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Topic: age, playing and....progress!!!  (Read 2799 times)

Offline _chops

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age, playing and....progress!!!
on: January 19, 2006, 10:57:07 PM
how old were you when you started to play? Is there anyone here who started playing very late with high ambitions, and now has turned professional!?

Do you thikn age matters? But I dont want theories... I want examples! So you who have been playing for a "short" time and not since the cradle.. please tell me about your expereience and your practise habits and so on. is there anyone of you who might get into a really great college and get a concertpianist diploma?

Offline jamie_liszt

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #1 on: January 20, 2006, 02:44:32 AM
 Age does no matter, you could be 20 and start piano and still become a professional pianist in about 8 years or maybe more or less. The only reason that they say starting from a young age is good is because a childs mind is like a sponge and it absorbs everything and you remember it forever, if you start piano young, it all comes natural when your older.

Now i started when i was young with reading notes so i have no problem with that, but my friend started piano last year and a year later, he could pick up the entertainer in about 3 days if i shown him the notes, but he had trouble learning the notes on the page so he couldnt read music well. But if he started at a young age he would have had longer to pick it up before he got older and may have understood it well, i think he would have made a great pianist. Too bad he gave up piano and went to guitar, that proves you can learn piano and be good in a short time at any age but you have to have the determination, discipline and self motivation etc.

hope this helps, some other people will come up with better replies, but i started young so i dont know exactly what its like.

Offline rc

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #2 on: January 20, 2006, 08:40:29 AM
I'm not professional, but I plan on doing something with music in the distant future (5-10yrs). Not concert pianist, besides being unlikely, it doesn't appeal to me.

I'm 21, been learning piano for 2 years. I'm working with the help of a good private teacher for the past 10 months to get to grade 8 RCM standards (requisite for university). I can see that goal from here, I think in about a year I'll be there.

I probably average around 3hrs/day of practice. Occassionally missing a day (hangover). Lessons are 1hr weekly.

Practice habits: For the past while, about half of my practice time is devoted to my most glaring weaknesses, sightreading and what could be called 'technique' (scales, chords, arpeggios). The other half I use to learn new repertoire.

I like to be organized in practice, even if nothing else in my life is. I know what piece I will learn next, I know what I will do after I have sightreading handled, and I know what I want to accomplish each time I sit down to practice. I break my daily practice into sessions, accomplishing each little goal I have then doing something else for a while before beginning the next session. I keep track of the daily progress on a whiteboard I have divided up for the days, writing down my objectives before I practice, then noting how it went so I know what to the next day.

That's about it in a nutshell. I got a lot of ideas for forming my practice routine from advice in this forum, reading all through it, getting book recommendations, links to other sites... Filled my head up with all kinds of ideas, then went about trying them out, keeping track of it all in a journal. I spent about 2 months just working out a system that works for me, and always modifying and improving the way I do things. I'll emphasize the journal, it was very important in getting things going, and I still keep a journal, not for the dirty details but more to guide the overall direction and play with new ideas.

Age does no matter, you could be 20 and start piano and still become a professional pianist in about 8 years or maybe more or less. The only reason that they say starting from a young age is good is because a childs mind is like a sponge and it absorbs everything and you remember it forever, if you start piano young, it all comes natural when your older.

Also, as you get older and have more responsibilities there's less free time and energy to learn piano with and adults carry all kinds of baggage from life that can impede just about anything.

Here's a good site about adult learners: https://www.musicalfossils.com/

Offline pianistimo

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #3 on: January 20, 2006, 10:07:35 AM
you have a very mature outlook at 21, rc.  i liked that article, too.  some good stuff. 

i fight with myself all the time.  i have wanted to be a concert pianist since my late teens.  (started piano at eight years of age).  i got the bachelor's degree in piano performance - and it was quite useful for teaching piano (but i made much less money than my husband - in computer sciences) and i played for a few restaurants/weddings/funerals/assisted living homes and for church a lot and accompanying my hubby a lot.  for a young man - i would think a DOUBLE major is much better than focusing only on a career in music (unless one is extraordinarily talented and really decides to focus on career and not family for a while).  anyway, i then had family - and just as each was 5-6 years old - and, i'd get my practice up again - i'd have another one.  i can't say it hasn't been more rewarding than a piano career.  i think - in retrospect - for me, as a woman, i am most fulfilled having a family - BUT, i seem to be the type that can't let go of anything.  so ...i still try to have the career too and practice whenever possible.

