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A Livestreamed Chopin Celebration in Warsaw
While the 18th Chopin Competition in Warsaw is postponed until 2021, the Chopin Institute will not leave the piano world lot-less. Beginning October 1st the Institute will celebrate Chopin's music and pianism through a series of piano masters' recitals and chamber concerts by a wonderful lineup of some of the most outstanding pianists of the previous editions of the competition. Read more >>

Topic: Learning  (Read 1363 times)

Offline jono

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on: January 18, 2005, 07:49:04 PM
I have a question to all of you who are very good at playing piano and make your living of it. With all the practice you have to do, doesn't it make you kind of isolated? Or do you hang out with pianomates all "work-day"? Or are the really good ones of you so easily learnt, so you dont have to practice that much at all?  I'm curious because I hope one day I'll be as good as it takes to make a living out of it myself. How much do you practice a day or per week generally? :-*
Listening to Debussy is like having a midnight bath in a lukewarm augustlake

Offline bernhard

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Re: Learning
Reply #1 on: January 18, 2005, 10:54:46 PM

Socialising is overrated.

We are all piano hermits.  8);D
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline cziffra

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Re: Learning
Reply #2 on: January 18, 2005, 11:48:40 PM
I was going to start a new post called "social conscience" but it applies here, so:

The only problem i think you'd have with being a pianist is dealing with the voice that says "you know, you should go outside. it's a beuatiful day, and everyone else will not like you if you snub them like this." especially if you live in a place where everyone's attitude is that too much piano (i.e more than an hour) is unhealthy. 

if you can deal with this voice (ignoring the expectation that you should socialise) you'll be fine, since you will then be perfectly happy to play piano most of the day and socialise only occasionally, when need be. 

As you say, it does help to have like minded piano-folk around you.
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline anda

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Re: Learning
Reply #3 on: January 19, 2005, 08:02:32 AM
ok, maybe i shouldn't post here - i am not a concert-pianist, and i make my living mostly out of teaching (let's say i earn my bread by teaching and playing gets me some ham on it too :) ). and i have to say i don't think i could cope with a schedule like mihaela ursuleasa's.

however, i think everything is important. in order to be a good instrumentist and musician, you need to be a human being. so, if you psychologically need friends, going out occasionally, watching movies from time to time, posting on pf :) ), just go ahead and do it. forcing yourself to practice while your mind is going "oh, i wanted so bad to go to this party tonight, but i have to stay practice" makes that practice session useless. go to the party, stay for a couple of hours, have fun and come back to practice relaxed.

as long as you keep your activities well-balanced and you don't exaggerate on either side, everything should be fine.


Offline pianowelsh

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Re: Learning
Reply #4 on: January 19, 2005, 11:36:47 AM
Hi I am still a student so don't really qualify here but I am curious. How many of you guys who are 'full-time' pianists take vacations. The jury seems to be out as I have read a couple of books whic have interviews with celebrity pianists. Some take like a month off and don't go near the instrument or a sabatical every so many years. Others never go anywhere unless there is somewhere they can practice. As a student I confess I do tend to take a piano-free vacation for a week or 2 weeks in the summer and I feel this a huge benefit just to be out and do different things and enjoy not being inside. I find when i come back to practice I am raring to go and people have even said I play better for not having practised two weeks. I think for some people there is a danger of getting over piano centered and that can stifle the beauty and enjoyment which you CAN hear in peoples playing. I can't really help you answer your question as I am not earning my living so to speak but I know that just looking around my college piano friends there are some who lock themselves away in practise rooms and only come out once per tem for a piano social evening (and spend that discussing piano technique and virtusoso repertoire) and there are those who practise 2-4 hrs a day and go to the gym and socialise go away for weekends and help run college clubs/societies. To be honest there is little really tangible difference in the quality of their playing. If anything those that practice less tend to get less worked up and tense come exam time and you can see physically the difference when they play - the look less stiff. As some of these may well be the next generation this may help you - but I think as with many people centered topics there isn't really an answer as such because people are SO different and talent comes to all kinds of people! ;D

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