Archive for May, 2008

When you have a child and they are old enough to walk, then they are old enough to begin looking at playing instruments.Many of the greatest musicians in the history of music have started out incredibly early. Mozart himself was playing the piano at the age of three and composing operas before he was 10 years old.

Of course, your child is probably not going to end up to be Mozart, but that does not mean you can’t start them early on the path to musical kinship.

Being a musician means that when your child is having trouble dealing with life, or they are depressed for whatever reason in the future, they will have the outlet of music to express their desires, hopes, dreams and fears. They will be able to use music as a tool to help themselves, and countless musicians in history have done exactly the same.

Like a writer or an artist, musicians use music to help them come to terms with the world around them and help make it a better place for themselves. This is why it is so important that you help your child learn how to play an instrument at a young age.

It can be tough at first to get your child to commit to learning an instrument, but the important thing is that you do not push it on them. You need to allow them to take their own time to learn how to play the instrument, because if you force it on them, they will only resist it.

Buy used instruments and allow them to choose which one they like. They may hate the guitar but love the bagpipes, they may hate the piano but love the accordion. As a result, you need to be able to find the instrument that is right for them to keep them happy.

It can seem daunting to go through this process of trying to find something your child will enjoy playing, but if you commit yourself to only buying used instruments, you will save oodles of cash and your child will not have to suffer through being unable to let their musical gifts wander. Buy used instruments and help them reach their full potential and do not be afraid to start them early on the path to musical greatness.

Music is a wonderful thing and it has the power to turn children into inspired little beings that love to play a note on the piano or dance around with a guitar. Plus, you never know when you buy an instrument, if it is going to be something your child will take off with. You could be helping the next John Lennon or Bruce Springsteen in their future legendary career. It may amount to nothing, it may amount to fame and fortune, what is important however, is that you allow your child to reach their full potential with the instrument they choose to play. Musical is a wonderful gift that you can give to your child.

Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments. You can find the best marketplace for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments at these sites for used children CDs, children autographed CDs, and used children”s musical instruments.

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Are you interested in learning to play the piano? If so, there are a few steps to actually getting started on the path to accomplishing that dream, you have to decide whether or not to buy digital piano equipment or traditional acoustic piano equipment. Also, you have to figure out whether you plan to teach yourself with online courses and books or hire a professional piano instructor. While it is difficult to advise a person as to what the best learning style for them would be, here is a little bit of information that might convince you whether or not you should buy digital piano equipment and learning materials or acoustic material to get started on your path to learning to play the piano.

Just the thought of learning a new instrument is exhilarating and being able to afford the instrument is just as exciting. You actually get to take the instrument home with you to practice where and when you want. Being so lightweight, the digital piano has become the choice for most piano playing novices and professionals alike.

Digital pianos have come a long way since the first synthesized piano, and the selection has grown exponentially. There are those that prefer the older more acoustic piano, but they are becoming too costly to maintain. The upkeep on a traditional style piano costs quite a bit what with cleaning and tuning costs every year.

One of the greatest advantages to a digital piano is that you can record your music in real time and begin to edit as soon as the track is saved. Connections include direct RCA hookup and 8mm plugs for sound card connections. Having the recording function allows you to hear how you play and to spot where you may be flat. Having the music in a digital format will also allow you to cut, scrape and edit the music as well.

The cost of a digital piano starts at roughly $100 and up. Compare this against a traditional piano and you would barely be able to pay the moving mans fee for hauling a piano to your house. A real piano is nice to have and is a great instrument, but when it comes to mobility, nothing beats a digital piano.

Being more mobile allows the user to take the digital piano to classes or jam sessions. For the new student, this is extremely convenient and will definitely cut down on the cost of the instructor’s time as they sometimes charge for travel.

Learning the piano is a great way to experience music on all levels. Using a digital piano will allow you to do so much more with your studies and keep your costs down as well.

You can get a more in-depth knowledge about the piano in general and the many types of digital piano in particular by going to – The Complete Online Resource For Pianos And Piano Music.

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The Steinway is the only grand piano that will sell for more than you paid for it, regardless of how long you own it.

Can you name any other brand name that can make that claim, for any type of product?