one thing i do notice is that for some adults - it's a matter of finding the wide open spaces at certain times in your life.  if i practiced 7-8 hrs. right now - my four year old would be sad.  i'm probably on pf too much - but anywya - i try to look at things as realistically as possible.  when she goes into kindergarten , that's my 'go ahead.'  so, i've had several spurts in my 'career' playing-wise with three children. 

it's sort of a juggling act.  am sure clara schumann worked out a better system with her children because i'm still cleaning up a lot more than anyone else.  half my day is just cleaning up (*and i'm thinking - oooh, i could be practicing).  am getting a home organizer to come and get my family more involved in helping clean up - so things don't take so long to get done.  and, i'm getting tired of the routine of doing EVERYONE's laundry, EVERYONE's dishes, etc.  i want to have this peaceful life - where everyone cleans up their own mess and i have a few hours to myself and not looking around at papers on the floor, darts on the ceiling, wrappers with gum stuck to trashcans, and free counter space covered with who knows - magazines mostly. 

if i'd have completed that 'piano concerto' class, i'd be 1/2 way through my master's program.  sometimes life gives you a few curves.  am just getting to the point where i can pedal the piano again.  and, surprisingly, i dont' think i've forgotten that much since october.  i'd been pedalling with the left foot for a while. (that was wierd).  yes, juggling is what it's about for me.  i have to sort of go by days.  depending on what day it is and how much i have to do.  and, sometimes i just forget the schedule and stay up late.  but, in a relationship - you have to be careful with that, too.  i get focused on piano to the exclusion of everyone and everything around me sometimes. 

juggling is very hard - you have to moderate piano with family, eating (and cooking), taking care of household stuff, exercise, and still practice.  i'm going to try lostinidle's ideas about cutting up music and pasting it everywhere i can see it.  even if i don't do as much performing solo - i'd still like to accompany a choir sometime again.  truly enjoyed a job back in calif. doing part work for a master chorale.  it was good sightreading stuff (rhythm and notes) and i got to hear the final productions - which was a blast - esp. with major chorale works such as brahms requiem, verdi requiem, many  pieces i'd never heard - with just piano rep.  though, i still have it in my head that i will be performing some piano concertos soon.  bought all the mozart and beethoven concertos - and have a book of mozart cadenzas now.  need to buy the music for leroy anderson's piano concerto (stewart goodyear plays it here: www.telarc.com/gscripts/title.asp?gsku=0112#tracks  ) - because i think that is going to be my first one.  then, mozart.  then, beethoven...and then?

Offline nonfox

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #4 on: January 20, 2006, 02:18:57 PM
Hi....

I'm 17, and started play piano at the age of 15. (I've played 1 year and 2 months)
I've had a teacher for 4-5 months now. I actually don't practise much - only like 1 hr to 1 hr. But even though, I have quite good skills. (Am I told)

I could play The Entertainer after 3 months I think - I learned it at a week or two, plus I had school work too.

A year after I started, I was able to play the first movement of the Moonlight sonata - which wasn't that hard.

My next goal is to able to play Gnomenreigen by Liszt in 1 year! Which will be quite a challenge!!!

Offline brahms_schumann

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #5 on: January 20, 2006, 02:37:52 PM
When you are old...it is very-very hard to make a career, because now there is very many talented youths...who even are not considered to be on a high standard. The talent himself became very young...
the best age to make a career is from 16 to 21...no more

Offline pianistimo

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #6 on: January 20, 2006, 06:03:17 PM
maybe it's what type of career!  as lostinidlewonder said, you can make your own path and not always worry about huge crowds.  even playing for free can get you some inroads into venues that you might not have known before.  basically, in any business, you need word of mouth and for people to like what you do.

*now that i'm over fourty, suddenly the cloud has lifted (for the whole year of my fourtieth - i thought i was now 'old') and i feel much MUCH better about being 'older.'  you know what you want, you go for it, and you don't beat yourself up so much - you learn how to have fun and how to be serious in better balance.  for me, i'm not talking carnegie hall anymore - just a piano concerto here and there with a local orchestra. 

