Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about how music creates emotion. There are many scientific studies about this. It’s remarkable that you can listen to a tune, a theme, a composition, a symphony, or a song, and it can make you feel something inside! How is this possible? There’s a lot to it. But today I want to talk about two fundamental principles of music that I believe are the primary mechanisms by which we feel emotion in music: repetition and development.

Repetition is such a strong aspect of being able to feel emotion in music.

Repetition helps you to comprehend what’s going on. There’s something very refreshing about returning to a familiar theme, particularly when you transition from something chaotic. That’s why a sonata-allegro form which has repeated sections of themes that develop, then return later, is a magical formula. It feels right. The same sort of formula is used in popular songs. The verse and chorus alternate back and forth. Then the bridge takes you astray. So when the verse or chorus returns, it feels so satisfying!

Development is also vital.

Developing upon a familiar theme can bring out many different emotions. For example, the beautiful theme in the Chopin G Minor Ballade. – how it is first stated, and how it comes back completely differently again and again. And because it’s a familiar theme, it has so much power. In the first repeat of the theme, it has little embellishment. But later in the Ballade, you hear the same theme in a grandiose version. It transcends into a gloriously dramatic theme. But if you hadn’t earlier heard the same theme in that delicate, poetic setting, it wouldn’t have such an impact. That’s just one example. There are limitless examples of repetition and development in music, which are the keys for being able to create emotion in music. There’s much more to it than that, but these are two elements that are intrinsic to virtually all music!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. Thanks again for joining me! I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.

For premium videos and exclusive content, you can join my Living Pianos Patreon channel! www.Patreon.com/RobertEstrin

www.LivingPianos.com
www.Facebook.com/LivingPianos
949-244-3729

How Music Creates Emotion

 Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about how music creates emotion. There are many scientific studies about this. It’s remarkable that you can listen to a tune, a theme, a composition, a symphony,

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. A viewer asked me, “How are piano competitions judged?” And it got me thinking. It’s such a subjective thing, isn’t it? Who’s better Who plays the piano better? Obviously it’s more art than science. So there’s a lot to this question. I’m going to dive right in for you! There are more fine concert pianists in the world today than ever before in history. Consider this:

In China alone there are over 40 million piano students!

Many of them are extraordinarily accomplished. And of course there are pianists all around the world. But there are a limited number of competitions. The international competitions, like the Cliburn, the Chopin, and the Tchaikovsky attract the greatest talent from the entire world.

What does it take to enter these competitions?

You have to play at such a high level to even approach these competitions because the repertoire requirements are tremendous. These top tier competitions require several complete programs, concertos, chamber music, all from memory, and sometimes there will be a piece written just for the competition that nobody’s ever seen or heard before! Instead of being able to refresh all the music that’s percolating in their heads, competitors have to immerse themselves in a brand-new piece to learn on the spot! How’s that for a challenge? Yet, there are still so many people vying for these piano competitions. The truth is, just being able to get into the semi-finals in one of these competitions is a milestone.

What is it like to compete in a piano competition?

Just like the Olympics, people prepare for months or years in anticipation of this one day. These competitions only come around periodically. Competitors might have a good day, they might have a bad day. Maybe they got a cold just the night before. The piano used in the competition might have an action similar to what they are used to and they’re right at home. Conversely, somebody else might feel off-put by the piano if it doesn’t feel anything like what they’re used to. Many of these top tier competitions, like the Tchaikovsky, offer a choice of pianos. Making that choice can be a very tough decision as well.

What are some of the things that enter into how judges evaluate one pianist to the next?

There are many things involved, but I’ve got an interesting story for you. Years ago, the wonderful concert pianist, Ivo Pogorelich, entered the Chopin competition. At a certain point, he was eliminated. But one of the judges of that competition was the great pianist, Martha Argerich who was so incensed by this, that she walked out of the competition! This made news and actually propelled Pogorelich into a career from the sheer spectacle of it all! But why do you suppose that Ivo Pogorelich was the favorite of Martha Argerich, and yet the other judges dismissed him? Well, one of the factors of competitions is that a pianist who really makes a statement and has a personality that is different from anything people have heard before will be loved by some and detested by others. In competitions, there can be a race to the center. It may be beneficial to not be extreme in one direction or another. And that’s kind of sad really. But how else do you quantify?