And why? I’d ask a pianist to really find out.

I’ve owned several and played many magnificent Steinway grand pianos, so I’d be glad to give you an idea.

First, we have to presuppose several things:

1. We are referring to new, almost new or perfectly rebuilt instruments only.

2. We are referring to grand pianos of the New York Steinway type, not the Hamburg models.

3. We are referring only to grand piano models L (5’11”) and above.

4. If it is a rebuilt piano, it must have been rebuilt by Steinway, directly by the company, not someone who claims to be “certified” by Steinway.

So why are Steinway pianos the best? One reason: sound. There is simply nothing like it.

It’s not like the difference between a Chevette and a Rolls. It’s the difference between a Rolls and a jet plane.

The Steinway sound comes of course from the construction, and that is the prime reason that a Steinway has that amazing, powerful sound. Much has been written about the Steinway construction, a lot of it very technical.

But how did the Steinway Company achieve this sound in the past, and are they able to maintain the phenomenal record of excellence into the present?

I knew a technician, the legendary Heinz Zimmerman, who worked in the Steinway factory in Hamburg and then New York. He was in 1970 about 70, so he had weathered World War II and had a thick, lovely German accent.

He was an absolute, continental gentleman and craftsman, and quite a character for an 18 year-old pianist like me to run across. Heinz required a demitasse of coffee, “mit schlag,” (with whipped cream) beside my Steinway model A, 6’2″ of wonderful sound.

Heinz had actually helped me pick out the piano. It had sat in a patrician lady’s living room for forty years, slowly crinkling the perfect ebony finish in the California sun into something resembling crocodile skin. But the inner workings were perfect. In fact, I noticed that the hammers weren’t even creased, meaning that it had been played very little if at all. Heinz looked at the piano, and breathlessly reported that it was a Model A of 1926 vintage, the best, prewar type of piano. And here it was, untouched, forty years later.

Heinz knew the piano! He had helped build it (he made one of the many bridge parts, but more of that later.) and insisted that either I buy it, or he would buy it himself.

Zimmerman became my entr

Frederic Chopin was alone among the great composers in that he made his living almost entirely from teaching piano.

During the period around the 1840’s he was the most famous piano teacher in Paris, largely because he was also one of the most famous and beloved composers in the world.

His roster of students contained many great and good pianists, among them Mikuli, who became the editor of Chopin’s printed piano music.

Chopin taught at home in a lavish, well appointed studio. It contained two pianos: one beautiful Erard grand, on which the student played, and a small cottage upright, at which the master sat and demonstrated.

The master instructed his students to seek out and play only the finest pianos, as he thought playing on inferior instruments ruined a good finger technique. His emphasis at first was on relieving the tension found in many students’ hands.

He began at eight in the morning and taught all day. This was because, as he said, “All those white gloves cost money.” He was a dandy and fastidious dresser, and traveled only in the highest echelons of Paris high society, where he was in constant demand both as pianist and personality.

To the talented student, he was both inspiring and confusing. Giving great advice was his stock in trade, but one student pointed out that, “The master is so confusing. He demonstrates how I should play, but every time he plays a piece, it is completely different!”

To the untalented, he could be cruel. Many of his students were titled young ladies of very high social standing but little talent who took lessons from Chopin because they could afford to and because it conferred social status to study with such a great master.

But his assistant, Mikuli, noted many times when these rich young ladies would be reduced to tears and run away in horror because the master had criticized their playing most harshly.

Rich or poor, at the end of the lesson the student put their payment in gold on the mantelpiece, while the master discreetly turned his back.

Great masters do not tarnish their hands with money.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2000 Walden Pond Press. Visit to see the fun PIANO BY NUMBER method for kids.

John Aschenbrenner is a leading children’s music educator and book publisher, and the author of numerous piano method books in the series PIANO BY NUMBER.

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So you have decided to learn the piano/keyboard but not sure whether you want to go to a music teacher yet. This is a dilemma which most of us face as beginners and it is understandable to an extent. Before committing money/efforts on books and teachers it is good to get an idea of what is involved in learning the piano. It will in fact help you later when you decide to go to a teacher since you would have an understanding of the various topics that you would be supposed to learn.

