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Stanchinsky is Gramophone's Editor's Choice
The short-lived Russian pianist and composer Alexey Stanchinsky was playing in public by age six and was highly regarded in all the musical activities he undertook. Swedish pianist Peter Jablonski has recorded an album with selected Stanchinsky works for the Ondine label, a recording that was recently selected as Gramophone's Editor's Choice of May 2021. Piano Street talked to Jablonski about the young forgotten composer and his works. Read more >>

Topic: I play guitar at my school, but want to change to piano. What should i do???  (Read 1471 times)

Offline benjafr

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Hello, my name is Benjamin. I'm 17 years old from Norway. In our country, we have "high schools" dedicated to music. Where we have a main instrument, and a secondary instrument. We get approximately 1 hour a week with a teacher on our main instrument. And around 30 minutes on our secondary instrument.  I have played electrical guitar for a year there now. I play jazz, blues, rock etc. When I first started a year ago I was self-thought on the guitar and piano. Over the last year, I find that I think I like the piano better than I first thought.
I think about changing instruments. from guitar to piano. I know this is a piano forum so people here are genuinely more interested in the piano.

I find myself practising more piano than guitar on a regular basis. Maby its just a rush because i have a lot of progress.... i really dont know.

Last school year i played
* Prelude in C major, BWV 846- Bach
* Bohemian rhapsody- queen
* Piano man - Billy Joel
* Autumn leaves- the real book
* Take five- The Dave Brubeck quartet
* Erste Walzer No. 1, D.365- Franz Schubert (not all the way finished)
* Kinderszenen, Op.15:1 - Robert Schumann (not finished)
* And my main pieace Piano Sonata No. 15 in C Major K.545.Allegro - Mozart

This school year
* A FRICKIN LOT OF HANON - Charles-Louis Hanon
* my main piece Piano sonata No. 11 in A Major, K. 331: nr 1 (Andante grazioso)- Mozart
* Invention No. 1 in C Major, BWV 772 -Bach
* Yesterday - The Beatles
* Blowing in the wind- Bob Dylan

In the summertime I worked on
* Fantasie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor- Chopin (really really really hard, i have just managed 8 bars)
* Nocturne No.2 In E Flat, op.9 No.2 - Chopin
* Suite bergamasque: III. Clair de lune - Claude Debussy

None of these pieces are finished because my teacher and I started with Mozart currently sitting at variation 4 in the Mozart piece.

I feel like I have a lot of progression and I'm having fun while practising. My question is how do you know if the piano is right for you?
What happens after let's say 2 years of practising the piano (how is the progression, is things standing really still, or do you learn new things all the time?)
And how much time do you need to spend at the piano to become decent/ good?
Based on my repertoire, what is natural that I can manage to get to play in a year or two?

Thanks in advice - Benjamin :D

Offline pianowhisper

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Hello Benjamin,

First of all, I wish you very good luck and lots of fun (I'll come back to that later). I had no idea there were schools like that in Norway, which in my opinion is a very positive thing and I'm glad you can have your "formal" education along with music learning (at least that's how I pictured your school system to be). I also appreciate the fact you're learning different types of pieces (genres) on the piano! I'm no teacher but I'd say that is a good thing for students who are just starting having lessons. :)

I feel like I have a lot of progression and I'm having fun while practising.
That is the important part of it all, in my opinion. You should have fun and progress will come in the most natural way possible! You ask how does one figure out if the piano is right for you. Personally, I don't believe in such questioning, because I think something is right if you feel it is: it appears that you enjoy playing the piano a lot, so that is already right. Maybe in one year or two, or whatever, you will feel differently and think maybe the piano wasn't actually your thing. But that's OK. All the time during which it was your thing would have been an important time to you. I don't know if this made sense, but all in all, I mean that, in my opinion, when you do something you love, there should be no "what ifs" and you should just live the moment. With that being said, of course, there is (I suppose) also a more practical and realistic side to your concern since it is related to school, in which case the fear of future "regret" is completely well-grounded and, for which case, I can't really give an exact answer.

As for your other questions, it all boils down to how much effort and time you put into it, as the evolution of everyone is going to be different and there is no way to measure it. I learned Clair the Lune only after 5 years of starting learning the piano and the Fantaisie Impromptu 7 more years later ;D (it's true I was mostly self-taught so that pulled me back a lot I'd say...). With that in mind, and considering I am just a mere piano lover, I would guess you would be able to play lots of nice pieces in 2 years since you have so much fun and feel the progress kicking in the way you say. In my own experience, it never feels you are "good" enough (since you asked how long it takes to become good at it), but at one point you do look back and realize how much you've improved, and that's always nice.

Maybe someone else on the forum who is a teacher or who has had actual piano lessons (which I have never, unfortunately) could give you deeper insights.


Offline benjafr

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Thank you so much :D
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