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#1060982 - 11/21/08 07:47 PM Goodbye
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I just had confirmation of something I've suspected for a long time, that I am lacking some fundamental musicality, and that as I'm unlikely to develop it at 55, there doesn't seem to be much point in continuing with piano. I will continue it myself however, in decent privacy, as my solace and release. I have finally recognized my mediocrity and will no longer be taking advantage of the kindness of you all by participation in the ecitals or the discussions. It's just too painful to be on the sidelines without any prospect of participation.
I have come to love many of you and I'll still be out there, maybe, from time to time.
Slow down and do it right.

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#1060983 - 11/21/08 07:55 PM Re: Goodbye
gooddog Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 5443
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Wrong! Wrong! WRONG! You are NOT too old to learn. Sounds like you're discouraged and maybe depressed but you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

I restarted lessons when I was 53. In 4 years I have made a huge amount of progress. I look back on pieces I played 4 years ago and they are now a breeze to read. I keep learning and getting better. The trick is a good teacher.

Don't give up -Frycek. Maybe you need a new teacher? a vacation? a big piece of chocolate? a hug? Please don't give up.
Best regards,


#1060984 - 11/21/08 07:58 PM Re: Goodbye
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
Please see the PM I just sent you.
Don't do this!


#1060985 - 11/21/08 08:22 PM Re: Goodbye
BB Player Offline

Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2932
Loc: Not in Texas

It's time for some goal realignment!

I think a lot of us in our quest to "be the best we can be" set our sights on a level that may ultimately be unattainable given either our innate ability or the time we're able to devote to it. I know from your previous writing that you work hard and practice a lot so therefore it's reasonable that you'd have very lofty goals for where you'd like to get to with your playing.

But[/b]. Ultimately, it's about the satisfaction and enjoyment that comes with playing. At our age (I'm a year younger than you), it's unlikely we'll ever make the concert stage. It's likely there are pieces we'd like to play that we'll never be able to play to our satisfaction.

That doesn't mean we can't enjoy it. It doesn't mean we can't share the camaraderie of the forum or the recitals. In fact, it should mean the opposite - that we play for our own and others pleasure without the self imposed pressure of being the "best" (whatever that means).

Enjoy the summit you've reached, share your experience and playing with us and don't let your inability to reach some arbitrary milestone diminish the pleasure you get from playing.

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#1060986 - 11/21/08 08:38 PM Re: Goodbye
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1326
Check my two posts in the "revolutionary etude in 2 years" thread. Seriously, your amount of focus when you play changes everything. No amount of practice or great teaching can make you excel if you aren't hearing and seeing everything clearly when you play (you subconsciously filter out a lot if you aren't focused).

I feel your pain, being a real musician is a strange and painful experience.

#1060987 - 11/21/08 08:48 PM Re: Goodbye
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4462
Loc: Jersey Shore
-Frycek I feel your pain. I like you, practice like a dog and not happy with my results. I play everything poorly at best. I see new people do 100% better than myself in a short amount of time.

But no matter what I'm still better than I was a year ago, so I trudge onward...

So stay and keep me/us company...

Damn, after typing this I want to quit...

#1060988 - 11/21/08 08:53 PM Re: Goodbye
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
If you're not here, who's going to do the nocturne ecital?

Don't give up. Everyone has bad days. As Gooddog pointed out, maybe you need a new teacher?
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

#1060989 - 11/21/08 09:01 PM Re: Goodbye
TTigg Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 873
Loc: Southern California
Conformation from who?

Don't give up would be my first suggestion but you've got to be in it (heart wise) to want to do this. I see from your sig that you mastered your domain in 2007, congratulations on that.

As Mark & many others have pointed out, look at where you've come and how well you've done. For me it's pretty simple...

- there is ALWAYS going to be people better than me
- there is ALWAYS going to be people who learn faster than me
- there is ALWAYS going to be things I can't play
- I will never be a concert pianist

BUT I am ME and I'm loving this journey. The support & help from places like this only make that much easier..

Keep with it, and get another teacher if that's the route of the main issue..
"...I'm out there Jerry and I'm LOVING it!..."

