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Topic: Turning 30, I feel that being a professional is now out of my grasp  (Read 1872 times)

Offline faa2010

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I am going to turn 30 this year, and I still try to enter to a music school to learn piano.

This and the last year, I have played many piano pieces and also I have been working and learning a foreign language at the same time.

The reason I have wanted to enter to the school is in order to increase my level in my piano, to be a suitable pianist, getting better ear training and sight reading abilities as well as learning music history and how to play and sing or accompany someone at the same time.

However, I have been aging and even though I and my teachers can have the necessarily patience, the schools to where I want to go are ageism, meaning that they prefer and have more patience with younger students and even tough I can get admitted, I can flunked at some point because of the lack of help.

One of my teachers gave me a third option: to study music education or to go to another music school but in another state. I also put the option to present the ABRSM exams.

What do you think about these options?, do you think they can be good alternatives to become a professional pianist?


Offline mjames

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By professional do you mean being a classical concert pianist?

Offline faa2010

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By professional do you mean being a classical concert pianist?

Yes, and also professional in the sense of increasing my level.

Offline hardy_practice

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Get a diploma from ABRSM/Trinity - same as music college.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline timothy42b

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By professional do you mean being a classical concert pianist?

It is unlikely the OP will become a classical concert pianist, starting music school at 30.

Has this been done by anybody, even once?  Not that I'm aware of.

However it is easily possible to play to a very high standard and even to earn a living as a gigging jazz pianist, as a cocktail pianist, as a church pianist, in a rock band, etc. 
Tim

Offline pytheamateur

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This is a video by a 3rd prize winner at the Tchaikovsky Competition.  Even he is struggling and has to turn to comedy.  You need to have a realistic idea of the level of competition out there.  Making a living as a concert pianist is tough.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline pytheamateur

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That's the level of playing of a pianist struggling professionally.  Of course if you think you can play  better than him (or already do ) then you shouldn't let this stop you.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline louispodesta

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I am going to turn 30 this year, and I still try to enter to a music school to learn piano.

This and the last year, I have played many piano pieces and also I have been working and learning a foreign language at the same time.

The reason I have wanted to enter to the school is in order to increase my level in my piano, to be a suitable pianist, getting better ear training and sight reading abilities as well as learning music history and how to play and sing or accompany someone at the same time.

However, I have been aging and even though I and my teachers can have the necessarily patience, the schools to where I want to go are ageism, meaning that they prefer and have more patience with younger students and even tough I can get admitted, I can flunked at some point because of the lack of help.

One of my teachers gave me a third option: to study music education or to go to another music school but in another state. I also put the option to present the ABRSM exams.

What do you think about these options?, do you think they can be good alternatives to become a professional pianist?



Professional body builders do not mature until their mid-30's, and opera singers can't sing late Verdi until they hit 40.  Just where does all of this young age garbage come from?

Find yourself a private teacher who believes in you, study composition/theory privately, and most of all broaden your fine art horizons, which includes drama, dance, painting, and sculpture.   The concert pianists Malcom Frager, and Charles Rosen both had advanced degrees in languages.  John Nakamatsu's degree is in German.

I myself, turn 64 in a couple of weeks, and I am playing better than I ever have in my life.

Good luck to you and go for it.   Screw the music schools of this world.   After graduation, 99%  of their young superstars disappear, never to be heard on the world concert stage again.

Offline bronnestam

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Has this been done by anybody, even once?  Not that I'm aware of.


Well, every pioneer and every explorer in the history of mankind has heard this line. If they had listened to it and followed its "advice", we would never have started to use stone tools. Kind of.

It is also true that for everyone who has succeeded, many have failed. It is not realistic to say anything else. To do what noone has done before, is to take a big risk, and the odds are bad, and you have to work very, very hard. But that is what life is about, isn't it? Just keep on doing what you love and what you believe in. Don't ask people what they think.

On the other hand, I think you have to have a wide perspective. Is your MAJOR goal to play the piano, to play the music you love and to share the joy with others? To be able to play the piano all day long because you don't have to make a living on something else? Or is it to become a "star", to be "famous" and get flowers and standing ovations, to read praise about yourself in the papers? There are many ways to achieve these things but it does not necessary mean that you have to become a concert pianist of world-wide reputation. Just be open-minded about the opportunities and be honest to yourself about your goals.

I think the options you were given are good ones. Of course you must be prepared to move in order to achieve what you want. You must be prepared to do literally anything (as long as it is legal ...) if you really want to succeed. Those who have succeeded, have sacrificed quite a lot on their way.
I have also concluded that being a concert pianist is not a very glamorous life and being a terrific teacher could be just as fancy. I mean, not every teacher has to give lessons just to their neighbour's ungrateful kids. 
 

Offline mjames

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However it is easily possible to play to a very high standard and even to earn a living as a gigging jazz pianist, as a cocktail pianist, as a church pianist, in a rock band, etc. 

Yeah, i don't understand why so many people are so fixated on the 'concert pianist' life. I was worried that this guy might have been doubting his ability to move on to playing difficult repertoire. Sometimes I wonder, do you (OP) want to play the piano so you can become famous, or..just for the sake of it? Personally, the only things I want from the piano is to 1. achieve a high level of skill in performance, and 2. improvisation/composition. My goals are solely 'musical.' I honestly don't give a crap about being a concerto pianist/famous and I don't see why so many people strive for it.

Offline louispodesta

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Yeah, i don't understand why so many people are so fixated on the 'concert pianist' life. I was worried that this guy might have been doubting his ability to move on to playing difficult repertoire. Sometimes I wonder, do you (OP) want to play the piano so you can become famous, or..just for the sake of it? Personally, the only things I want from the piano is to 1. achieve a high level of skill in performance, and 2. improvisation/composition. My goals are solely 'musical.' I honestly don't give a crap about being a concerto pianist/famous and I don't see why so many people strive for it.

