Robert Estrin - piano expert

Why All Musicians Should Play the Piano

Learn why any musician should play the piano

In this video by, Robert tells you why all musicians should play the piano. Why do you think that'd be the case?

Released on May 29, 2019

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi. This is Robert Estrin at, your online piano store. Today, why all musicians should play the piano. Did you know that if you go to a music conservatory, or major in music at a university, you have to have a certain level of piano proficiency in order to get your degree. That's right. Everybody has to play the piano. Now, let's start from the beginning. There are two essential instruments, I believe, for all musicians. The piano is one and the voice is the other. They are diametrically opposed to one another.

One is the most natural instrument we all carry with us, and you must hear something in your head before you can even produce the sound. The piano is the opposite. Push a key, it makes the sound. What's so intrinsic about the piano is that you can play polyphonic music. You can play chords, harmony, and better than that, it's visual. A piano is laid out in such a way that you can see what diatonic harmony is all about. That is half steps and whole steps arrangements. For example, take a look at this piano here. You'll see that the keys are laid out in such a way. They just see the three keys and the two keys are the black keys. If you start on C, you're playing a C major scale.

It's already laid out for you, so beautifully, that you could already see diatonic harmony right in front of you, and you could hear chords easily play chords. Even a child can do it. It's that easy. So, being able to conceptualize harmony and being able to see your music, and hear. Now, there's more to it than this though. If you play, for example, the clarinet, or the saxophone, or flute, or even a stringed instrument, the vast majority of the music is written to play with other musicians, whether it's in a band, an orchestra, or solo music, which usually contains piano parts in it.

In fact, solo piano music has more repertoire than every other instrument combined because if you look at almost any solo music, for violin, for clarinet, for any instrument, most of it has piano parts to it. So, piano is a tremendous instrument for you because you could realize the parts to the pieces you're playing and be able to hear what you're doing. You might wonder what the orchestra is doing, and there'll be a piano reduction for you on your oboe concerto, or something of that nature. Piano truly is intrinsic and all people should study the piano. You'll learn the theory. You'll understand chord structure, key signatures. It's all visually in front of you, and you could produce sounds, multiple sounds, and harmonies that are just impossible in other instruments.

I had the good fortune of starting piano as a very young child, and then in fourth grade I started French horn in school. Because I could already read fluently, and was playing, you know, somewhat sophisticated music for a relative beginner, it was so easy. I learned the entire first book the first week. I came back the next week, and on French horn, no less. Why? Because I was used to much more complexity in the score, and it always made me a really exceptional sight reader on French horn being used to piano music with multiple notes and two staffs. Reading on the horn was easy by comparison. So, I recommend all of you, if you don't play the piano, go for it. It's going to enlighten you about music structure. It will help you with your instrument. You get a great appreciation, and it's fun. What have you got to lose? Once again, this is Robert Estrin here at, your online piano store.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Fulvia * VSM MEMBER * on May 29, 2019 @6:00 pm PST
The piano is the reason my parents met. Father already had a diploma for clarinet, but he wanted to advance and become an conductor. So he had to take piano lessons, that is when my mother came in the picture! They were married 9 years later. And yes, eventually father obtained 2 diplomas from the Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Robert Estrin on May 30, 2019 @12:55 pm PST
It's amazing how piano is central to many relationships!
Thomas Antony on May 29, 2019 @4:42 pm PST
Im Thomas! Can I possibly start learning the Piano at this age of 65?
I can read music! I played Sax in 70's! Was organist too! But lost touch of reading simultaneously, both cleff!
Kindly encourage me! Thank you!
David Willmore * VSM MEMBER * on May 29, 2019 @8:59 am PST
i regret not having learned the piano first. It wasn’t even in the curriculum in the RAF school on music, I play trombone and recorders
Robert Estrin on May 30, 2019 @1:43 pm PST
You are never too old to learn piano!
J J-K on May 29, 2019 @6:50 am PST
Once again, an excellent video on a vital topic, thoroughly and clearly summarized. I will be forwarding it to the parents of my grandchildren.
Thank you for all your engaging and knowledgeable videos, Robert!

(FWIW, I found the roaming camera format a bit distracting, though it was interesting to see your showroom.)
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