My You Tube | My Box.net

#1060990 - 11/21/08 09:05 PM Re: Goodbye
Debbie57 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 258
Loc: Kansas

I'm 51. I'm unlikely to ever participate in a recital here or any where else. Unless I tell my teacher I want to learn out of Alfred's, I don't even have anybody to talk with here to try and get help with the pieces that are stumping me.

I think you are having a moment. I've had tons of them. I really feel badly for you. I hope you will continue to stay and to participate. I'm a turtle in the learner world. You may envy others their skills, but keep in mind there are others who envy you, yours.
A Hero is one who hangs on one minute longer. Author: Unknown

#1060991 - 11/21/08 09:35 PM Re: Goodbye
bluekeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
Do what you need to for your own gratification. But at least be aware that many of us older beginners will have to work for a few more years to reach your skill level, and we have appreciated your comments and advice on the forum.

I can't agree with those who say age doesn't matter. Either their bodies are better preserved than mine or they suffer from wishful thinking. I started 2 years ago at 50, and I'm very aware of how limiting that is (I'd kill just to achieve mediocrity!).

It sounds like you've done some soul searching, and I know you'll make a decision that works best for you. I'm glad to hear you're continuing to play, and I hope you decide to continue forum participation as well. \:\)

#1060992 - 11/21/08 09:40 PM Re: Goodbye
だまれ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 207
Dear Frycek,

I stumped upon this by accident and felt intensely saddened by your disappointment. I do not even know who you are or where you stand musically, but no matter where you are on the learning curve, this is what I tell myself – music is not only for your fingers and ears, it is for your soul. What you truly need to do music is this: you need to love music.

From what you had written, I’m certain you like music … or else why learn the piano at all? Do we all learn music to play in concerts and recitals? Some, perhaps, but not all. I’m glad I can even produce any music at all! I have friends who love music but have never ever taken the effort to learn anything; they don’t even have the courage to TRY.

Although you seem not to be glad with the results you have thus far, let me say this: there are zillions of pianists out there who aren’t pleased with their results either. I have learned not to compare others with myself, but to be content with what I can do musically, and to take my learning a step at a time. I have stopped doing serious playing for some time, and it is a chore getting back the momentum and finding the time to do my practice amidst my hectic work schedule.

If you have the blessing of time, and if you do love music, let the piano accompany you on your life journey. One might never be a concert pianist, but whatever music you do is an expression of your soul. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

Life is indeed too short for us to give up or to forsake what we love.
Haha! You bet!

#1060993 - 11/21/08 09:41 PM Re: Goodbye
TinyHands Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/10/08
Posts: 92
Loc: Reston, Virginia

Three thousands posts and MOYD 2007 must mean something.

Are you feeling that you're wasting time, money or effort ? Why ? Only because somebody said something bad to you ? Or because certain pieces you couldn't play ?

I hope your love of music will bring you back to the piano and the forum soon.

Don't let anything take this away from you.

“Brick walls are there for a reason, they let us prove how badly we want something.“ - Randy Pausch

#1060994 - 11/21/08 10:07 PM Re: Goodbye
Key Notes Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 744
Loc: CA
Hi -Frycek,

Although I don't know you very well being that I'm so new on this forum, I still feel sadened by your thoughts and decisions.

Being such a beginner, I look forward to learning from everyone, especially those who have walked many miles before me such as yourself on this never ending journey. Although I've not read all of your posts, I'm sure that you've more than contributed your share of not just technical advice, but hope and inspirations to many of us as well. It's definitely our lost if you should decide to go.

Best wishes and good luck to you.

Key Notes \:\)
Music speaks where words fails.

#1060995 - 11/21/08 10:31 PM Re: Goodbye
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Hi Frycek,

I'm sorry for whoever, or whatever, made you doubt your musicality - and that you're feeling so low right now \:\(

For the record, I simply can not believe that it's true - that you are lacking a "fundamental musicality"? Sorry, I just don't buy it.

I do think there are some people who are perhaps not motivated towards creating (or understanding) music - but I'm pretty sure these people don't voluntarily take up piano as an adult, and make thousands of posts on piano forums!