Tempo can play a role in how a judge may perceive a performance.

Judges are sitting there hour after hour, listening to pianist after pianist. If somebody comes in there and gives a very energetic uptempo performance, it can be invigorating! Then if somebody comes and plays a very beautiful, elegant performance, it may not have the same energy. After you hear a piece at a faster tempo, going to a slower tempo can be a let down. It sounds a little bit lifeless by comparison. This makes it very difficult to appreciate the slower performance. Though if you didn’t hear them next to each other, you might actually prefer the elegance of the slower performance! This is why many times the faster, louder player wins competitions.

But how else can you quantify who’s better? Let’s say somebody comes in and plays a Mephisto Waltz of Liszt. They play it faster than anybody else. It’s clean and it’s convincing. It’s very difficult to fault that, isn’t it? Of course, that player could play it slower if they chose to. But could the other players play it as fast? That’s an unknown. So there’s a lot to the idea of playing faster, playing louder, and playing very straightforward the way everybody expects the music to sound. I hate to think that that’s the way competitions are run, and truly they aren’t always run that way. But there is the risk of them turning out that way because of human nature.

As a performer, should you toe the line, or play to your own convictions?

You wonder how performers entering these competitions think about this. Are they going to take a chance and play the way they want to, even if they know it’s radically different from anything anyone else has done? Or are they going to play it safe and try to play for the judges? In my opinion, you really have to go for it and play to your own convictions. And that really is the lesson for today. Sometimes the winner is the person who plays to their convictions, and they play in such a way that it makes it seem as if it’s the only way the music should be played! This is not an exact science. This is art. It’s so subjective. That’s why this is an excellent question!

Keep the questions coming in! I pay particular attention to my Patreon subscribers. Those of you who want to have more input on these videos, I suggest you join my Patreon channel. www.Patreon.com/RobertEstrin

www.LivingPianos.com
www.Facebook.com/LivingPianos
949-244-3729

The Truth About Piano Competitions

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. A viewer asked me, “How are piano competitions judged?” And it got me thinking. It’s such a subjective thing, isn’t it? Who’s better Who plays the piano better? Obvio

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about what it takes to become a piano teacher. I received this question from a viewer. This is a really pertinent question because a lot of people who watch Living Pianos videos are teachers, or are thinking about teaching.

Because the internet is global, I talk to people all over the world. In fact, I have students in Australia, Pakistan, The United Kingdom, as well as all over The United States. Interestingly, in other countries the requirements for teaching piano are quite different from what they are here in The United States. Here in The U.S., there are 3 different types of music teachers. There are people who teach in the public schools, there are university and college teachers, and there are private teachers. Each of these have different requirements.

What are the requirements for teaching music in schools?

Piano isn’t typically taught in public schools, but to be a music teacher of any kind in public schools, whether it’s K-through-6, middle school or high school, takes certification, a degree or two including an education degree. And that’s really all that’s required. At the university and college level, all too often, they are looking for people with at least Master’s degrees. But it’s so competitive that having a Doctorate puts you in an advantageous position. Because unless you have something to set yourself apart in your resume, it’s very difficult to get any attention. There are very few teaching positions relative to the number of qualified applicants coming out of music conservatories and universities.

What does it take to be a successful private teacher?

For private piano teachers, and private music teachers of all ilks, there are absolutely no formal requirements. Anybody can put up their proverbial virtual shingle and say, “I’m a piano teacher.” And all too often people do just that. The flip side of this is some of the most accomplished pianists who have multiple degrees are not necessarily good teachers! As a private teacher, you need to be able to play the piano, or at least have been able to play the piano on a high level at some point. It’s really not necessary to be a concert pianist to be a great teacher. While some concert pianists are great teachers, there are concert pianists who are not good teachers at all. Many of them started very young, and were prodigies. They could play well due to natural ability. They can’t even remember having learned the fundamentals on the instrument. They were already advanced players at a young age. To relate to somebody starting out can be extremely difficult. Now, this isn’t to say that there are not people who were child prodigies who grew into great pianists and great teachers. I studied with Ruth Slenczynska, who was one of the great child prodigies of the 20th century. She was an absolutely wonderful pianist and teacher. So it does happen.

