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"Hats off...!" - New Translation of Schumann's First Review

Celebrate the Schumann anniversary by reading our new translation of his very original and entertaining review of Chopin's Opus 2. This review includes the famous quote "Hats off, gentlemen, a genius". Read more >>

Poll
Question: --- The Making of a Star.. Begin Piano at age 2? or 5? or is 8 or 11 Good Enough?.. to become a STAR ---
starting age of piano - 1 (33.3%)
when to begin grooming the star - 2 (66.7%)
Total Voters: 3

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Author Topic: ? WHEN SHOULD I START MY KID WITH PIANO / TO BECOME "THE BEST?"  (Read 994 times)
pianoplayerstar
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« on: September 07, 2016, 04:39:10 PM »

Teachers:

I heard this one old lady say, if your kid did not start piano by age 5 (or was it 4?), then she wouldn't take them as her student.

YES, it is true that a baby does develop neuron pathways much easily than those who are a lot older.. once you're too old, it's more difficult ---- NOW, I don't know if this is simply unsubstantiated Neurological studies debated over and over in the latest JAMA magazines.. but it does sound quite convincing.

-that, the younger you are, the quicker you learn a language (the LANGUAGE OF PIANO)... or simply put:  "Ya' Kant Teach 'an Ol' Dog New Tricks"

---reason is I have NEVER heard of any Star Concert Pianist start so late... sure, there ARE those who may scrape close to a so-called "Late Start", but the only one I can think of is JOHN TESH, who in my mind was an ET entertainment reporter-turned-pianist -- I believe he started at age 6? ... if so, then that old lady up above would not take him as a pupil.

PRINCIPLE:  the principle I was thinking is the speed in which a newborn baby learns a language vs. a 19 year old adult.  It would take the baby about 4-5 years to only begin learning a language.... and adult of 19, 20, or even 68 years old would learn a language probably within 1 or 2 years of living in a country.. assuming she asserted herself to learn it -- NOW HAVING SAID THIS ....

...... CAN AN OLD FOLK, EVEN A 19-YR. OLD BECOME A CONCERT PIANIST IF SHE PUT IN THE 10,000 HOURS ?[average this 19-year old would be around +8 yrs.. and he'd be 27 years old.. or a 50 yr old putting in 10,000 hours.. reasonably speaking would take around 8-14 years since he's gotta work, too = 50+14=64 yrs.. then the 64 yr old can call himself Vladimir H... or the 27 year old can compete with Lang Lang ------ WELL, YOU GET THE CONTEXT IN WHICH i'M TRYING TO POSE THIS QUESTION.

HAVE YOU EVER TAUGHT AN OLDER KID (OR EVEN AN ADULT?! I DOUBT IT) WHO EVENTUALLY BECAME LANG LANG... no not just someone who plays or became a struggling concert pianist.. but someone who ACTUALLY MADE IT TO STARDOM... whatever one may call "stardom"

-- so with this background, now reasonbly speaking, can a KID WHO STARTS, SAY, AT AGE 12, STILL BECOME "A GREAT", OR MORE-THAN-A-TOP PIANIST....?.... NOT JUST A CONCERT PIANIST, BUT REACH STARDOM?   or do they have to get luck on America's Got Talent or X-FACTOR or some Korean Talent Show or some Thai or Singaporean type of X-Factor?

to me this is an interesting issue, because to answer this question would help parents from all over the world WHEN to start their kid with music/piano/golf/tennis/baseball... or any other career for that matter.

THEY ALL STARTED VERY VERY YOUNG.. SOME EVEN TOUT TO HAVE STARTED AT 3 OR 4.. WHICH I ACTUALLY DON'T THINK MAKES A DIFFERENCE..

.. 5 IS JUST FINE.
pps
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pianoplayerstar
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 05:18:42 PM »

as a teacher, do you believe or have you seen anything like this where a child started late?
..

.. unless you have very strong convictions about this
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pjjslp
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 10:15:19 PM »

as a teacher, do you believe or have you seen anything like this where a child started late?
..

.. unless you have very strong convictions about this

What?
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georgey
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 11:05:58 PM »

What?

