Robert Estrin - piano expert
Music Theory and Piano
Do you like this page?  
Search Videos:  
Receive new weekly videos by e-mail:  
Robert Estrin's latest Music Theory videos
Robert Estrin's latest piano videos
About Robert Estrin
Robert Estrin is a pianist who truly lives his instrument. Not only does he play and teach with proficiency and passion, but he also knows just about everything there is to know about pianos - from their construction to their history. Music is "all in the family" for Robert, with his father, Morton, a concert pianist; his sister, Coren, a pianist as well; his wife, Florence, an accomplished flutist; and his daughter, Jennifer, a violinist of great acclaim.

Robert studied piano and French horn at New York City's Manhattan School of Music, and he also received a degree in piano performance from Indiana University. He performs with symphony orchestras, at arts festivals, for music teachers' associations, at museums, and on college campuses. His most unique performance experience, however, is his Living Piano: Journey Through Time. In this creative endeavor, Robert dresses in period costumes and plays historic instruments, from his own collection, to tell the story of the piano over time to a wide variety of audiences - not just piano enthusiasts.

Robert maintains a vibrant online presence, with countless videos on YouTube and through Virtual Sheet Music. His videos, which have been viewed by millions, are engaging, entertaining, informative, and sure to enhance the knowledge, skills, and overall playing experience of pianists from beginners to the most advanced.
Do you have a question for Robert?
Post a question, comment or special request:
You may: Login as a Member  or  

Otherwise, fill the form below to post your comment:
Add your name below:

Add your email below: (to receive replies, will not be displayed or shared)

For verification purposes, please enter the word MUSIC in the field below

Questions, Comments, Requests:

beth miller * VSM MEMBER * on June 13, 2018 @5:53 am PST
Can you produce in three or four parts the Doxology for bells?
Robert A Estrin - host, on June 13, 2018 @11:03 am PST
You might ask Fabrizio if he can produce this for you.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on June 13, 2018 @7:50 pm PST
I am sorry to have missed this, this question isn't actually related to Robert's videos.

To answer your question Beth, we currently don't have that music for bells on our site. We have it for other instruments:

But not for bells. Since I guess that version for bells has some kind of copyright restrictions, I'd suggest to find it on the JW Pepper website:

I hope that's the music you are looking for.

Thank you.
beth miller * VSM MEMBER * on June 13, 2018 @10:22 pm PST
Thx for your reply...thought you guys could write arrangements for all types of instruments! 🙃
Kathie Zakresky * VSM MEMBER * on June 5, 2018 @8:52 pm PST
Are there electronic keyboards that have actually weighted keys?
Robert A Estrin - host, on June 6, 2018 @11:45 am PST
Yes - weighted action digital pianos are quite common. Many digital pianos have weighted, graded actions meaning that the bass notes are heavier than the treble notes just as on acoustic pianos. However, the mechanism on digital pianos are far simpler than the double escapement system found on grand pianos which have nearly 100 parts for each note.
Kathie Zakresky * VSM MEMBER * on June 6, 2018 @5:33 pm PST
Thank you for the response, Robert. to leave your reply
I understand the how the acoustic piano keys are weighted...
How are the digital piano keys weighted?
Kathie Zakresky * VSM MEMBER * on June 18, 2018 @10:21 am PST
Hello Robert...Please respond to the second part of my inquiry June 6th.
Thank you.....
Meg * VSM MEMBER * on May 17, 2018 @9:59 pm PST
According to my metronome on my iphone, MM 2/2 time minim = 80 is the same tempo as 4/4 time, crotchet equals 80. But some people differ, and say the 2/2 minim = 80 is the same as 4/4 crotchet = 160,i,e, twice as fast.
I am very confused about this, and I know I will get the correct answer from you.
Thank you very much.
Meg from Australia.
Beth * VSM MEMBER * on April 25, 2018 @9:50 am PST
I like Firstprise (April 8, 2018) give you a huge "Thank you!!! I agree totally with everything Firstprise said. I just finished watching your video about playing octaves and it was wonderful. Octaves have always be challenging for me although I have played the piano for probably about 60 years! I am excited to try out the techniques you taught on the video. Thank you for this video and the many other wonderful videos you have made. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent and techniques in such an enthusiastic and genuine way. I have so enjoyed the fact that even though you are tremendously talented and accomplished, you do not have a superior attitude about you. Instead, you make the rest of us feel like we are of value and can reach greater heights in our playing.
Robert Estrin - host, on April 27, 2018 @3:41 pm PST
It's a funny thing with piano - there are so many different styles as well as skills involved, that everyone has something unique to offer.
Firstprise * VSM MEMBER * on April 8, 2018 @2:04 pm PST
I have to add a huge "Thank you!! I began piano one year ago. Your instructions, videos, and especially your contagious inspiration cheer me along the journey. Your legacy is incalculable. I cannot imagine how many students of the piano you have encouraged and trained. I am one more.
Robert Estrin - host, on April 9, 2018 @2:18 pm PST
So glad you are enjoying piano and I could be part of your experience. It is truly remarkable what is possible today being able to connect with people all around the world.
Firstprise * VSM MEMBER * on April 8, 2018 @1:58 pm PST
What electronic device do you find most helpful for electronic sheet music? In place of pieces of paper and books of music on the piano, what electronic device do you find easiest to use?
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on April 9, 2018 @6:21 am PST
Dear Firstprise, thank you for your inquiry.

