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Who Plays The Piano?  
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1720 posts, RR: 25
Posted (11 years 2 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1516 times:

Does anyone here on A.net play the piano? If so, how long have you been playing, and what make/style is your piano?

Myself, I am a pianist of 20 years' experience. I started lessons in April 1984 (just before my 9th birthday), after my Sunday school teacher asked my mom if I could play the Doxology for the class (my mom didn't even know before then that I had such a hidden talent!). I remember that as a very young child I liked to play on the piano and find out what sounds it made. Once my mother heard about my playing the Doxology in Sunday school, she immediately signed me up for lessons. Ever since, I've really enjoyed playing!

My piano is a 1914-vintage Hobart M. Cable upright grand, made in Elkhart, Indiana. Despite its age, it looks and sounds as beautiful as any grand piano. My piano tuners are amazed at its longevity! It's the same piano I've been playing on since I began over 20 years ago, and I plan to hang on to it and take it to my future home (if and when I return to the USA after my studies at King's College London, UK).

I play all styles of music, especially classical, Irish, sacred, and jazz. I play a lot for people, and recently, I played in a concert in London's Southwark Cathedral with the King's College musical society orchestra. I plan to play many more times for people while I'm here in London!

Please tell me your experiences with playing the piano, how long you've been playing, and what type/make of piano you have.

There's bound to be a pianist or two on A.net!


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2586 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1513 times:

I do occasionally play the piano. I've been doing it off and on since 1984/85. I can't say that I was that in to being a pianist and did other musical things during primary school-mostly choral singing. I did switch over to percussion instruments and played in school bands all through junior high, high school and a few years in college. For me, the piano was an introduction to music and a stepping stone to musical instruments that better suited my personality.

However, both my parents play the piano quite well-Mom was a church organist and Dad's love of jazz piano led him to become quite good at it. We've always owned Baldwin pianos, the first one being a Baldwin upright grand and the present being a Baldwin baby grand. However, the piano shop where I took lessons only dealt in Steinways. Usually we'd use the shop's Steinway grand back in the work area. However, sometimes we had to use one of the showroom pianos if there was a lot of work going on in the rear.

"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineBOEING747-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 5 days ago) and read 1508 times:

I use to play it, but lost intrest in it, such a shame, maybe one day I might get back into it.

User currently offlineAzoresLover From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 779 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 5 days ago) and read 1498 times:
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I used to play quite a lot, but not so much recently. I got my Bachelor of Music Education degree with a major in piano. I played two concertos in college, the Gershwin in F and the Shostakovich Second. Plus the usual variety of classical literature from the major composers in various recitals and other performances.

I have two electronic keyboards at home, a Yamaha Clavinova and a Technics piano. For performances I prefer to play a Yamaha Grand, not a Steinway. I much prefer the touch, as well as the sound I get from it. Plus, I'll admit to being influenced by my all-time favorite concert pianist, Andre Watts, who also prefers the Yamaha. He can make it positively shimmer under his fingers!

I've played various other instruments in marching bands, concert bands, jazz bands, etc. But my favorite other than piano was the oboe, which I played in a youth orchestra.

The only performing I do now is when I accompany my private students at recitals, contests, and auditions. I teach private instruments to serious students, who generally go on to be music majors in college. For example, I had a trumpet student of 7 years who is now a college freshman on a music scholarship, who performed Vivaldi as a 7th grader, the complete Haydn Trumpet Concerto in 8th grade, and virtually all the major trumpet works, including 20th century works, throughout high school. I also lost a great alto sax student to his freshman year of college this year, who was also uniquely talented and performed the major works for his instrument.

Love of music has been my life, and continues to be, and playing piano for my own enjoyment continues to be a major part of my life.

Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
User currently offlineIFLYMCO From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 482 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 5 days ago) and read 1496 times:

I've played off and on for about 10 years.

I have an antique Balwin baby-grand.

Now it should be "IFLYDCA"
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4500 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 5 days ago) and read 1496 times:

Indeed. I took lessons for ten years growing up, and play a whole host of musical instruments. As far as keyboarded instruments are concerned, i was a church organist for two years in high school. Pay was great for me--REALLY.

I recently started playing again after a two-year hiatus, and I'm currently struggling my way through a little Chopin and Debussy.

