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Comparing skills (Read 1589 times)

Offline qpalqpal

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Comparing skills
« on: August 23, 2012, 05:03:22 AM »
Okay, so as some of you may know, I am a 14 year old boy. I am about to go into highs school next week. Here is the issue;

At my middle school, there weren't much talented kids, musically. All of the kids thought I was retarded for really liking Classical music. Anyways, I am entering a school that is comPletely different from my old school because the kids are rich white, Anglo Saxon as well as a few Asians, and I have met some 8th graders at the high school ( it is a 7-12 school). On YouTube there are videos of them playing performances at this school, and they are so advanced!!! Schubert Impromptus, Edward Grieg, Liszt Etudes. And  that is just piano. They have a ridiculous string quintet! Of freshmen and others. It's a very small school, yet with his talent, I am scared that I will most certainly give up piano. I mean, please! I can barely play a Bach invention, and I am learning.. Well, look at my signature.

What Am I to do coming into a school where he kids are higher level than me, have teachers, and are competitive ? Do I compete? Do I give it up? What are your suggestions? And the best advice is experience, so help me out guys, please!
Working on:
Bach Invention 7 (also Tureck's book)
Clementi Sonatina 3
Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux no. 3
Skrjabin Prelude op.11 no.4
Joplin The Favorite Rag

Offline j_menz

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 05:16:00 AM »
I think you should look at it as a wonderful learning opportunity. There may be a few dropkicks, but the bulk of them will be only to happy to encourage you in your efforts. Make the most of it.

And, if we gave something up because someone could do it better than us, we'd never do anything. Anyone. Ever.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline qpalqpal

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 05:21:09 AM »
I guess... But I mean, it is very frustrating to witness that.
Working on:
Bach Invention 7 (also Tureck's book)
Clementi Sonatina 3
Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux no. 3
Skrjabin Prelude op.11 no.4
Joplin The Favorite Rag

Offline outin

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 05:30:22 AM »
At my middle school, there weren't much talented kids, musically.
...

On YouTube there are videos of them playing performances at this school, and they are so advanced!!! Schubert Impromptus, Edward Grieg, Liszt Etudes. And  that is just piano.
...

It's a very small school, yet with his talent, I am scared that I will most certainly give up piano. I mean, please! I can barely play a Bach invention, and I am learning.. Well, look at my signature.


First of all, you may not be at the same level on the piano, but you might be better at some other subject. There are few individuals who excel in everything, most of us have our strengths and weaknesses.

Second, I would bet that these kids have a long history of piano lessons with competent teachers. They probably have played the piano for 6-9 years, even more. You have no chance of being on their level with 7 months of teaching and learning on your own. So just tell them that you love piano and are trying to learn, but have not had proper teaching and haven't played that long. They might be able to help you and you won't need to feel like you're competing with them.

Third, think how lucky you are! You are just 14 so you have every chance of getting to be a competent piano player. I do think you need a classical teacher for that, but there's time. How do you think it feels to be 45 and see the 6 year olds in Youtube easily playing the same pieces I struggle with for months  ;D

Offline j_menz

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #4 on: August 23, 2012, 05:31:33 AM »
I guess... But I mean, it is very frustrating to witness that.

Frustrtating and inspiring equally, I'd have thought.

And just remember, they have all got their eyes on someone better than them who they feel the same way about.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline outin

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #5 on: August 23, 2012, 05:55:08 AM »
One more thing... There are very few people who can run before they walk. The rest of us need to learn skills gradually. Most if not all of those kids have started with the grade 1 stuff and spend years progressing in their playing skills before even trying any of the pieces they can play now. It is only nowdays that people go straight to intermediate/advanced repertoire. Maybe it's because of the digitals. Playing an acoustic just requires fine tuning your motions to a level that cannot be done overnight. I'm not saying that you should go to grade 1 but I think you would benefit from having something easier to balance your diet.

I sometimes think I should also take a step back or even start over, but it's a bit defferent for me, because I have already been through years of the boring stuff once and I have a teacher who wouldn't let me attempt anything ridiculous. And I also have easy pieces, right now I'm learning Dolly's Complaint by CÚsar Franck (grade 2) and I think it is a charming piece and I have had a lot of progress with my bad thumbs while practicing on it.

