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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
fishandchips #2620315 03/04/17 02:53 PM
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https://books.google.co.uk/books?id...lot%20of%20time%20practicing&f=false

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/jan/17/family-children-music-prodigy-practice

However you look at it, those who love an activity and spend a lot of time on it will almost always be better at it than someone who doesn't, or not as much (unless that someone is a true genetic freak). To be frank, that was the only reason why I could play much better, by the time I reached my late teens, than all the kids I knew when I was a beginner. Most of them were more talented than me, and also started from an earlier age.

Benjamin Grosvenor, by his own admission, only took piano seriously at nine when his peers began to get better than him. He started practicing hard and applied himself. If he didn't have that competitive steak, he'd just be one of the millions who can tickle the ivories well, assuming that he continued to tickle the ivories at all. Of course, he had innate talent, but that by itself was not sufficient to get him to where he is now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRs_3XKWdDw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYYCjcQN3xg

Nurture v nature in humans is always contentious, not least because so much research on prodigies is based almost entirely on self-reporting rather than true scientific observation (and let's not forget the case of the Polgar sisters, who were 'raised' to be 'prodigies' - and there are many others like them).


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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
ARpiano #2620423 03/04/17 09:57 PM
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Prodigy is like a rare extreme. The same phenomena can be observed at lesser degrees though when it comes to music.

I've encountered a couple of musicians (not many, i don't get out much) myself in my life time where I have thought to myself, how could some one that young be that talented. I don't think they were prodigies, just extremely good. One I recall was like a young Benny Goodman.

I believe now, a lot of it is inherent.

Not to be discouraged though. Whatever we are born with we can improve. Big time. In fact, the improvement of a player over a non-player is like 100%, regardless of which one had what.



Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
ARpiano #2620431 03/04/17 10:14 PM
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From studies into the background of world class athletes it would appear that there are several factors that differentiate them from the also-rans. Raw talent alone is definitely not nearly enough and "talent" is also often mistaken for hard work and persistence. As some top sportsman once said - the more I practice the more talented I become


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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
Peakski #2620441 03/04/17 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Peakski
From studies into the background of world class athletes it would appear that there are several factors that differentiate them from the also-rans...

Indeed, there would be, but even the also-rans were inherently gifted with the physical body that has allowed them to compete at this level. I sure wasn't.


Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
Peakski #2620485 03/05/17 06:02 AM
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Everyone should find what they are good at, and what they enjoy doing. If the two coincide, there is the potential to develop it to really high levels. But even if only one of them is present, there is still the potential for a life-long activity that is life-enhancing.

To take an example that I'm familiar with, from the UK, about eight years prior to the London Olympics, there was a nationwide effort to seek out potential Olympic champions for 2012. A lot of public money was put into it. 'Talent scouts' were sent to schools and kids were invited to try out physical tests (involving strength, power, endurance, agility etc). Body shape and muscle distribution as well as height and weight were all measured, and their parents were also asked about their sporting endeavours, past and present. The successful kids were invited to sign up for intense coaching programs designed to make Olympic athletes out of them. Muscular kids who only previously played soccer or rugby, who'd never been on a boat in their lives were groomed to be rowers and power athletes; those with great endurance went training for endurance sports; those with great agility and flexibility trained to be gymnasts, and so on. In other words, kids were asked to train for the sports that were most suited to their inherent abilities (as measured objectively in physical tests), including sports which most of them never thought of taking up, like cycling and rowing and fencing.

What happened? In London 2012, the GB team got 65 medals, and came in third in overall rankings, beating Russia, because of the high number of golds (29). Compare with 2004 (30 medals, 9 gold, ranked 10th). Did the UK become more physically talented? No, it was all down to training, and sports-specific depending on the athletes' physical attributes. And it was all achieved in a few short years.

That is nature and nurture combined to achieve the highest levels of excellence, with the help of not a little science.

