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#2713896 - 02/13/18 04:56 AM I think it's too late a start afterall  
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luckiest_charm Offline
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Well.. My chest feels really heavy right now. A whole lot of emotions just bursting forth, to the point where even typing a line without 10 mistakes is getting hard.
Sorry for the dramatic overtones, but I really need to get my feelings across and find some sort of closure or I think it will be really depressing.

I just watched a 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody's performance by Tiffany Poon. Though riddled with imperfections, she did one heck of a job. Even those imperfections adding to the character. I even went so far as to look her up on instagram and got to know a lot about her life, practice routines, some compositions, skill level, concerts and exposure, all while still coming off as a fun loving and outgoing young person.

Then the truth ended up confronting me. I knew it somewhere all along, but so far it did not surface itself like it did just now. She has been playing since childhood. Like so many other well known pianists. I tried searching for one pianist who started in his late teens and achieved a concert pianist skill level later on, but nothing came up.

For the last 6 months, I did nothing but hours and hours of piano practice and college. Refining old pieces and practicing new, sight reading, everything a pianist should know of. One of the threads in here back then inspired me to press buttons on that keyboard instead of this one, playing a big role in me going deeper into music study and giving internet a hiatus. I click perfected minute waltz, worked on more of Chopin's and Mendelssohn's works, etc. It was all going fine until today. I made rounded progress throughout, even enjoyed the practice somewhat.
The only thing which hurt me was that I couldn't start off sooner. I curse my parents for not letting me start at age 4-5-6 like these performers. I've realized that there is no difference in talent between them and myself. The only damage is of time.
No matter how much I practice or how much I improve, when I see the likes of such ordinary young people with no special talent performing such monsters of beautiful, absolutely beautiful pieces so elegantly, it just makes my chest go heavy. It's an indescribable feeling.
There are no concert halls in my country. There are no recitals. No piano concert has ever taken place during the last 50 or so years.
And it just so happens that the number one aspiration I have is to perform in a concert hall, and be regarded as a "pianist" by the audience, who actually understands and has an appetite for classical music. There starts the vicious circle. I can't afford to go "out there" and the only shot at recognition I have is through competitions and such. The competitions again have extremely high caliber demands, which gets back to the initial question of age.

I want to know, in all honesty, in as harsh, direct and upfront words as necessary, that whether a person starting to play at 17 and giving it all they've got, for as long as it takes, would be enough to develop enough skills to be considered a 'concert pianist'? If not, just tell. If yes, then mention one guy who did that and I'll believe that it's practically possible, no matter how gifted he is.
I don't play for fun, I have this lust type of feeling for those world class pieces they effortlessly pull off. I want to be able to play them in this lifetime, but I really wonder if I got too late by now.

Also, my apologies for the long hiatus. It was just to get more and more practice time while keeping up with studies. Which for some reason feels painful all of a sudden. My heartfelt apologies to one person for a reason she knows, as well.

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#2713901 - 02/13/18 05:47 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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I think you have the wrong mindset

>the number one aspiration I have is to perform in a concert hall, and be regarded as a "pianist" by the audience

>I don't play for fun

Let me guess, the pianists you like most are those that have lots of fun and don't care too much about the audience smile


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#2713903 - 02/13/18 06:14 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Let me rephrase it. I may have used wrong expressions.
The 'concert hall' can be as small as your usual house hall. Size does not matter at all.
The audience can be like 20 people, quantity does not matter either.
What matters is the mindset of that audience. An audience which can at least critically evaluate the performance. If it was good, if it was not good, or if it lacked a depth, or any other output. Some feedback, I say. Not the audience (what I have) which is unable to relate to the alien music in any way, thus being unable to provide any expression..

I had a feeling that I won't be able to put what I'm feeling into words, and I think that is happening.

I enjoy practice, but let me ask, what forces you to tire away at one piece for months and months, perfecting it by inches and resist the very strong urge to drop it and pick up more interesting pieces to play? There are so many difficult pieces which sound absolutely awe inspiring when performed at tempo but are horrendously monotonous and boring when slowed down for practicing? Take a lot of etudes for example. Do you realize that in a situation like that, where you don't want to go through the months of near torture level of practice, the only and only source of motivation and drive is envisioning yourself performing that piece someday for an audience (read, the above kind) which can relate to it?

It's totally different for pieces which sound great slowed down and you can emotionally relate to, even while practicing. You don't care about the results with them.
But with a major mass of piano literature, the only and only thing driving you through the hard work is a hope of being able to perform it in front of some people someday and (hopefully) those some people being able to give you some feedback about your performance?
I don't have that audience in real life where I live. I can't travel to places where such an audience exists for periods long enough to be able to get some exposure. So the only option left is to keep practicing and hoping to attain a level where I'll be able to get exposure overseas, before my body gives way. That's what I meant.