You have to have been a formidable pianist at one point in your life in order to understand enough to be able to teach.

Of course, if you’re teaching very young children, only going up to an intermediate level, you don’t necessarily have to be a very accomplished pianist. You just have to be a competent pianist who knows how to read music well and how to figure out and teach rhythms as well as hand positions and other aspects of piano technique. So how do you learn how to do all of that? The best case scenario is to have great training. If you’ve had great training, you might remember your early lessons. You might even have old books. I have the original manuscript book that my father worked through with me when I started lessons as a very young child. I still rely upon the things I learned from him in my own studies. I’ve taught them countless times over the years, because I also had the benefit of having assisted my father with his teaching. So he trained me in teaching as well.

Having a great teacher guide you in your piano pedagogy is invaluable.

I’ve worked with many teachers helping them to hone in their teaching skills, to know how to deal with students, and to take their teaching to another level. Maybe they want to teach and they find a lot of students, but they don’t feel comfortable teaching because of the repertoire or the style. Or they have students who want to study with them, but the students want to learn more theory than they’re comfortable with. I’m happy to teach people how to teach, and finding a mentor can be invaluable. So read up on various techniques, go to conventions. There are many ways of immersing yourself in teaching the piano. It is particularly important to spend time reflecting upon how you practice and be able to break it down into individual steps. That is the most important aspect of teaching. That’s something I learned from my father, not just with playing and practicing the piano, but music theory, sight-singing, all the disciplines. Breaking disciplines down methodically and explaining all the steps involved is invaluable for students. And if you can do that for people, it will be extremely productive for them.

I hope this is helpful for you! Any of you who have more questions, I offer counseling for my Patreon members. So if you’re thinking you want to teach and you want more advice, join my Patreon and I’ll be there for you! www.Patreon.com/RobertEstrin

www.LivingPianos.com
www.Facebook.com/LivingPianos
949-244-3729

The Requirements for Teaching Piano

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about what it takes to become a piano teacher. I received this question from a viewer. This is a really pertinent question because a lot of people who watch Living Pianos

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about movie music. What is the secret of movie music? It all comes down to thirds relations. I’m going to show you a little bit of music theory behind movie music. Once you know how it’s done, it will take the mystery out of it. I’m going to show you the trick! How does movie music bring out emotions to make you feel a certain way? It comes down to median or third relations. Typically, harmonies on the piano are based upon movement in fourths and fifths. Those are perfect intervals. For example, one chord to a four chord. That’s the movement of a fourth. Or one chord to a five chord. Those are your primary chords, One, four, five, one is a classic cadence in music.

You can sometimes move in the relationship of a third when you’re within the key.

You can go from one to six, from C to A. Then you go down to F which is four. And that has an interesting sound as well. But it’s when you go out of the key that you’re in that it starts to get interesting. If you do that with fourths or fifths it will sound quite familiar. Let’s say you’re in C major and you want to change keys to D. How do you get to D? Go to the five of the D. The five of D is A. So if you’re in C major and you play an A seventh chord, that’s going to bring you right to D. If you want to go back, you play the five chord of C which is the G seven. That is very typical sounding harmony. Even though we went outside of the key of C major, it doesn’t sound particularly unusual. But when you do it in thirds it’s a very different sound. If you go from C to A major you will instantly recognize a very familiar theme from the movie Star Wars.

Going with thirds to minor keys produces a very compelling sound.

If you start with C major, then go to E minor, then G minor it’s an ambiguous tonality with amazing colors. You can then go to B flat minor. And you can go to major chords also. You get the sound of something mysterious. Because you can’t really predict where it’s going.