In music (as well as in sports), of course, Russia had been at it for decades - taking kids who showed musical talent and giving them intense training to make them world-class musicians who would win all the world's most prestigious competitions, winning them for the state of course. Especially after the 1958 Moscow fiasco (as the USSR saw it.......). That was why Russian pianists dominated the world stage for so long.


"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: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
ARpiano #2620553 03/05/17 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ARpiano
"This is beyond incredible" as said by someone commenting on YouTube...

Chopin Etude op.25 n.12 "Ocean"

Someone please explain me how in the world is this possible?!?
I understand the fact that prodigies exist, that a kid has all the time a day he needs to practice... but HE IS 5 YO!!! shocked

WHEN he took the time to learn this?
Also this particular etude with giant stretches also problematic for the hands of an adult!
Even if he started at 3 yo playing this is incomprehensible for me, please tell me how! Any theories? shocked

Not to be a bit grumpy here, but I couldn't care less about how good someone is else. I see no upside to this. We are all different, with various levels of musical abilities so to speak.

Now I enjoy listening to professional pianists both for pleasure and to learn and observe.

However, someone has to explain to me what the point of watching someone is either younger and/or more talented than yourself. I think this only leaves to "why is he/she so good and why do I suck so much" feelings.



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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
ARpiano #2620556 03/05/17 01:07 PM
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I love watching these kids. Here is one I came across today, it's from last June. Even the page turn is awesome smile The only thing I knew how to do at 4 was to draw on the wall with crayon.



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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
BrianDX #2620685 03/05/17 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BrianDX
Not to be a bit grumpy here, but I couldn't care less about how good someone is else. I see no upside to this. We are all different, with various levels of musical abilities so to speak.

Now I enjoy listening to professional pianists both for pleasure and to learn and observe.

However, someone has to explain to me what the point of watching someone is either younger and/or more talented than yourself. I think this only leaves to "why is he/she so good and why do I suck so much" feelings.



This is not the point of my initial question, I don't watch child prodigies - or this video in particular - to see "how good someone is" or to think "why do I suck so much", I'm courious about how is practically possible for a kid of such young age to play a piece so difficult that requires years of practice even for adults... probably more years than his age at that time.

Last edited by ARpiano; 03/05/17 09:36 PM.
Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
ARpiano #2620727 03/06/17 01:03 AM
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My conjecture is that for child "prodigies" at these ages, a lot of the basics are skipped and they are dumped straight into memorization and pressing the right notes as fast as possible. In a normal study course, there's quite a lot to work on in the intermediate levels that infants/kids can't do with their small hands even if they wanted to -- e.g. 4 finger chords or dual melodies in a single hand. I don't want to sound too blaise about it but it's not that hard to envision strict parents forcing infants into this kind of learning style and then have them practice the right kids of pieces that most accentuates it.

(There have been threads here from adult learners who learned a single advanced piece in a few months by simply repeatedly playing it through Synthesia which is probably not that different from what these kids may be undergoing.)

Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
MossySF #2620786 03/06/17 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MossySF
My conjecture is that for child "prodigies" at these ages, a lot of the basics are skipped and they are dumped straight into memorization and pressing the right notes as fast as possible. In a normal study course, there's quite a lot to work on in the intermediate levels that infants/kids can't do with their small hands even if they wanted to -- e.g. 4 finger chords or dual melodies in a single hand. I don't want to sound too blaise about it but it's not that hard to envision strict parents forcing infants into this kind of learning style and then have them practice the right kids of pieces that most accentuates it.

(There have been threads here from adult learners who learned a single advanced piece in a few months by simply repeatedly playing it through Synthesia which is probably not that different from what these kids may be undergoing.)


Yes, I presume they "force" the piece into his hands, maybe the kid doesn't know the theory behind, the structure, the harmony etc... BUT, could this method be beneficial on the technical side?
I mean, at least he learned well how to play that kind of arpeggios (in this particular case), I don't think he will ever have problems playing any other kind of arpeggio knowing the theory

(but still is absurd the skip from Basics to Ocean etude, it's too much! I mean, I could understand other pieces, but chopin etudes!!)

Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
bSharp(C)yclist #2620833 03/06/17 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bSharpCyclist
I love watching these kids.



OMG! The Clementi Sonatina Op. 36 no. 6. It's not even the first one most people learn. It's something like RCM 5. She really good too. Her phrasing, gastures, timing, rhythm, accents are all bang on. Only nit pick would be her balance is a little off, but that is probably not a concern at all at this age. This kid have this piece in complete mastery.

This is soooo much better than the OP's video, btw. This is a young child playing something well, whereas the OP's video was a young child playing something not well, and way out of his league, not as impressive as this. The OP's was an example of someone pushing a child beyond his ability. This 4-year-old has serious potentials.

Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
8 Octaves #2620846 03/06/17 12:26 PM
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I love this video - I had to share it with my teacher. It's too good, I'm beginning to wonder though if there is some sophisticated Chinese CGI taking place smile The page turn is the best though, even the sound effect of it. Woosh!


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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
Greener #2621091 03/07/17 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Greener
Originally Posted by Peakski
From studies into the background of world class athletes it would appear that there are several factors that differentiate them from the also-rans...

Indeed, there would be, but even the also-rans were inherently gifted with the physical body that has allowed them to compete at this level. I sure wasn't.



The point I was trying (badly) to make was that the word "talent" or "gifted" is quite a vague concept and casual outside observers are usually unaware of the sheer effort and hard work that went into making someone appear apparently "gifted". Of course some people are born with certain physiological or psychological advantages over their peers, but they are usually not that profound compared to others who never reach even a fraction of the same level for all sorts of reasons. As a sporting example, there was a documentary of the life story of an Olympic Gold medal athlete and the focus was on what actually made him so successful. Of course he had the right natural physical attributes, but no more so than many of his peers at school and local club level. What really set him apart was his undivided commitment and discipline e.g. an obsessively strict diet and training regime from an early age. Other studies of top sports people have also shown obsessive levels of training and focused commitment behind the apparent "gift".

I'm not really sure how this fits with 4 year olds who can play complex classical piano, but I can bet they didn't just wake up one morning and found they could play like that! I also wonder what else they actually do apart from play the piano for most of the day? It can't be healthy at that age can it? Our 7 year old daughter can consistently beat me at MarioKart 8, but she practices more than I would like!


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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
ARpiano #2621092 03/07/17 06:29 AM
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Lol - you have to be supportive of your child's passion Peakski ;P


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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
ARpiano #2621158 03/07/17 02:31 PM
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1. The first rule of ABF club is: you don't compare yourself to child performers.
2. The second rule of ABF club is: see rule #1.


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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
ARpiano #2621928 03/09/17 01:49 PM
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I am just wondering about this, you see that 4 year old kid playing the Clementi Sonatina, but I don't even feel anything about the piece when listening to it, played by kid or adult, just feels like an torturous finger exercise not a music I would put on CD and listen to.
I am just wondering, how do such small kids feel that sort of music? Or in fact any less approachable classical music? I remember when my kids were 4, the repetition was indeed the king, but the type of stuff 4 years old brain liked was more on the highly melodic level of twinkle-twinkle not and endless arpeggios in every key. I remember myself at young age rolling my eyes when I heard any classical music whatsoever.
I kind of feel all those kids are mostly forced to this like a physical exercise, not an emotional. Like catching hundreds of falling pies in a video game in the shortest time possible.
Maybe someone worked with kids at that young age and level - how did they approach the music? Did they really liked it as a music?


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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
oscar1 #2621954 03/09/17 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by oscar1
I remember when my kids were 4, the repetition was indeed the king, but the type of stuff 4 years old brain liked was more on the highly melodic level of twinkle-twinkle not and endless arpeggios in every key. I remember myself at young age rolling my eyes when I heard any classical music whatsoever.

Maybe someone worked with kids at that young age and level - how did they approach the music? Did they really liked it as a music?

When I was a kid, pop music (etc) was just something I heard all the time - if a song had a decent tune, I might sing or hum it. But the songs rarely meant anything to me on any deeper level.

