Robert Estrin - piano expert
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lourie mae on June 24, 2016 @6:04 am PST
Hi mr.Robert. I am an amateur and I want to know what is contrapuntal? I am an student. Thanks a lot.
Robert - host, on June 24, 2016 @12:33 pm PST
Contrapuntal writing is one that utilizes counterpoint - the interweaving of musical lines.
Constantine Coutroulos on June 13, 2016 @4:21 pm PST
Just watched your lesson on 2 against 3 and 3 against 4. Actually, 3 against 4 is pretty easy to figure out mathematically as is any combination of multiples of 2 and 3. Surely you've heard of the "least common denominator" method? Multiply the two numbers by each other, write out the full number, mark out the two sets of notes, practice them at a funereal pace and then gradually speed up. Hope that's clear. I've been doing this for years and have mastered any combination of 2 rhythms up through 9 (9 against 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8), This can get cumbersome after awhile, but you can figure out which notes come between which, which is all you need with high numbers. What's your opinion on this?
Robert - host, on June 24, 2016 @12:30 pm PST
Yes, that method is mathematically accurate. However, it requires such small subdivisions of the beat that it can be challenging if not impossible in some instances to play the rhythm up to speed counting in this manner. But it certainly presents a good starting point.
Mike on May 20, 2016 @7:51 pm PST
Hi - I'm an amateur that would like to share my play with family and friends...but I lose my concentration and end up ruining a piece in front of others. I would like to learn how to overcome this. Any suggestions?
Robert - host, on May 21, 2016 @1:04 pm PST
This is a challenge for anyone performer. Here is an article and video which delves into this subject for you:
kendah on May 20, 2016 @4:19 pm PST
hi are you? i'm still keep watching your amazing free lessons and actually i bought my digital piano from 2 years and i love it so much but i'm so worried about the keys of my dorrable piano how can i make sure that my piano keys in a good situation and what's the perfect way to play on it Knowing that I saw a lot of lessons which learn the best way to play but i feel that somthing is wrong in my playing . and thanks a lot.
Robert - host, on May 21, 2016 @1:06 pm PST
Playing the piano is a complex activity involving many parts of the brain and body. You can explore close to 700 videos and articles searchable by keywords here:

If you can find a private teacher who you connect with, that could provide an invaluable experience.
kendah on May 22, 2016 @4:22 pm PST
ok thank you so much for helping me i really appreciate that. thank you mr.robert.
Dimitris Malinis on May 5, 2016 @5:05 pm PST
I would like to ask this question : Wearing a watch, in any hand i am wearing mine to the left hand, is this an issue because of the extra weight of the watch? Is this affect the piano playing?
Robert - host, on May 6, 2016 @11:48 am PST
I no longer wear a watch because I always have my smartphone available. However, when I wore a watch, I never noticed any problems. Make sure the band isn't too tight. If you notice any issues, then I would suggest removing your watch when you play the piano.
Gab on April 28, 2016 @3:08 pm PST
hi, Robert.
I was wondering if your know Mendelssohn's Rondo Cappriccioso op 14 and if you could compare it in difficulty with other romantic pieces. Thank you,
Robert - host, on April 29, 2016 @12:15 pm PST
I have played the Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso. It is definitely a challenging piece. However, I have known many talented students who have tackled this piece and played it on a high level. It requires a lightness of fingerwork and wrists. It doesn't demand as diverse a set of technical challenges as some Romantic works of Chopin and Liszt, but it definitely presents substantial challenges.
Josh on March 30, 2016 @7:02 pm PST
Hi Robert!
My teacher wants me to try a couple of pieces by Prokofiev, namely the Vision Fugitive XVII and XI. They are so different to anything I have learned before, so it is a relatively daunting prospect. Do you have any advice on tackling a style of music like this?
Robert - host, on March 31, 2016 @11:09 am PST
Music is a language. Actually, music has many dialects! You will gain an understanding and appreciation for Prokofiev's music by listening to a wide range of his compositions. That will help familiarize yourself with his voice.

After sight-reading through the pieces a couple of times, the best approach is to begin memorizing systematically as I describe here:
Rupert Sherwood on March 30, 2016 @5:33 pm PST
Hi I'm a mature-aged pianist at intermediate level. I also teach the flute and would very much like to have a good level of sight-reading skill to accompany my more elementary students.My question is, how best to structure the sight-reading part of my practice so that I have a sense of developing and improving? I wish to have a step-by-step process rather than just using random pieces.

Thanks Rupert
Robert - host, on June 24, 2016 @12:32 pm PST
There is nothing better than to play with other musicians where you are forced to keep going no matter what. That is how I developed my sight-reading. So, one of the best things you can do is to accompany your students on a regular basis.
Henrik on March 20, 2016 @2:36 am PST
I am learning Czerny op 740 nr 1. Is this a piece/etude one should try to memorize?
Robert - host, on March 21, 2016 @11:52 am PST
It's funny - I never worked on Czerny Etudes very much at all. But this is one that I did study! I would say that while it isn't essential to memorize this etude, it would be easier not to have to deal with page turns and it is a relatively easy piece to memorize. You may end up memorizing it just from practicing it since it is built upon predictable patterns.
Bill McClellan on March 16, 2016 @12:10 pm PST
Hi Robert,

Do you have any suggestions for a pianist who may be developing "trigger thumb".

Thank you.
Robert - host, on March 16, 2016 @2:17 pm PST
So sorry to hear about your thumb. Your doctor may have suggestions for you regarding treatment. I would allow your thumb to rest if the problem causes any pain so you avoid injury. Good luck!
Mary Forsythe * VSM MEMBER * on March 23, 2016 @9:35 am PST
I had trigger thumb. After about 3 or 4 extremely painful injections with a
needle, (the result didn't work) over a few months, I was an out patient at
the hospital. It is a simple operation, but was put out completely. Happy
with the results as I play the pipe organ on a regular basis.
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