Offline 49410enrique

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #6 on: August 23, 2012, 12:53:28 PM »
agreed with above, check the ego in at the door (or leave it at home) and take advantage of it. generally it will be better for your development if you are a small fish in a big pond. sink or swim so to speak. it will push to you rise up the the new standard, so go for it! work hard, practice and find your natural strengths, chances are even though some of them may be much stronger in certain musical aspects you might just have a natural ability to for example really interpret slower poetic works with more sensitivity, etc stuff like that. :)

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #7 on: August 23, 2012, 02:09:44 PM »
chances are even though some of them may be much stronger in certain musical aspects you might just have a natural ability to for example really interpret slower poetic works with more sensitivity, etc stuff like that. :)

And let's say, just for discussion's sake, that all of them are literally better than you in every aspect of piano playing. Very unlikely, but let's just say that. So what's the problem? Are you playing piano to impress others or are you playing piano because you love music and playing the piano? If you are playing just to impress others, that's a very poor reason, I'd say. Just practice and play to your heart's content and enjoy the journey to being as good as these other students are, and then even better. It's a wonderful feeling waking up one day and realizing that all those pieces you've heard people talk about, the really difficult ones you thought were unachievable, are now within your grasp. That's when piano playing really starts getting fun (although it's fun before that, too!).

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #8 on: August 23, 2012, 10:49:41 PM »


What Am I to do coming into a school where he kids are higher level than me, have teachers, and are competitive ? Do I compete? Do I give it up? What are your suggestions? And the best advice is experience, so help me out guys, please!

This is what you do...

Some kid:  yeah, I'm only working on Liszts Totentanz...  You know, nothing too difficult.

You thinking:  oooooh so you think you're on huh?  Just wait...

*practice practice practice practice*

*a couple days later*

Some kid:  so what are you working on?

You:  meh, Liszt B minor sonata...  You know, nothing too difficult.



Seeing kids that are better than you should inspire you to practice dude!
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #9 on: August 23, 2012, 11:15:55 PM »
Seeing kids that are better than you should inspire you to practice dude!

Inspiration is all you need to progress from Bach inventions to the Liszt sonata in several days :P

Offline qpalqpal

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #10 on: August 23, 2012, 11:27:23 PM »
Several days my a**s Haha. But I get you now. Its just that they will always be better in the sense that they are well-taught. i don't know about that./
Working on:
Bach Invention 7 (also Tureck's book)
Clementi Sonatina 3
Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux no. 3
Skrjabin Prelude op.11 no.4
Joplin The Favorite Rag

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #11 on: August 24, 2012, 12:03:21 AM »
Several days my a**s Haha. But I get you now. Its just that they will always be better in the sense that they are well-taught. i don't know about that./

Well eventually you're all going to be at the same technique level when you're older.

It's like taking an algebra class!


You have the students who already knew everything from the beginning of the year, but by the end of the year, you'll both know everything anyways, so...  Yeah!
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #12 on: August 24, 2012, 12:21:29 AM »
Its just that they will always be better in the sense that they are well-taught. i don't know about that./

Being "well taught" may assist up to a point, but what matters is being "well learned", and that is entirely up to you.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #13 on: August 24, 2012, 02:32:11 AM »
Being "well taught" may assist up to a point, but what matters is being "well learned", and that is entirely up to you.

You know what they say,

'There are no such thing as good teachers.  Just good students'
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline qpalqpal

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #14 on: August 24, 2012, 02:49:43 AM »
GUYS!!! THis kid Kevin, I know him, he is in my class this year. He is very amiable, but I never knew he played piano. LOOOKK!!!! Now you can see what I am talking about? Maybe now you could feel my utter frustration!!!!

Working on:
Bach Invention 7 (also Tureck's book)
Clementi Sonatina 3
Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux no. 3
Skrjabin Prelude op.11 no.4
Joplin The Favorite Rag

Offline qpalqpal

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #15 on: August 24, 2012, 02:54:26 AM »
DO NOT BEGIN, WITH THE "Looka t the bright side, he isn't that good" -_-guys, he won a piano competition, an International young peoples competition in piano
Working on:
Bach Invention 7 (also Tureck's book)
Clementi Sonatina 3
Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux no. 3
Skrjabin Prelude op.11 no.4
Joplin The Favorite Rag

Offline j_menz

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #16 on: August 24, 2012, 03:11:38 AM »
GUYS!!! THis kid Kevin, I know him, he is in my class this year. He is very amiable, but I never knew he played piano. LOOOKK!!!! Now you can see what I am talking about? Maybe now you could feel my utter frustration!!!!