Pianoplayerstar said:

as a teacher, do you believe or have you seen anything like this where a child started late?
.. unless you have very strong convictions about this

Here is the translation:  

As a teacher, do you believe in or have you seen anything like someone becoming a LANG LANG where the child started playing piano at late age?  However, if you are not a teacher and have not witnessed such a student, please answer this question anyway IF you have a very strong opinion about someone becoming a Lang Lang that started piano at a late age.

I’m having trouble with the poll again though:

Question: --- The Making of a Star.. Begin Piano at age 2? or 5? or is 8 or 11 Good Enough?.. to become a STAR ---
starting age of piano - 1 (100%)
when to begin grooming the star - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 1

So I think starting piano at age 8 is good enough for someone to become a star..  Do I vote for “starting age of piano” or do I vote for “when to begin grooming the star”?  Not sure, so I voted for “starting age of piano”.
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 11:19:28 PM »

just because you label the title differently does not mean this is a  not a double post.
you are spamming the board.

This is seriously getting out of hand... These posts contain any real information from the original poster who seems to reply with posts that don't make sense.

Why the need for Polls with every single one as well???
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pjjslp
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2016, 12:16:09 AM »

This is seriously getting out of hand... These posts contain any real information from the original poster who seems to reply with posts that don't make sense.

Why the need for Polls with every single one as well???

+1

The poll options don't even make sense. Ever.
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anamnesis
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 02:26:57 AM »

Not to be mean, but maybe the poll should be whether or not you should even have a kid.   Tongue Grin
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outin
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2016, 02:29:43 AM »

Not to be mean, but maybe the poll should be whether or not you should even have a kid.   Tongue Grin
Are you sure he's not still a kid...doesn't appear very mature...
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pianoplayerstar
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2016, 08:42:33 AM »

5-ok
6-ok fine
7- fine but getting old
8- start now!
9-12 ----- you're pushin' it
19- no way

ASSUMPTION: Classical music ( not jazz)

(well, this is what others seem to have been saying or implying)
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vaniii
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2016, 10:46:24 AM »

Age is such an arbitrary concept to base anything on.

Why do people surmount 'Professional Pianist' as though you have to compete with Yundi Li or Paul Lewis.

Honestly, anyone who believes in this nonsense will never be any good.

The people you see on recording labels make up less than 1% of professional musicians.  A professional concert pianist is simply a pianist who is paid to perform concerts.

A professional musician is any musician paid to play their instrument, write or teach.

I think you have a misconception of these ideas, as a result believe that you have to take a certain path in order to achieve it; namely starting at a specific age.

If you have these ideas of grandeur, for yourself or offspring, then unfortunately you and they will be sorely disappointing.  To 'get good', you can start at any age; to succeed you need to be dedicated and do what is necessary to get the job done.  Learn your craft, control your instrument, and understand what music IS.

The younger a person starts, the more time they have to sit with skills and concepts, but this does not guarantee success; I would go as far as to say, any person with these ideas of grandeur is destined to fail; promoters won’t work with you, other musicians will loath you, and unless your playing can live up to your own ego, then your audience won’t return for a second show.

Like with theatre, cinematography … heck … even the service industry, what the general populus consumes is the end of a process involving many people.  Even a small scale piano recital is more than just a pianist who has played since an arbitrary age arriving and playing what they like.

In short; you can start lessons at 4 years old and learn nothing, or you could start at 12 and achieve great things.  The main decider is that person’s resources and attitude to the cause; and more inportantly a roll of a dice, being in the right place at the right time.
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dcstudio
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2016, 12:47:32 PM »

I am kinda flattered that people are so envious of what we can do that they want to pretend they can do it too. They want to be able to speak our language and be a part of our oh so smart sounding conversation.  At least this one doesn't claim to be communing with Liszt.
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visitor
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2016, 03:16:20 PM »

PPS/OP you should go back in time and start your piano studies prior to your birth, then you will be the best, even better than Clayderman.

you can also start a business charging students that started after age 5 , a fee to have them go back in time and redo their studies even earlier so they can be the best, but be sure not to send them back farther than you go back so you can be the real bestest.  be careful with time paradoxes as well, those are a real pain to deal with, as all know and have experienced.
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pianoplayerstar
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2016, 05:22:07 PM »

"vanili" [is that Milly?{Vanili}].... ooops, i didn't have my glasses.. it's vaniii  Grin

"vaniii" has really raised a very important issue here:  BE GOOD & BE HAPPY is better than being Yundi Li or Kadouch.