To me, just that fact that you're here - you're playing, your talking about it - indicates there MUST by definition have something "musical" inside you. I can't fathom how that could not be true.

At any rate, if you feel like you need a break - so be it. But you're very welcome here anytime - please please please don't feel like you have to "sit on the sidelines"...

#1060996 - 11/21/08 10:34 PM Re: Goodbye
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24806
Loc: Oakland
This is my favorite article on what should be the goal of the adult beginner. If this is how you see yourself, be happy!

I go through bouts of discouragement when I see how poorly I am playing. It is multiplied by the fact that I know so many of the world's greatest pianists, and I know how great they are from listening to them at sound checks and talking to them backstage. As effortless as it may seem from the audience, I often learn what lies behind the performance.

But I have learned to love all sorts of music. I go to student recitals, because they can be even more exciting than a concert by the world's finest artists. Can anything be more gut-wrenching as when someone trying their hardest just cannot remember how the music goes? Can there be anything better than a student nailing a performance out of the blue?

So sometimes I will play a little piano with others listening. It is never perfect; in fact, most of the time it is not very good at all. But it usually is a good experience for whoever is listening. It is part of the little we can do to make the world a slightly better place.

All of this helps me understand my place in the world. That I tune for the great artists makes me understand that all my work and study and practice has made me as great at what I do on the piano as they are at what they do. And nothing makes me happier than to put those skills to work for pianists like you, just doing it because you love music.
Semipro Tech

#1060997 - 11/21/08 10:42 PM Re: Goodbye
cscl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/07
Posts: 257
Loc: Suburban Boston
I've really appreciated hearing your pieces and reading your comments over the last year. I would agree with the "don't let a bad day get you down" tone of the comments here. I hope we'll continue to see your comments and hear your playing in the future!
Estonia 190 Satin Ebony
ABF Recitals: x9 — Studio Recitals: x17

#1060998 - 11/21/08 10:47 PM Re: Goodbye
mr_super-hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4289
Frycek, what you are really telling us is more like your dream of becoming a concert pianist is going bankrupt and a personal restructuring is in order. THATS GREAT!.

You are doing something more compatible with your ambitions and your abilities.

You never said that you were "quitting", but rather I will continue it myself however, in decent privacy, as my solace and release[/b].

Putting unrealistic stress on yourself will only make things worse in the long run so I say put in what you want out of it. It's either worth it to you or not. Certain things may come more naturally to some as opposed to others but thats just life!.

Recognizing your abilities or at least the amount of effort you want to put into something needs to be established up front. If not, you will only be chasing a never ending dream.

Best luck at whatever you choose to do.

#1060999 - 11/21/08 10:54 PM Re: Goodbye
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 1437
Loc: New Jersey
"The woods would be a very quiet place if the only birds that sang were the ones that sang best".

I'm not sure who said this, but I found it in one of my art books and copied it into my journal. I usually apply it to my art when I totally screw up a painting, but it applies very well to piano too.

Don't quit - take a little break if you have to, and remember to enjoy playing where you are right now, and not to stress about where you (or someone else) think you should be. Hang in there.

Faber Adult PA Bk. 1 Graduate

#1061000 - 11/21/08 10:55 PM Re: Goodbye
Piano World Offline

Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 6100
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...

Knock it off \:D

I own this place and I have bad days (and weeks, and months).

I'm coming up on 57 in a few days (ouch) and I have many times when I'm frustrated about my playing.

I know I will never be a Jeffrey Biegel or Keith Emerson (my hero) and that's ok.

I always go back to playing because I love the piano and I love to play, and so do you.

There is no magic "level" you have to attain, there is no repetoire you must "master" to have reached the "end".

Play for your self first, the rest is secondary.

Enjoy playing the piano because you love playing the piano, not because you are trying to impress anyone else. Believe me, plenty of people are impressed with your playing, but in the end, who cares?