Reread what we said above. You haven't changed our assumptions.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline qpalqpal

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #17 on: August 24, 2012, 03:23:45 AM »
Sorry! I was just havin a spasm attack  :P. I feel very excited to tell you the truth! I KNOW he will be eager to teach me. He is such a nice kid, and I have seen him at debates interscholastically. But yeah, I wonder what advice he shall give me. I might go to his house if he lets me so I can meet his entire pianistic family! But okay... Do I still hav a chance at being able to play Chopin's Ballade 4 in the next 10 years though I am old? 14
Working on:
Bach Invention 7 (also Tureck's book)
Clementi Sonatina 3
Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux no. 3
Skrjabin Prelude op.11 no.4
Joplin The Favorite Rag

Offline qpalqpal

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #18 on: August 24, 2012, 03:26:11 AM »
Also, if he continues, will he always be better than me?
Working on:
Bach Invention 7 (also Tureck's book)
Clementi Sonatina 3
Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux no. 3
Skrjabin Prelude op.11 no.4
Joplin The Favorite Rag

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #19 on: August 24, 2012, 03:32:05 AM »
Also, if he continues, will he always be better than me?

Depends how hard he works and how hard you work. Does it really matter though?

Offline j_menz

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #20 on: August 24, 2012, 03:34:14 AM »
Also, if he continues, will he always be better than me?

That's somewhat up to you. He may be, or you may get better than him. He certainly will always be better than you if you allow that possibility to stop you.

Incidentally, 24 seems too young for anyone to play Chopin's 4th Ballade. Unless you've had a pretty tragic life. Better let it keep. It's secrets are not in it's technical difficulties.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline qpalqpal

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #21 on: August 24, 2012, 03:37:12 AM »
Let me rephrase... Will I be able to plylay something at the TECHNICAL level of Racmhaninoff op. 32 no. 10 at all soon or ever
Working on:
Bach Invention 7 (also Tureck's book)
Clementi Sonatina 3
Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux no. 3
Skrjabin Prelude op.11 no.4
Joplin The Favorite Rag

Offline davidjosepha

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"
«Reply #22 on: August 24, 2012, 03:46:18 AM »
Let me rephrase... Will I be able to plylay something at the TECHNICAL level of Racmhaninoff op. 32 no. 10 at all soon or ever

Of course. If you keep with piano for long enough, you'll eventually be able to play just about anything, I think, as long as you continue to push yourself. If you keep playing level 8 repertoire your entire life, you'll never get any better than that, obviously, you'll just get better at playing level 8 repertoire. 32/10, I'm not sure how long it'll take you to get to the point of learning that...I really have no concept of how difficult anything is for myself, let alone anyone else...it's basically, "I can play this" or "I can't play this, but I'll try anyway"...which led to me trying to conquer Rachmaninoff's first sonata a couple years ago...ah, silly, ignorant me.

Besides, even if we could judge your exact skill level at this moment, we have no idea how fast you'll progress, since it varies by person and by amount of time AND effort put in (you can't sit at a piano doing nothing for an hour and expect gains, obviously! And besides just working/not working, quality of practice matters too).

So, I can say with relative confidence that within 50 years, if you keep practicing, you'll be able to play Rach 32/10. But more likely, much sooner than that :P

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #23 on: August 24, 2012, 03:49:38 AM »
I feel very excited to tell you the truth!

You want the truth?!

Well you can't Handle the truth!!!!

Which is why I'm going to show you this anyways



This guy is freaking 16 years old!  And that's not the worst of it.  My first piano teachers ex girlfriend RECORDED AND SOLD Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit and Petrouchka at freaking 13 years old!!!  It doesn't get any harder than that dude...


No but yeah, there's always monsters like these.  Once you're like 20 something, everyone will be at like the same technical level, so it doesn't really matter once you get older.  At least that's what everyone else told me.

It's like learning how to walk.  Let's say just for the purpose of this argument that there are babies who learn how to walk at like three days old.  Well it doesn't matter in the future because eventually EVERYONE learns how to walk!  

