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#1254502 - 08/23/09 09:49 AM Is this really possible?  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 98
signal Offline
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signal  Offline
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Florida
This kid claims to have started playing at 9.5 years of age. He then recorded Fantasie Impromptu at 10 years of age. You can see his video below:

Link to website on youtube

Now I realize he may be a musical genius, but it takes more to playing in 6-12 months than that. It takes finger strength and dexterity which are different gifts and would likely have to be trained. Also he claims to practice 1 hour a day and 3-4 on weekends, this doesn't seem like much practice when you look at the songs he is tackling.

I have no problem believing someone did Fantasie Impromptu at 10 years of age, just that they have only been playing less than 6-12 months.

What are your thoughts, is this really possible?

Last edited by signal; 08/23/09 09:52 AM.

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#1254504 - 08/23/09 09:53 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: signal]  
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Kreisler Offline
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Iowa City, IA
I can believe it.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1254514 - 08/23/09 10:17 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: signal]  
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Damon Offline
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Originally Posted by signal

I have no problem believing someone did Fantasie Impromptu at 10 years of age, just that they have only been playing less than 6-12 months.

What are your thoughts, is this really possible?


Why not? Besides, parents have a way of exaggerating. Maybe he noodled around for a couple of months before his brother and dad noticed and began formal education. Hope that helps you feel better! laugh
Anyway, what's the point in being a prodigy if you can't astonish an audience?

#1254515 - 08/23/09 10:17 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: Kreisler]  
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pianoloverus Online content
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I wouldn't let someone else's incredibly fast prgoress bother you. He's probably progressed faster than 99.7% of pianists.

And everything is relative. I bet when he's 11 he'll look like a beginner compared to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3wrB7YqmgA

or

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gilNaeUsPNQ&feature=related

or even this guy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2Nr_yuneFQ

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#1254539 - 08/23/09 11:05 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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sotto voce Offline
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It's plausible to me, too, though, in my opinion, he's only progressed faster than 93.14159% of pianists. smile

Steven

#1254545 - 08/23/09 11:14 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: sotto voce]  
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Andromaque Offline
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That is a wide dynamic range there Steven! 5 after the decimal! Which statistical program are you using?
But this thread made me wonder. Which piano concerto has the longest "prelude" before the entry of the piano??

#1254560 - 08/23/09 11:40 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: Andromaque]  
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sotto voce Offline
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Originally Posted by Andromaque
Which piano concerto has the longest "prelude" before the entry of the piano??

The Brahms Op. 15 is probably a contender, at going on four minutes.

Steven

#1254561 - 08/23/09 11:43 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: Andromaque]  
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Gyro Offline
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I think this is possible. This
piece is not as advanced as it
appears. For example, it could not
be used as the "substantial Romantic
Era selection" in a conservatory audition,
because it's not sophisticated enough.
This is a high school/jr. high piece,
and a precocious 10 yr. old could
probably handle it after 6 mos. of
instruction.

The middle slow section is trivially
easy. I played it almost at sight
upon a first reading. I'm one of
the worst sight-readers around, and
if I can do that with a piece, that's
a sure sign of something easy.
The fast sections have many repetitive
patterns and little variety, and so
once you get the polyrhythm down,
you've essentially got the piece in hand.

However, that said, this is,
paradoxically, not an easy piece to
keep in your repertoire.
The technique is highly specialized,
and there is the danger that you can
end up being able to play this well and
nothing else. Many big-time concert
pianists can't play it impressively.

At one time I could play it fairly
well, but I've found that as my
playing has gotten more advanced,
I can no longer keep it in my
repertoire, since the technique
required is so highly specialized
that if I kept it up, it would
hamper my playing of more sophisticated
works like big concertos, etc.


#1254562 - 08/23/09 11:44 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: sotto voce]  
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Piano*Dad Offline
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Originally Posted by sotto voce
It's plausible to me, too, though, in my opinion, he's only progressed faster than 93.14159% of pianists. smile

Steven


I'm sorry, Steven, but that number is just pi in the sky.

#1254563 - 08/23/09 11:47 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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sotto voce Offline
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Which is appropriate, because I pulled it out of thin air. smile

Steven

#1254568 - 08/23/09 11:58 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: Gyro]  
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sotto voce Offline
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Originally Posted by Gyro
[...] However, that said, this is,
paradoxically, not an easy piece to
keep in your repertoire.
The technique is highly specialized,
and there is the danger that you can
end up being able to play this well and
nothing else. Many big-time concert
pianists can't play it impressively.

