Robert Estrin - piano expert
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How to approach the Ocean Etude Op. 25 No. 12 by Chopin

Practical tips to approach the Chopin repertoire

Released on April 3, 2013

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Video Transcription

Hi and welcome. I'm Robert Estrin here at and The question for today that comes from a viewer is, "Should parents learn music along with their children?"

Well you know, I grew up in a household where both of my parents were not only musicians but teachers. So for me, it seems natural enough that it was a very positive environment for me. What about if you're a family and you want music for your children, but you've had virtually no exposure to music or maybe a tiny amount as a young child and regret that you didn't do more with it, so you want to pass this on to your kids but you don't have much to share personally? Well, for very young children, it's really helpful to be able to practice with them. And if you don't even know anything about music, how can you possibly be effective? So the answer, the short answer to this is yeah, it's great if you can actually at least stay a lesson ahead or concurrent with your kids in those very early stages helping them to learn to read notes and rhythms and things like that. It's going to be very beneficial. Plus, if you're doing something with music, your children will see you and want to emulate that. So it could be very beneficial.

Now is it possible to have nothing to do with it and still have your kids be successful in music? I've seen it time and time again. Well, it takes the right teacher for that environment to work, as well as a motivated child. So the shorter answer is it can work either way, but in a perfect world at least at the beginning if you can have an intimate involvement in your child's studies, much as you do in schoolwork. The kid comes home and they have trouble with an English composition, if you can't read or write yourself on a very high level, your child is at a disadvantage compared to other youngsters, who have parents who are literate and well educated. It's not to say that these children can't learn, but it definitely gives them a leg up.

Thanks so much for the great questions. And once again, I'm Robert Estrin here at and
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Denis Gogin on June 24, 2015 @2:34 am PST
Hello, Robert,
I have a question about transitions from one octave to another in this etude , could you suggest some preparatory exercises to improve this skill?
Robert - host, on June 24, 2015 @2:50 pm PST
As I show in the video, practice going to the repeated note that changes fingers in each hand without going further. Practice arriving on that note with the other fingers of the hand over the octave (and middle note). You should practice very slowly at first until you can make the change to the higher octave instantaneously.
Iretnal on August 11, 2014 @11:52 pm PST
Thank you, that was very instructive!
robertfields * VSM MEMBER * on April 14, 2013 @8:21 am PST
This was very informative
Thank you very much
henry morris * VSM MEMBER * on April 6, 2013 @6:23 am PST
thanks for this, Robert! appreciated.
J. Shaw on April 5, 2013 @6:39 am PST
Thank you. Nice to see someone else who uses the same approach in teaching. My students will have another reference.
Judith Stijnis on April 4, 2013 @12:52 pm PST
Thank you . It is very interesting
Ross * VSM MEMBER * on April 4, 2013 @9:32 am PST
Exquisite! Before watching your video I regarded this Etude as the Mount Everest never to be tackled by me; now it looks more like a piece that I may actually dare attempt!! Your simple explanation and analysis of the Etude makes all the difference. Thank you Robert.
BJ on April 4, 2013 @8:27 am PST
Have been playing and teaching for years and always avoided the etudes as I have small hands. However you've prompted me to get my book open and have a go. Thanks
Jean-Marc Fabri on April 4, 2013 @7:05 am PST
Nice! Thanks!
phil * VSM MEMBER * on April 4, 2013 @6:17 am PST
That was a very helpful video for a novice piano player like myself. It changed a string of endless notes to a logical progression of chords. It's still too hard to put my hands together the way you play but I now understand what's going on. Thanks.
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