Or tying your shoes!  I didn't know how to tie my shoes till I was like seven or eight.  Does that matter now?  No!  Wanna know why?  Because EVERYONE can tie their shoes!

Catch my drift?
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #24 on: August 24, 2012, 03:50:51 AM »
Let me rephrase... Will I be able to plylay something at the TECHNICAL level of Racmhaninoff op. 32 no. 10 at all soon or ever

Yes you can.

No wait, yes you will.

No wait, I will make sure you will!  This is not an option!  You WILL be able to do it.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #25 on: August 24, 2012, 03:51:29 AM »
Let me rephrase... Will I be able to plylay something at the TECHNICAL level of Racmhaninoff op. 32 no. 10 at all soon or ever

I didn't start playing until I was 13. Some things you have to work harder on, some things come easier. Just keep at it and that Rach 32/10 will be yours sooner than you think.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: "
«Reply #26 on: August 24, 2012, 03:52:45 AM »
..which led to me trying to conquer Rachmaninoff's first sonata a couple years ago...ah, silly, ignorant me.


:'( :'(
 :'( :'(

I applaud you for trying. 

You...  Are a hero.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #27 on: August 24, 2012, 03:53:56 AM »
I didn't start playing until I was 13.

Really? 

Professional pianist and started at age 13?!

You are my hero.  Along with Davidjosepha.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline outin

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #28 on: August 24, 2012, 04:01:01 AM »
YOU NEED TO STOP THAT!

What you are doing will ever prevent you from getting anywhere. Yes, he is good. That's because he has done the work. Tenious practice of stupid little etudes for many years. Probably doesn't go out much... Having a good teacher will help you have better quality in your playing, but it does nothing if you do not do the tedious work yourself. (not that it can't be enjoyable at the same time).

He plays the piano at least 100 times better than me. But he also is better in math. YOU are better in math than me and I did study math and physics at the university for a few years. But whatever skills I had are gone because I haven't practiced them for over 20 years. That's how it is, you make a choice whether you want to be good at math, playing the piano, computer games or have a lot of girlfriends and then you WORK on that.

If he is willing to help you, take advantage of it! Just don't expect him to teach you the pieces HE is learning. He can help you with the stuff that is your level.

Now what's up with your signature?? Have you dropped the prelude?? Did I give you permission to do that, I thought we were learning buddies??!! And did I not told you to do the 2nd and 3rd movements of the first Clementi sonatina?!!

Only kidding (you are just acting like any normal 14 year old :) , but you do need to focus. You cannot just take on new pieces and drop the ones you were going to learn. One has to learn to be able to keep working on something even though it occasionally feels boring/difficult if one is ever to progress in piano playing.

First play the prelude beautifully it will be a reward because it is a wonderful piece. Then something else. And after a 100 other pieces or so you can start the Rach no 10 or something like that.

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #29 on: August 24, 2012, 04:03:26 AM »
Or tying your shoes!  I didn't know how to tie my shoes till I was like seven or eight.  Does that matter now?  No!  Wanna know why?  Because EVERYONE can tie their shoes!

Still kinda embarrassing though :P

Offline j_menz

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #30 on: August 24, 2012, 04:06:58 AM »
Still kinda embarrassing though :P

Nah. I was pretty much the same. The girls at school used to love to tie them for me.  If they hadn't grown out of that I might never have learnt.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: "
«Reply #31 on: August 24, 2012, 04:07:24 AM »
:'( :'(
 :'( :'(

I applaud you for trying. 

You...  Are a hero.


You know how they say there are no heroes in war. Same thing applies here. The media tries to portray Rach 1 as a pretty thing, full of good intentions and pretty results. But here's the dirty truth: Rach 1 is hell. A true Rach 1 story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a Rach 1 story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true Rach 1 story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.

Offline ajspiano

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #32 on: August 24, 2012, 04:08:17 AM »
The age stigma is weird.

Its like non-pianists, or less experienced pianists, think that professionals do all their learning before they turn 19 years 5 months and 6 days old. - thereafter, you're done. Bad luck if you didn't memorise the entire repertoire.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #33 on: August 24, 2012, 04:08:50 AM »
Professional pianist

I keep telling you, I'm an amateur. I do it for love, not money.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #34 on: August 24, 2012, 04:09:18 AM »
Nah. I was pretty much the same. The girls at school used to love to tie them for me.  If they hadn't grown out of that I might never have learnt.