I play for myself first, and then hope I can entertain a few others as well.
- Frank B.
Founder / Owner / Host
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#1061001 - 11/21/08 11:01 PM Re: Goodbye
mr_super-hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4289
I feel I want to elaborate on something....."quitting".

Anyone can quit. It's probably the easiest thing you can do. You can just say "I quit" and everything is done and over.

There does come a time however in which you may realize that the activity that you are doing just does not come easy even after a tremendous amount of dedicated time and effort. Should that be the case, it then becomes a decision to make whether you are willing to put the time and effort it takes for YOU to get to the next level or even just remain where you are at.

If you are not willing to continue to feed your piano playing requirements, continuing to do so would most likely be for the wrong reasons like guilt.

You need to do what you really want to irregardless of any outside influences. Then again, you may just be having a bad hair day in which you can deleate the thread tomorrow! ;\) .

#1061002 - 11/21/08 11:04 PM Re: Goodbye
quiescen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 215
Loc: San Diego
Originally posted by mom3gram:
"The woods would be a very quiet place if the only birds that sang were the ones that sang best". [/b]
Brilliant quote. And so true!

Play New Age Piano
Edward Weiss
Quiescence Music

#1061003 - 11/21/08 11:11 PM Re: Goodbye
Rickster Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 10906
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Frycek,

It sounds like you’ve got a lot of support here, including the owner of the forum. Are you sure you want to leave such fine friends and co-learners?

Heck, I’m 52 and have never been satisfied with my playing. However, just touching and feeling the piano keys is a form of stress relief and therapy all in itself.

Hang in there, it’ll get better. \:\)

Take care,

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

#1061004 - 11/21/08 11:14 PM Re: Goodbye
Lisztener Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 921

You are being harsh on yourself and on us who enjoy your knowledge and your play.

Please reconsider.

Selfishly and sincerely,


#1061005 - 11/21/08 11:21 PM Re: Goodbye
Dave123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/08
Posts: 203
Loc: Canada
I have read many of your posts here on PWF and as with many others have found them interesting and informative.
It is encouraging that you wish to continuing playing for your own enjoyment, that I believe is why most of us are learning for our own enjoyment.
I too feel your pain I do experience the same frustrations and in my case self doubts.
I really do hope you continue participating in the forum, I have been learning piano for less than a year and look up to the members such as yourself as a form of inspiration to where I want to be.

#1061006 - 11/22/08 12:03 AM Re: Goodbye
Babs_ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 321
Loc: Gulf Coast

It looks to me that you have alot of friends here who admire you. I have read many of your posts and you are always full of useful and interesting information. There's no doubt in my mind that you have a deep love for music. If I recall you played a Fields Nocturne at one of the recitals. I remember it being quite beautiful. \:\)

I just finished practicing tonight and I didn't like how I sounded on any of the pieces. Often when stuff like this happens. The next day I will take out the same pieces and practice and I will notice some improvement in my playing.

You know what I think? It sounds to me like you are having a bad day. We all have bad days musically. I betcha even Chopin had his share of bad days musically. ;\)

Chances are tomorrow will be a better day. I will keep my fingers crossed for you ok?

#1061007 - 11/22/08 12:12 AM Re: Goodbye
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1456
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
NONSENSE!!! Utter and absolute NONSENSE!!


I don't know you personally, but I feel like I have come to know you (as well as many others) from your participation and contributions to the forum.

I just turned 40 and in my own own eyes I many times feel like I am the epitome of mediocrity (especially concerning guitar and chess). But yet I keep pushing forward. It's like there is something there taunting me, like a dangling carrot, always and infinitely just beyond my grasp. I know I will never obtain it, but it is like the chase is what has me leaning dangerously over the edge, reaching, reaching, with reckless abandon, for the unachievable award.

So for selfish reasons I ask you, please (PLEASE PLEASE [PRETTY PRETTY] PLEASE) continue to grace us with you presence. You are (at least in my eyes) a valuable asset to this online community that has become a very special part of my musical journey and keeps me plunging forward. Not to mention, what type of role model would you be for persons possibly approaching a midlife crisis??