At one time I could play it fairly
well, but I've found that as my
playing has gotten more advanced,
I can no longer keep it in my
repertoire, since the technique
required is so highly specialized
that if I kept it up, it would
hamper my playing of more sophisticated
works like big concertos, etc.

Gyro, because playing the Fantaisie-Impromptu is a common goal for intermediate-level pianists, they might benefit from more detailed information here.

What do you consider to be the "highly specialized" technique required, and how would it hamper one's progression to more advanced works?

Steven

#1254572 - 08/23/09 12:03 PM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: Gyro]  
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Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Nyiregyhazi  Offline
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Originally Posted by Gyro
However, that said, this is,
paradoxically, not an easy piece to
keep in your repertoire.
The technique is highly specialized,
and there is the danger that you can
end up being able to play this well and
nothing else. Many big-time concert
pianists can't play it impressively.


Care to name any?

#1254582 - 08/23/09 12:20 PM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: Gyro]  
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BruceD Offline
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Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by Gyro
[...]
However, that said, this is,
paradoxically, not an easy piece to
keep in your repertoire.
The technique is highly specialized,
and there is the danger that you can
end up being able to play this well and
nothing else. Many big-time concert
pianists can't play it impressively.

At one time I could play it fairly
well, but I've found that as my
playing has gotten more advanced,
I can no longer keep it in my
repertoire, since the technique
required is so highly specialized
that if I kept it up, it would
hamper my playing of more sophisticated
works like big concertos, etc.


I am hard-pressed to think of any piece, including Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu that requires a technique so specialized that, if that technique were worked on, it would hamper one's playing of other repertoire works.

There are many technical challenges in the Fantaisie Impromptu that, once well-developed, could only help one's execution of other works :

- polyrhythm of 2 against 3 and 3 against 4 (6 against 8)
- scalar passage work
- melody notes "off" the beat
- hand expansion and contraction in fast passages

I can't think how mastering any of these techniques would hamper one's playing of other repertoire. One might observe - provoking equal reactions of disbelief - that playing Bach Fugues well would hinder one from playing Chopin Nocturnes or any other composers' works where melody rises above accompaniment.

I seem to recall - and I'm not going to bother to search the quote - that the same poster made strong claims for not working on dexterity exercises because they would train the fingers to follow the patterns established in the exercises and impede (prevent? compromise?) one's playing of what was written in standard repertoire pieces! I guess, in this respect, the poster is consistent, but it still makes no sense to me.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
#1254589 - 08/23/09 12:28 PM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: Nyiregyhazi]  
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Posts: 537
jscomposer Offline
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The Boogie Down
I started "playing the piano" at 8. But I didn't have any real instruction till I was in high school. And that's about the same time I learned the Fantasie Impromptu. Just a few years later I was playing Gershwin's Concerto in F. I don't consider myself a prodigy by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I think most serious pianists could run circles around me. I only play what interests me, and my own music.

It's quite possible that he was noodling around like I was for longer, but didn't have formal instruction till he was 9.

Anyway, he's really good. Check out his other videos.

#1254598 - 08/23/09 12:46 PM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: sotto voce]  
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Damon Offline
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Originally Posted by sotto voce

What do you consider to be the "highly specialized" technique required, and how would it hamper one's progression to more advanced works?

Steven

Are you kidding? I learned the first page of this piece six months ago and am now just getting back to the point where I can play LH/RH together again. This piece is evil!
laugh

#1254904 - 08/24/09 01:31 AM Re: Is this really possible? [Re: signal]  
Joined: Nov 2007
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wr Offline
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Originally Posted by signal


What are your thoughts, is this really possible?


I think it's possible, but pretty unlikely. There's no reason to take stuff like that on YouTube at face value. For all we know, he may have had years of lessons on some other instrument before he started piano. Or who knows what else might be behind the story. On the other hand, at that age, kids are like sponges, just soaking up the world around them.

Anyway, looking at some of his other videos, there's no doubt he's got a real facility for the keyboard and for learning pieces. For his sake, I hope he doesn't get exploited too much.



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