Although I dare say that's not the last time j_menz got those girls on their knees

...

I'll see myself out

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #35 on: August 24, 2012, 04:11:37 AM »
The age stigma is weird.

Its like non-pianists, or less experienced pianists, think that professionals do all their learning before they turn 19 years 5 months and 6 days old. - thereafter, you're done. Bad luck if you didn't memorise the entire repertoire.

Whew, I've still got 7 months!

Edit: 8, I suck at math

Edit2: nevermind it's 7, I really suck at math

Offline qpalqpal

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #36 on: August 24, 2012, 04:16:29 AM »
Let me say something. First of all, I WILL one day play Racmhaninoff, and there is no stopping me. I think also that without a teacher you will sound terrible because you do everything your own way.
Working on:
Bach Invention 7 (also Tureck's book)
Clementi Sonatina 3
Rachmaninoff Moment Musicaux no. 3
Skrjabin Prelude op.11 no.4
Joplin The Favorite Rag

Offline outin

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #37 on: August 24, 2012, 04:18:17 AM »
I think also that without a teacher you will sound terrible because you do everything your own way.

Think less, do more  ;)

Offline j_menz

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #38 on: August 24, 2012, 04:19:44 AM »
because you do everything your own way.

One day, that will be your aim.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #39 on: August 24, 2012, 04:31:45 AM »
I keep telling you, I'm an amateur. I do it for love, not money.

Well I would much rather do what I love in a mansion rather than an apartment.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline davidjosepha

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One day, that will be your aim.

I asked my teacher about this one time. I said "Why is it that professional pianists seem to barely even observe the markings of the composer, and yet I'm expected to adhere to them strictly?" He told me, "You need to first learn how to do things the way you're told to do them before you can decide for yourself how you would like them to be done." And then I watched as he gradually slackened his grip on how I played the piece. I don't trust myself yet to do everything "my own way", but I'm working towards it.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: "
«Reply #41 on: August 24, 2012, 04:33:54 AM »
You know how they say there are no heroes in war. Same thing applies here. The media tries to portray Rach 1 as a pretty thing, full of good intentions and pretty results. But here's the dirty truth: Rach 1 is hell. A true Rach 1 story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a Rach 1 story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true Rach 1 story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.

That's why it's so beautiful.

That's why all of his music is beautiful!  With the exception of his prelude Op 23 No 2 and Op 3 No 2.

I know that sounds cliche and I was sincere when I said that.
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Comparing Skills
«Reply #42 on: August 24, 2012, 04:46:04 AM »
I asked my teacher about this one time. I said "Why is it that professional pianists seem to barely even observe the markings of the composer, and yet I'm expected to adhere to them strictly?" He told me, "You need to first learn how to do things the way you're told to do them before you can decide for yourself how you would like them to be done." And then I watched as he gradually slackened his grip on how I played the piece. I don't trust myself yet to do everything "my own way", but I'm working towards it.

Your teacher is right.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: Comparing Skills
«Reply #43 on: August 24, 2012, 04:57:49 AM »
Your teacher is right.

I know! I wasn't doubting him. I'm a good student! Actually, sometimes he'll tell me I could do certain things at various places in the piece (if I want, he rarely tells me I have to do something anymore), and I'll be like, "Wait, I can do that? But the score says..." etc.

Offline ajspiano

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #44 on: August 24, 2012, 04:59:48 AM »
I prefer to explain it as "if you take someone elses musical direction you increase your dynamic/expressive vocabulary - rather than confine yourself to what you are currently capable of"

Offline davidjosepha

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #45 on: August 24, 2012, 05:01:29 AM »
I prefer to explain it as "if you take someone elses musical direction you increase your dynamic/expressive vocabulary - rather than confine yourself to what you are currently capable of"

You would not believe (or maybe you would) the number of times I have made a musical decision that also happened to make the piece easier to play :P

Offline ajspiano

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Re: Comparing skills
«Reply #46 on: August 24, 2012, 05:32:56 AM »
You would not believe (or maybe you would) he number of times I have made a musical decision that also happened to make the piece easier

I'm pretty heavily guilty of this when improvising..