How I got 100,000 Subscribers on YouTube

Piano Lessons / music industry / How I got 100,000 Subscribers on YouTube


My personal story:

It started many years ago. I had somebody who was fresh out of film school and they wanted to do something to showcase their talent. They approached me to ask if they could make a film about my Living Piano: Journey Through Time: Historic Concert Experience. That was a show I was performing all around California on historical keyboards, dressed in period costumes, presenting the history of the piano in musical performance. You can check out some clips from that show here. He made that film, and when it was done, we started embarking upon building a YouTube channel together. I remember him talking about building the brand, and I thought to myself that I would humor him. I really couldn’t imagine where this would take me. All I knew is I had a general direction.

There are 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute!

Think about that. It’s mind boggling! Some of the top people on YouTube have hundreds of millions of subscribers! That’s right. While I’m very happy and pleased to see that I have over 21 million views, the top people on YouTube have hundreds of billions of views! There are less than eight billion people in the world, yet there are people who have hundreds of billions of views on YouTube. If you’re embarking upon a YouTube channel or some other social media and you want to do something with it, you might wonder how you can ever get anywhere. You know what? I could easily feel the same way looking at people who have so many more views than I have. It’s not just with YouTube and social media, it’s everything: playing the piano, for example. You might feel that because there are people who can play so much better than you, there is no reason to do it. Just because people can do something you can’t do doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile for you to embark upon it.

You have to love what you do!

I remember when I was at conservatory there were those who said, “If I don’t make it by the time I’m 30 I’m going to go into another field.” You know what? People like that should go into another field. You have to love the journey, the experience. I’ve often said that if I was fabulously wealthy and never had to work again or conversely, if I was broke and on the street, I’d be hunting down a piano! Either way, I am committed to playing the piano and sharing my love and my passion for the instrument with people. That’s the modus operandi. You have to have the motivation to share it regardless of the outcome. If you share your love and your passion with no expectations of anything in return, you will find amazing things can happen in your life. Because you will be fulfilled in just the act of doing what you love. People want to be involved in that kind of genuine sharing. People feel it when you have passion for what you are doing.

If you want to get views, be true to yourself.

You can’t second guess. For example, if you are writing music thinking, “I want to write a pop song that will become popular and make millions of dollars.” That never works! You can’t formulaically build a great piece of music. You have to have something come from within that’s genuine. You have to have a burning desire to bring it to other people, to share something you really care about. That is the path you want to take, not just with YouTube, but with everything in life. Otherwise, what’s the point? It has to be more than just survival. There has to be something that’s more important to you than just going through the motions. What’s the point of life if not to share something you really care about with people? If you feel that way, go for it!

Don’t be afraid of what people say.

Early on when I first started doing videos there were some people who trolled. It happens. But as time goes on, people will come to respect and enjoy your content. It’s very gratifying and it becomes a feedback loop because people then have ideas for you. So I would like to reach out to everyone and once again thank you for supporting this channel and being a part of the Living Pianos experience! Any ideas and reflections upon what I offer on my channel and what you’d like to see in the future, let me know. If you have any ideas to help other people, put it in the comments here at and YouTube, because we’re all in this together. We’re all in life together! We want to share our love and our passion with each other so that we can enjoy our experience here on the planet. That’s my philosophy. Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin here at, Your Online Piano Resource.

For premium videos and exclusive content, you can join my Living Pianos Patreon channel!

Contact me if you are interested in private lessons. I have many resources for you!

10 thoughts on “How I got 100,000 Subscribers on YouTube”


  1. How did you do it? (1) You are optimistic; (2) you give practical advice; (3) you are never arrogant; (4) you encourage us at whatever level we are; (5) you believe more in the journey than in the getting there; (5) you understand the point of life.


  2. Congratulations Robert!
    I can’t quite remember how I found you on Youtube but it was about 9 years ago when I retired from a busy career in TV news. I bought a baby grand to help motivate me to resume the playing I had neglected for about 20 years. You have been an inspiration and I have enjoyed every one of your Living Piano videos.
    You bring something very unique to Youtube from all the other piano videos out there and your passion shines through!
    Best of luck going forward!
    Ray Levato

    P.S. I grew up in East Rochester, NY where the some of the great piano companies were brought under the Aeolian American umbrella for almost eight decades turning out 30,000 pianos A YEAR at its top production.

  3. Thank you. I needed that. I’ve started a channel and keep thinking I have to wait until my songs are perfect. But time could be short, and I have so much to share. I think I criticize my own work too much? But if I love listening to it, there must be others who would get something out of it. And even with that in mind, it’s the sharing that counts, don’t you think?

    1. From the very beginning, I have shared everything I have produced without judging. People can get polished content on TV if they want to. YouTube offers more of a personal glimpse into what people have to offer rather than just highly produced content which is readily available elsewhere.

  4. Thanks for your piano lesson tips. The one tip I am trying now is implementing your memorizing method. It’s working. I played a Bach Partita (among many other pieces during my college years as an applied piano major) for one of my recitals and decided it was time ( about forty two years later!) to relearn at least the first movement of the fifth Partita. I really like Bach and it’s coming along slowly. I thought to myself, “If Robert can still memorize at his age, I should be able to at least give it a try.” Thanks for the inspiration and freely sharing your knowledge .

    1. The memorizing system I use which I learned from my father is very effective. Glad you are embracing it! Incidentally, Bach is one of the most challenging composers to memorize since you have counterpoint which often is divided between your hands. So aside from learning each phrase hands separately first, must also follow through inner voices so you are aware of them. Here is the original video on how to memorize:

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