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#2038441 - 02/24/13 01:25 PM Recital re-program
Vasilievich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 90
As some of you know from a previous thread, I've had some repertoire issues while working on my degree. My teacher has flat out refused to even listen to works I put a lot of work into learning, memorizing, researching and even writing out harmonic/structural analyses. Anyways, as a result of that frustrating mess I'm now in the unfortunate situation of being forced to reprogram my graduate recital. The original program I learned was the Bach B Minor French Suite and Beethoven Op. 101 as the first half, and Chopin Scherzo no.4, Brahms Op. 117 and Scriabin Sonata Op. 53 as the second half. Since I've now been banned from ever performing parts of this program at this school, I have to decide on a new order for the remaining works (which thankfully meet the bare minimum length requirement so I don't have to try to scramble and put something else together at the last second). This new program will contain:
  • Beethoven Sonata op. 101
  • Bach B Minor French Suite
  • Chopin Scherzo no. 4

Beethoven op. 101 will certainly now be it's own half of the recital, but I'm not sure which would be a more effective order. On the one hand, the Scherzo is the most overtly flashy (and, ironically, is actually more difficult for me to play and interpret than the Scriabin that was banned for being too difficult for someone at my "level"...but I digress). Thus, a somewhat "typical" order would be the one above. However, I do also like the order of Bach and Chopin as the first half and closing with Beethoven in second half. Apart from the Op. 101 being sublimely transcendent, this ordering also sets up a nice B—E—A key progression throughout the concert. In such a program I don't think I'd want to play any encores, though; I had originally planned on using the Scriabin op.42 no.5 étude, the Poulenc Toccata or a composition of my own as an encore, but after closing with any of the late Beethoven sonatas, what really remains to be said?

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#2038449 - 02/24/13 01:38 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Vasilievich
....what really remains to be said?

I think this is pretty simple to answer, but much harder to deal with:

There are issues way beyond what the repertoire should be and even beyond thinking of performances at all right now. The first orders of business are dealing further with the performance anxiety, and with the whole mess of your relationship with the teacher and the department and whatever else may be involved. I think you're trying to make it more simple than it can possibly be by focusing on repertoire choice. It sounds like there's a lot to be dealt with before you'll be ready for serious performances, and that unless you get into those things first, you're letting yourself in for more frustration and disappointment and just delaying the fixing.

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#2038452 - 02/24/13 01:45 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3829
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I prefer the op.101 for the second half, because of its monumental transcendence and depth. (You probably can't go wrong either way, though. This is a little similar to a recital I once heard: first half: Bach Bb partita and Schubert Bb sonata; second half: Chopin op.25. I'd have thought the Schubert Bb should be the 2nd half for similar reasons to yours, but the recital worked fine.)

As frustrating as the situation may be, at least there's a little irony in being forbidden from playing Scriabin #5-- a work of daring transgression and personal freedom! smile

Good luck, and let us know how it's going.


-Jason
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#2038457 - 02/24/13 01:51 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
You really want to encourage him on in the manner he's asking, in the face of the rest?

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#2038473 - 02/24/13 02:28 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Mark_C]
Vasilievich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 90
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Vasilievich
....what really remains to be said?

I think this is pretty simple to answer, but much harder to deal with:

There are issues way beyond what the repertoire should be and even beyond thinking of performances at all right now. The first orders of business are dealing further with the performance anxiety, and with the whole mess of your relationship with the teacher and the department and whatever else may be involved. I think you're trying to make it more simple than it can possibly be by focusing on repertoire choice. It sounds like there's a lot to be dealt with before you'll be ready for serious performances, and that unless you get into those things first, you're letting yourself in for more frustration and disappointment and just delaying the fixing.


Truly, thank you for your concern! However, it wasn't really the subject of the thread. I'm not going to not graduate after coming this far, and so if I want to finish, I need to play a recital. All the works I mentioned have been memorized for months, so it's merely a matter of preparing for the performance at this point—which, yes, will be a big challenge for me. I've taken a few steps that should help though, and hopefully will be enough for now. I am no longer studying with this teacher (but still have to be cautious and aware of the political situation—for example, I can't add the "banned" works back in) after another recent altercation in a lesson when I was told "Why are you studying with me? Go study with someone else!" At that point I was ready to cease my studies, and went to the department chair. I clearly said that if I had to continue to study with him, I was going to leave—to which he immediately responded "no, we can't have you leave, you're too close to graduating," and so he talked me into staying to finish if he took over as my primary instructor. I also am trying to get in to talk with someone about my anxiety in the next few months to see if it is something that merits further counseling or medication.


