Can You Be Upbeat in 1,200 Videos? Why I’m So Upbeat in my Videos

Piano Lessons / piano questions / Can You Be Upbeat in 1,200 Videos? Why I’m So Upbeat in my Videos

Welcome to, I’m Robert Estrin. I’m here today with a comment and question from a viewer. They said, “Your enthusiasm is amazing. How do you stay so passionate and enthusiastic? You should make a video on that.” At first when I read that, I was flattered and all. But then I started thinking about it and I thought you might be interested in the backstory as to why I always seem to be upbeat in my videos. I have over 1,200 videos and I don’t think I’m really depressed in any of them. Does that mean I’m never depressed? Well, no. Everybody has their ups and downs.

Growing up, my friends didn’t have a strong appreciation for classical music.

I grew up in a musical household. My father, Morton Estrin, was a concert pianist. Although he was a Professor of Music at Hofstra University, he did most of his teaching right at home. There was a big addition totally separate from the rest of the house where my father taught. So, I did connect with many of his students. But truth be known, my friends couldn’t have cared less about Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin. That stuff wasn’t cool. I would play a few popular songs, but it wasn’t really my thing. I didn’t listen to very much rock music. There were some songs that I really enjoyed, but my whole life was centered around classical music!

After all these years, to find an audience of people who are enthusiastic about the piano and classical music, the way I am, is actually thrilling!

I look forward to these moments. It’s not easy to find them! I manage to make videos every week. I’ve been doing them on YouTube since 2009 and first started making piano videos in the late 1990’s! That’s a long time. But even right now, I’m here in the showroom. Everything looks great. I’m having a good time. But at the same time, our water heater went out. Our basement is flooded and I’m waiting for a plumber to arrive. So, it’s not all as rosy as you may think! But I take life at face value to a great extent.

You live. You die. So you want to make something happen in between!

I make these videos to share the things that are important to me. It really is thrilling to have people watch and care about classical music and the piano in the 21st century. It’s not irrelevant! I’d love to hear your experiences with classical music as a child and growing up. Did people respect you for it, or did they mock you? I wonder what experiences all of you have had being immersed in classical music, assuming you are. You can comment on and YouTube. Thanks so much for the question. And I appreciate the support from all of you subscribers out there! I’m Robert Estrin here at, Your Online Piano Resource.

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14 thoughts on “Can You Be Upbeat in 1,200 Videos? Why I’m So Upbeat in my Videos”

  1. Hello, Robert,

    Thanks you for the many music and piano teaching videos you share with musicians. I enjoyed this week’s video/blog on why you are so upbeat.

    You asked for others’ experiences regarding “classical” music. Growing up, my private music instruction focused on classical music. However, I figured out a variety of other styles and genres as a result of being asked to accompany choirs and solo performers, playing in pit bands for musicals, being in jazz bands, and so forth. Interestingly, I enjoyed attending classical music concerts but tended to listen to soft rock and adult contemporary music on the radio. Perhaps this versatility kept people from pigeon-holing me or mocking me as a musician. Fast forward a few decades, and I find myself still accompanying and teaching a variety of genres. For my own solo playing, I prefer classical music.

  2. Thank so much for sharing this, it’s enlightening and inspiring at the same time. I wanted to say real quick that I completely relate to your experiences with friends not caring a lick (hey that’s a pun) about classical music. I remember my teenage friends being baffled and even hostile when realizing that the only tapes (cartridges ha!) I had in my car at the time were either classical or jazz. I liked a few individual rock/pop songs, as you referred to, and I still now, especially funky, highly danceable stuff. But the funk thing is at the heart of much jazz, so…. Anyway, sorry for the long comment but you really struck a chord (that pun was intended I think:) Thank you maestro, you’re the best. I watch your videos not only to learn, but to get charged up and enthusiastic when I’m feeling down). Thank you!!!

  3. I grew up in post war Scotland and lived in public housing. State Schools I attended were lacking in music curricula – no orchestras or, the chance to learn an instrument. Fortunately, the music teacher was a huge fan of opera and would play records of his favorite pieces and voices, notably Kathleen Ferrier. I sang in choir, an Alto. Then, my cousin came to stay. A huge classical music and jazz fan, his 33RPM albums blasting our through the wall neighbors with such a wonderful selection, it was pure magic. But perhaps not for them.