It is possible that Robert has different advice for you, but I would suggest an iPad Pro (the one with the larger screen) coupled with an AirTurn device to turn pages with your foot:

Our piano accompanist Lisa Maresch uses that configuration all the time as you can see in her videos below, and works like a charm:

I hope this helps!
Ben on March 13, 2018 @7:17 pm PST
Hello! Any suggestions for how to practice the opening to the third movement of the emperor piano concerto? Beethoven
Robert Estrin - host, on March 14, 2018 @12:10 pm PST
There are many techniques and musical considerations involved in playing the 3rd movement of Beethoven's Emperor Concerto. As with all pieces of music, memorizing the music first is key to being able to build a solid performance. Fingering must be figured out with great care. Slow practice with no pedal, progressive metronome work and other techniques are also useful. Without more information about what issues you have with the music, it's difficult to provide anything beyond this.
Ben on March 15, 2018 @2:30 pm PST
thank you! that is helpful!! Is it mostly wrist? and not arm? in the opening of the third movement?
Also--on the 4th page of the third movement, where there are 2 groups of 16th notes in the left hand in each measure for about 15 measures, is it ok to learn that part in 2 (6/8 in 2), as opposed to counting 1 2 3 4 5 6 like in the opening? Thanks for your help, I appreciate it greatly.
Raul Flores Suarez on February 28, 2018 @7:51 pm PST
there is no doubt you are an exelent teacher, I see your videos very often & congratulations sincerely Raul Flores
David Pippenger * VSM MEMBER * on February 28, 2018 @12:53 pm PST
I just received an email with the video " What are the different sizes of Grand Pianos" included. but when I clicked on the video, all I got was a blank page, no video. Can you send a corrected e-mail?
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on March 1, 2018 @8:23 am PST
I am sorry about that David, I have just checked the email we sent out and it look correct, maybe there was some kind of temporary issue either on our end or between your computer and our server (a temporary connection problem).

Please, try again, here is the link of that video:

Let me know if you have any further questions or need any additional help.

Thank you again.
Bill Fowell on February 21, 2018 @5:10 am PST
I need a beginning piano book for our autistic granddaughter.
Any suggestions?
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on February 21, 2018 @8:17 am PST
Hi Bill and thank you for your question. I am sure Robert will have some suggestions for you, but I love to help as well. Could you please tell me if you granddaughter already knows how to read music? Or she doesn't have any musical knowledge yet?
Robert Estrin - host, on February 21, 2018 @11:05 am PST
Repertoire for students varies depending upon many factors. After telling Fabrizio more about your granddaughter, he will probably have good suggestions for you.
Bill Fowell on February 21, 2018 @11:52 am PST
She is a product of the court system. The last foster parent didn't want her back and she was visiting with us over the holidays We are now the foster parents. As far as I know, she hasn't had any musical experience.
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on February 21, 2018 @2:41 pm PST
Thank you Bill for your provided information.

I couldn't find any specific basic music book for autistic children, but I think that any child can start learning piano with a basic method like this one:

I used that book with both my children with great success. With an autistic child though, more patience is required and it is going to take much more time to move from step 1 to step 2, and so on. Supplemental material like flash cards or music toys can also help a great deal.

There are several articles on the web that can help with that, here are a few I'd recommend reading:

But I'd strongly recommend either dedicate some in-depth study into this different kind of teaching before starting music lessons (if you are a professional musician), or ask help from a professional piano teacher. I wouldn't be surprised to find piano teachers out there that have had already some teaching experience in this realm.

I hope this helps!
Questions? Problems? Contact Us.