Robert Estrin - piano expert

Can you Learn to Play Piano on YouTube?

Can video lessons on YouTube replace a live teacher?

In this video, Robert answers a question many of today's musicians are asking themselves: Can you really learn the piano from YouTube videos?

Released on April 8, 2015

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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 and with a great subject. The subject is can you learn to play the piano from YouTube. This is a great subject. You might think I would have a self-serving answer to this since I have so many YouTube videos. Actually, it's a very complex question.

In order to answer this, I'm going to tell you a little story about somebody I met recently. Somebody came here from out of state to buy a piano. They were playing all kinds of repertoire, the Moonlight Sonata, and I'm not just talking about the first movement. I'm talking about the whole sonata. The third movement is a virtuoso piece, and he played other repertoire. In the course of conversation I discovered the way this man learns music. He didn't read a note of music. You might wonder how could he possibly learn it. Well, in this case, he has a player piano at home. He watches the keys, and he has learned how to play some extremely complex music and play it on a high level simply by watching a player piano. That's astounding, isn't it? Well, I've known other people who do much the same thing utilizing YouTube videos looking at every key that goes down and how the pianist approaches it and are able to learn pieces.

Can you learn the piano from YouTube? Well, it sounds like my answer would be yes because I just gave some examples of technology aiding in learning to play the piano. However, I would say that this is only one component, just as even if you take lessons, that's not the only thing necessary to really play on a high level. You must listen to music. You must live and breathe it. The same is true with can you learn from YouTube videos. There's a lot you can learn, but there's really no substitute for a great teacher and the experience of hearing live music. YouTube can certainly offer many, many wonderful components for you, but it's only one part of a balanced diet of getting exposure to piano or whatever instrument that you want to study. Certainly enjoy YouTube, but realize you can go much further with other materials.

Thanks so much for the great questions, and look forward to next time. I'm Robert Estrin here at and
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

ian on November 28, 2018 @10:22 pm PST
Hi Robert!
Unfortunately I didn't have any you tube or teacher to teach me, the wonderful thing about this is I can read music and play an instrument, I was asked by a lady to play for her and a friend at a sports club, so after asking management they allowed me, so i played for her, you would never in your life believe what she asked me, are you a concert pianist and frankly i said no, i'm a classical guitarist,, she then told me you could have fooled me mate, because i play with the qld symphony orchestra, so why aren't you travelling the world my reply was i don't have a piano, true story and a beautiful compliment...
that is why i enjoy your teaching::::Smiley Face))
Robert Estrin - host, on November 29, 2018 @11:44 am PST
Kudos to you!
ian on November 30, 2018 @9:16 am PST
from ian
Thanks Robert

p.s i eventually went to a piano teacher and she was furious with me as i don't have a piano at home, so every little lesson you give on youtube has been so helpful ::::::Smiley Face))))))))
Robert on April 27, 2015 @9:33 am PST
Thank you Robert for much insight!
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