Offline pizno

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #7 on: January 21, 2006, 04:30:49 AM
Piantisimo - I can relate to the mom thing!  My goal is not to be a concert pianist, though, because I will never be quite that good.  But rest assured, as your kids get older it WILL get easier to find time to practice.  Mine are now in high school and college, and are really busy with their own lives.  They even clean up after themselves.  My job is only part time, so the perfect life for me is to be at the piano for 2-3 hours in the morning, then sneak in another hour in the afternoon (after school, only they are usually off doing some activity.)  I haven't been able to do this until the past 2 years, because I was so busy with various kid-related volunteer things, and working more.  Now I am being totally selfish and don't take on much extra stuff because I really, really, just want to be left alone to practice.  By the way - it seems like just yesterday I turned 40, and all of the sudden I'm looking at 50!  Just doesn't seem right.  But I am more focused now than ever.  My goal is simply to do more playing, at recitals, retirement centers, music groups, etc...  and to become better and play more repertoire.

Offline _chops

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #8 on: January 22, 2006, 10:06:57 PM
okay.. well Im 16 and I've been working seriously with my piano for approximately 1 year. but ive been playing regularly (but not "practised seriously") since I was 11.
    anyhow here I am with a crush on piano! I dont know how much I can make progress... I would like to get into a music university or at least get good enough to have my own recital when I turn 18...... I dont know how much I can improve my playing and to which level I can reach when it comes to repertoire and so on...
    thanks for answering and so on! but im not an adult so maybe Ive got a little extra chance?

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #9 on: January 24, 2006, 10:27:05 AM
I mean seriously what does age have to do with anything? It is just a number, we limit ourselves if we think age has anything to do with what we can do. Sure if your body physically suffers from old age there is nothing we can do about it. If age causes physical disability to you then that is the only thing holding you back, otherwise there is not this evil black cloud which grows and grows as you get older holding back your musical potential. Not that I have seen it....  yet....

But people who become professional musicians, most of us don't say, I want to become a musician and play music my whole life. It is something we had to do, there was no say, it wasn't a dream it was something we simply had to do to live. So if you MUST DO MUSIC because if you don't you feel like dying, then you will become a professional musician in no time despite your age. Sometimes people have this urgent urge later in life, some people know it very early on who can generalise. But as age increases generally our ability to dream and to recreate ourselves diminishes and with music being a forever changing entity, this can be hard to cope with if you are not use to constant change.

Personally I think my older students progress MUCH faster than my younger children students. It is because they know what they want to do, they are fully developed physically, and know what hard work is. Young kids like to play and do kids stuff (as they should!), music for kids is fun, but for adults it is usually fun but also a very serious application. I think this mature attitude is the best to grow musically.
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Offline rc

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #10 on: January 24, 2006, 05:44:16 PM
Pianistimo: I see how the family life could be a bit tricky :D. Reminds me a bit of my mom, she'd always be busy getting everything taken care of for everyone, making dinner, doing laundry, driving kids around. We'd have to call her; "Mom", "Oh, what'd I forget?", "You forgot to sit down and eat!". My stepmom was a bit strange too, even if I'd somehow want to do something myself she'd go "you don't know what you're doing, let me do the laundry", I didn't argue ;D.

Here's something I read the other day, from an interview w. Rosalyn Tureck, in the book 'Great Pianists Speak for Themselves' by Mach:

Women have a physiological as well as psychological desire for nurturing human creatures, whether they be children, a husband, or both. Most women need that experience to fulfill themselves. There have been many girl prodigies, tremendously gifted, but so many of them never fully developed as concert artists. They won contests, made their debuts, and started careers; then they decided to marry, have children, and give up the performing career. Others get discouraged, perhaps sooner than men do, simply because it's very hard going.

Ya do have to juggle to have a full life. I could easily slip into the routine of only practicing piano, have before in the past. I could feel myself slowly becoming crazy, lack of daylight and society or something... Then I'd come crawling outta the basement, squint at the outside world and have to re-meet all my friends, let the family know I haven't died, etc :o. On the other hand, it's also easy for me to fall into the social life, party for a week and get nothing done. One has to have some control.