.. meaning, "vaniii" is saying that or seems to be = you can start at any age and be good; but "vaniii" doesn't address whether starting at age 9 or 8 or even 12 or 13, a kid can ACTUALLY BECOME that Yundi.. of course, there is just 1 Lang Lang, or 1 Barenboim.. but can this late-starting kid still be respected by the public with continued appearances worldwide?

.. yes, I do agree that bad ego will engender a bad career - pride, arrogance, and/or insolence only humbles the person eventually.... Humility helps people rise up to the top;

.. however, based on the numerous responses here, i really think the best answer is:

ANSWER:  "NO. [emphatically] ONE CANNOT BE THRUST INTO THE PIANO LIMELIGHT AND NEVER EVER EVER HAVE FOR SUSTAINED PERIODS OF TIME IF SHE STARTED PIANO REALLY LATE"

COMMENT:  I actually don't quite buy this Answer, because there will ALWAYS be exceptions.. ALWAYS.
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georgey
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2016, 08:47:43 PM »

5-ok
6-ok fine
7- fine but getting old
8- start now!
9-12 ----- you're pushin' it
19- no way

ASSUMPTION: Classical music ( not jazz)

(well, this is what others seem to have been saying or implying)


“(well, this is what others seem to have been saying or implying)” – You should start a poll to make these results official.  Just kidding!

Very good. I like what you did here!  Here is a slightly revised chart that I’m hoping you will approve to cover all ages:

4 or less - Great
5-ok
6-ok fine
7- fine but getting old
8- start now!
9-12 ----- you're pushin' it
13 – you’re really pushin’ it
14 – you’re really really pushin’ it
15 – 18 – Almost entirely no way
19 or more- no way!  Forget it!
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bernadette60614
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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2016, 11:29:33 PM »

I recently became friends with two "working" musicians: each majored in music in college.  One makes a living playing her instrument, the other does not make a living playing his instrument, but instead photographs classical musicians. However, his free time alone and with his family is engaged largely with playing his instrument. They happen to be a married couple.

There are many, many, many working musicians and students of music for whom playing their chosen instrument either professionally or as a very serious avocation is central to their lives.

Maybe they aren't "stars", but they are musicians.

I think no matter when you start, if your musical studies are focused on progressing...no matter how slowly...you are a musician.

To me, that is a great gift for anyone, and if a child has an interest, a wonderful lifetime gift to a child.
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lostinidlewonder
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2016, 01:14:09 AM »

I know plenty that started at an early age and are nothing exceptional. I know a few who I personally taught who played at a very high standard and began from scratch at a later age. If you believe in this age rubbish then you either demoralise yourself for not starting earlier or overstimate your ability just because you began early. It's all about discipline and practice craft, nothing to do with magical ages.
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dcstudio
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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2016, 01:53:21 AM »

I know plenty that started at an early age and are nothing exceptional. I know a few who I personally taught who played at a very high standard and began from scratch at a later age. If you believe in this age rubbish then you either demoralise yourself for not starting earlier or overstimate your ability just because you began early. It's all about discipline and practice craft, nothing to do with magical ages.

I think that it may be uncomfortable for some of us lifers to admit that someone could achieve the same thing having started their studies much later than we did.  It's strange that we think that way when, as teachers we want nothing more than to give our students a quicker and more efficient route than we took.  It's a duality that is tough to reconcile
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pjjslp
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« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2016, 02:26:16 AM »

I know plenty that started at an early age and are nothing exceptional.

*raises hand*

I'm one. Taught myself from my mom's big note songbook at four, started lessons at five. Was pretty good by 19 but also self-aware enough to realize that I wasn't even the best underclassmen pianist at my small university. Perfectly happy mediocre mid-40s amateur now. Grin
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dcstudio
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2016, 02:54:37 AM »

As to the OT.  Not one member here would claim to be "the best" or to know how to become "the best" and we would all define "the best" differently as well as disagree on who was "the best" so how on Earth could any of us answer this ridiculous question.
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georgey
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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2016, 03:18:36 AM »

As to the OT.  Not one member here would claim to be "the best" or to know how to become "the best" and we would all define "the best" differently as well as disagree on who was "the best" so how on Earth could any of us answer this ridiculous question.