Edited by Vasilievich (02/24/13 02:41 PM)

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#2038474 - 02/24/13 02:29 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3829
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
You really want to encourage him on in the manner he's asking, in the face of the rest?


Mark,

I agree with everything you wrote. But there is the long-term issue resolution ("the fixing" as you call it), and there's the short-term practicality. The OP is, I think, graduating this year, and he needs a recital. We don't necessarily have to solve the much more difficult issues regarding teacher and institution first.


-J
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#2038481 - 02/24/13 02:45 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
....The OP is, I think, graduating this year, and he needs a recital. We don't necessarily have to solve the much more difficult issues regarding teacher and institution first.

If that will work, great. I think there's too much chance that it just won't work, period.

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#2038514 - 02/24/13 03:37 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19577
Loc: New York City
The OP just asked about the order of pieces. The rest is irrelevant in this thread. And the OP said this again a few posts ago.

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#2038523 - 02/24/13 03:50 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
MarkH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 867
Loc: Seattle, WA
I think I would prefer the order you wrote in your OP: Beethoven first, followed by Bach and then Chopin. With the potential for an encore as you suggested.

Would you mind sharing why 117 has been banned as well? They wouldn't seem to be too difficult for you...
_________________________
Currently Studying: Debussy - Pagodes; Alkan - Cello Sonata 4th movement (duet transcription by Alkan); assorted Dvorak Slavonic Dances

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#2038527 - 02/24/13 04:03 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: MarkH]
Vasilievich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 90
Originally Posted By: MarkH
I think I would prefer the order you wrote in your OP: Beethoven first, followed by Bach and then Chopin. With the potential for an encore as you suggested.

Would you mind sharing why 117 has been banned as well? They wouldn't seem to be too difficult for you...


There's a list of works, including, for example Brahms' character pieces and Schumann Kinderszenen, that are surrounded by an attitude (not just my teacher, either) that they are too emotionally and interperetively complex for all but doctoral students or professionals. Frankly, bah


Edited by Vasilievich (02/24/13 04:04 PM)

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#2038532 - 02/24/13 04:15 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4890
Loc: USA
I don't know why but I always sort of prefer works to be played in chronological order.

Bach
Beethoven
Chopin

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#2038537 - 02/24/13 04:24 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Which college do you go to? It seems bad that they made you feel as though it wouldn't have been an easy process to change teachers before you threaten to leave. Also, I've never heard of anyone be actually banned from playing specific works before? How did that happen?


Edited by debrucey (02/24/13 04:24 PM)

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#2038543 - 02/24/13 04:35 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: JoelW]
Vasilievich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 90
Originally Posted By: JoelW
I don't know why but I always sort of prefer works to be played in chronological order.

Bach
Beethoven
Chopin


Well according to our history professor, Bach died ten or twenty years ago, so I guess I better put him last...(hah). I actually agree though I like things sorted chronologically, alphabetically, even chromatically (I must have OCD). However, in this case splitting up the Bach and the Chopin would make for a very lopsided program either way, as we are required to have a 15 minute intermission.

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#2038549 - 02/24/13 04:45 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2151
Loc: Canada
Your current programme works well if you want to fit in an encore, but I think that if you want to just play these three pieces, it'd be nice to open with the Bach and close with the Beethoven.

Best of luck!
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2038553 - 02/24/13 04:48 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
MarkH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 867
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Vasilievich
Originally Posted By: MarkH
I think I would prefer the order you wrote in your OP: Beethoven first, followed by Bach and then Chopin. With the potential for an encore as you suggested.

Would you mind sharing why 117 has been banned as well? They wouldn't seem to be too difficult for you...


There's a list of works, including, for example Brahms' character pieces and Schumann Kinderszenen, that are surrounded by an attitude (not just my teacher, either) that they are too emotionally and interperetively complex for all but doctoral students or professionals. Frankly, bah


BS in my mind too. But maybe they're just too interpretively complex for everyone, because I've never heard a performance of the Brahms character pieces or the Schumann Kinderszenen that grabbed me sleep
_________________________
Currently Studying: Debussy - Pagodes; Alkan - Cello Sonata 4th movement (duet transcription by Alkan); assorted Dvorak Slavonic Dances

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#2038560 - 02/24/13 04:58 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: debrucey
....Also, I've never heard of anyone be actually banned from playing specific works before? How did that happen?

