that university would be a mistake for me. I have all my grades so I think I'll aim for some sort of work as a session musician (probably not in classical) and see if anything turns up for composing in the years to come.
_________________________
All theory, dear friend, is grey, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.

Top
#2170914 - 10/23/13 11:22 PM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1810
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
To The Happy Moron,
I think if you have something you want to say with music, and you already can express it in some form or another, you should study composition. How you study is the question.

I have not often been impressed with the formal study of composition at a university. Too much worrying about what other composers think goes on there.

If you have a unique "voice" that comes out in your writing I would not let others formalistic musical thinking interfere with that. If you have a talent for "saying things" with musical phrases and form, that is an indication you are meant for the business. If other listeners, (especially people who don't really know you and are just reacting to what they hear), like to hear your music, then you have an audience.

Music history is full of forgotten compositions. Most of it for a good reason-mediocrity of message. If you have something to say with music-I say bring it on. Good luck!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2170942 - 10/24/13 12:14 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4707
Loc: USA
Pros: get education

Cons: pay $200,000

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#2170947 - 10/24/13 12:28 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2114
Loc: Canada
Being a university student is not just about what is taught in class.

The entire experience shapes you, whether it's the challenge you face on tests, meeting new people who come from all walks of life, being surrounded by a culture which doesn't exist once you get into the workforce.

There are ways to be very involved in music without being a music student. Myself, I'm in one of the more demanding engineering programs in North America, but I'm also a director of an amateur music club. My repertoire has expanded a lot since I stopped taking lessons, and I've participated in what looks like over 20 performances in the past two years, working up almost 4 hours of repertoire just last year alone.

So if you are determined to stay in music, you can do it. But unlike people like Pogorelich., I can't really see myself doing a career in music - that's why I'm studying engineering.

Your entire university experience is shaped by what you want to get out of it - I can easily just spend all of my time studying in libraries, and walk out with a degree, a lot of money spent, and not having grown at all after 4 years. But I want to keep music in my life (as well as other pursuits), so I partake in these activities. There is only a short window in life where doing stuff like going to university, launching a career, starting a family, etc. can really take place. What you choose to do has a real impact on how the rest of your life will play out - so pick your priorities, and go for that. But remember, even if you decide on pursuing one thing, you can always keep music in your life if you put in the time and effort.
_________________________
Working on:
Beethoven - Piano Sonata op. 109
Brahms - 6 Klavierstucke op. 119
Rachmaninoff - Piano Sonata no.1

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#2171080 - 10/24/13 07:58 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
I read the original post and I am jumping to the back of the line and posting my comment. Time is of the essence this morning.

Heck yes, go to University. Don't let anyone detract you from this important opportunity. College/University does one thing that you will find hard to find elsewhere, it teaches you how to think. My college days are 30 years in my past and even though they were at times very difficult I look back on them now with a sense of peace and happiness and certainly a sense of accomplishment.

Best.
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#2171101 - 10/24/13 08:39 AM Re: pros and cons of university [Re: TheHappyMoron]
Praeludium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/11
Posts: 90
Loc: Besançon, France
You could always go to university but neither in Great Britain nor in North America. I can't believe it's so expensive.
For god's sake, studying in a Musikhochschule in Swiss is a bargain compared to what happens in the english-speaking world !!
But of course you'd have to move out of England and live in a foreign country for a few years.
Now, if you study in a good school there are very high level entrance examinations ^^
But in Germany (for instance) there are a lot of schools, some very hard to get into, some less famous and thus more accessible.

And I still don't get if you want to study piano or composition or both. Because studying both properly at a high level is something completely different than studying one of the two.


Edited by Praeludium (10/24/13 08:40 AM)

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