So that’s a little bit about third relations. I hope knowing the secret it doesn’t take the pleasure out of movie music for you! This technique is used so much of the time. Now that you know what to listen for, you may notice when you hear it. When you’re listening to film scores I want you to listen for that sound. There are so many film scores with major and minor chords in thirds. It’s such an interesting and captivating sound!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. All of you out there who play the piano should experiment with this. Play chords, particularly major chords to minor chords a third away, and then go another third higher or lower. It’s such a rich sound! You can create these sounds for yourself. It might be the impetus for a composition or an improvisation. Thanks again for joining me! I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.

For premium videos and more content, you can join my Living Pianos Patreon channel! www.Patreon.com/RobertEstrin

www.LivingPianos.com
www.Facebook.com/LivingPianos
949-244-3729

The Secret of Movie Music

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about movie music. What is the secret of movie music? It all comes down to thirds relations. I’m going to show you a little bit of music theory behind movie music. O

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about why you must be able to play your scales on auto-pilot. What does this mean? I’ve talked before about motor memory or tactile memory being a dangerous thing to rely upon in your piano playing. You can take a wrong turn here or there if your mind isn’t cognizant of where you are in a composition. With repeats, expositions, developments, changes of keys, you must have an intellectual awareness of your music. Otherwise, you can end up in the wrong place in the middle of a piece! But, you absolutely must be able to play your scales with just motor memory because of the fingering crossings.

All major and minor scales involve finger crossings.

Scales encompass thumb crossings in the right hand going up and in the left hand coming down. And you have third and fourth finger crossings in the left hand going up and in the right hand coming down. All major scales and minor scales have the same basic premise of third and fourth finger crossings in one hand going up, the other hand coming down, and thumb crossings in one hand going up and the other hand coming down. That’s a whole lot of stuff to remember! That’s why in the early years of study, rather than working on scales which have complicated fingering to learn, it’s better to develop the strength of your fingers first by playing early Hanon exercises which avoid finger crossings.. The whole idea of practicing scales is to develop fluid notes in a row so that you can play beautiful streams of notes with evenness and clarity.

What if you can’t get the fingering?

As I mentioned, I love to start students with the very first exercises in Hanon, which have myriad different patterns, but none of them involve finger crossings. So, you get to work out your fingers developing strength, fluidity, and speed, without worrying about the complexity of finger crossings. But why do they have to be on automatic pilot? When you’re playing a fast scale, there just isn’t time to think of all of those fingerings! You have to be able to just do it without thinking about the actual fingering. Then you can focus on the sound, the expression, the volume, the evenness, and the clarity without thinking about fingering.

I made a video a few weeks ago on how playing the piano is like learning how to walk. At the beginning, it’s a struggle. If you’ve ever watched a toddler taking their first steps, the concentration on their faces is unbelievable as they figure out how to traverse one step to the next. We don’t have to think about walking, because we walk on auto-pilot. Imagine if every time you took a step you had to think about everything involved, the coordination, the foot muscles, the leg muscles, and keeping your body upright. It would be almost impossible to do anything while walking! Yet, we walk and talk about all sorts of things all the time and don’t even think about it. That’s exactly what you must do with your scales. How do you get to that point? Well, first of all, you should only start scales when you have enough strength in your fingers. If you’re just starting out learning scales an octave or two octaves, it’s really not that valuable.

You want to play all your scales in four octaves right from the get-go.

Even though the fingering is the same, when you’re playing in the low register, the angle of your arms is quite different from playing in the high register. You must get used to playing the whole keyboard. If you’re not up for that challenge yet, you’re better off doing 5 or10 Hanon exercises first to prepare yourself for practicing scales. This is a great way to get your fingers strong and to develop fluidity. Start with one note to the beat at 60 to the metronome, so you can really see how your fingers are working, then two notes to the beat, and then finally, four notes to the beat. Work on these Hanon exercises until you can play them in a fluid manner with strength and evenness. Then you are ready to embark upon scales. You should work on your scales in exactly the same way. Work on them in four octaves, just like in Hanon: 60 Selected Studies For The Virtuoso Pianist. This book is like the Bible of scales and arpeggios because it has all the standard fingering that 99% of pianists utilize. I highly recommend getting a copy. Get to the point where you can play your scales without thinking about fingering. Then when you have scale passages in music, you don’t have to start practicing like it’s a fresh thing. It’s already there, literally at your fingertips!

