If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might wish to consider joining a piano forum or discussion group. Far from being a relic of the Wild West internet of the mid-90's, piano forums are still a vital place to connect with other pianists from around the globe and discuss a myriad number of issues with other like-minded people. Not sure where to go? Here are 9 choices:
1.) Piano Forums at Piano World
With several hundred thousand unique visitors a month, the Piano Forums at Piano World is probably the largest piano forum in the world. Forums on pianos and pianists, for technicians and composers are just a sampling of a site that offers a remarkable depth of conversation and experience.
2.) Piano Street Piano Forum
Originally launched as pianoforum.net, Piano Street offers downloadable sheet music and recordings as well as both a forum and chat room. The forum offers a well-organized list of subjects for discussion, including performance, repertoire, teaching, instruments, a student's corner for beginners, and an audition room for members to post their own recordings to the forum.
3.) Piano Society: The Classical Piano Forum
The Piano Society is a site on which pianists can post their bios and upload recordings for free. In return, visitors to the site can listen to all 2800 recordings by the 150+ pianists who have signed up so far. The Piano Society claims to be "the largest resource of free classical piano recordings on the Internet" and I think they're probably right on that account. The forum is smaller than most, with 418 registered users at time of writing, but they look quite active and write about quite a variety of subjects.
4.) UK Piano Page Discussion Forums
This is part of the huge Association of Blind Piano Tuners UK Piano Page, which offers a huge amount of resources on piano history, as well as catalogues of piano tuners, movers, teachers, and accompanists. The forum, like the site, is geared towards the UK piano community, but still contains a large amount of practical information indispensable to those in the UK and elsewhere.
5.) Speed Demon Community Forums
Yet another forum, but with a way hipper vibe than the others and Web 2.0 features such as usergroups, profiles, private messages, and a search function. Topics have up-to-date titles, such as SDC Legendz - da Dizciplez of FURY (roughly translated as: "The Great Pianists" for those of you not not yet familiar with teh lingo of teh internetz.)
6.) We Bang Steinways Facebook Group (Facebook ID required)
For those on Facebook, this is one of the groups that is considered de rigeur to join in the piano community, with over 4000 members at present. Like other Facebook groups, it contains a news section, as well as videos, posted items, a discussion board, and a wall. The vast majority of group members are students, so this is an ideal place for those shopping for college programs to get information on teachers and schools.
7.) People for the Ethical Treatment of Accompanists Facebook Group (Facebook ID required)
From the group's description:
An organization designed to protect accompanists from the abuses commonly heaped upon them including, but not limited to, the following: insufficient payment and inappropriate demands for rehearsals and lessons.With 2000 members, this is probably the largest gathering of accompanists/collaborative pianists on the internet. Although often criticized for not containing the upper echelons of the field and too many "rank-and-file" pianists, this is a group that asks a lot of questions regarding the relationship of soloist to pianist, financial considerations, and the invisibility that many of us face in the profession.
Please also note that the title of this group does NOT include the words "collaborative pianist" for two reasons: it does NOT make us equal partners with those we accompany and in some cases it is used in a pejorative fashion. For us to be truly equal it requires the instrumentalists and vocalists to be collaborative as well--and the dropping of any reference to a term that calls one instrument "the collaborative one."
8.) Piano Chat Group on Y!Music Groups
Started in 1999, this group peaked in the years following, dropped off in 2003-4, and is now staging a comeback in posting frequency. With many of the same features as the other groups, this one might be a possibility for those that already utilize several Yahoo services.
Part of the original Usenet universe, this group goes back to the early years of the World Wide Web in 1994. Although not as popular as many of the other groups on this list, this group is now hosted by Google Groups, with features familiar to those that use other Google services, such as starring posts and subscribing to feeds. The messages aren't as well-crafted as those on forums, but for raw message board power and the occasional flame war, you can't beat the atmosphere of the old Usenet.
What forums do you read and participate in?