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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711730
02/05/18 06:13 PM
02/05/18 06:13 PM
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I did write my position toward these things as a learner, and my reasoning. I hope we don't get stuck with the Ted Talk fellow, only.

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2711731
02/05/18 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by keystring
The guy in the Ted talk is using the word "performance" according to one specialized meaning, and it means roughly to do an action. I just heated a cup of coffee in the microwave, added milk and sweetener, and stirred it. This is an action that I performed. If I do this every day the same way, unthinkingly, and every day it's too hot so that I have to wait half an hour, then I'm continually in a "performance" mode. In other words, it is "mindless routine actions". This is what he is targeting.

.


That was not his intent. A surgeon performing operations is not doing routine mindless actions. Neither is Beyoncé at a concert. But they have another mode of functioning, or should.

Yes and no, Tim. If the surgeon has to worry about his technique in a life or death situation, he (or she) is going to screw up and kill the patient.

The difference between the surgeon and the performer: no one dies.

The performer simply dies on stage, which does not kill, but the performer may feel like he died...


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2711734
02/05/18 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Some time ago here I posted a link to that Ted Talk that said to keep improving you need to move back and forth between the practice domain and the performance domain, and be aware of when you're in each.

In THIS topic?

It only takes a moment to google and put in a link. I can't find it.

EDIT: I found the link. Good ideas, but the guy does not know Jack about music or how we prepare.

Last edited by Gary D.; 02/05/18 06:32 PM.

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711736
02/05/18 06:20 PM
02/05/18 06:20 PM
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The actual principles that the Ted Talk guy espouses as he talks about how people "perform their everyday tasks" are the same principles we use when we are practising. We gradually improve the level and quality of our playing as we observe things, learn and grow. These ideas are not new to a student who knows how to be a student, nor to a teacher who knows how to teach. A teacher will observe, suggest, etc. A poor quality teacher will simply go through routines every week.

None of this has anything to do with performance.

I would also say that the surgeon cannot afford to ever work mindlessly, so he is, in fact, observing himself all the time.

But again, the Ted Talk fellow has nothing to do with performance. Nor is there any idea that if you will perform (as in, play in front of someone), you will practice more, or with more quality practice.

I wrote about that latter idea. I wrote my position on it, as a student. I'm afraid that the Ted Talk thing will swallow that up. (I am not asking that response to be from you specifically, Gary). I deleted two of my posts yesterday because I had given up.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711737
02/05/18 06:21 PM
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I think it may be best to withdraw from the topic.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2711740
02/05/18 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR
Some time ago here I posted a link to that Ted Talk that said to keep improving you need to move back and forth between the practice domain and the performance domain, and be aware of when you're in each.

That makes sense to me. Performance doesn't have to mean public performance, it can be just a different mode.

That's quite a personal definition of "performance".

Shouldn't the goal always be to play something so that it sounds good?


It's not my original definition of performance. I'm trying to be more inclusive, to include those who will never play in public.

That link we discussed before:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKACzIrog24&list=PLOGi5-fAu8bEUnIt2TJMHaJFF5CkOROZz

differentiated between learning mode where risks are taken and error is not punished, and performance mode.

It was a useful distinction but not profound.

Yes, but he talked about "performing pieces over and over again" on guitar, as a teen, so he has NO idea of what musicians mean by performing.

What he is talking about is inefficient practice/playing, what I call "Let's pretend". Play from the beginning, straight through. So he is utterly ignorant of the correct musical process.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: keystring] #2711746
02/05/18 06:54 PM
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I don't comment on your long posts because I don't even know where to start.
Originally Posted by keystring
I'm a student primarily and my goal is learning. I originally answered the question about "difference in practising" depending on whether you are performing by stating that one practises toward a goal, and if that goal is to improve a given piece, you will do the same things whether that piece will be performed or played for yourself. The goal is still the improved piece, and the same actions must be taken.

I agree with this.
Quote

But I don't think the question was asked to find out what we thought, but more by way of bringing forth pre-existing ideas.

That's what usually happens in forums.

People have already decided what they believe, and they just want their preexisting ideas confirmed by others who have the same preexisting ideas.

