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Reasonable Progress In One Year
#990437 02/25/09 07:51 PM
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Hello,

I'm relatively new to the forum--I've actually been lurking for about a month and this is only my second post. I recently started playing again, eighteen years after having taken a piano course in college. I've played a number of other instruments over the years, but piano has always been one of those 'bucket list' things--I'm 46, and if I don't do it now, I'll be kicking myself when I lose the ability to do anything.

My teacher (a faculty member where I work) assed my skill level at about early-intermediate level, so I've been assigned--a steady diet of Hanon, along with Clementi's Sonatina Op 36 no.1 (which my wife calls "The Infamous"--having played it herself growing up) and Burgmuller's "La Candeur." So far so good, though I've clearly lost some of the accuracy I once had--I used to be able to play Rameau's Menuet en Rondeau with no problems, and it's taken me a month to get any of that back!

So, I was wondering what would be considered typical progress for an adult "early-intermediate" re-starter in one year? I've heard claims that some people are playing Haydn sonatas and Chopin after a year, which would be nice, but also a bit far-fetched. Could I realistically expect to jump that many levels in one year? My teacher says I could easily get to "adult intermediate" level by the end of the semester (whatever that is--is that any different than juvenile intermediate?). What then?

I'd be curious to hear what others have managed accomplished after one year of study.

(I now resume my regularly scheduled Hanon excercises)


Current Pieces:
Clementi--Sonatina in C (op.36, no.1)
Lynes--Sonatina (op.39 no.1)
Burgmuller--"L'Harmonie des Anges"
Bach--Prelude No. 1 (WTC Book 1)
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Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
#990438 02/25/09 08:44 PM
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I can't speak for re-starters. I was a new beginner at age 50 on 9/1/2006. If you want to hear what a random person (me) sounded like at one year, I recorded and posted on my blog a bunch of stuff in the Fall of '07.

I like to think I'm better now than my recordings show, but I've gotten a little lazy about posting new ones lately.

Sadly, I suspect based on recordings of others here on the ABF that my progress is probably a little below average. I try very hard, but either because of my age or lack of aptitude, most people do a little better.

Hope it helps!

Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
#990439 02/25/09 08:58 PM
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First of all, Welcome to the forum.

Quote
So, I was wondering what would be considered typical progress for an adult "early-intermediate" re-starter in one year.
IMO, comparing yourself to others is an ego game. There will always be players better and worse than you. Players will progress faster and some slower. It doesn’t matter what level other people play at after one year or two or ten. Just set some reasonable goals for yourself and with practice and good instruction, you will get there. Enjoy the journey.


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Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
#990440 02/25/09 09:12 PM
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Clearly, it depends a bit on how much time one has to practice. I find that as a parent ,wife ,and employee my responsibilities in those realms come first--then my practice/devotion to piano study. Some weeks I get more done than others. Some times I go days without even having the chance to even touch a piano.

I think it's hard to compare any two people as everyone is different.

But good luck and enjoy your journey back to it.

Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
#990441 02/26/09 01:07 AM
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Thanks Bluekeys! Great blog! I'll have to put it on my feed. Recording can be a cruel teacher, but you hear so many things during playback that you wouldn't notice otherwise.

Keep it up!


Current Pieces:
Clementi--Sonatina in C (op.36, no.1)
Lynes--Sonatina (op.39 no.1)
Burgmuller--"L'Harmonie des Anges"
Bach--Prelude No. 1 (WTC Book 1)
Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
bluekeys #1155209 03/01/09 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bluekeys
I can't speak for re-starters. I was a new beginner at age 50 on 9/1/2006. If you want to hear what a random person (me) sounded like at one year, I recorded and posted on my blog a bunch of stuff in the Fall of '07.

I like to think I'm better now than my recordings show, but I've gotten a little lazy about posting new ones lately.

Sadly, I suspect based on recordings of others here on the ABF that my progress is probably a little below average. I try very hard, but either because of my age or lack of aptitude, most people do a little better.

Hope it helps!


I am another late starter (48), trying to learn how to play the piano, also. It is nice to see other older adults making progress. I am curious though, how long do you practice each day? I too am feeling like I am progressing slower than others. NOt sure if it is my age or need to practice differently than younger folks.
Joel

Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
JoelM #1155290 03/01/09 02:49 PM
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Interesting thread. I think our progress within a year depends entirely on what our goals are. As for me, my goal is to enjoy learning to play well enough so that others can at least know what tune it is I’m trying to play. The fun factor is my main goal. (And, I’m having a ball. grin)

Seriously, our progress does depend on how much time and effort we put into it. As a general rule, I average playing the piano about 30-45 minutes a day… some days (weekends) maybe two or three hours. I do not have a solid, structured routine that I practice. I’ll play tunes that I already know a little and try to polish them a little. I’ll noodle around (as Sea_side Lee says grin) a little with newer stuff and fantasize that I really know what I’m doing. I’ll experiment with some new licks that I pick here and there.

And, Bluekeys, I didn’t realize that we are about the same age. (I wish I could play as well as you do).

Take care,

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
bluekeys #1155347 03/01/09 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bluekeys
I can't speak for re-starters. I was a new beginner at age 50 on 9/1/2006. If you want to hear what a random person (me) sounded like at one year, I recorded and posted on my blog a bunch of stuff in the Fall of '07.

I like to think I'm better now than my recordings show, but I've gotten a little lazy about posting new ones lately.

