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How many years?
#2317860 08/20/14 05:30 PM
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How many years would you say that it would be reasonable to expect it to take to go from the level of playing pieces like Mozart's K 330, Schubert Impromptus op 90, and Beethoven's Op 2 No 1 to the level of playing Chopin ballades (Minus the 4th), Etudes and Scherzos (Minus the 4th)? Is it reasonable to aim at getting to that level within 3 or 4 years or does it normally take longer time or even shorter? I know everyone is different, but I just wonder what is usual. My learning curve this far has been quite normal I think; I have been playing the piano for almost 5 years, I am 22 now and started when I was 17. So, do you guys think, considering what is normal and how my learning curve has been, that it would be a reasonable goal to aim at playing Chopin ballades and scherzos within 3 years?

Re: How many years?
schumoney #2317868 08/20/14 05:36 PM
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"So, do you guys think, considering what is normal and how my learning curve has been, that it would be a reasonable goal to aim at playing Chopin ballades and scherzos within 3 years?"

Yep. I started Scherzo 1 just a year or so after that point, but it wasn't that great. A year after I learned it I could handle it pretty well.

Re: How many years?
schumoney #2317877 08/20/14 06:29 PM
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Playing those impromptus WELL is very difficult... I think that if you can play those actually very well, you can play these other pieces. I'm not saying it is the same difficulty, but it's the same approach...
The Beethoven, also, very difficult. I did not play this one, but played the other ones from the same opus number, and they're definitely not easy...

It doesn't matter if it's the Hammerklavier or it's Mozart K330, it's the same instrument. Once you have the basics of technique, just learn how to practice and go for it.

Re: How many years?
schumoney #2317968 08/21/14 12:04 AM
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We get so many threads like this...there is never a way to answer it that will help the poster.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: How many years?
schumoney #2317972 08/21/14 12:18 AM
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How hard are you going to work?


Poetry is rhythm
Re: How many years?
schumoney #2317976 08/21/14 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by schumoney
How many years would you say that it would be reasonable to expect it to take to go from the level of playing pieces like Mozart's K 330, Schubert Impromptus op 90, and Beethoven's Op 2 No 1 to the level of playing Chopin ballades (Minus the 4th), Etudes and Scherzos (Minus the 4th)? [...]


We don't have a crystal ball and we can't see into your future. It will take as long as it takes.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: How many years?
schumoney #2317977 08/21/14 12:34 AM
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Good replies in the last two posts.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: How many years?
schumoney #2317979 08/21/14 12:41 AM
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This is a common question? It seems so very...specific. The best anybody can say is that, on average, it takes an average of about 8-10 years of quality study from a young age to get to a solidly advanced level. This is true of a number of technical art forms.

I guess it's in some way interesting to know, but hard to do anything really useful with that information. After all, an average does not describe variation within the group in any way. And given all the factors (internal aptitude, quality of study, quality of instruction) at play no matter who it is, I don't know what to do with the information on a granular level.

Best guess: if you're average, you'll play those pieces after about 8-10 years of study. How will you know if you are average? Well, if, after 8-10 years of study, you can play these pieces, then you are average.

I only wish there were a way to make better predictions. Though, again, I feel like the curmudgeonly father driving the car: when will we be there? We'll be there when we get there! That's how you'll know! smile

Re: How many years?
Polyphonist #2317981 08/21/14 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Good replies in the last two posts.

Thanks.


Poetry is rhythm
Re: How many years?
schumoney #2317992 08/21/14 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by schumoney
How many years would you say that it would be reasonable to expect it to take to go from the level of playing pieces like Mozart's K 330, Schubert Impromptus op 90, and Beethoven's Op 2 No 1 to the level of playing Chopin ballades (Minus the 4th), Etudes and Scherzos (Minus the 4th)? Is it reasonable to aim at getting to that level within 3 or 4 years or does it normally take longer time or even shorter? I know everyone is different, but I just wonder what is usual. My learning curve this far has been quite normal I think; I have been playing the piano for almost 5 years, I am 22 now and started when I was 17. So, do you guys think, considering what is normal and how my learning curve has been, that it would be a reasonable goal to aim at playing Chopin ballades and scherzos within 3 years?

Anyone can learn anything given enough time and determination. The question is how you will sound playing it. To play those pieces well, assuming you're playing the repertoire you mentioned reasonably well, it depends more than anything on how much you practice and how helpful your teacher is.
If you're getting in 2 hours of practice a day and you have a helpful teacher, sure, getting that repertoire solidly in hand within 3 years sounds reasonable.
But it's more a question for your teacher as we don't know your playing or your history!