My students will waste 95% of their time unless I remind them each work that their ways of playing/working are not efficient or even fun, in the long run.

Some listen, and they end up playing well.

Some do not, and they progress slowly or not at all.

It is what it is.

Last edited by Gary D.; 02/05/18 06:55 PM.

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Gary D.] #2711751
02/05/18 07:11 PM
02/05/18 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
People have already decided what they believe, and they just want their preexisting ideas confirmed by others who have the same preexisting ideas.

Unfortunately this often seems to be so. frown

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711757
02/05/18 07:30 PM
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I am going to reiterate what I wrote earlier, but briefer - not about the Ted Talk guy - but my own views. The question was about performance causing a person to practice more or better.

My goal as a student is to get skills and knowledge that I need and can't get by myself. I want that because I'm enough of a musician to know that if I get these, they will help me to:
- play things I can't currently play because of what I'm lacking
- get there more efficiently, because I know more and can do more
- make my music sound better

I have learned that the best way to get at these things for me is by going there directly, going at the most difficult areas, sometimes visiting numerous pieces that have the same challenges but not pushing any of them to perfection, doing etudes and exercises, studying theory in a practical way. The reward of working this way is that when I go after a piece I care for, the quality and ease is greater than before. That motivates me.

You have to do the opposite for performances, say recitals. You put your best foot forward, so you choose pieces you can play easily, and areas where you have no difficulty. You have to polish and polish that piece, work on less things. This steals time away from the "learning activities" that I want to be doing. In turn, it will cause my motivation to wane, and I will have to force myself to keep at the "performance piece" when that's not what I want to be doing.

This is how performance (recitals etc.) affect me and my practising. I lived it over 10 years ago. Others may experience things differently.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: keystring] #2711767
02/05/18 08:33 PM
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keystings, I read your post, I really enjoy reading what others think and write. I normally do not work on a piece for performance (to play in front of someone) so it is never perfect, not to say one that I work on is either. The last one I did, my teacher made me. My husband and I hired him for a Christmas party and he told me I need to play something. I am happy I did, at least my family will think the past 3 and a half years of lessons results in some type of skill. I really thought this was going to be easier, like you practice and then you "get it." In my college days I thought music majors really were there for an easy degree, I take it back.

I think a piece you are going to play in front of someone should not be worked on exclusively, but in combination with the technical skills. I generally starts months in advance if I know I am going to play for someone so it gives me time. I worked on the Christmas song for 2 months and it was part of my practice routine.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711775
02/05/18 09:00 PM
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I think that what I object to is any idea that we need some kind of whip behind us such as the possible embarrassment in public (in a performance) to get us to practice, and if that threat is not there, we will practice less.

The scenario I portrayed in my last post was rather black and white. To start, I was thinking of students, not professional performers. I have done recitals and performed a couple of things otherwise, and I did enjoy those occasions. The first recitals also were a learning experience in playing in front of others. I also experienced something I dubbed "recital season" - 2 months before the biannual recitals when the focus was on the recital piece where everything else seemed put on the back burner, so that 1/3 of the year's lessons were mostly eaten up by preparing the recital piece. Of course there is a question of balance. But even if ..... if you're working or running a business and there is only so much time, and if that time has to be spent polishing a piece so you can't get at other pieces and other elements of music, that to me is demotivating.

If a performance is PART of the learning activities - and for me, the lesser part, or secondary part, then I'm fine with that.

But I'll end what I started with:in regard to the idea of threat such as risk of a poor performance getting someone to practice, I can't relate to the idea that the lack of such a risk would get someone to practice less.

Actually in real and effective practice and learning, you work in stages, levels, and layers. Any attempt at perfection or woodshedding will be counterproductive esp. in the long run, and this kind of thinking may lead to that. What most teachers are happy about is if they taught their student to count, that the student comes in the next week, counting, because that's what they practised. It's the little steps. To me these are the things that lead to everything else - that are effective - so for me they are primary, and also the primary motivators.

I can't explain it better than that.
Originally Posted by DFSRN
I think a piece you are going to play in front of someone should not be worked on exclusively, but in combination with the technical skills. I generally starts months in advance if I know I am going to play for someone so it gives me time. I worked on the Christmas song for 2 months and it was part of my practice routine.