Sadly, I suspect based on recordings of others here on the ABF that my progress is probably a little below average. I try very hard, but either because of my age or lack of aptitude, most people do a little better.

Hope it helps!


You mention in your blog you are going it alone. Please keep me informed. I have yet to go back to lesson, due to financial stress. Problem is I am not all that good to not take lessons, but would rather play and have fun than not play at all.

Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
JoelM #1155453 03/01/09 07:51 PM
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Joel -- I practice 2 to 3 hours per day. There are a lot of people on these forums who claim age doesn't make much difference, but I can't agree. The 20-somethings who practice as much as I do learn pieces in days where it takes me weeks or months. The teens and pre-teens aren't even on the same planet as us oldsters in learning speed. Luckily, most of us try harder, so we aren't thoroughly humiliated by them. blush

As for lessons, my last one was 3 days ago. If I start to suck too bad in a few months I'll probably go back.

Rick -- Your modesty is flattering, but you are a superstar. I'm probably a life-long beginner.

Last edited by bluekeys; 03/01/09 07:55 PM.
Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
bluekeys #1155473 03/01/09 08:22 PM
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I think you are doing great. It does not help to measure yourself against others, but rather to feel your progress and line up reasonable goals for yourself. A key is how long you can practice. I can do 30 - 45 minutes a day, and am building up to play fun Beatles tunes. For that, I am enjoying learning piano very much.


Yamaha WX3 Upright
Yamaha YPG 625 keyboard
Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
Lewbo #1155534 03/01/09 09:41 PM
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I'm playing about 1.5-2 hours a day, usually with one light day or day off per week.

I can't say I've really defined any goals more specific than just getting better! I like classical repertoire, so for the time being I'll be content to just take that as far as I can go with it.


Current Pieces:
Clementi--Sonatina in C (op.36, no.1)
Lynes--Sonatina (op.39 no.1)
Burgmuller--"L'Harmonie des Anges"
Bach--Prelude No. 1 (WTC Book 1)
Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
bluekeys #1156005 03/02/09 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bluekeys
Joel -- I practice 2 to 3 hours per day. There are a lot of people on these forums who claim age doesn't make much difference, but I can't agree. The 20-somethings who practice as much as I do learn pieces in days where it takes me weeks or months. The teens and pre-teens aren't even on the same planet as us oldsters in learning speed. Luckily, most of us try harder, so we aren't thoroughly humiliated by them. blush

As for lessons, my last one was 3 days ago. If I start to suck too bad in a few months I'll probably go back.

Rick -- Your modesty is flattering, but you are a superstar. I'm probably a life-long beginner.


Your comment about the learning curve is what I got frustrated with the previous two times I have tried to do this. But I have learned that it is about the joy of learning or the journey, as others have expressed, not the destination. I just need to remind myself that I am not doing this to be a concert pianist. Although, I must say, even with the limited progress I made previously, I did retain a lot. Hence, it doesn't feel like I am starting completely from zero.

Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
JoelM #1156092 03/02/09 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JoelM
But I have learned that it is about the joy of learning or the journey, as others have expressed, not the destination.


Thankfully that works for me too. Back at it hard now and trying to get over stumbling blocks I had twenty years ago. Progress for me is two steps forward, three steps back, five steps forward, one step back.

Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
JoelM #1156168 03/02/09 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JoelM
Your comment about the learning curve is what I got frustrated with the previous two times I have tried to do this. But I have learned that it is about the joy of learning or the journey, as others have expressed, not the destination. I just need to remind myself that I am not doing this to be a concert pianist. Although, I must say, even with the limited progress I made previously, I did retain a lot. Hence, it doesn't feel like I am starting completely from zero.


I used to worry about "starting from zero" every time I thought about starting back up again. As rusty as I was, I hadn't forgotten as much as I thought. If this exercise has taught me anything it's that I worry too much about silly things.


Current Pieces:
Clementi--Sonatina in C (op.36, no.1)
Lynes--Sonatina (op.39 no.1)
Burgmuller--"L'Harmonie des Anges"
Bach--Prelude No. 1 (WTC Book 1)
Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
Spotnik #1156496 03/03/09 12:52 PM
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Learning to play the piano proficiently is something that happens on your own time frame, an outcome of your capacity to do the work, and your investment of time and effort. We start with any natural musical talent we have and acquire skills to develop our abilities with. Both mental and physical are highly coordinated by the brain and body to achieve a finished product.

Piano training requires diligence to practice and attention to detail and realistic and objective goals. It's a learning process and a conquering or taming of ourselves to a disciplined state of mind to express music as a desirable human art form.

A highly evolved demonstration of the human thinking ability combined with bodily gestures and movement through a composed work.

Making music is an art form and a state of mind.

Your attitude toward and your involvement in it either produces a fulfilling, satisfying experience, or all the frustrating annoyances and obstacles in your inner world surface to haunt you.

Don't give up before the miracle!

It's very worth doing!

Betty

Re: Reasonable Progress In One Year
Betty Patnude #1156503 03/03/09 01:03 PM
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For some people, which may or may not include you, having goals more specific than "getting better" keeps them motivated long term.

You may not need that, if you're able to keep up your 1.5 - 2 hour practice routine. You may have been able to build an enjoyment of practise itself, without it being performance oriented or goal driven. Clearly some of the members here are like that.

I'm not built that way; the practice is a means to an end and not an end in itself, at least when starting. As a beginning church pianist I practiced my rear end off, driven by the panic of Sunday morning, 1030, start the first hymn whether I'm ready or not!


gotta go practice

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