I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineSSTjumbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1490 times:

I play some pianerr. Currently, I'm joining up with an upstart rock band in Chicagoland playing keyboard. The open voicing things aren't difficult, it's when you start getting into Bruce Springsteen and are playing four-on-three patterns like in "Blinded by the Light" where things get interesting. I'm probably going to get a cheapo Yammie PSR-500M keyboard, get a quality synth when I can afford it, and go with two keyboards at a 90 degree angle to each other during a gig. Looks fancy  Big grin

[note, didn't say it is fancy, just looks]

User currently offlineBOEING747-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1474 times:

I have an old Stienway & Sons that was built in around 1870, grand, its worth a mint.

User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1471 times:

I don't own a piano, but my fingers itch every time I am near one. I play by ear and can read piano music but for all intents and purposes I cannot sightread at the keyboard. I had two semesters of class piano, during which I learned to sightread very simple pieces, but as you know the only way to be good at sightreading is to practice sightreading and that was ten years ago now.

I play whatever comes to mind... usually songs I've heard on the radio. Right now, as a personal project, I'm working on a four-hand, two-piano arrangement of Holst's Suite in F for Military Band. (sacrilege!)


Up, up and away!
User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1458 times:

I started playing when I was 5 years of age and still continue playing today. Some of the best pieces I've played are the Rachmaninoff 2nd Concerto in C-min, Grieg Piano Concerto A-min, Chopin Polonaise A-flat major, Ernest Luciona's "Malaguena" and Beethoven's Sonata "Pathetique". I also do quite a bit of Baroque (Fuges and whatnot) but my favorite period is the romantic period. So full of images and emotion. It's great.

Grew up on a Steinway Grand.


[Edited 2004-12-08 23:35:22]

User currently offlineN864DA From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 259 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1446 times:

I've been playing for 14 years now, playing mostly on Steinways. Currently, I am working on a Chopin Scherzo No. 3 and a Beethoven Sonata Op. 90. I would say my favorite of all the periods is the romantic, the two main reasons being the ones UAL stated above. It is the way the sounds come together and the full range of the piano is realized that makes the romantic period so special. I've worked on Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, some Rachmaninoff Preludes - hope to work on some more soon, and a Bach French Suite. Probably my favorite I've played so far, though not the hardest, was Liszt Liebestraum #3. Such a lyrical and beautiful piece. Piano is definitely my passion.

Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 is such a great piece. I wish I had the time to learn it.


User currently offlineAAplatnumflier From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1444 times:

I have been playing for 10 years and I have a Brusendorfer.....ya right..... but I am working on Peer Gynt right now and I am also working on that child prodigys work.....signs his work (Blue Jay). If only I was a year younger and could write a concerto and play it....

User currently offlineSmithAir747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1720 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1439 times:

Response to Ual747:

I too am challenging myself to master the entire Sonata Pathetique by Beethoven!
I have played the 2nd movement (Adagio) for over 10 years (I first used it as a contest solo for the Indiana State School Music Association piano solo contest back in 1993 when I was in high school). This last spring, I challenged myself to locate and start playing the entire thing.
It'll take time, but I'm making quite a bit of progress!


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73
Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1435 times:

I play guitar and bass but I'd love to learn to play the piano.
I would love to get a vintage Fender Rhodes electric piano.  Smokin cool

Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineNgr From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1434 times:

I started playing the piano in 1st grade (I'm now a Freshman in college) so this marks my 13th year. I have also been an organist for about 4 years now, and that has become my true love as far as music is concerned, although I use the piano just as much as the organ. In my house I have 2 baby-grand pianos, 1 is a 1975 Yamaha, and the other is an antique Kranich & Bach. The organs I play are a 1978 3 Manual/25 rank Moller pipe organ, and a 2 Manual Allen digital organ. I mostly play classical music, but I listen to all kinds. My primary intentions at college were to double-major in Aerospace engineering and Organ, but unfortunately it cannot be done (at least not without becoming a 6-7 year senior and $$$$$), but I have unfortuately dropped the "organ" part of my education. Hopefully I will be able to attend graduate school and study music...


User currently offline707cMf From France, joined Mar 2002, 4885 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (11 years 2 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1415 times:

Never really played the piano.

However, I do play the organ (2 years of practise with a teacher, then a few years by myself).

I own a Yamaha PSR550 keyboard for home practise, but will probably plug it to computer/soundboard for better sound, and add an additionnal midi keyboard (I really miss the dual keyboard). However, this is probbable going to cost me $$$...