That’s the lesson for today. Get your scales on automatic pilot, on motor memory, on tactile feel, so you don’t have to think about the fingering. If any of you touch type as I do, you know that you don’t even have to think about where your fingers are going. Those of you who have to hunt and peck, you know it’s a little slower, a little bit harder, but you can get pretty fluid at it. But when you know where the keys are without even thinking about it, it makes it so much easier. You want your scales to be that easy as well!

Thanks again for joining me! I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.

www.LivingPianos.com
www.Facebook.com/LivingPianos
949-244-3729

Why You Must be Able to Play Your Scales on Auto-Pilot

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about why you must be able to play your scales on auto-pilot. What does this mean? I’ve talked before about motor memory or tactile memory being a dangerous thing to

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. The subject today is about the necessity of melody in music. Does music need to have melody? When you think of almost any music, the first thing you think about is the melody. What is melody? Melody consists of two elements: pitch and rhythm. Some of the most beautiful music that we know and love is based upon melodies. For example, Chopin’s famous Nocturne in E flat. Listen to the beginning of this piece to understand the beauty of melody, and how we think of melody and music as synonymous. Another example of melody that everyone is familiar with is the gorgeous second movement of Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata.

Not all music is based upon melody.

Does music need to have melody? The answer is no! There are whole genres of music that don’t utilize melody. But the vast majority of the music that we all know and love is based upon melody. Why is this? Most music throughout the millennia was never written down or recorded and was not played on any particular musical instrument. It was the human voice! The human voice has been with us as long as we have roamed this planet. The imitation of the human voice in wind instruments and bowed instruments is pretty obvious. Yet, we can also evoke that same quality of a singing line on a keyboard instrument. It’s in our biology. It’s in our DNA.

Some music is based solely on rhythm.

There are other types of music that could have been around in primitive times, rhythmically-based music that utilizes percussion instruments and is devoid of melody. In fact, African rhythms have permeated Western music since the introduction of jazz. This is the combination of Western harmonies along with African rhythms, which is very compelling. But does it have to have melody? Not necessarily. Many offshoots of jazz, particularly hip hop, can be devoid of melody to some extent or entirely and still it has musical context.

Another example in the classical world is minimalism.

 

Listen to Steve Reich, John Adams and Philip Glass, and you’ll hear music that has textures. It has pitch, but not necessarily melody. When you think of a melody, you think of a line. You think of a rise and a fall, just like the human breath. Yet, there is some great music that does not utilize this aspect.

While the vast majority of music is based upon melody, some music can just be rhythmically-based and still offer rich possibilities. Melody is vitally important in the vast majority of music. We all love the melodies that are dear to our heart. They speak to us in a visceral way because it’s part of our DNA. Throughout history and prehistory, melody has been with us and I hope it stays with us for a long time!

Thanks again for joining me! I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource

For premium videos and more content, you can join my Living Pianos Patreon channel! www.Patreon.com/RobertEstrin

www.LivingPianos.com
www.Facebook.com/LivingPianos
949-244-3729

Does Music Need to Have Melody?

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. The subject today is about the necessity of melody in music. Does music need to have melody? When you think of almost any music, the first thing you think about is the melody. What is melody? Melo

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about the two different kinds of encores. There are fundamentally two different types of moods you want to create in encores, and I’m going to get into that. But first I want to start with a personal reflection for you.

My father, Morton Estrin, had such a profound effect upon me.