This is how:

4 or less - Great
5-ok
6-ok fine
7- fine but getting old
8- start now!
9-12 ----- you're pushin' it
13 – you’re really pushin’ it
14 – you’re really really pushin’ it
15 – 18 – Almost entirely no way
19 or more- no way!  Forget it!

At least I am trying to get pianoplayerstar's approval on this.  Wink  I think I need stop posting and to get back to work!!!!  And so I shall.  See you later!
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pianoplayerstar
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« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2016, 05:19:02 AM »

Start at 4--- high risk high reward-- downside is failure and possibly depression or dashed hopes.. Upside is success and huge stardom

Start at 7, 8, or 12 --- or even later --- do what you want to do and when music taps a nerve.. Then play it and practice it to become an amateur-- downside: not much.. Just keep your day job--- upside: win the Paris Amateur competition and get noticed .. Maybe get a record label

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE.
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dcstudio
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« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2016, 12:31:33 AM »

Start at 4--- high risk high reward-- downside is failure and possibly depression or dashed hopes.. Upside is success and huge stardom



So starting at four with the goal of huge stardom is what you are talking about?  That if they do not achieve that they will be hopelessly depressed? 

You don't consider a love for music and the feelings of accomplishment that come with learning the piano as motivators?.  The first time you really conquer one of the big pieces...It's ecstatic to say the least.  Dreams of stardom do not motivate people to do this.  IT takes some crazy to really devote yourself to something that makes no promises.  I am 47 years in...although I have had dreams of packed auditoriums filled with adoring fans that has never been what kept me going.  My hopes were not dashed because I am not like Lang Lang...lol..
Really.
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pianoplayerstar
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« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2016, 12:50:58 AM »

The love of music is one thing

But to become a career expert? Answer seems to be to start as early as possible
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dcstudio
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« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2016, 04:25:53 AM »

I started at four and I am a better than average player. I devoted my life to playing but unfortunately, like many artists, I devoted little time to learning anything at all  about being a "career expert."
That is a different matter altogether and requires skills that are learned or aquired away from the piano.  That's why it is not very interesting to many musicians...and why we laugh at those who want to do this because they think it will make them rich and famous. Lol
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pianoplayerstar
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« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2016, 03:01:04 PM »

dcstudio

I'm not surprised you started at 4-- you sound quite learned and very helpful to us all in your posts.... except when you make snide remarks!lol(I know you don't mean it though.. all forgiven  Grin
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stevensk
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« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2016, 03:14:39 PM »

-You can start at 30 if you want to be a pop/producer/pro tool/hiphop star "pianist". No need to practise, no need for posting hundreds of questions about hand size, handspan, jazz theory, whatever  Grin
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pianoplayerstar
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« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2016, 03:36:20 PM »

pop ok
classical concert pianist - difficult.. but not impossible
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« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2016, 03:37:04 PM »

I think that it may be uncomfortable for some of us lifers to admit that someone could achieve the same thing having started their studies much later than we did.  It's strange that we think that way when, as teachers we want nothing more than to give our students a quicker and more efficient route than we took.  It's a duality that is tough to reconcile

I've been playing since I was 20, I am turning 25 in a few months. I got into a piano performance program at A&M at 22, auditioning with Chopin op 25 no. 11, Bach C minor book I, Debussy la plus que lente. I worked on those pieces for like a year. Not ideal. But I did it. And never had to do beginner books, I started with chopin C# minor posthumous nocturne, Ballade no 1 (They weren't perfect but I could pull them off in a high-stakes situation.) My technique is still developing and if I don't give up, I am pretty certain I will be tolerable to watch and listen to in a year or so.

 But I will be honest, it is a very very steep slope to climb and I almost just want to kill myself because it is an awfully depressing journey. My mom didn't start me on lessons ever and it is practically hopeless and seems like there is no reason for wanting to be the best but I am such an optimist and I have an awful competitive streak. It's quite awful. But this is also what I think: I have 9-11 yr old students that learn very fast and have the ability to mimic, and they can learn a beautiful sound and good hand technique (for one piece, not in general) in just a few lessons if they have the aptitude, I have seen it. Some people just have the right kind of mind and ability, and they can easily learn. The only fall back is the time it takes the body to develop. Young children don't have that kind of mind, but a good teacher can keep them interested in piano thru their young years, so their body can go thru the appropriate preliminary training.