In school, I think a double major is nuts. Just too much to properly do anything. I'm not sure if I'll like studying music formally, if I don't like it I can just drop it and find another path. Making and keeping money has never been a problem, and I'm near some good opprotunities (Oilberta).

On the topic of choirs, I'm only now starting to appreciate vocal music. A while back I heard a piece on the radio, 'Petite Messe Solennelle' by Rossini. Two pianos + choir I believe. Only heard the first movement but it blew my mind. Also heard some kind of choral work on the radio that for some reason I can't figure out what it was, I'll have to check out the library for Brahms and Verdi requiems.

Offline pianistimo

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #11 on: January 24, 2006, 06:23:12 PM
i wish i knew at your age what i wanted more succinctly like you do at your age.  guess you are right, i would still waiver between that date on friday night and practice.  it was usually the date.  and, i'm sure that what i wanted then and now is family.  but, then at other times, i practice really really late and forget about everything else.  for what?  well, self satisfaction as you said. 

my mom, thankfully (and i do thank her now, but hated the ideas then) said -you should take a course in cooking.  ahahahah.  that's the only reason now (besides seeing my mom cook) that i can decently work in the kitchen without injuring myself.  i was completely awe struck when i saw the cooking instructor simply take a head of lettuce and bash it down on the cutting board (core-side down)- and then extract the entire core by a simple twist and pull.  then, she proceeded to rinse the leaves quickly from the inside with cold water.  this may seem really basic to most people - but left me feeling that perhaps PERHAPS i would continue to take one or two courses in something other than music.

the next course i took was wine, beer, adn spiritual drinks.  (*that's why i'm so full of it) i learned all about that and had this huge reference book - which i've since lost and forgotten everything in it.  but it was really handy on dates (not the book, the info).  i could adequately order a drink.

nowdays, being a homemaker seems kinda superfulous.  you just hire a maid (at least that's what my daughter tells me).  unfortunately, that myth has been dispelled for me.  the maid doesn't come. then what do you do?  or, they cost so much just to do one or two things *(though i did find a really good domestic service when my leg was not functioning).

now, i eagerly look for quick ways to get anything done.  organization is another thing women and men really need to function in the world.  you know, a system of doing your paperwork/finances/ etc.  learning that i could have one book with zippered pockets for social security cards, passports, vaccination records (for kids), insurance papers, marriage/death certificates, stocks/bonds, etc.  and have them in one place so you can FIND IT when you need it.

also, i've learned a lot from my husband about cooking/laundry but not cleaning.  it's really quite disturbing to learn things after getting married.  i thought i knew how to cook meat - but he's the expert.  separating laundry isn't a problem for me - but there's so many variety of soaps and i found babies and young children can't take that TIDE and stuff because it's too harsh and makes the clothing scratchy.  so , you experiment with things and find out there's always an answer around if you look. 

now, cleaning.  every guy should learn to clean up HIS OWN MESS.  basically, i think it's good manners to keep things as nice as possible for the other person.

so - to shorten this essay down to what women like - BUY A LOAD OF SCENTED CANDLES.  they work better than those 'plug ins' and make your woman think you are really smart, and really clean -even if you aren't.  if you know about scented candles you are a smart man.  and, if you can play the piano.  well, you can really do a number on whomever you wish to impress.

Offline pet

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #12 on: January 24, 2006, 06:27:07 PM
I'm with rc on this one.  I am 21, and I started learning the piano at the age of 4.  However I think with the right practice habits, one can make a lot of progress. I also organize my practice sections, take a little at a time, make sure all the mistakes are fixed before moving on.  I had to learn to practice this way, because I am a Mathematics major and Education minor in school along with being a music major.  A little bit of organization can go a long way!  I know of two people in school, one is 21 and started the piano 6 years ago, and the other is 18 and started the piano at age 10.  They play very well, and you really can't tell the difference as to who have been playing the longest.  However, I would say that the difference comes in the way a person practices.  The 21 year old that started six years ago, practices about 6-7 hours a day (I don't know where she finds the time).  I on the other hand, practice about 2 hours every other day.  I don't think she organizes her practice sessions, so she plays a piece well by practicing it over and over again.  Most people do not understand how I learn and play pieces so quickly with my practice schedule.  And I explain to these people that its the quality of practicing, not the quantity.

