Robert Estrin - piano expert
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Music Theory and Piano
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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.
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Ken Cory * VSM MEMBER * on May 12, 2017 @4:44 pm PST
Do you have any tips on how to maintain our repertoire (how to keep many pieces ready to play, or nearly so)?
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Robert Estrin - host, on May 13, 2017 @2:10 pm PST
Yes, here is an article and video which should help you:

http://livingpianos.com/music-lessons/how-do-you-maintain-a-musical-repertoire/
Norman Kaye * VSM MEMBER * on May 10, 2017 @9:24 am PST
Hello Robert,
Here's something that puzzles me.
Do electronic pianos need regular tuning, do they go off key?
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Ken Cory * VSM MEMBER * on May 12, 2017 @4:55 pm PST
Fully electronic pianos, also known as digital pianos, never need tuning. Electroacoustic pianos, such as the 1970's stalwarts the Fender Rhodes, the Honer Clavinet, and the Yamaha electric baby grand, did need tuning, because they had mechanical parts (tines, strings, etc). In my opinion, modern digital pianos could benefit from some subtle *detuning*! One slightly sour note would add so much to the realism of the experience!
John Brooks on May 3, 2017 @8:26 am PST
Hi, Robert,

Do you have a segment describing how you film/record these episodes? I was watching Burgmulller 4 and would like to know how you get the music to appear and etc. It is a marvelous way to teach.

Thanks,

John Brooks (jonalin@reyespoijnt.com)
M&H 25254 CC2
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Robert Estrin - host, on May 4, 2017 @5:01 pm PST
Our production has expanded considerably over the years. Here is an article and video showing how we produced our videos in early 2013:

http://livingpianos.com/piano-questions/piano-questons-production-equipment-the-camera-and-audio-recorder-i-use/

As for the notation, that is the magic of Virtual Sheet Music!
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on May 4, 2017 @5:04 pm PST
Thank you Robert for the link, but I think John was asking about the sheet music examples superimposed on the video itself.

John, those examples are made by Virtual Sheet Music in post-production by using in-home software and techniques.

If you are interested in more information, please, let me know. Glad to know you like the videos and you find them valuable for teaching music!
Abby.M on April 28, 2017 @10:30 am PST
Dear Sir,

I really enjoyed your videos on YouTube about how to play and pedal Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. They really helped.

Similarly, I would like to know how to pedal Beethoven's 'Appassionata' Sonata (Opus 57, No 23). When and how should I use the damper pedal and una corda pedal, especially for the first and third movements. Thank you for the great videos and explanation.
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Robert Estrin - host, on April 29, 2017 @11:33 am PST
That's a deep subject! Here is an in depth video I did years ago on pedaling: http://livingpianos.com/how-to-play-piano/how-to-use-the-pedal-on-the-piano-keyboard-kaleidoscope-robert-estrin/
Darwin Sarnoff on March 9, 2017 @6:29 am PST
I would like to see more presentations directed at musicians who are part of groups (orchestras, quartets and so forth) as I am. Most of the people with whom I associate are not, nor will they ever be soloists.
Thank you for your consideration of my request.
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Robert Estrin - host, on March 9, 2017 @4:50 pm PST
We do have some videos discussing ensemble playing. Here is one:

http://livingpianos.com/how-to-play-piano/how-to-accompany-other-musicians-on-the-piano/

We will consider all topics!
antonio.vettese * VSM MEMBER * on March 3, 2017 @4:33 am PST
it may be interesting getting some suggestion on how to get the best from the score, explaining the intention embedded in it by the author.
Antonio
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Robert Estrin - host, on March 3, 2017 @11:06 am PST
It's important to reference an urtext edition which shows only the composer's markings with no additional editorial suggestions. Every detail is crucial in understanding the music.
Marc Vande Wiele on February 12, 2017 @2:25 am PST
Hi Robert,
Thanks a lot for your very useful,explanations on the piece of Musio Clementi's Op 36 part 1 and 2 . Any idea when the 3 part 'Vivace' will be available?
Greetings
Marc
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Robert Estrin - host, on February 17, 2017 @11:21 am PST
Thanks for the reminder - I will put in in the queue to be produced!
adria taylor on February 10, 2017 @1:34 pm PST
Hello, Mr. Estrin. Have a question for you, but don't know if you'll have an answer to my question.

Can a piano and or keyboard wear down if left untouched for a long period of time? I have an old Kurzweil keyboard that had been given to me from somewhere ( a library or a town hall) people could enjoy music. But it just sat there cause no one knew how to turn it on. And one day I sat down and played it, but didn't like the sound.

I really enjoy watching your you tube videos. I have picked up a lot of great info since watching your videos. Thanks for the great videos.

- you tube viewer
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Robert Estrin - host, on February 11, 2017 @12:34 pm PST
Even digital pianos can degrade over time. The contacts can become corroded causing keys to not respond uniformly. Sometimes action parts can become hard and brittle causing noise or even keys to not play. However, it shouldn't affect the overall sound unless the speakers became damaged from the environment.
Adria Taylor on February 13, 2017 @6:44 pm PST
Thank you for replying! That helps a lot, Thanks.
Jodl Gabino on February 1, 2017 @12:02 am PST
How can I ser Ballade #1 tuttorial # 3 please?
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Robert Estrin - host, on February 2, 2017 @12:25 pm PST
We may produce more tutorials for Chopin's Ballade in G minor at some point in the future.
Music lover on December 21, 2016 @2:32 am PST
Hi, Mr. Estrin, is there a difference between a swing tempo and a triplet termpo in crotchet beat?

Thank you!
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Robert Estrin - host, on December 22, 2016 @1:07 pm PST
I'm not sure what the distinction is for "crotchet beat". But swing rhythm and triplet rhythm are very similar, but not precisely the same. Swing feel implies a weight to the notes with the more emphasis on the longer note. Also, the rhythm isn't necessarily precise. There is a feel to swing rhythm that varies depending upon the style.
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