Very well said.  Remember a guy by the name of Michelangeli?

He often stated that he played for himself, and the audience was secondary.  In that he recorded most of his music himself, his personal thesis had true value.

I, myself, play for my God and me.  After that, if the gift he gave me can go to others, all the better.

Offline faa2010

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... do you (OP) want to play the piano so you can become famous, or..just for the sake of it?


The fame is not important for me, I just want to increment my level which sometimes I am not sure which is currently.

I think that entering to a school can show me in which level I am exactly and then how to increment my skills.

I think that being a piano concert pianist is also part of the skills, in knowing my level in the way of how can I handle a piece and play it in front of everyone, if my playing can reach and transmit to people part of myself and hoping that they like it. Thinking that I am going to play in front of somebody can incite me to work harder and also to prepare myself how to handle my nerves and panic scene.

Offline louispodesta

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The fame is not important for me, I just want to increment my level which sometimes I am not sure which is currently.

I think that entering to a school can show me in which level I am exactly and then how to increment my skills.

I think that being a piano concert pianist is also part of the skills, in knowing my level in the way of how can I handle a piece and play it in front of everyone, if my playing can reach and transmit to people part of myself and hoping that they like it. Thinking that I am going to play in front of somebody can incite me to work harder and also to prepare myself how to handle my nerves and panic scene.

Thank you for our soulful genuine response.  However, in a music school you will get to perform no more that once or twice a term, in front of a general audience.  Studio class is important, but it is not the same thing.

I will share with you what my late piano teacher Bob Weaver taught me.   And that it is, "how to you get to Carnegie Hall?"  You book the hall.

Earl Wild states (Memoir) in no uncertain terms, that after Isaac Stern vetoed (as chairman) his conscription concert (the invitations had already been printed and mailed out) he simply booked the Hall and played his concert.

Therefore, in your particular case, there are hundreds of concert halls that will take your money to let you perform whatever and whenever you want.  Most colleges are more than receptive to this practice.  And, I am not making light of this reality, in regards your art.

However, if you can come with any more excuses as to why you should not be able to play in public, then maybe you should not.  Otherwise, go for it.  If not, quit wasting our time!
 

Offline falala

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Professional body builders do not mature until their mid-30's, and opera singers can't sing late Verdi until they hit 40.  Just where does all of this young age garbage come from?

From the reality of every single person who has ever become a successful concert pianist in the entire history of the human race, that's all.  :)

Quote
I myself, turn 64 in a couple of weeks, and I am playing better than I ever have in my life.

So did you start your professional performing career in your 30s?

And if so, how's it going? Do tell us...

Offline falala

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Yeah, i don't understand why so many people are so fixated on the 'concert pianist' life. I was worried that this guy might have been doubting his ability to move on to playing difficult repertoire. Sometimes I wonder, do you (OP) want to play the piano so you can become famous, or..just for the sake of it? Personally, the only things I want from the piano is to 1. achieve a high level of skill in performance, and 2. improvisation/composition. My goals are solely 'musical.' I honestly don't give a crap about being a concerto pianist/famous and I don't see why so many people strive for it.


These threads are so predicatable. When people can't stand admitting the obvious answer, they react by changing the question.  :D

Offline pytheamateur

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Good luck to you and go for it.   Screw the music schools of this world.   After graduation, 99%  of their young superstars disappear, never to be heard on the world concert stage again.
If you want to rely on statistics, what percentage of pianists on the world concert stage did not go through a music school?  This young man is obviously lost.  What he needs is sound career advice.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline dcstudio

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However it is easily possible to play to a very high standard and even to earn a living as a gigging jazz pianist,

Hey there.... earning a living as a gigging jazz pianist is never "easily possible"  lol 

 to sit for 3 hours at a piano with no sheet music and play continuously ... improvising, taking requests and talking to people...   takes a special skill..  and it's pretty rare....even among long-time players...  read the strings about people trying to learn how to play "jazz"... people tend to have a way harder time with grasping that concept..


so...yeah...don't harsh my gig, dude.  8)



Offline dogperson

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It seems by asking the question, you have answered your own question.  If this is important to you, you will move to go to school in another state, learn with you can, fight any perceived ageism, and risk failing. Period.  You won't need the world's opinion. 

If you fail, you will have given your best effort to get WHEREVER it is you want to be.. iF IT IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH.  I am much older than most of you.. and my life regrets are when I didn't assume the risk.  Think about how you will feel in thirty years if you don't give it your best shot.  Deep regret?  Go for it.  Small 'ping' of 'oh well, wish it could have been', then move on now.  Everyone offers advice from his/her perspective.  You need to look at your own heart. 

Offline outin

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Getting to a music school will not mean you will become a professional pianist who can make a living out of it. I'm afraid there's no way you could become what is usually considered a classical concert pianist. There's just too much competition and to make it you would need to be really good even before entering the school. Unless you have some special gimmick to offer you won't be able to compete.

You could get some work in the field though, perform and maybe become a teacher. But consider carefully if you really can handle the studies. The music school might make your anxiety issues worse... Why not just play the piano as a serious amateur (you could still perform), find a good private teacher who does not cause you distress  and do something easier for a living?

Offline mjames

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These threads are so predicatable. When people can't stand admitting the obvious answer, they react by changing the question.  :D

Explain? Can't stand what? I don't care if OP wants to be a concert pianist. He can go for it if he wants. I was worried that he might have been doubting his ability to get even better. That to me, is what matters.

P.S. I'm not an adult.
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