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Teodor Offline OP
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Heya everyone. I'm 21 and recently (3 weeks ago) started playing the piano. Everybody in my family was surprised because they think you either start at a young age or you never do if you want to learn the piano. It's been a dream of mine since I was little but now I finally get the chance to do it.

During the weekends I have access to a good acoustic piano and during the week when I'm at college I have a cheap but ok keyboard with 66 keys from yamaha (no touch sensitivity). I will be upgrading to something better (like those digitals encased in wood with graded hammer action, etc cause I have to use it with headphones) but for now it's fine.

I take 2 private piano lessons every week.

I just got off the phone with my aunt (studied music all her life, piano major but quit and studied business administration instead later on). I was trying to make her call a person who can fix the piano up for me (her acoustic, she doesn't use it anymore and it sound terrible and is in bad shape overall). I was telling her how I will pay for it all since I will be the only person using it and she said and I quote the actual dialogue:

Aunt: Why are you so interested in piano all of a sudden? You know it's not worth it.
Me: There you go again. You still think that I won't learn to play piano?
Aunt: I wasn't trying to imply that but no, I think you will not learn to play the piano, it's too late for you.
Me: But I've got a good ear and sense of rhythm, I'm focused and determined to learn the piano and I practice every day.
Aunt: Hate to break it to you but just like with sports you got to start at a young age. Also there is tons of music theory you don't know. You will never get anywhere if you start now. Why don't you keep your money and use them to buy a nice pair of shoes or something? You are grown up now and you need nice clothes.
Me: I don't take pleasure in buying new clothes. Mine are fine as it is.
and so on and so forth then
Aunt: Ok, whatever. I gotta go. Keep on dreaming...


That really brings me down inside but also motivates me because I want to prove her wrong. I want to play my favourite classical pieces and I am not in a hurry. I think that with a lot of work and dedication and in some 10-12 years or so I will be able to play pretty much anything I want with proper preparation and studying of the piece. I love music and it makes me feels so many different emotions. I'm not about to give up now that I've finally started making my way into piano smile

What do you guys think?

Last edited by Teodor; 12/16/09 03:15 PM.

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Teodor, you have nothing to prove. Either play because you want to or not. Approval seeking from friends, relatives, and other well-wishers will drain you of energy.

Remember, the only person you have to please is you. Get that, and you can let negative comments roll off you like water on a duck's back.

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Prove her wrong...

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Teodor Offline OP
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Originally Posted by eweiss
Teodor, you have nothing to prove. Either play because you want to or not. Approval seeking from friends, relatives, and other well-wishers will drain you of energy.

Remember, the only person you have to please is you. Get that, and you can let negative comments roll off you like water on a duck's back.


Thanks, I'll remember that. I know what you mean, I write stories and poems and I don't really care much for the readers, it's the process or creating a short story or a poem that gives me pleasure, also the sense of satisfaction I get when I finish something or all the excitement and inspiration while writing. It's like a drug.


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Teodor
It is called the Adult Beginners Forum for a reason. Most, if not all, travel the same path. Feel free to stay and mingle, you will find it is a most excellent adventure.








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Don't her discourage you.
Is it only her who does not want to play piano or your whole family ? If it's only her, it can be manageable.

Just out of curiosity, do you have played another instrument before that ?
And, how did you feel the urge ? :p

In my case, it was *very* sudden - and my family was surprised at first too. At the beginning, they had the same reaction (too old, etc) but they accepted it quickly. Actually, it was most like I've just had to overcome their inertia smile
However, I did not have a reaction as harsh as yours frown (non-musical family, though).

Well, if you have the time and money, I'm sure you will impress her smile

Last edited by AlexDreamer; 12/16/09 03:43 PM.

“Music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.” - WA Mozart.
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A person should never underestimate the power of a strong will and desire to achieve what others say you can't achieve.
I agree- prove them wrong. thumb
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Teodor,

Welcome!

I'm sorry your aunt couldn't offer you encouragement and limit her advice to what's accurate and relevant here, namely that the learning curve can be expected to differ for adult beginners, and it's far less likely that they will find careers in the performing arts than those who got an early start as children. But as an avocation that you plan to pursue for your own enjoyment, it doesn't matter how old you are. "It's the journey, not the destination."

Consider this, too: even though children have an incalculable advantage in many endeavors, they are also stuck with the families they're born into—for better or worse. As adults, we have a choice about our relationships, and the decision to have people in our lives who are supportive—and to exclude those who are not—is entirely up to us.

You've come to the right place, and I look forward to your participation here.

Steven

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Originally Posted by eweiss
Teodor, you have nothing to prove. Either play because you want to or not. Approval seeking from friends, relatives, and other well-wishers will drain you of energy.

Remember, the only person you have to please is you. Get that, and you can let negative comments roll off you like water on a duck's back.

I agree completely with Ewiss.
But,you WILL prove your family wrong -- just don't try to, don't have that as an intention. Try to not allow any of their negativity enter into you, to influence you in any way, even as an impetus to prove them wrong.
Enjoy your music!

Last edited by Janlo; 12/16/09 04:05 PM.

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Your aunt may feel threatened by your desire to play because she gave up her own idea of a career in music. That's her problem, not yours. Best wishes and I hope you enjoy music immensely!

Elene

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Hey, you can learn to play the piano, Teodor! Apparently, your aunt is bitter because things didn't work out favorably for her in regards to learning to play the piano.

