So you want to learn to play piano?
You want to be a concert pianist?
Say yes to both, but be realistic. You can still find all the
enjoyment in music, learning it, sharing it, even without exams,
competitions, or a solo concert career. Check these two
Truth about piano
lessons - this article offers some wisdom:
What are the
financial realities of a typical concert pianist?http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080430222615AAvzi92
If the above link
becomes expired, here is a
Here is a very
interesting video interview with one of the greatest pianists (and
conductor) of our century,
Vladimir ASHKENAZY. He is a genuine soul, and he speak honestly
about the reality of becoming a concert pianist.
I think we hear similar advice for young people who aspire to
exceptionally difficult dreams and ambitions.
While I think one should always be hopeful and should have big
dreams, it is wise to also recognise balance and have realistic
For now, I can not
find that special advice video that I recently watched, so I will
post the link here as soon as I do find it.
For now, here are two other nice videos of Vladimir Ashkenazy:
Free Sheet Music
Sharing the world's public domain music.
Music Paper -
Piano Tuning & Technician Services
"They say" a piano should be tuned twice a
year--most piano tuners/technicians recommend this. Personally, I
believe this recommendation has a lot of basis in economy--piano
tuners don't want to be seen as trying to milk clients for money.
Truthfully, tuning should be much more frequent. My goal is to tune
my piano 4 times a year. Ideally, according to this article, once a
month would be for the best health of the piano. Read on:
Mark Calkhoven Piano Tuning -
Technician's Guild - Canadian Piano Page -
Both technicians above (Mark and Colin) have
done excellent work on my piano, I love to recommend them.
How to buy a
piano - Piano Ratings -
stop piano research page - http://www.pianoguide.org/pianobasics101.html
Online Music Stores
Sheet Music Plus
www.sheetmusicplus.com (recommended by Rideau Music)
Now here is a nice
find - Liberace sheet music! http://www.ax2music.com/
(Unfortunately, no longer in business).
Music Minus One -
accompaniment for concertos--YOU play the piano part!)
Miscellaneous Music Links
for Arts & Learning (CNAL) -
Le Réseau canadien pour les arts et l'apprentissage
Keyboard Sizes! -
The future of piano
Calgary Concerts -
Piano Services -
http://www.concertpitchpiano.com (in Toronto)
Keyboards (Calgary) -
Music Festival -
Federation of Music Festivals -
login portal -
login portal -
Conservatory Canada E-Exams -
Conservatory of Music (Toronto) -
for RCM Examinations:
(Alberta Registered Music Teachers' Association) Calgary -
(Alberta Piano Teachers' Association) -
UCSF article on
Absolute Pitch -
this might answer some questions that parents might have:
Below are some other misc links that I've been
(excellent site for scales & chords)
BHA Pianos -
If the page above (Piano Knock-Offs)
ever disappears, I have
copy of it here (December 2012).
Piano Moving Companies
Delivery Company (Toronto Piano Movers) -
CDS Group of
Companies (International Piano Movers) -
Moving (Calgary) -
Here is another excellent web site,
of Living Pianos
as well as his other site,
(See my notes at the bottom of this page).
ESTRIN is a concert pianist, piano enthusiast, technician,
If I had to purchase another piano, it would be from his
store in Santa Ana, Orange County. Educate yourself on the
history of piano production in America during the past
century. Learn why these older, restored, regulated, even
rebuilt pianos are precious treasures of the past.
Would you buy a brand new Asian built piano or a rebuilt
hand-crafted piano within the past 20 to 80 years? Try
to find an excellent condition USA built BALDWIN grand
piano--well, Baldwin went bankrupt in 2000 so these
hand-made pianos are no longer being produced. You can buy a
brand new Baldwin, but they are built in one of the 2
factories in China. Baldwin was purchased by Gibson guitar
company in 2001 and they have found a "cheap" way to
reproduce this famous piano of excellent reputation. These
Chinese Baldwins are NOT the same as the hand-crafted
American Baldwin. These are referred to as "stencil"
pianos; these Asian built pianos have a completely
different design (using softer wood and even plastic moving
parts!) but they "stencil" the name Baldwin on the front &
sides of the piano. This is entirely legal, albeit
deceptive--the "Baldwin" title is legally owned by Gibson,
but they are now making these Baldwin grands with a much
reduced cost structure (our inevitable economy). There is a
rumour, and I do LOVE this rumour, that Gibson still has
their Arkansas Baldwin factory "on hold" -- with the
possibility that they could at any time start up the
American production of Baldwin again. That would be
nice--as long as they rehired the previous employees who
knew the art & science of building hand-crafted
If you read
page on Robert ESTRIN's site, he gives a good
explanation about the difference in quality between American
and Asian pianos. Just in case his page ever disappears, I
have cached a copy of it here.
Quality Pianos - American vs Asian.
Yes, I own a Baldwin grand
piano :-) Mine is
a Baldwin Model L, 6'3" Artist grand, built in 1994 in
Incidentally, this Baldwin Model L used to sell for over
$60,000 when they were still being produced in the USA!
Gibson now sells the Chinese made Baldwin L1 for $50,700 (as
of Sept-Dec 2012; see the 2 links below). This is a
reflection of the downward pressure of the value/economy of
pianos due to the huge influx of Asian pianos into our
market. Here is the link for the current Baldwin site:
If the above 2 links
become extinct, here is an
archive of them here.
One of the more interesting sites
that I love to recommend is
Music Studio. Hers is a very interesting site with much
relevant content, a reliable source of valid information! She
has lots of variety and balance in her content, very worthwhile. I
subscribe to her blog, it's stimulating and thought-provoking.