Whereas when my first piano teacher introduced me to classical music by playing it for me (until then I hadn't known about such music), I was totally smitten and couldn't get enough of it. There was everything from joyous carefree abandon to profound introspective gloom in it, as well as memorable tunes and harmonies which I couldn't get out of my head. There was classical music for every occasion; whereas for pop, their tunes (if any) were just fodder for my improv later, when I was in the mood.

My youngest sister (twelve years younger than me) showed her appreciation for classical music in a way that surprised me, when she heard it for the first time: she wanted to listen to my new (cassette-tape) Walkman when I returned home from boarding school, so I put the earphones on her and she sat on my bed to listen. The tape contained music that I was learning to play at the time. She sat totally entranced for half an hour, barely fidgeting, until the tape finished. Then she handed back the Walkman, smiled at me, and ran off to do something else. (She asked to listen to more tapes the next day).

What was the music that so transfixed her on that first day? This:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEjhA3QVdJA

She was three years old at the time. (She subsequently learnt to play the piano several years later, got to Grade 5 ABRSM, then gave it up. She is now working in a music publishing company, where her ability to read music fluently was a big factor in her getting the job).

BTW, that Clementi sonatina was one of my favorite pieces to play when I was a kid wink .


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Re: "This is beyond incredible" (Chopin Etude by 5 yo kid)
ARpiano #2622688 03/11/17 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Moonsh1ne
1. The first rule of ABF club is: you don't compare yourself to child performers.
2. The second rule of ABF club is: see rule #1.


True, I was still reading that 10 minutes later, you forgot the breakout clause. laugh

Actually, I don't mind watching them at all because it doesn't affect me, I just find it fun, inspirational even. I'll just say fair play, my hat goes off, and good luck if works out.

Originally Posted by bennevis
whereas for pop, their tunes (if any) were just fodder for my improv later, when I was in the mood.


Is there any classical music you do not like at all ? Genuine question btw, seeing you don't seem to have much time for anything else it seems when these topics arise.

Lemme explain a bit ...

I was kind of the opposite in many ways. Ever since my very early years in a pram, my real father played clarinet, and all I ever heard as a baby was classical and more classical on the record player and radio, nothing else, I didn't know other music existed for a long time, then age 5 - 12 I played nothing but baroque until it came out of my ears, Handel and Telemann were the staple diet often times.

At that age in early teens, hormones began to flow and everything else seemed more interesting than baroque, girls also grin , but also the rockers of the 60s and 70s, Hendrix, early Floyd I heard for the first time and thought, wooow, now that's music, now we are cooking. What have I been missing all this time. laugh It is not that I disliked baroque at all at this point, but still, there was a much bigger universe out there to explore suddenly when I had my own first radio walkman, stereo etc.


I'd say these days I listed to everything. For sure, mostly classical, but there is a time and place for a lot of music I have time for regardless of complexity or whatever it may be. From the most bizarre atonal and most convoluted stuff to the aborigines playing their didgeridoos, I can find something in it for me to enjoy.

These days, I also have quite a few classical albums I'd put in the fodder basket and would never enjoy, nor do I find them particularly engaging to this day, just as in every other genre.

Baroque made a come back to enjoy again later in life with a renewed love when I was not playing anything, but much of that would never be my first choice to hear even today.

A night of Debussy or Chopin, or Hendrix, and many others, Gimme a bit of Hendrix any day of the Clementi sonatina mentioned, it doesn't move me particularly in any way, just a fun sort of piano tune, and that's that for me.

Like many of the great pianist Yuja Wang is a big radiohead fan, as am I btw. supposedly Lang Lang is not at all averse to a bit of Einaudi, as am I. There are plenty examples like that of top musicians and/or composers not looking down on many other forms, or in some cases indeed what I would simply call snobbery.

There is lots of good music out there to feed the soul IMHO. While I listen to a lot of classical of course, I don't see it as being on a pedestal on its own either.

My two cents anyway wink

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