That's part of what suggests that this is far more complex than most of the posts are treating it.

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
The OP just asked about the order of pieces. The rest is irrelevant in this thread....

Looks like you think the best way to answer something, regardless of anything, is to take it at face value and just answer it as asked. I disagree. We sometimes serve everything best, including the asker, by taking it differently.

BTW, I cringe at some of the programming (on behalf of the OP) in view of the performance anxiety issue.

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#2038570 - 02/24/13 05:08 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
RachelEDNC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 81
I would open with Bach and the Chopin. Close with Beethoven. Op. 101 is such a beautiful sonata. When the first theme reenters in the last movement... such a powerful moment.

However, your (former) teacher...

You know, I think you need to go public with this guys name on pianoworld and any other piano related forum you can find. Submit him to the board at your own college for a formal review. The kinds of things you have mentioned regarding him are unacceptable and just disgusting. For any educator to be allowed to carry on in that manner is horrendous. I know you (and myself) are just students and cannot really do much...but maybe after graduation you could do something to ensure another student doesn't go through the same things you been put through.

Sorry for the rant and going off topic. I just feel bad for you and hate hearing things like that. I admire your love for music and the fact that this man hasn't ruined it. Good for you. If more musicians had that kind of unrelenting passion, the music world would be a much better place.

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#2038572 - 02/24/13 05:09 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: debrucey]
Vasilievich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 90
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Which college do you go to? It seems bad that they made you feel as though it wouldn't have been an easy process to change teachers before you threaten to leave. Also, I've never heard of anyone be actually banned from playing specific works before? How did that happen?


Ah, this really wasn't the point of this thread...I guess it's my own fault for including the details. I was just trying to explain the situation in case the program seemed odd or deficient. To answer your question though, in the fall when we were discussing the program I mentioned I had read through these works and thought they would be a good complement to the Bach and Beethoven (which I had already studied with him). He was resistant, and expressed he thought it would be too hard and require too much work, as well as be impossible for me to even begin to understand the music itself. I wanted to show him I was willing to put in the work, so I wrote research and analysis papers and then worked on memorizing and refining the rest over winter vacation. I showed up to my first lesson with my papers, and was ready to play the Scriabin from memory. He was not happy though, and actually became very angry—he refused to listen to me play or read my research and I was asked to leave, not bring it up again, and that I would never pay any of these works so long as I was at this university. And so I spent the next two weeks frantically learning the fourth Scherzo to fill the remaining time in the program.

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#2038595 - 02/24/13 05:44 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
If you have changed teachers since though, what is stopping you from playing the works you wanted to play originally? Just because he said 'you will never play these works at this university', surely there can't actually be a system for disallowing particular students from playing particular pieces.


Edited by debrucey (02/24/13 05:48 PM)

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#2038604 - 02/24/13 05:56 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: debrucey]
Vasilievich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 90
Originally Posted By: debrucey
If you have changed teachers since though, what is stopping you from playing the works you wanted to play originally? Just because he said 'you will never play these works at this university', surely there can't actually be a system for disallowing particular students from playing particular pieces.


Department political reasons—this is why it took until it got to this point to be able to change studios at all: no one wants to step on each others toes. And so especially if one teacher were to let me play a work that another had expressly banned, it would implicitly create a situation of one faculty member questioning the instruction and approach of another, a big no-no. Then, there is also the practical consideration that my new teacher wants at least one lesson to go over each work on the program before the preliminary hearing for the recital, which is in a month, so that leaves only time for three works anyways.

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#2038609 - 02/24/13 06:09 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
It staggers me that it is so difficult for you to just change teacher and not have any more dealings with this other one, who by the sounds of it shouldn't be in the job. If I were you I would stick a great big middle finger up to the departmental politics.