I want to talk a little bit about my father’s experiences as a performer. As much as he performed, he got extremely nervous for performances. And when he would walk out on stage, it was a terrifying experience for him! He would get so nervous, his pedal foot would shake. I remember watching him perform and feeling so badly for him. There he was, trying to control things, and his foot was going up and down like crazy! It was once kind of funny, in retrospect. In one of his New York recitals, the reviewer commented on his beautiful performance and his “fluttering pedal technique.” Little did he know it was nothing intentional. It was something my father fought with his whole career. And the way he overcame it was very interesting. For him, the easiest thing to start a program with was something really heroic. He could go out there and play the most bombastic virtuosic music right from the get go. With that, he didn’t have any trouble. But to go out and start a program with a delicate piece, like something of Mozart, or a Schubert Impromptu, was extremely challenging for him. With that very delicate music, any little motion of any part of the body has such profound effects. He worked really hard to overcome this and was proud of himself that he could go out on stage and play something delicate as an opener for a program. Because programmatically, he wanted to be able to have architecture and not just start with the most heroic piece. Usually you want a big finish at the end of your program.

What was interesting about my father’s performances, we would always go backstage at intermission and hug him and tell him how beautiful it sounded. He couldn’t even believe it because he was so terrorized up there for the first half! But in the second half, he would relax. By the time he got to the end of the program, he was in his element. He would play encore after encore and the audience would cheer for more! He would play five, six encores, as many as the audience wanted. And at that point he could do anything. He had no nerves left whatsoever. It was a thrilling experience for everyone who heard him!

There are two different types of encores.

When a program ends and you come out for an encore, the audience has been through a whole program. You want to charge them up! So you play something like a Chopin etude, something virtuosic and energetic. But what if the program ended with something big and dynamic and it’s already a blockbuster at the end of the program? That’s when you want to flip it and come out with a poetic encore, maybe a Chopin Nocturne or Prelude. That could be just the mood you’re looking for.

My father recorded the Scriabin Etudes Opus 8.

It was the first modern recording of the complete Opus 8, and it won record of the year. You can find them on YouTube. His performances don’t sound like etudes. They are rich musical experiences. He didn’t play them as just technical exercises. He played them for the gorgeous music that this early Scriabin is. The Opus 8 was very different from later Scriabin where he explored very sophisticated harmonies that bordered on atonality. Early Scriabin is sometimes compared to Chopin. It really has a voice all its own, but it’s quite chromatic, beautiful romantic music that is extremely emotional. I got to hear my father play them in New York at Lincoln Center. It holds a very special meaning for me.

I’m going to play the D-sharp minor Etude from Opus 8 which is the last of the set. Then, just as if the program ended heroically, because that is an incredible blockbuster piece, I’m going to go right into a movement of Debussy from the Children’s Corner Suite, The Little Shepherd, which was my mother’s favorite piece. I would play it for her as an encore. So this is very special and a personal performance for you. You can listen to the accompanying video. I hope you enjoy it.

Two Types of Encores Video Link Image

Those are two completely different types of encores. What is appropriate depends upon your programming. So remember, if you’ve already pulled out all the stops, and you’ve ended really big, then bring it down and show poetry and express intimate feelings. Show what you can do to the soul! On the other hand, if the program ends with something long and melodic like a Schubert Sonata with beautiful architecture, then you’ll want to charge people up with your encore so they leave the hall with energy. Judging your encores is very important. Sometimes you can even have two or three encores prepared. Or maybe you’re brave enough and you have an audience that’s enthusiastic enough so you can play a bunch of encores like my father used to do!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this. Thanks again for joining me! I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.

For premium videos and exclusive content, you can join my Living Pianos Patreon channel!
www.Patreon.com/RobertEstrin

www.LivingPianos.com
www.Facebook.com/LivingPianos
949-244-3729

2 Types of Encores – for My Parents – Scriabin: Etude in D# minor Op 8 Debussy: The Little Shepherd

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about the two different kinds of encores. There are fundamentally two different types of moods you want to create in encores, and I’m going to get into that. But fir

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. I’m here today with part two of, How to Make it in Music. In part one I talked about how you just have to keep moving forward even if you don’t know where you’re going exactly. Move in the general direction. You will get clues as to where to adjust your path. You will be able to see what opportunities present themselves, as well as what resonates with you and what you can bring to light. I used the analogy of being lost in the woods and getting any clues as to how to get out. Sometimes you might feel that way in life. You’re yearning to do something with music but you just don’t know what that is. You don’t know where to begin. Keep moving forward! If you stay stuck in one place you’ll never get out of those metaphorical woods and you’ll never get anywhere in music.

