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#2491556 12/17/15 08:36 PM
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Sam S Offline OP
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I'm fortunate to be a taxpayer in Georgia, USA, and the enlightened State Legislature has decreed that Senior Citizens can attend state universities free of charge! What a deal!

But college at age 62? What am I thinking? Well, I am not interested in a new career at this point - I just want to study and play piano, keep learning, challenge myself, and have some fun along the way.

I have two choices of university. There is a large state university in the big city with a large music department that is very busy and active. I actually have a Computer Science degree from there, but I have no wish to fight the traffic and deal with the parking situation. I did that for over 30 years...

There is a regional university just 15 miles away, with a small music department. It's not ranked very high, but I have heard good things about the music department. For me it's a quiet drive over country roads, so a better choice in my situation.

So I applied and had my old transcripts sent (I have a BM degree from way, way back in 1976 - clarinet was my instrument) and have been accepted for Fall 2016 to the university.

But not to the music school - I have to audition - oh no! The requirements are not too demanding: "Perform from memory works from two style periods." It's not a Conservatory, just a regional university. But I don't play from memory anymore - gave it up about 5 years ago.

So it's going to be a challenge. I talked to the piano professor (there is only one) and the memory requirement is not something they can overlook.

My teacher and I have picked out:
Beethoven Op2 #1 first movement (the first movement of the first piano sonata)
Mendelssohn op 38 #6 (Song Without Words "Duetto").

I've played the Mendelssohn twice before (but not from memory), so I am in the process of bringing it back and memorizing it.

The Beethoven is new. I can't even play it through at this point, but my teacher says I am making good progress. About a month ago I was ready to drop it and try something else, but I stuck with it.

Audition date: March 6. I will update this thread with my progress, success or failure...

Wish me luck!

Sam


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That is so cool!

I used to think I couldn't memorize anything, and then I learned Black and White Rag from a lead sheet. The melody pretty much memorized itself, and I had to make up the bass, which took me a long time, and voila! It was memorized! So then I decided I could play from memory anything that memorized itself laugh

But now I pretty much memorize everything. You'll do fine.

Go Sam! thumb


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Sam congratulations!!

I'm definitely going to be watching this thread because I've always wondered if college and universities accept adult students into their music programs later in life, as it may be something I'd be interested in doing once I've had many more years of learning under my belt and freedom from work smile

Good luck with you preparation and eventual audition!!


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Very best of luck to you!!

I'm looking forward to updates.


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I am 62 also and applaud your effort. I have decided to learn piano, my first ever instrument.
So all you young whipper snappers get outa our way!
RC

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Congratulations on your new trial-by-fire!

At 70 -- and re-learning piano and trying to sing -- I applaud your decision to follow my guideline for a productive old age:

. . . Learn, or die.

One of our local universities has a first-class "55+" program. It's outside the normal curriculum. But the profs are from the regular teaching faculty, and the classes are lots of fun.


Last edited by Charles Cohen; 12/17/15 10:48 PM.

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You 62 year olds will do fine. As someone who also had never had any musical training of any kind EVER, starting at 78 was kind of scary, but it turned out to be entirely do-able I didn't say fast, I said do-able laugh


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Sam,
I thing it is wonderful that you are doing this. I'm 70 and I still memorize some of my pieces. I admit it takes longer than when I was younger and could memorize easily. Most of the other adult students in their 60's and 70's that I know do not memorize but I figure it is good for my brain. Good luck. That sounds so exciting.


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Hey you kids! Get off my lawn! I'm talkin' to you, Sam.

Okay, I'm not THAT old but I am a few years older than you and am also taking advantage of free tuition at a local junior college. The free tuition thing seems to be fairly common and it's great that you're taking advantage of it. I audit, rather than taking classes for credit. This coming semester, in addition to "Applied Piano," I'm going to take a theory course. No tuition, but, whoa, have you checked out college textbook prices lately? Yikes.

Sam, you'll do great, even with the memorization.* We look forward to following your progress.


* I hadn't been doing memorization for awhile, either, but started back doing it, first at my teacher's suggestion for some of the Bach Inventions and then more or less incidentally with a couple more pieces like Chopin Op. 64/1 and LvB Op 49/1, 1st mvt. It takes a fair amount of patience, but it's do-able.



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Wow, good for you. You inspire me. This has been my dream always. I will definitely keep checking this thread. Good luck to you! You will do great!


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I wonder...it's not that long until March and if you have trouble memorizing, would it not be better to choose two works that you have played and possibly memorized previously at some point? Because it is a lot easier to bring back something you have managed to memorize earlier than solidly memorize new works as a one time project. At least that's my experience.

And of course choose something as short as possible grin

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it's all very exciting isn't it? Will enjoy reading the threads of this post as it progresses. With cars strewn all over side streets at our local university I can well understand how parking alone can be a big issue.


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

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Wow Sam, what an exciting plan!
Yes it will be a challenge to prepare and memorise these pieces, but if that's where you put your focus and energy then you'll see great results!


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Congratulations! Not only is this a wonderful adventure, but that you are taking advantage of it, and learning outside of your comfort zone is awesome-- and an inspiration.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Sam, I turn 63 next month -- you've inspired me to start researching my state's tuition policies for people our age... and music programs.

You know the Lotto fantasy game -- when people ask how you would change your life if you won the big Powerball drawing?

I always get funny looks when I tell people that my fantasy is to become a full time student again, with no interest in ever getting a degree or a job from my studies. All my time on philosophy, music, literature, and an exercise program (finally).

Why is that crazy?


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Thanks everyone - I knew I could count on your moral support!

To answer some questions - I did have to cut through some red tape. I originally contacted the piano professor to see if it was even possible. She had never had a senior citizen student, so she made inquiries with admissions and was told I could only audit classes, which wouldn't work with private lessons. But actually reading the regulation showed that I could pursue a degree and take classes for credit. The VP of admissions agreed and I was good to go.

But I do not want to take resources away from some 18 year-old-kid looking for a career, so I will work things out as I proceed - I'm in no hurry!

As far as actually passing the audition, I have had plenty of second thoughts about my music selections and my ability to memorize them - but I am committed now...

Sam


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Sam,

This sounds incredibly fun. I don't think we have such possibilities here in Norway, and since I'm still engaged in full time work it is not an option for me. But being in your position I would go for it.

Considering your audition pieces I think both the Beethoven and the Mendelssohn are good choices. I play the Duetto myself and in fact I find it a bit hard to memorize, which is actually strange since I can play several of the other SWW's from memory.

Wish you good luck with whatever you decide to play.

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Sounds like great fun, Sam.

As for the challenge of your audition.....you know what they say...

If you can walk from Maine to Georgia, you can pretty much do anything!

Jim


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Sam - Great to read of your new adventure. I've worked at a couple of universities (at their public radio stations) where they welcomed "non-traditional" students. That usually meant older folks, and they all seemed to have loved doing this and found great acceptance by the young students. I find hanging out with folks younger than me (I'm 69), in addition to friends and neighbors of my own generation, teaches me a lot and I find it energizing. Best of luck to you!


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Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
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How exciting!! I was accepted to a Universty music program as a performance major in piano when I was 50. Life interfered. I regret not getting my degree then. So more power to you!!! It is never too late to pursue one's dream!!


Hey, I should listen to myself!! Alas, health issues are now a factor. But I will be rooting you on!!!


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