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#2038612 - 02/24/13 06:13 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
I've been making an assumption -- and maybe y'all who are in music departments can tell me it's unwarranted, but it would take a lot for me to believe it's completely unwarranted: Even given the human foibles of piano professors/teachers and even given the occasional weirdness of departmental politics, teachers and departments would rarely if ever be so totally screwed up that they would do things like this without sound reasons -- particularly, feeling that this is more problematic and complex than meets the eye, and frankly from the other thread I thought it seemed this would be justified. I think some of you are being too quick to think so badly of the teacher and the department.

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#2038613 - 02/24/13 06:16 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I can't think of many situations where what he has described would be reasonable. What do you think would be a reasonable excuse?

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#2038614 - 02/24/13 06:16 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: debrucey]
Vasilievich Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 90
Originally Posted By: debrucey
It staggers me that it is so difficult for you to just change teacher and not have any more dealings with this other one, who by the sounds of it shouldn't be in the job. If I were you I would stick a great big middle finger up to the departmental politics.


Yes, I know. My mother has also been a professor for almost 20 years (although not in music) and this sort of thing happens all the time in academia. She's almost lost her job a few times in the past for not looking the other way when other teachers are doing something questionable. Unfortunately, because everyone is afraid of ticking someone off or losing their job, this means that it is all too often the student who gets screwed.

Now, can we please try to stick to my original question? I appreciate the support, but I have a recital to plan!

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#2038616 - 02/24/13 06:18 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19830
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Vasilievich
....Now, can we please try to stick to my original question? I appreciate the support, but I have a recital to plan!

No worries, I've said my piece and I'm done after this post. I'll just add that it seems the performance anxiety issue is being almost ignored on here.
The others can take it from here as they see fit.


edit, to Jason (post below): The "if taken at face value" is the key thing. When it comes to descriptions of conflicts, I think it's a mistake to ever assume too much face validity, because of plain human nature. In fact, I never expect people even to take my posts "at face value." grin


Edited by Mark_C (02/24/13 06:26 PM)

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#2038619 - 02/24/13 06:22 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3829
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I think some of you are being too quick to think so badly of the teacher and the department.

Even if there is some wisdom behind his teacher's decisions, the OP's account, if taken at face value, describes a toxic dangerous environment, with all kinds of long-lasting damage imaginable. The teacher comes across very badly in e.g.:

Originally Posted By: Vasilievich
He was not happy though, and actually became very angry—he refused to listen to me play or read my research and I was asked to leave, not bring it up again, and that I would never pay any of these works so long as I was at this university.


p.s. Vasilievich-- Sorry to keep this up. Anyway, I've offered my opinion: end with the Beethoven. (Or, whichever makes you most comfortable!)
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#2038620 - 02/24/13 06:22 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
Arghhh Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 1165
I do agree that the Beethoven should have it's own half, and typically (typical for where I am) the half of the program with only a single work is on the second half.

As for the other two, I'd go with whichever one you feel most comfortable performing. The Bach is more exposed than the Chopin, which would make me hesitate to put it first because I have issues with nerves that make my fingers feel like butter. On the other hand, if I read correctly, you have just recently quickly learned the Chopin and you may be feeling it isn't quite as ingrained in you as the Bach.

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#2038633 - 02/24/13 06:48 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Vasilievich]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13811
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Being somewhat familiar with academia from inside and out, I could find any of these scenarios believable:

1) The situation is just as Vasilievich describes
2) There's another side of the story that paints a very different picture
3) All of the above
4) None of the above

Regardless, none of us have the whole story, and the OP is doing the right thing by not going public with the information. It's probably best just to take this thread at face value and simply answer the OP's question.

Given the nature of the works, I can only see two possible orderings:

Bach, Chopin, Beethoven
Beethoven, Bach, Chopin

Both would work just fine, and the final decision should be made in consultation with the student's current teacher.
_________________________
"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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#2038648 - 02/24/13 07:27 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19577
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
BTW, I cringe at some of the programming (on behalf of the OP) in view of the performance anxiety issue.
So now are you going to suggest an entirely new program? The pieces have been chosen. It's a done deal.

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#2038651 - 02/24/13 07:30 PM Re: Recital re-program [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19577
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Vasilievich
....Now, can we please try to stick to my original question? I appreciate the support, but I have a recital to plan!

No worries, I've said my piece and I'm done after this post. I'll just add that it seems the performance anxiety issue is being almost ignored on here.
You did what the OP asked you not to do AGAIN.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/25/13 08:02 AM)

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