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Why did you begin playing the piano? #1883647
04/21/12 12:44 PM
04/21/12 12:44 PM
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Indiana
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Bech Offline OP
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Indiana
What, initially, motivated you to play the piano? Was it your choice or your parent's? Was it mostly because of your love for the piano and it's unique sound? Was it more about your love for music and the piano just happened to be handy?

I would think a strong love for music plus the sound of a piano would be about the best motivator and produce the best results. Have many of you found this to be true?

For those in doubt about their commitment and eventual long term success as a pianist--perhaps the responses to this would be helpful.

Bech


Music. One of man's greatest inventions. And...for me, the piano expresses it best.
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Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1883651
04/21/12 12:55 PM
04/21/12 12:55 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,169
Bay Area, CA
beet31425 Offline
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When I was a kid my father played seriously-- hours a day on Prokofiev and Beethoven and the whole crew. (He still does.) At a very early age I'd climb atop the piano bench and improvise with two fingers, pretending to be reading through his music books.

And his mother played piano, and was a piano teacher, so presumably he was naturally drawn to it at an early age also.

What combination of genetics vs. environment this is I do not know, but it's a nice legacy. Piano parents with young children: don't push it, but keep the house full of music, and good things can happen.

-Jason


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1883657
04/21/12 01:02 PM
04/21/12 01:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,546
UK
Nikolas Offline
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Well...

At the age of 5 I found myself in a house with a piano and I started playing a tune I had heard from my father. My father new a little bit of piano, a little bit of guitar, and a little bit of singing. He also valued classical music!

So they found out that I had 'talent' and they got me a crappy piano. Either way if I wasn't interested the piano would remain to the possession of my father! And thus I begun lessons.

I think that the things that made me who I am today are:
* My father putting me to sleep by playing piano, his own tunes.
* An old D.G. tape with the 9th symphony of Dvorcak...
* The very fact that while I had awful piano teachers until a late age and I kept crying to stop going to the piano lessons, they kept pushing, kindly (my parents) and finally I found a great teacher...

beet: Great story! Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by Nikolas; 04/21/12 01:02 PM.
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1883664
04/21/12 01:09 PM
04/21/12 01:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 260
The Fabulous Florida Keys
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So I could achieve fame and fortune ...

well, that and I thought it would be a stimulating and enjoyable challenge

Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1883686
04/21/12 01:45 PM
04/21/12 01:45 PM
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I started at the late age of 10 - mainly because my parents felt 'we' should keep up with the Joneses. Every smart kid in the block played piano grin. And the final deciding factor was that my cousins - all younger than me - were playing Für Elise, Rondo alla turca and La Paloma (anyone knows this?) to entertain us whenever we visited, and they were soon teaching me to play one-fingered tunes. Hearing their child spend hours playing simple tunes with one finger (of one hand) on your relatives' upright must have spurred my parents to action.... grin.

Luckily, I began to develop a love of classical music around this time too, otherwise I'd have stopped within a few years like my older brother and younger sisters. And my cousins all stopped playing after finishing Grade 8.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1883702
04/21/12 02:10 PM
04/21/12 02:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 516
Alberta
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Alberta
I began piano at 19 after 12 years of playing guitar. I found classical music when I began searching for music that sounded good played solo; trying to learn music with other wannabe rockstars was getting frustrating. Eventually I heard some Beethoven sonatas and it wasn't long before piano replaced guitar.

So for me it was a love of the music, and that I didn't want to reply on others to make complete music. The fact that there's such a rich repertory for the piano was a nice discovery too!

After 8 years I do feel like it doesn't come as easily to me as it does to people who start younger. But I guess satisfaction depends on realistic expectations. Enjoying the process is as important as setting the goals. At this point my longterm goal is to learn the Chopin etudes by the time I'm 40. I think I would be satisfied with my skills at that point and should I live to 80 that would be 40 years of being able to enjoy/explore music with a solid piano technique.

I would say to anyone in doubt about their commitment and longterm success to simply keep playing music so long as you feel a connection to it. For me the periods of serious doubt were about my attitudes towards the music, they need adjustment from time to time.

I agree with your signature btw Bech, heheh

Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1883987
04/21/12 10:20 PM
04/21/12 10:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,827
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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My father would come home from work exhausted. He would take one tiny gulp of scotch, put on the stereo and collapse on the sofa, replenishing his soul, (and vicariously mine), with Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Paganini or Mendelssohn. He was especially drawn to violin concerti and I think he would have liked to have learned how to play the violin but it never happened. My father believed every home should have a piano, even if no one could play it well. He also believed a piano's fall board should never be shut because keeping it open made the piano look alive.

My mother was very vocal about how classical music touched her deeply. She would fiddle around on the piano in frustration because she had always wanted to take lessons but by the time she was old enough, my grandparents were too poor. Her older sister wanted to learn to play the violin but they forced her to learn the piano so she soon lost interest. Mom was the youngest of 4 and by then it was the Depression and there was just no money for her to take piano lessons. Ironically, Mom was the one with the most talent and the one who wanted lessons the most, but it just wasn't financially possible.

Mom taught me to play a few melodies: "Chopsticks", "Heart and Soul" and others. It was obvious to both my parents that I loved classical music. I was always singing and I was very drawn to the piano where I would pick out melodies. When I was 10, they asked me if I wanted to take lessons. I clearly remember my very first lesson and my first week of practice. I fell deeply in love with the piano right from that first week. They never had to ask me to practice because I wanted to.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1884001
04/21/12 10:45 PM
04/21/12 10:45 PM
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Posts: 40
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I started playing the piano because of the unique sound that it made compared to other instruments. I liked the fact that the piano didn't need a accompaniment and it could be used as a solo instrument. When i was a beginner i started from scratch having very little musical experience. My Parents had some music talent in choir competitions when they were young, but that's all i know. They didn't force me to play piano, but i choose to after seeing many pianists on Youtube and hearing a lot of my music that i usually listened to arranged into certain piano solos which heavily influenced me and gave me a taste that music really isn't a boring thing and that it is awesome and can be used for anything! I think a lot of beginners quit or lose interests because they are not taught by their teachers of all the different types of music genres and what that this amazing pianoforte is capable of! I usually wasn't interested in pursuing music for fame, but if it's knocking at the door i would defiantly open it.