Even though I agree that it doesn't matter what age you start, you can still make a lot of progress in a couple of years and play just as good as a person that has played for much longer, I do believe that a person that has played for longer is more mature in certain things.  Obviously you wouldn't be able to tell on the outside.  It's just like school...another student and myself could recieve the same grade, but we both worked at different levels to get it.  That person could have gotten the material in a couple of hours, where it took me all semester.  

Offline pianistimo

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #13 on: January 24, 2006, 06:47:35 PM
it's great you guys have so much figured out already.  better to eliminate unnecessary stuff and just 'go for it.'  if a double major isn't for everyone - i understand.  i like the idea of the mathematics and education, though.  it seems like having several things you can do fairly well gives you a larger list of jobs to choose from when finances or jobs are tight. 

from my perspective, the piano lessons are the number one priority for the music - so if i were to do it again - i might try a combo of another interest - plus piano lessons.  and just go at a little slower pace with the minor in music.  but, i was obsessed with piano performance and still am - and probably think i would die without music - so it's been good.  BUT, if i knew what i did then and now and was a GUY - i wouldn't consider only a music major.  even the most talented pianists, teachers, and conductors spend a lot of time that is unpaid time vs when you work for a company (where you get benefits, life insurance, health insurance)  health insurance is extremely expensive these days.  if you a private teacher and have a family with even just ONE child.  you're looking at a lot of money.  music schools and all tend to have dismal plans for families.  that's why so many musicians are poor if they marry and have a family.

my advice - and it's from a woman who doesn't have a career YET in performance - is that don't rely on a performance income.  make it something you enjoy doing *unless you're REALLY talented and just take piano lessons to keep your skills up to par.  the people that are making the most money right now seem to be in business/technology/sciences/finances/health fields    if you don't like the idea of doctor/lawyer/engineer    - there's a lot of psychological fields (counselors), art programs (architecture, design, robotics).  i've always like interior design.

there's a really cool school near the rose bowl in pasadena - i think it's called 'the art institute' - my son and i toured the school and found guys designing cars, robotics, art - and found it super cool.  don't know why i am saying all this - except that you can put a lot of effort into something - but when you have a wife and family - it's REALLY hard to make all the money you want with just music.  there's so many needs that start coming at you like a machine gun.  having a double major prevents the shock of not making all the money from music.  in fact, you could teach lessons after a day job - unless you want to be a serious performer constantly - which requires probably more health, stamina, etc. than another job where certain things are already done for you.  guess it's just a matter of what you want and your own perspective.

*mentors are really nice - whatever you choose.  if you choose music - then finding someone who's successful is really helpful to glean info from.

Offline pet

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #14 on: January 25, 2006, 11:51:14 PM
I agree with you pianistimo...it's all good to want to be a performer, but this is the real world.  It's best to combine that with something else.  There are so many performers out there, that there is a lot of competition...also, there will always be someone that can play better than you.  I want to be a music theory and mathematics college professor, because I like to teach.  Also, because I get so nervous when I perform, I would never consider being a professional.  Yes, I am a good pianist, but hey, just because you're good, it doesn't mean you can perform.

Offline rc

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #15 on: January 26, 2006, 11:07:52 PM
True say, most people who think they want to be performers actually wouldn't like doing it on a fulltime basis. Travelling too much, having to consider public demand, critics, not doing well and starving in the street... and like Pet said, far too much supply for the demand of performers.

Teaching seems like it would be a better way. There still seems to be loads of fogies and kids (or their parents) who want to learn piano, I think a good teacher could make enough money. I also like lostinidlewonder's way of performing, taking matters into his own hands and making it happen. Not to make a living, but to make it worthwhile. Much more realistic than the outdated idea of being a piano superstar.

Mentors are great! I think that's a good reason to come to this place, the invisible mentors. For all I know, the ideas and advice I take from here are all crazy lies, but they're useful and I have faith ;). If someone wasn't lucky enough to have the role models growing up in the family, you've gotta go find 'em yourself.

Scented candles you say, wish I thought of that myself. I might have to pretend like it was my own idea, the classy way to 'not worry 'bout it'. I like the idea of cooking classes too, a good place to meet ladies who know how to cook ;D. Excellent.