I have played at a few masses (not very well though), and on occasions have played on Churches organs. Best one was the Organ of the Sainte Chapelle of hte castle of Chambery.



User currently offlineSaxdiva From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2384 posts, RR: 37
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1405 times:

Having never developed any skills to speak of on piano, I can only say that I admire (and envy) those of you who have. One thing I can never figure out is how people actually manage to sight-read music written with multiple notes on two staffs--I have enough trouble keeping track of what's happening on one. How do you guys do it?

I guess this is something I'll have to work on someday (like, when I retire... ).  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


User currently offlineNgr From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1397 times:


Sight-reading is a skill that is ONLY obtained through practice. If you don't force yourself to try and sightread through new music, it is possible to never learn the skills. For the organ, sightreading is a must...and like chess---for sight reading, you must be looking at least 2-3 measures ahead of what you are playing...on organ, you have 3 staffs: Right hand, left hand, and pedal (which can sometimes have 2-3 notes) so it is highly possible to be playing 12 notes at once...

The best way...or at least the way i learned sight reading, was to take a church hymnal...randomly turn it to a hymn, and force yourself to play all the way through...don't worry about mistakes...you'll get rid of them over time, but keep the same tempo (a normal tempo...not excessively slow) and play all stanzas. If you do this routinely you will be able to sight-read 4-part pieces within a relatively short time. The other thing that helps is to learn all the scales...yes...even Cb major (7 flats) and C# Major (7 sharps)...if you don't learn the "harder" keys you will hurt yourself in the long run...if you do, you will be able to play anything without consciously thinking about it...


User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Reply 18, posted (11 years 2 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1394 times:

NGR -- that is exactly what I've done in the past. A church hymnal of some sort (spiral-bound, of course, for ease.) I also need to practice my scales more. I am in awe of a good organist... It's a ballet of hands and feet without standing or falling off the bench! I used to sit on the steps next to the organist at our church when I was in high school, just to watch his feet.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


Up, up and away!
User currently offlineAzoresLover From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 779 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (11 years 2 months 3 days ago) and read 1387 times:
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NGR & Leanne -

NGR is right on. It takes practice to develop sightreading skill. What he said about hymns - that's exactly what I did as a kid to help develop that skill.

Obviously you are not reading literally every note of a piano score - that is, you are not consciously identifying every one of the many notes you are playing at the exact same time. You develop pattern recognition...you know the notes that are written there by the physical printed pattern on the page. You recognize intervals, timing, etc, by the way everything is printed out. I call this "black ink on a white page" with my private students. I try to make them aware of how music is printed, and I continually point out to them how to recognize what is in the music by just looking at the black ink on the white page. When a keyboard player develops that ability, he can sightread even fairly difficult music even the first time through and sound like he's practiced that piece for a long time. I teach them to recognize how music is written, both the vertical pattern and the horizontal pattern and how the timing is spread through each measure.

When they develop that ability of sight pattern recognition, they become good sightreaders.

NGR, that was a great reply #17. Leanne, pay attention to him!!

Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
User currently offlineUTA_flyingHIGH From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 47
Reply 20, posted (11 years 2 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1380 times:

My mom made me play the piano when I was a kid (rhaa!). Nowadays in my household only UTAette indulges in the pastime.


Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4534 posts, RR: 52
Reply 21, posted (11 years 2 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1368 times:

I picked up the piano when in Cyprus in 1991 when it was enforced on me by my parents.

By far the best thing they have ever enforced on me! I love the piano!

I have an upright Schafer & Sons, which to my understanding is a lousy machine made Korean piano. However to be completely honest I don't think mine is that bad. Its better than a lot of Young Changs that I have played on...and I think the two are affiliated.

Some day I would like to buy a baby grand piano (if I can ever afford it).

Unfortunately, I have not been consistently playing since 2001 (ever since I went to university). The piano is a very ungrateful instrument...I feel it every time I practice.

BOEING747-700 I think we find ourselves in the same shoes.

I do try to get an hour or two in every week, but it doesn't happen.

When I practice, I basically play the same things over and over again. Before I effectively stopped playing, I had just finished learning Chopin's Revoluionary Etude (Op 10 No 12), the third movement of Beethoven's moonlight sonata, and Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody (no 2).

I love music and am so sorry that I am not playing anymore. One day I will pick it back up again. Glad to be in the company of others who share an interest in the piano however!

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