I agree absolutely.

Thank you for sharing your story. It's a lovely one, with your teacher actually being hired for the Christmas party and then taking the occasion to get you to perform. What a wise teacher. smile

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: keystring] #2711787
02/05/18 10:04 PM
02/05/18 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
I think that what I object to is any idea that we need some kind of whip behind us such as the possible embarrassment in public (in a performance) to get us to practice, and if that threat is not there, we will practice less.

The scenario I portrayed in my last post was rather black and white. To start, I was thinking of students, not professional performers. I have done recitals and performed a couple of things otherwise, and I did enjoy those occasions. The first recitals also were a learning experience in playing in front of others. I also experienced something I dubbed "recital season" - 2 months before the biannual recitals when the focus was on the recital piece where everything else seemed put on the back burner, so that 1/3 of the year's lessons were mostly eaten up by preparing the recital piece. Of course there is a question of balance. But even if ..... if you're working or running a business and there is only so much time, and if that time has to be spent polishing a piece so you can't get at other pieces and other elements of music, that to me is demotivating.

If a performance is PART of the learning activities - and for me, the lesser part, or secondary part, then I'm fine with that.

But I'll end what I started with:in regard to the idea of threat such as risk of a poor performance getting someone to practice, I can't relate to the idea that the lack of such a risk would get someone to practice less.

Actually in real and effective practice and learning, you work in stages, levels, and layers. Any attempt at perfection or woodshedding will be counterproductive esp. in the long run, and this kind of thinking may lead to that. What most teachers are happy about is if they taught their student to count, that the student comes in the next week, counting, because that's what they practised. It's the little steps. To me these are the things that lead to everything else - that are effective - so for me they are primary, and also the primary motivators.

I can't explain it better than that.
Originally Posted by DFSRN
I think a piece you are going to play in front of someone should not be worked on exclusively, but in combination with the technical skills. I generally starts months in advance if I know I am going to play for someone so it gives me time. I worked on the Christmas song for 2 months and it was part of my practice routine.

I agree absolutely.

Thank you for sharing your story. It's a lovely one, with your teacher actually being hired for the Christmas party and then taking the occasion to get you to perform. What a wise teacher. smile


keystring,

I have read all of your posts in this thread, and I have to say that I agree with your thoghts, especially the part "I object to is any idea that we need some kind of whip behind us such as the possible embarrassment in public (in a performance) to get us to practice, and if that threat is not there, we will practice less." That describes me as a piano student as well.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: keystring] #2711800
02/05/18 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
I also experienced something I dubbed "recital season" - 2 months before the biannual recitals when the focus was on the recital piece where everything else seemed put on the back burner, so that 1/3 of the year's lessons were mostly eaten up by preparing the recital piece.

This is common.

It's not the way I teach.

My students "polish" as we review. We pick things that are easier than the hardest things they are working on. Then we spend a few weeks, usually a maximum of one month, getting things ready to be played.

To me it is counter-productive to spend more time while students are still in the development stage. This leads to over-memorization and muscle memory, and it's not good for moving forward.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Gary D.] #2711804
02/06/18 12:07 AM
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Quote
This leads to over-memorization and muscle memory...


Gary, could you define what you mean by "over-memorization"?

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2711805
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Keystring, I enjoy reading your posts, and wish I hadn't missed the first of the two you deleted yesterday.

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Andamento] #2711842
02/06/18 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Andamento
Quote
This leads to over-memorization and muscle memory...


Gary, could you define what you mean by "over-memorization"?

When students rely too much on memorization, thus taking too long to learn things and polish them.

This leads to a very small repertoire, and things have to be played endlessly to keep them up. The result is weak reading.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Andamento] #2711843
02/06/18 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Andamento
Keystring, I enjoy reading your posts, and wish I hadn't missed the first of the two you deleted yesterday.

Shared privately. smile

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: NobleHouse] #2711844
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse


keystring,

I have read all of your posts in this thread, and I have to say that I agree with your thoghts, especially the part "I object to is any idea that we need some kind of whip behind us such as the possible embarrassment in public (in a performance) to get us to practice, and if that threat is not there, we will practice less." That describes me as a piano student as well.