Offline pianistimo

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #16 on: January 27, 2006, 02:40:39 AM
dear pizno, rc, and everyone,
 
it's encouraging that others find that 'open space' later on.  i'm hoping for some more hours of practice when my four year old goes into kindergarten.  i don't want to appear all anxious about it - but behind her back i look at the calendar and count the days.  she's very dear, though, and is very funny.  she learned to blow bubbles from bubble gum yesterday - so this afternoon she was trying to see how big of bubbles she could get.  it's always a catch 22.  the grass always seems greener.  when i practice a lot and get tired, i think 'why am i killing myself'  and i probably get more satisfaction from helping my kids learn to read or play - but there's this intense portion of my brain (at least one half) that says 'you have to learn some new repertoire and keep the old fairly good.'   i feel mentally bothered if i start slacking. 

cooking classes, dance classes, and maybe even massage classes - i would think.  there's nothing like having a built in masseuse.  especially if you have any sort of tired back after practicing.  my hubby gives these great lower back rubs that put my back into place again.  it's almost like a necessity for me now - whereas it used to just be a wish.  yes. marry with a conscience.  get what you really want.  then, you won't be looking elsewhere.  (just don't make the list too terribly long). 

Offline ramseytheii

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #17 on: May 28, 2006, 05:11:29 PM
how old were you when you started to play? Is there anyone here who started playing very late with high ambitions, and now has turned professional!?

Do you thikn age matters? But I dont want theories... I want examples! So you who have been playing for a "short" time and not since the cradle.. please tell me about your expereience and your practise habits and so on. is there anyone of you who might get into a really great college and get a concertpianist diploma?

The German-Israeli pianist Amir Katz started when he was eleven, and said in an interview he had only minimal experience before playing an organ.  I mean very minimal.

Walter Ramsey

Offline steve jones

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #18 on: May 29, 2006, 03:34:15 AM
I started at age 23. Im now 24. So if I wanted to reach a profession standard I would probably have my work cut out!

But to be honest, I am confident that I reach a reasonible level. I mean, if I can get to a level where I could pass a conseratoire audition, then Id be quite happy with myself. And I dont think that is unrealistic if I continue to progress well.

So to be honest, I dont think it is so important when you start (with in reason). Its more (imo) about how hard you work, how talented you are, and what quality training you get. Im totally prepared to believe that a kid could start at age 16 and still become up there with the best (if he/she had the natural potential and right opportunities).

Not sure about whether you'd make a 'superstar' pianist though. These guys seem to be cracking the hardest pieces before they're on solid food, lol.

One thing I will say though...

As an adult I think its far more difficult to develop technically. It would be like teaching someone to walk with a new pair of legs! Myself, Id feel that if anything prevents me from becoming decent it will be technical rather than musical.

SJ

Offline lisztisforkids

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #19 on: May 29, 2006, 03:47:19 AM
I was very young when I was born.
we make God in mans image

Offline steve jones

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #20 on: May 29, 2006, 03:50:07 AM

How young?

SJ

Offline bearzinthehood

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #21 on: May 29, 2006, 05:59:40 AM
As an adult I think its far more difficult to develop technically. It would be like teaching someone to walk with a new pair of legs! Myself, Id feel that if anything prevents me from becoming decent it will be technical rather than musical.

Interesting.  IMO the technique is easy to develop.  The ear on the other hand...you either have it or you don't.

Offline steve jones

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #22 on: May 29, 2006, 06:02:22 PM

Really?

Thats interesting, as I understood that coordination was far easy to develop as a child. Infact, Iv heard it said by a guy at the RCM that if the basic technique isnt sorted by age 16, a student is unlikely to ever develop the highest level of virtuosity.

SJ

Offline d.shosty

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #23 on: May 29, 2006, 06:50:22 PM
You want a story?  Here's mine:

I began teaching myself at around 9.  After about 2 years or so, my parents decided to get me lessons.  I began studying with a teacher who pretty much let me do what I wanted - he provided little direction.  Of course he started with the very basics, but after about 2 years, it became a waste of time.  As we all know, hind-sight is 20-20, but I continued to study with him for about 5-6 years.  Basically, I thought that what I wanted to do was jazz, so that's what he taught me.  However, even in jazz, i never really reached my full potential, because he never challanged me to improve.

