Robert Estrin - piano expert

The Importance of Quiet in Music

How important is it to be able to play quietly?

In this video, Robert talks about the importance of being able to play quietly no matter what instrument you play.

Released on May 20, 2020

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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

This is, and I'm Robert Estrin, and today the subject is the importance of quiet in a musical performance.

Now, there are many aspects to this question. Of course, it's really important to be able to have a dynamic range in your playing. In fact, there's no better way to draw in an audience than to come down very quiet. But what I'm talking about is the importance of the audience being quiet, and that's the subject.

And indeed, something that I like to do if an audience is loud, making noise, ruffling their feet, talking, things like that that are distracting, you think you'd play louder to overcome it; the opposite. If you come down, the audience has to be quiet, and they might even, "Shh," the person making the noise. Because they want to hear it.

And that's the whole key. Talking during a musical performance is so annoying to everybody around, particularly if the music gets quiet, right? And the problem really comes down to this. We live in a world where music is so pervasive; that is, recorded music. Wherever you go, there's music playing almost everywhere, so people are used to talking through music. Not only that, but even when there's live music in restaurants and other places, people are used to talking through it.

So, people go to concerts, people who are not educated about what concerts really are about, and they think it's okay to talk. Worse yet, you ever get those people not just rustling their program but they have a piece of candy... and you know where I'm going with this, and they think somehow, if they do it slowly enough, that...

They know it's making noise, so they're nervous about it, so they just keep going slowly, and they take an excruciating two minutes to get that candy open, while driving everybody around them nuts. So, really, have respect for your neighbors at a concert. Try to be quiet, and if you've got a really bad cough, maybe you should give your tickets to somebody else, you know? Because you could destroy a musical performance.

I mean, for example, I try to post musical performances of mine, I've got quite a number of them right on my YouTube channel, I even have a section you can check out if you want to hear some of my concert performances, and you know what? There's many of them I don't end up using because there's some loud coughing just in the most delicate, poetic part that just ruins it, and I can't even use it.

So, just remember this when you go to concerts. It's an experience that you want everybody to enjoy, and if you can be quiet and make sure you have comfortable clothing... Sometimes you have something that...

There's nothing worse than a chair that squeaks and you don't even want to move, so you check that all out when you get there so you can enjoy your musical performance, and everybody around you can, as well.

I hope this is helpful for you. It's kind of common sene, but not everybody has grown up with classical music the way I have, so I think it's important to share this. Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin at, your online piano store, and you're welcome to subscribe.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Robert * VSM MEMBER * on May 20, 2020 @7:53 am PST
Thank you Robert, that was very good with several really good suggestions for people to follow.
Robert - host, on May 20, 2020 @10:55 am PST
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