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
Beethoven - Diabelli Variations Op. 120
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Tommy (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: How many years?
schumoney #2317994 08/21/14 01:22 AM
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Inbox me and I'll ask you some questions. I'll give you an answer with a window of 2 months and it'll be correct. And I'll prove it with math.


"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson
Re: How many years?
Atrys #2318074 08/21/14 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Atrys
Inbox me and I'll ask you some questions. I'll give you an answer with a window of 2 months and it'll be correct. And I'll prove it with math.

...

Re: How many years?
schumoney #2318191 08/21/14 02:17 PM
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How long? Assuming you already, in principle, have the technical facility required for accurately and fluently playing a piece you are starting to study, the actual, eventual length of time it will take to perfect your performance will depend on your musical imagination and artistic vision of the piece, and your ability to accurately realize (i.e. deliver) that vision, with all its essential acoustic and stylistic nuances, to a level of reliability you feel confident and reasonably satisfied with.

What I'm referring to is something way beyond the printed notes in terms of acoustically and structurally detailed knowledge, depth of studying and degree of mental-physical command. Pablo Casals (no slouch in technical respects) worked continually for ten years on the Bach solo 'cello suites before he felt artistically capable of performing them in public - though no doubt he was able to get through the notes pretty well on his first read-through. Just one of many similar cases one could cite.


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein

https://understanding-piano-technique.com/ocportal
Re: How many years?
schumoney #2318280 08/21/14 06:43 PM
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I view piano playing as a relaxing activity. I don't set future goals and expectations for two reasons. First reason is that I enjoy playing too much to even consider setting myself up for possible future disappointment. Second reason is that the discovery process is boundless so why restrict it.


Enjoy


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: How many years?
schumoney #2318286 08/21/14 07:02 PM
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Although I think it's "reasonable" to think you can reach the level described in your OP in three years, it's also true that around 99% never reach that level. And some of that 99% are people with excellent teachers and good practice methods.

I agree with those that say the quality of your teacher and the quality/length of your practicing are very important. But talent is at least part of the equation also.

Setting goals seems to be a good thing for many people. OTOH it might be better to just enjoy the journey however fast it is. I think it's very important to remember that you're already at a level where the number of total masterpieces(as good as the Ballades but technically easier) available is unlimited.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 08/21/14 07:03 PM.
Re: How many years?
Scordatura #2318289 08/21/14 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Scordatura
How long? Assuming you already, in principle, have the technical facility required for accurately and fluently playing a piece you are starting to study...
I'm 99% sure the OP doesn't feel he presently has the necessary technique.

Re: How many years?
pianoloverus #2318332 08/21/14 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think it's very important to remember that you're already at a level where the number of total masterpieces(as good as the Ballades but technically easier) available is unlimited.

It's already highlighted, but still...
+1

Re: How many years?
Francisco Scalco #2318360 08/21/14 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Francisco Scalco
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think it's very important to remember that you're already at a level where the number of total masterpieces(as good as the Ballades but technically easier) available is unlimited.

It's already highlighted, but still...
+1

lol I was considering to write the exact same post when I read yours


Poetry is rhythm
Re: How many years?
pianoloverus #2318556 08/22/14 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Although I think it's "reasonable" to think you can reach the level described in your OP in three years, it's also true that around 99% never reach that level. And some of that 99% are people with excellent teachers and good practice methods.

I agree with those that say the quality of your teacher and the quality/length of your practicing are very important. But talent is at least part of the equation also.

Setting goals seems to be a good thing for many people. OTOH it might be better to just enjoy the journey however fast it is. I think it's very important to remember that you're already at a level where the number of total masterpieces(as good as the Ballades but technically easier) available is unlimited.
The question is rather if it is possible to get to that level in three years at that age between ages 22 and 25(?). Now the pieces mentioned are far from being the most difficult in the repertoire but I dont know anyone who has been able to get to that level at that age. Now I do beleive it is possible, but still interesting to think about... What do others here think on this matter?

Last edited by Franz Beebert; 08/22/14 11:10 AM.
Re: How many years?
Franz Beebert #2318615 08/22/14 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Franz Beebert
The question is rather if it is possible to get to that level in three years at that age between ages 22 and 25(?). Now the pieces mentioned are far from being the most difficult in the repertoire but I dont know anyone who has been able to get to that level at that age. Now I do beleive it is possible, but still interesting to think about... What do others here think on this matter?


I personally don't know any people who started at age 15-18 or so as I'm assuming OP did and really studied seriously, but I'm almost 22 and I feel like my technique still improves considerably with practice, and at a pace not any slower than some of the 14 year olds I've met, so I would guess that it's doable.

Another thing though is that at age 22-25, most people typically don't have much time to practice.

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