It describes all of us who are independent learners and self-motivated.

I can't be threatened, intimidated or coerced, and this has not worked with me since I was in my middle teens.

I never do this to students. NEVER. If any of them have the inner drive and talent to become good musicians, those things have to come from them, not me.

This is why I call recitals "rectals". For many of my favorite students, that is about as pleasant as their recital experiences were. I've lost track of how many adults quit lessons, as young people, because of being forced into playing in recitals.

I encourage all players to perform, but only when they want to, and in a setting where they feel safe.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Gary D.] #2711884
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Thanks for clarifying, Gary.

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Got it, Keystring. PMed you back. smile

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Gary D.] #2711887
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Yes, but he talked about "performing pieces over and over again" on guitar, as a teen, so he has NO idea of what musicians mean by performing.

What he is talking about is inefficient practice/playing, what I call "Let's pretend". Play from the beginning, straight through. So he is utterly ignorant of the correct musical process.


Yes. That part made me cringe. Makes me cringe every time.

(I've watched this video many many times, since it is part of a training process at work that I lead.)

His point about stagnation once you're "good enough" does seem right to me. Some of my coworkers are competent enough but have not improved their skills in a decade or so.

I play in several community bands, and the same is true there for many, probably most, of the musicians. They play well, or badly, but the same year after year.

That isn't true for me. My progress may be slow but it is there. (I don't lack work ethic, but in the absence of any natural talent, progress can be slow. Hee, hee.)

His point that you need to change your approach and focus on improvement I think is correct as well. Simply doing your job is not enough, past the first few years. I'm reminded of that link about the surgeon who found himself a mentor/coach and improved his skills, after being considered very accomplished. I've posted that here too, it wasn't well received IIRC.

keystring found performance not helpful in making progress (however we are going to define performance.) For me it's the opposite. It is both the reward and the incentive.


gotta go practice
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2711937
02/06/18 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TimR

His point about stagnation once you're "good enough" does seem right to me. Some of my coworkers are competent enough but have not improved their skills in a decade or so.

Very few people continue to grow as they get older. Most begin go get "fat and complacent" by age 40. The drive to go on improving is rare.
Quote

His point that you need to change your approach and focus on improvement I think is correct as well. Simply doing your job is not enough, past the first few years.

It is enough for people who want to go on collecting a check and who are not worried about eventually being phased out.

But you are using a Ted Talk by a businessman, again who understands NOTHING about music, to make points about musicians. Do you really think this man cares about music, or about creative, artistic people?


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: Gary D.] #2711944
02/06/18 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR

His point about stagnation once you're "good enough" does seem right to me. Some of my coworkers are competent enough but have not improved their skills in a decade or so.

Very few people continue to grow as they get older. Most begin go get "fat and complacent" by age 40. The drive to go on improving is rare.

This seems odd to me. I've been undergoing a renaissance since about age 50 (I'm age 55 now), in many areas of my life. I don't know how long this will continue, but even if it tapers off, I have no reason to believe that I won't undergo another renaissance even later in life.

Last edited by PianoStudent88; 02/06/18 12:41 PM.

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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: PianoStudent88] #2711947
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR

His point about stagnation once you're "good enough" does seem right to me. Some of my coworkers are competent enough but have not improved their skills in a decade or so.

Very few people continue to grow as they get older. Most begin go get "fat and complacent" by age 40. The drive to go on improving is rare.

This seems odd to me. I've been undergoing a renaissance since about age 50 (I'm age 55 now), in many areas of my life. I don't know how long this will continue, but even if it tapers off, I have no reason to believe that I won't undergo another renaissance even later in life.
.

Odd to me, as well, as I was WELL over the stagnation age when I restarted piano lessons. If only I could quit my day job, I would consider going back to cello as well


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR

His point about stagnation once you're "good enough" does seem right to me. Some of my coworkers are competent enough but have not improved their skills in a decade or so.

Very few people continue to grow as they get older. Most begin go get "fat and complacent" by age 40. The drive to go on improving is rare.