And by the way... Music wasn't invented. It was discovered.

Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1884018
04/22/12 12:05 AM
04/22/12 12:05 AM
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Posts: 27,726
Oakland
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I started to play the piano when I discovered it did not taste good.


Semipro Tech
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1884043
04/22/12 01:13 AM
04/22/12 01:13 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 851
Indiana
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Bech Offline OP
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Nice responses. Deborah, so you fell deeply in love with the piano and they never had to ask you to practice. Especially nice to hear. As you know, perfect relationships aren't all that common.

Bech


Music. One of man's greatest inventions. And...for me, the piano expresses it best.
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1884197
04/22/12 10:03 AM
04/22/12 10:03 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 108
Houston
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Houston
I started playing piano because I developed trigger finger from playing the double bass for many years. I picked the piano because it was a way to exercise all my fingers and all my brain. Piano music is so much more developed than for the bass alone, and thus opens up so many more musical opportunities.


Painter55 (Bobby in Houston)
Yamaha U3


Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1884235
04/22/12 11:13 AM
04/22/12 11:13 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,772
New York City
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I think a book detailing how the greatest pianists became interested in piano would make great reading. One page each on three hundred or so of the greatest pianists.

Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1884327
04/22/12 02:02 PM
04/22/12 02:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,728
not somewhere over the rainbow
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not somewhere over the rainbow
When I was 3 or 4 I was apparently obsessed with anything piano related - pianists on tv, toy pianos, real pianos etc. so one day they bought me one and I started as a hobby, which soon developed into a main focus.



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1884332
04/22/12 02:07 PM
04/22/12 02:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 933
Waxahachie, Texas
daviel Offline
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Waxahachie, Texas
dad bought a piano when I was 5.


"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1885266
04/23/12 08:01 PM
04/23/12 08:01 PM
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Posts: 14
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Growing up, there were several "toy" type instruments in the house, including a toy piano. I was completely drawn to this thing and could sit and "play" on it for hours. I distinctly remember starting to ask my parents for piano lessons from the age of 4. When I was 9, my parent finally found a real piano (for free) and I began lessons.

I remember going to my first lesson thinking I would return finally knowing the secret of how to play the piano! Little did I know what was involved. When I got home, my younger brother asked me, "So, did you you learn how to play the piano?" Gives me a great chuckle now to think I thought I would learn how to play in one lesson!

Never looked back. I have been playing piano now for about 30 years of so. Not sure if I ever did learn "the secret", but I sure have been happy.

Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1885325
04/23/12 10:13 PM
04/23/12 10:13 PM
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Posts: 18
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Well, when I was maybe two or so, we had a piano in our house, and I would constantly bang around on it. Finally my parents had enough and asked if I wanted lessons so I could actually play. I was ecstatic, immediately agreed, and haven't turned back since.


Currently working on (not just messing around with)

Bach Prelude and Fugue in G Major, Well-Tempered Clavier Book I
Mozart Fantasie and Sonata in c minor
Chopin's Revolutionary Etude, Op. 10 No. 12
Liszt's Paraphrase on Rigoletto (sort of)
Prelude of Debussy's Pour le Piano
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: pianoloverus] #1885337
04/23/12 10:30 PM
04/23/12 10:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,423
Rockford, IL
Cinnamonbear Offline
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think a book detailing how the greatest pianists became interested in piano would make great reading. One page each on three hundred or so of the greatest pianists.


Name them, please. (I'm helping you write your book!) grin


I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1886032
04/25/12 01:11 AM
04/25/12 01:11 AM
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Posts: 1,166
Singapore
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When I was 1 or even younger (I think) I had this white toy piano at home (as well as an upright piano at home)....aside from that my 2 older siblings were both taking electone lessons at Yamaha. I never asked for lessons;when I was 2& a half my mom started sending me for electone lessons(her& my dad weren't well off then so stopped my siblings lessons for mine) she said that they had noticed that I was naturally inclinded towards music as I could sing even before I turned one after listening to a song even if it wasn't in english and was in a foreign langauge. Formal lessons started when I turned 7.

Last edited by pianist.ame; 04/25/12 01:17 AM.

Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1886087
04/25/12 04:04 AM
04/25/12 04:04 AM
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Posts: 6,262
Reseda, California
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OK, mine's probably the strangest. It's because of the MicroSoft solitaire card game that, unfortunately, comes standard on most computers. I got addicted to the damn thing, and would sometimes stay up all night playing it. Then the thought hit me that I could do something far more worthwhile with all that effort.

I had played the piano just a little when I was in school, but that was 40+ years ago. So, I decided to take it up again. That was in February of 2011.

Now I'm up late at night writing this on PW.... ;-)


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Why did you begin playing the piano? [Re: Bech] #1886112
04/25/12 05:52 AM
04/25/12 05:52 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 105
Melbourne, Australia
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Well, before I got I teacher I taught myself the exposition from the first movement of Mozart's K545 so I got myself a teacher hoping that I would learn the rest. I didn't. I learnt Czerny studies and Hanon's Virtuoso Pianist exercises. Then I did Chopin's op. 28, 4 and went on from there.


"There is nothing greater than the joy of composing something oneself and then listening to it."
- Clara Schumann
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