At around 16, I went to a summer music program.  Although it was actually pretty lousy, I did get exposed to classical music (really for the first time!!).  I just absolutely fell in love with it, I realized how much I was missing.  This period coincided with a period of musical exploration in other directions as well - I started listening to rock music much more objectively and became very interested in bands like Phish and Radiohead, who evoked emotion and feeling from music and whose music was also very complicated.

Anyway, I said that I didn't realize how much I was missing in classical music.  I came home, started taking lessons with an old russian woman named Faina who inspired me beyond belief.  It was then that I began to realize how much i REALLY missed - My technique was terrible, I could really not sight read AT ALL, and I had a hard time understanding the details of classical music (tone, rubato, etc..).  So here I was beginning 11th grade, really playing classical music for the first time.  I worked very hard and a year later, I made it into the Manhattan School of Music Prep program (in both the classical and jazz programs).  There, I began working with Jeffrey Cohen, who really pushed me to improve.

I decided that I really wanted to go to school for music, but that I didn't want to give up my academics just yet - I love math (at the time, I loved physics too).  So I applied to double degree programs.  In about 6 months I put together repertoire for my college auditions:  Beethoven op. 26, Stravinsky's Tango, Bach's Ab from book 1, the Revolutionary Etude, along with a piece that I had studied the previous year - Abscheid from Schumann's Waldscenen.  I was accepted to Northwesern, Michigan, Ithaca;  Was waitlisted at CIM (never found out the result); and Was rejected from Eastman, Oberlin, and Carnegie Mellon (the last one was a long story  ;) ).

In the end, I decided to come to Northwestern, where I am now (very happily) majoring in Piano and Math.  When I got here, I still felt like I was playing a lot of catch up, but now,  I consider myself to be one of the middle of the pack, something I am very proud of.  I am a sophomore, and I just played a full program recital of:  Bach's 1st Partita, Bach's G minor from book 1, Debussy's Images Book 1, Haydn Ab Sonata, and Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodie no. 11.

Basically, the biggest thing for me has been how FAST a student has to learn and perfect repertoire (especially considering the other demanding academic endeavors I am committed to as a part of my other degree).  I am really enjoying the work that I am doing.  THis is the first time in a while that I've thought about my progress, and it makes me feel pretty good to think about what I have accomplished.

That being said, I have a LONG way to go!!!

Offline kelly_kelly

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #24 on: May 29, 2006, 06:55:34 PM
I was very young when I was born.

I was -2 months old when I was born.
It all happens on Discworld, where greed and ignorance influence human behavior... and perfectly ordinary people occasionally act like raving idiots.

A world, in short, totally unlike our own.

Offline lisztisforkids

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #25 on: May 29, 2006, 07:02:08 PM
we make God in mans image

Offline daniloperusina

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #26 on: May 30, 2006, 04:54:46 AM
I never touched a piano before I was twenty, then a sudden impulse made me go buy one. I became a full time student at 24 and entered a conservatoire at 26. At 30 I finished studying and has since made my living teaching and sometimes performing. I've had lazy practice periods, and I've had intensive ones. My worst night-mare is when I end up in a situation where I'm expected to sight-read! On the other hand, I'd be in heaven if asked to play an A major scale at break-neck speed (why doesn't anybody ever ask for that instead?) I say this because I think it reflects what I spent time on. :)

Ideally, the professional pianist starts getting talked about already while a teenager, wins a competition or two a few years later, and by 30 is a veteran of many concert halls, has been broadcast regularly on radio, and perhaps TV, and has made one or two commercially released CD:s on an established label. And, very importantly, has a great network of contacts and musician-friends, where all the people who matters, professionally speaking, know who you are, trust you and admire you!

Having said that, there are of course no rules! What happens tomorrow will, per definition, be something new, even if it looks like something old!:-)

Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: age, playing and....progress!!!
Reply #27 on: May 30, 2006, 10:48:18 AM
I was almost 4 when i started to play.
Progress is slower when youre young, but i think very young starters have an advantage because in your grow you can physicly adapt more.

gyzzzmo
1+1=11
 

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