This seems odd to me. I've been undergoing a renaissance since about age 50 (I'm age 55 now), in many areas of my life. I don't know how long this will continue, but even if it tapers off, I have no reason to believe that I won't undergo another renaissance even later in life.
.

Odd to me, as well, as I was WELL over the stagnation age when I restarted piano lessons. If only I could quit my day job, I would consider going back to cello as well


The thing about over-generalizations is that they're all specious.


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Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: TimR] #2712019
02/06/18 04:05 PM
02/06/18 04:05 PM
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Posts: 15,965
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keystring Offline
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Tim, I want to cut to the chase and sort this out. I'd really appreciate you responding to this. smile I see two separate things and they seem to be getting mixed together. I want to deal with the first.

The first idea that came across from you (as I understood it) was a belief that when a person is put into a situation of risk, that this will cause the person to practice more and better. An example of risk is the embarrassment in public performance if you didn't prepare and flub it. A parallel belief seems to be that when a student does not work in a situation of risk ---- i.e. the play for themselves, practice for themselves --- that the quality and frequency of their practising will be less.

This is the core thought I have picked up and have been responding to. Is this correct or not?

You later added the TedTalk guy, and this is a separate and different set of ideas. Maybe you've moved on from your original thought, (or you're adding something new), and I'm still trying to respond to something you've moved past. What the TT fellow says is pretty straightforward, essentially I agree.I don't have much to say about that.

What about the part I highlighted. Is this your thinking or what you are trying to bring across, or not - at this stage?

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: dogperson] #2712040
02/06/18 04:40 PM
02/06/18 04:40 PM
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Posts: 6,244
South Florida
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR

His point about stagnation once you're "good enough" does seem right to me. Some of my coworkers are competent enough but have not improved their skills in a decade or so.

Very few people continue to grow as they get older. Most begin go get "fat and complacent" by age 40. The drive to go on improving is rare.

This seems odd to me. I've been undergoing a renaissance since about age 50 (I'm age 55 now), in many areas of my life. I don't know how long this will continue, but even if it tapers off, I have no reason to believe that I won't undergo another renaissance even later in life.
.

Odd to me, as well, as I was WELL over the stagnation age when I restarted piano lessons. If only I could quit my day job, I would consider going back to cello as well

The adults in this group are highly unusual. They are curious and definitely are not the "coasting" sort. wink

I don't coast either. It's not in my nature.


Piano Teacher
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: PianoStudent88] #2712042
02/06/18 04:42 PM
02/06/18 04:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,244
South Florida
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Gary D. Offline
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Gary D.  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
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South Florida
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by TimR

His point about stagnation once you're "good enough" does seem right to me. Some of my coworkers are competent enough but have not improved their skills in a decade or so.

Very few people continue to grow as they get older. Most begin go get "fat and complacent" by age 40. The drive to go on improving is rare.

This seems odd to me. I've been undergoing a renaissance since about age 50 (I'm age 55 now), in many areas of my life. I don't know how long this will continue, but even if it tapers off, I have no reason to believe that I won't undergo another renaissance even later in life.

Just because many people who are older - and perhaps most - are more likely to continue being curious and go on growing doesn't mean that individuals are not huge exceptions.

I'll remind everyone that I am almost 70. My generalization, right or wrong, does not describe me at all, and Tim has already said that it does not describe him.

Last edited by Gary D.; 02/06/18 04:43 PM.

Piano Teacher
Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2712043
02/06/18 04:44 PM
02/06/18 04:44 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,210
Florida
dogperson Offline
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Florida
Bennevis suggested the blog “the cross eyed pianist” Today’s blog which is concerning the adult amateur pianist is apropos to the original conversation
World of Adult Amateur Pianist- Cross-eyed pianist

Re: Adult vs Child Students [Re: 8 Octaves] #2712112
02/06/18 07:30 PM
02/06/18 07:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,077
Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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I no longer remember what this thread was about. Something about teaching adults vs children?

FWIW, I'm 65.

keystring, I will try to respond later. I did not mean to imply that we should be driven by risk or fear though.


gotta go practice
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