When someone tells me I can't do something, or I won't be successful, that is like saying "sick-em'" to a pit bull dog! Never let anyone discourage you from pursuing your dreams!!

Take care,

Rick


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Hmmm, as someone who once had virtually a top-rung teacher but who gave it up early on--I have to say "Stick with it."

I rarely approve of psycho-babble (which to me usually means anything related even remotely to psychology) but it seems that your Aunt either (1) was greatly disappointed in her own stillborn career OR (2) subscribes to the erroneous theory that if you ain't Mozart, you ain't worth what a northbound donkey leaves on the south end of the street.

Or both.

Neither is the case, and the advice people have been giving me the past couple of weeks about choosing a piano--applies to choosing a life--it's your own opinion that counts.

I'm starting over at 65, and am in all probability more limited by the approach of the Grim Reaper than by family opinion--and I say--go for it!

Good luck,

Russ



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Ever notice, relatives hate anything that disturbs the status quo unless it's their own idea? Just ignore them and get on with it. Success is the best revenge.


Slow down and do it right.
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I WILL learn to play CHOPIN, and I'm 30 years old. No matter what, I'll do this! It's not imposible at all just because I am not a children, and I don't want to play as a concertist anyway, so... it's up to you have the same attitude.

You know, I heard the same in another situation in my life, and I had the pleasure to prove they were WORNG. All I hadto dowas stay away from this negativ people, believe me, is the best thing you can do.

Do the same! And don't talk with your aunt about this matter anymore...

You are too young to give up FOREVER the things you want to do in your life. We hear about people much more older beeing sucessfull in the piano and a lot of other activities.

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Well, Teodor, if, at 21, you are too old to try to start learning piano, I guess I'm just hopeless. I started taking piano lessons about 6 years ago, and I am 54 now! Yeah, it's been more of a struggle than it would have been if I'd started as a child, but, like you, it's something I've always wanted to do. I know I will probably never be great, but I'm doing this because I want to and I am having a whole lot of fun! Don't let your family discourage you. Do what you enjoy, and just have fun!


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I agree with your aunt - go get that new pair of shoes.

Those shoes are sure to bring much more joy, satisfaction, entertainment, and sense of accomplishment than learning how to play piano ever could.

smile


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21 is quite young really. If you are very determined you will gain more skill and knowledge than many who started at 8, because many of those 8yo's didn't stick with it! Determination and good information and a community who understands what you're doing - (Welcome to the Forum!) - that's all you need. Taking 2 lessons a week shows excitement determination and commitment, and if you have a bit of a musical ear you'll do fine smile

Re Aunt: is it possible the conversation was actually about her piano? maybe she doesn't want someone else to play a piano she no longer plays, or take the piano to a new location (if you are planning to move it). The piano is a big and beautiful symbol of something she used to love, and has left. Even getting her piano fixed may be felt as interfering with something she is deeply attached to. Rational arguments like "but you never play it and it's in a state of disrepair" may have nothing to do with it.

If you are fixing the piano to play it at her house, maybe she doesn't want to hear an excited enthusiastic person at the beginning of their journey having a great time on her piano. It's not necessarily nasty or petty on her part, there may be some deep if subtle grief and disappointment. For both your sakes it may be better to look elsewhere for a piano to play on.

So, Toedor, tell us what these favourite classical pieces are that you want to eventually play. We are hoping you'll confide in us smile


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Ask someone who worked hard then quit if is is "worth it" and they will only attempt to justify why they quit.


There are stories from the collage where I go about students in their 20's who started only a few years ago and now are entering piano competitions or auditioning for university music programs.

I'm a 50+ year old beginner. Comparing myself and others my age to both little kids and 20 year olds that I see. I see that each age has an advantage. and each group does better with different things. For example a 7 year old can't even read a music theory text book.

I've been told that what matters is the number of hours you practice. It takes about 10,000 hours to truly master the Piano. More accurately, 10,000 effective and directed hours (messing around at the keyboard does not count) But in 1,000 hours you might play decently enough that others might want to listen.

As for the need to start young, Believe me 20-something is young.

I actually just last week gave an old keyboard I don't use to my grandmother. She is 98 years old. But she did take lessons 90 years ago for a couple years.

There is semi-truth to staring young. The problem is that people look at two 24 year old pianists, one who started at 5 the other at 21. Of course the one who started at 5 is best. Everyone knows why but logic does but prevail here people remember what they see.

Last edited by ChrisA; 12/16/09 07:03 PM.
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I started when I was 63. I only wish that I had started at 21 like you. Go for it! Don't let family members talk you out of it. You will always regret it.


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It's strange how relevant this thread is to me because I too have family who are not necessarily supportive. Action and gestures always speaks louder than words in their case.

I had just purchased a Casio px-330 and this was considered to be no small purchase for myself. Bought with my own money and more or less on impulse for the sake of learning, since I've only been learning for about a month or two. So this big package comes in and all of the curious george's I have in my house wonder what could this big package be. I open it up and first words to come out of a family members mouth was, "How much money did you waste on this?"

Pissed me off. But whatever. I don't learn or aspire to learn for anybody else but my own. I too am around the same age as you (soon to be 23) so your situation speaks clearly to me.

It's almost considered to be a blessing that a forum like this exists. Everyone is real helpful and all share the same newfound passion you and I have found.

Best of luck to you.

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