Eventually you’re going to find your goal in music.

Seeing an end goal clearly and envisioning it is the first step. Once you have that, you can start filling in all the steps. Work backwards from that end goal. Find out what is required in order to get there. Work day-by-day in an organized fashion. You’re not going to have all the answers. But once you have identified a clear goal you can work step-by-step each day getting closer to achieving your goal. That is intrinsically important, not just for music, but in any field. But in order to be successful, first you have to explore. Let yourself go wild in many different directions to see what resonates with you, what’s genuine and what you have a passion for. Once you see something, latch onto it and figure out the steps involved in getting there. I know that sounds really simple. But obviously every single career has a different path and you have to find your own way.

It’s essential to find strategic partners.

People can help you on your journey. Once you identify something tangible, and you’re taking steps to get there, you’ll find people to give you that lift where you need it. People will be inspired by your commitment. They’ll also feel like it’s worthwhile helping you if they can see that you have thought things through, and you just need a few strategic partners in order to achieve your goals.

So that’s what I recommend. Go into that exploration phase. Don’t stand still! Once you find something you want, latch onto it and take all the steps to get there. That’s a life journey that’s worthwhile, if you have a passion for music or anything else. I hope this is enjoyable for you! Thanks again for joining me! I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.

For premium videos and more content, you can join my Living Pianos Patreon channel! www.Patreon.com/RobertEstrin

www.LivingPianos.com
www.Facebook.com/LivingPianos
949-244-3729

How to Make it in Music: Part 2

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. I’m here today with part two of, How to Make it in Music. In part one I talked about how you just have to keep moving forward even if you don’t know where you’re going exactly. M

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about getting into a state of flow with your music. You’ve probably heard this term before, and we’ve all experienced it. What does it mean to be in a state of flow? When you’re completely absorbed in something, whether it’s making pottery, a walk in the woods, practicing the piano – it can be almost anything. You stop thinking about what you’re doing, and you just are. It’s all one experience where you don’t have that sense of looking at yourself and telling yourself instructions with words. Instead it just flows naturally.

Getting into a state of flow during a musical performance can be a magnificent experience.

If you’re playing written music from the score, you have to keep a certain amount of your cognition so that you don’t take a wrong turn. You don’t want to get carried away! But you can get to a point with a score, if you are intimately familiar with it, where you are just absorbed in it completely. It comes out of you so naturally that it isn’t even work anymore and time seems to disappear. Have you ever had that experience? If you can get into that state in your practice, you’re really doing well.

Improvising is a fantastic opportunity to get into a state of flow.

With improvisation you don’t have to focus on a score. It’s much easier to get into a state of flow where you’re no longer thinking about what you should do next. It just comes out of you, and you can feel the trajectory. You can feel the flow of the music. You are just part of it. In music and in life, to be in the moment is the ultimate feeling! But it’s one of the most difficult things to do. People use meditation and other things to try to get into that state of flow. But music is a fantastic vehicle for that. So, let yourself go! Sometimes you just have to see where music takes you. You can do that in the privacy of your own home. Eventually, if you have the confidence and the security in your playing, you can do it in performance as well!

I hope this is enjoyable for you. Thanks again for joining me! I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.

For premium videos and other content, you can join my Living Pianos Patreon channel! www.Patreon.com/RobertEstrin

www.LivingPianos.com
www.Facebook.com/LivingPianos
949-244-3729

Getting into a State of Flow With Your Music

Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s subject is about getting into a state of flow with your music. You’ve probably heard this term before, and we’ve all experienced it. What does it mean to be in a state of