I know this an online forum which provides anonymity and screen names for some to hide behind. But, and not to sound cliche, as many of us wear our hearts on our sleeves in this forum, it really truly brings a sense of a real community.

I have seen this happen on other forums, and never really felt compelled to intervene, but in this case I feel obliged.

So if you must go on hiatus, know you will be missed.



#1061008 - 11/22/08 12:21 AM Re: Goodbye
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1874
Loc: Glendale, Ca.

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5

#1061009 - 11/22/08 12:21 AM Re: Goodbye
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 18129
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally posted by Piano World:
Play for your self first, the rest is secondary.

Enjoy playing the piano because you love playing the piano, not because you are trying to impress anyone else. Believe me, plenty of people are impressed with your playing, but in the end, who cares?

I play for myself first, and then hope I can entertain a few others as well. [/b]

I was trying to pick a few good quotes from the many others here who have already responded to you, but it was hard to narrow them down. Everybody else has already made whatever points I could make. But I think Frank here represents most closely my reaction to your post.

I just got back from seeing Einaudi play his music with a skill that brought tears to my eyes, and I realized that I will probably never sound anything as close to as good as he sounds.

But I also realized that it didn't matter, that I *still* liked how I sounded when I played his music, imperfect as it was, and that I got immense satisfaction from just trying to come close to his genius and beauty.

There will always be somebody better than us. That doesn't mean that what we're doing right now is worthless.

Hang in there. \:\)
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

#1061010 - 11/22/08 12:30 AM Re: Goodbye
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14144
Loc: Louisiana
Originally posted by -Frycek:
I just had confirmation of something I've suspected for a long time, that I am lacking some fundamental musicality, and that as I'm unlikely to develop it at 55, there doesn't seem to be much point in continuing with piano. I will continue it myself however, in decent privacy, as my solace and release. I have finally recognized my mediocrity and will no longer be taking advantage of the kindness of you all by participation in the ecitals or the discussions. It's just too painful to be on the sidelines without any prospect of participation.
I have come to love many of you and I'll still be out there, maybe, from time to time. [/b]
A story (you may not know this, but folks from the South tend to speak in stories, meandering to a point ;\) )

Not too long ago, I knew a brother and sister, each with a gift of music. The boy played piano a bit, strummed a decent guitar and was session quality on percussion, mostly drumsets.

The girl? Could sing pretty well, could play piano pretty well, could play a flute very well. But she had something her brother lacked...she had ears like a bat, and the ability to immediately know what was wrong with a piece of music...I heard remark as she walked through a room one day where a symphony was playing on tv, "Y'all hear that second clarinet, he's a bit flat."

And she was right. She has the gift to immediately hear a problem in a mixed orchestra and fix it. She has the gift to push and pull musicians as she will, and achieve what she wants.

But she doesn't enjoy music as she should. A good bit of talent, good enough to play at a local symphony level, but hypercritical enough that she's never good enough, she never achieves the perfection she seeks. It frustrates her.

The brother? Different child, different planet. Everybody makes mistakes, music should be fun. One mistake is a screw-up, two are jazz. He lives for the give and take of a band, and the applause of the crowd. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be enjoyable.

One rarely plays much...not anymore. The other will always enjoy his music.

The point of the story? Play for yourself, play for enjoyment. Play not for perfection, but play for all the right reasons. Play for life.

The brother and sister? Yeah, I know them fairly well.

I fathered them both....

Over 1.3M (and counting) posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

#1061011 - 11/22/08 12:39 AM Re: Goodbye
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
I have accepted the fact that I will be a life long intermediate pianist, and that is okay with me. I, too, think you should give this decision a bit more thought. You are a better player than I. If you should chuck it in, then I probably should, too. I won't, though. I enjoy it too much (most of the time, anyway).

Stick around awhile, and see if you feel differently in a few days. We all get frustrated sometimes, and begin to wonder why we keep trying. Usually, the mood passes, and we carry on. All I am asking is that you take the time to be certain you are making the correct decision. Of course, if you do quit, you may later decide to come back to it like so many others. I came back to the piano. Twice, so far. \:D You have my respect and best wishes whatever you decide.


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