    I look back on the snobbery of some who looked down on me because of my address, and my insolence and desire to sing opera. Apparently I didn’t know my place. Classical music is for us all. Older now, I am a perpetual Piano Learner. Still struggling with hand coordination and, thank goodness for large print music.

    Enthusiasm us what it is all about. The joy, shivers and tears on say, hearing Claudio Arrau play Moonlight Sonata or, any other piece that evokes emotion and memories. Am trying to teach myself Air on a G string (made popular by jazz guy Jacques Lousier) and, a simple arrangement of Moonlight Sonata. I am old, hearing impaired but, Beethoven is my hero.
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

  4. Hi Robert,

    Thank you for all your wonderful videos especially this one. I fully understand the impression Classical music has made in your life.

    For me, I was not raised in a musical family, however, my mother started me on piano lessons at the age of 7, after my father bought an old upright piano at an auction for two dollars. Unfortunately, the piano was so huge that it cost two hundred dollars to move into the basement of our house!

    After many years of piano lessons, it wasn’t until ninth grade in HS that I started taking private piano lessons from a professional teacher who instilled in me a love of Classical music. He is the reason, I perform on the piano and compose, today.

    Teachers are very important to a child’s development. I’m glad your father was an inspiration to you as a child.

    Again, thank you for all your outstanding and informative videos. They are priceless!

  5. Robert
    Your video and many of the comments on it just prove that musicians can come from just about anywhere. When I grew up I started piano lessons when I was 7. There really was no other music in the house even though my dad sang in a men’s chorus for a year or so. My grandfather also sang. In fact, I remember accompanying them both when they sang at the local “soup kitchen” in town. My mother couldn’t carry a tune(and bragged about it, LOL). However, she was the one that made sure that all four of us kids took piano lessons; I was the only one to continue. And then I added the clarinet for band and the string bass for orchestra. The first time I actually heard bonafide classical music was on a double date on the car radio. I actually remember asking my companions “what is that?” They couldn’t believe that I had never heard of Beethoven. Now after teaching public school music and private piano for over 30 years, I realize that my students know more about music at age 8 than I did when I entered college! So, the path may be a little crooked on the way, but it can still lead you to a musically productive life.

  6. I was never interested in music of any kind until I had a marriage breakup around 42 yrs old. I was alone and lonely and for some reason decided to buy an electronic midsized keyboard and a piano course.
    Since then I have been an enthusiastic of classical music and did my best to learn a few songs maily Chopin’s. Never played for anyone but I’m content with my achievements considering I never had a teacher to guide me.
    I read all your blogs and try to learn from them.
    Thank you very much

  7. For me, it has been classical music all my life, with only occasionally dipping into other genres. My mother wanted to learn to play piano. They had no radio, living in a small German town in Texas. She started taking lessons at 14, and by the age of 16, she was playing for church services. My dad’s sister won a Wurlitzer spinet in an raffle, and my dad offered her $100 for it. This was back in the day when that was a lot of money. She said, she wanted $125 for it, and he said, If I can get it into my car, I’ll pay you $100, and she said yes, and he got it into his car. My mother used to play the piano for me when I was little. So I started taking piano lessons at the age of 3, and when I was a senior in high school, my father bought a 5’8″ Knabe grand. Once I got married, and we had kids, all we played at home was classical music. One of our sons got a degree in voice performance. He sings opera, also plays violin, viola, trombone, handbells, piano, and conducts. Another learned classical guitar and advanced so rapidly he was playing concert level repertoire in 2 years, and was offered a full expense scholarship to study guitar. He ended up not doing that, however. Two of our children listen mostly to classical music, and the other five prefer other kinds of music, which is disappointing, but they did get the background, so I hope eventually, they will discover the depth of classical music and return to it.

  8. Thank you for your wonderful videos-I only wish these had been available when I was young! I grew up in a town of 600 population so had limited opportunities for music training. I consider myself lucky because I had a good piano teacher that gave my parents a discount because they couldn’t afford her regular rate. I went on to a small private college and received a piano performance degree. Even though my training was mostly classical I enjoy playing all kinds of music which is fortunate because as an accompanist, I had to be able to play many genres. I also enjoy listening to many kinds of music even though my deeply religious parents frowned on anything but classical and religious music.

    1. When I grew up, the most advanced technology was television! The internet provides such an amazing way of connecting with people. So glad to hear you continue to have piano in your life.

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