Who knows, maybe I started at the right time for me. The point is to be good at piano, be a good musician, a helpful and knowledgeable teacher, a well-rounded individual. Who are you if you are constantly relying on a teacher, constantly sheltered and have no bounds as far as monetary support goes, and have the best instruments...someone i can't relate to, that's who you are. Tongue

It's easy to be a pro musician. just pay lots of money for recordings, a nice instrument, exposure, etc. Win some competitions once you did that, too. Be your own advocate.

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classicalinquisition
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« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2016, 03:37:34 PM »

Star, this is a very interesting post, but you answered your own question above.  You said 4 years old approximately.  I've read through some of your interesting & catchy topics and I must give you kudos for them as it really catches our eye to read and reply. very wily and catchy of you to do this, despite others who seem to mock your topics and may I presume your genuine interest in getting your questions answered.I must agree, and again, you answered your question above: I agree that one should best start early on in order to become (what you call) The Best, but that is quite relative. Btw, your topics and self responses appear quite annoying and bothersome but they do seem to generate a lot of discussion, which I continue to encourage you doing.  Disregard those who have nothing to do but read your post and make vacuous criticisms.  Are you really trying to become the best? or have a student who wants to become a concert pianist? Perhaps we can help.
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dcstudio
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« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2016, 09:08:48 PM »

I've been playing since I was 20, I am turning 25 in a few months. I got into a piano performance program at A&M at 22, auditioning with Chopin op 25 no. 11, Bach C minor book I, Debussy la plus que lente. I worked on those pieces for like a year. Not ideal. But I did it. And never had to do beginner books, I started with chopin C# minor posthumous nocturne, Ballade no 1 (They weren't perfect but I could pull them off in a high-stakes situation.) My technique is still developing and if I don't give up, I am pretty certain I will be tolerable to watch and listen to in a year or so.

 But I will be honest, it is a very very steep slope to climb and I almost just want to kill myself because it is an awfully depressing journey. My mom didn't start me on lessons ever and it is practically hopeless and seems like there is no reason for wanting to be the best but I am such an optimist and I have an awful competitive streak. It's quite awful. But this is also what I think: I have 9-11 yr old students that learn very fast and have the ability to mimic, and they can learn a beautiful sound and good hand technique (for one piece, not in general) in just a few lessons if they have the aptitude, I have seen it. Some people just have the right kind of mind and ability, and they can easily learn. The only fall back is the time it takes the body to develop. Young children don't have that kind of mind, but a good teacher can keep them interested in piano thru their young years, so their body can go thru the appropriate preliminary training.

Who knows, maybe I started at the right time for me. The point is to be good at piano, be a good musician, a helpful and knowledgeable teacher, a well-rounded individual. Who are you if you are constantly relying on a teacher, constantly sheltered and have no bounds as far as monetary support goes, and have the best instruments...someone i can't relate to, that's who you are. Tongue

It's easy to be a pro musician. just pay lots of money for recordings, a nice instrument, exposure, etc. Win some competitions once you did that, too. Be your own advocate.



You must find your niche.. I went to UNT and I felt exactly the same way even with my early start.  Jazz made it possible for me to feel like I had some hope...I hated the department darlings who seemed to never practice and yet could sight read my pieces effortlessly.  It hurts...oh man it hurts...but don't give up.  I also really concentrated on the academic side and beat them with my grades in theory and music history..  It had some great side effects and made me a much better player later on.  If you are like me you are trying to reach a level of playing that will allow you to feel comfortable calling yourself a pianist....lol...just start saying it now because, trust me, that will never happen.
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« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2016, 01:40:20 AM »

It is a total myth that you MUST start early. The biggest reason have found why it is harder when you are older is your time commitments. Being able to dedicate the to practice piano every day sounds very simple but the reality is that it is not so simple for everyone. Also I noticed many older students don't like the idea of playing "child like" simple pieces to develop their ability and learning craft so they play pieces they like (often which are too difficult for their level) and thus make slow progress. I still teach a few students for almost 20 years now who started from scratch with me as adults and they achieved playing at close to their highest potential.
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