Black & white Keys

Finding basic information is not a problem at all as there is so much stuff floating around on the internet that you should be able to start on your own initially. The most obvious topic to start with will be to know the notes on a Piano. It is very important to know how the various keys on the piano are named, since there are so many of them. Besides, there are white as well as black keys so you need to learn how to differentiate them.

Names of the Notes?

The thing is though it looks daunting, there is basically a pattern to it. Basically there are only seven Notes – C D E F G A B. This same set then gets repeated throughout the keyboard from left to the right. All the white keys are named this way. And what about the Black keys? Those are derived from the white key, you need to add a “Sharp” or a “Flat” to the name of the white key.

C D E F G A B (Basic Notes)

Read Music

Once you know the names of the notes on the piano, you will also need to learn how to recognize them on written music. The keyboard of a piano is basically depicted on written music by using Clefs – basically the Treble clef and the Bass clef. The various notes of the song are then depicted on the sheet music which you will need to recognize and play on the piano.

Suresh Bist

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All that matters is your child’s experience at the piano. It doesn’t matter what other people think, what others expect, even what the piano teacher thinks is irrelevant.

What matters is that your child has a chance to experience playing the piano, however humbly, and enjoys what they are able to do. Even attempting the piano is a success.

Looking at children at the piano as a group, with statistical expectations that one child will live up to someone’s ideal of a musician, is actually destructive to the child.

No one in their right mind expects their child to play at Carnegie Hall: what we’re looking for is hobbyists and aficionados, not piano virtuosi and superstars.

Let me assure you that if your child has what it takes to play Carnegie Hall, it will be so obvious that no one in the piano business will miss their cue. The number of children that have that in the cards for them are so few, that it is not even a real number.

Take all the wildly talented children, divide by 10,000, and then pick one. That one child has a 1% chance of a successful career as a piano soloist. But all children, properly nurtured, have a 100% chance of playing simple songs at the piano, feeling great about it and adding to their general education and intellectual skills.

It’s more productive to think in terms of your child as an individual. Let’s get that individual child to play as well as they can, without stress, without wildly unrealistic expectations.

In fact, the point of early childhood music education is not expertise, but exposure to the intellectual and abstract concepts inherent in music that will help their minds grow.

To demonstrate the proposition that children’s piano lessons increase mental powers, we need to look at the human brain itself.

The brain, divided into two sides, controls each hand with the opposite side of the brain. The left brain controls the right hand, while the right brain controls the left hand.

The two sides “speak” to each other via a huge superhighway of nerves and ganglia called the “corpus callosum.” The reason the piano is so beneficial for children intellectually is that the piano, in having both hands work together in similar ways, forces the brain to use both halves of the brain simultaneously. There are very few activities on earth that excite the “corpus” like music and piano.

And so piano activity demonstrably produces better handwriting, better math skills, better abstract skills and higher self-esteem, all through having the two sides of the brain talk to each other, over and over until the nerve path is physically thickened.

That’s right, there is a PHYSICAL result in your child’s brain as a result of playing the piano, even attempting the piano. It is a known medical fact that the “corpus callosum” (that nerve path between the brain’s two sides) of musicians is up to 90% larger than that of people who are not musicians. And starting piano at an early age begins those benefits early in life.

So if your child is not destined for Carnegie Hall, they may still be destined to enjoy, appreciate and create music. And have a thicker corpus callosum!

The saddest part of music education today is that piano lessons are, as they always have been, designed to produce candidates for Carnegie Hall, not fully rounded and nurtured individuals who try to play piano to the best of THEIR ability.

Children who, with a little care, could gain all the benefits of a piano education are made to feel like failures because they cannot live up to a curriculum developed hundreds of years ago to produce professionals.

It’s time to let kids be kids and not rob them of the benefits of piano because they don’t fit some misguided teacher’s idea of accomplishment.

Start looking at the piano from the child’s point of view.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2000 Walden Pond Press. Visit and see the fun PIANO BY NUMBER method for kids.

John Aschenbrenner is a leading children’s music educator and book publisher, and the author of numerous piano method books in the series PIANO BY NUMBER.

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