And the happy people who don't care, you mentioned, they had people to give them feedback and encouragement all along. My own parents don't want to hear me playing. There's a massive ******* difference here.
I won't mind one bit giving my life's worth of practice to piano, it's what I love and what I do, but I really want to know if someone else exists who started this late and achieved reasonable exposure.

Last edited by luckiest_charm; 02/13/18 06:15 AM.
#2713904 - 02/13/18 06:17 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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EDIT: Your post with additional explanations above was made while I wrote my answer, so please read my answer with the fact in mind, that I was answering to your first post alone.

Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
I want to know, in all honesty, in as harsh, direct and upfront words as necessary

Since you asked for it:

Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
that whether a person starting to play at 17 and giving it all they've got, for as long as it takes, would be enough to develop enough skills to be considered a 'concert pianist'?

Considered a "concert pianist" by whom, by what standards?

One possible standard could be:

A "concert pianist" is someone who is able to play at a level required to pass a performance diploma.

With that standard, the answer would be: Yes, someone who starts to play at 17 and where the surrounding conditions are right (for example the person does not have to work for a living, so that he/she can devote all time to practicing piano), such a person can reach this level of piano playing. It may take a long time, and he may never play for anyone but himself, family, friends or maybe a local gathering or such, but it is certainly possible to become a "concert pianist" under this standard.

Another possible standard could be:

A "concert pianist" is someone who actually gives piano concerts in concert halls, to a real paying audience, with a repertoire that is comparable to other concert pianists the world over.

With that standard, my answer would be: No. This is highly unlikely given the serious competition out there from other concert pianists. Especially if like you the surrounding conditions are also not very good (no cultural background for piano concerts, competitions must be sought abroad, etc.). Theoretically, of course even this standard could be met, for example by someone who is independently wealthy and for decades devotes all his time to learning the piano to an exception level, until finally he has an international breakthrough. Essentially, it would require the "perfect storm" of circumstances for a person to pull this off, i.e. the only "non perfect" element that were allowed to influence that person's piano career would be the late starting age. Every other factor would have to be more or less perfect. So how likely is this? And especially in your case, when you already describe several non-optimal factors in your life.




Last edited by JoBert; 02/13/18 06:18 AM.
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#2713905 - 02/13/18 06:18 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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I have one advice toy you. Please check history of James Rhodes.

#2713915 - 02/13/18 07:29 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
I want to know, in all honesty, in as harsh, direct and upfront words as necessary, that whether a person starting to play at 17 and giving it all they've got, for as long as it takes, would be enough to develop enough skills to be considered a 'concert pianist'?

Yes.


Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
but I really want to know if someone else exists who started this late and achieved reasonable exposure.

I've never heard of anyone like that. Usually they all have started years before and then stopped for a bit or never got "serious" up until that point. So you can't really say "He/she started at 16/17!" or whatever. Does it matter? Just do it.

I'm an hypocrite though, as I have similar doubts and asked myself similar questions.
If there are no people there to listen to you live, then post recordings here and on YouTube.

I think you are doing much better than I am: you've started earlier and you put much more energy into it while also going to college. I live in a "better" place, I don't have a job and I don't study and yet I don't do s**t.
I've skipped 4 days of practice this week but your post made me want to work a bit. So... Thanks grin and I'm sorry, for not being really helpful.


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#2713916 - 02/13/18 07:31 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

Quote
Sorry for the dramatic overtones, but I really need to get my feelings across and find some sort of closure or I think it will be really depressing.

That's what a forum as this ought to be about.

Quote
I just watched a 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody's performance by Tiffany Poon.

As always, it's a dangerous trap to compare oneself with somebody else that has had expert support and training from an early age.

Quote
Then the truth ended up confronting me. I knew it somewhere all along, but so far it did not surface itself like it did just now. She has been playing since childhood. Like so many other well known pianists. I tried searching for one pianist who started in his late teens and achieved a concert pianist skill level later on, but nothing came up.

It's like that in any field now. Look at tennis e.g. You need to start at about 4 or 5 yrs old and have expert training and support throughout your career.

Quote
For the last 6 months, I did nothing but hours and hours of piano practice and college.It was all going fine until today. I made rounded progress throughout, even enjoyed the practice somewhat.

Sometimes we have to be satisfied with that.

Quote
The only thing which hurt me was that I couldn't start off sooner. I curse my parents for not letting me start at age 4-5-6 like these performers. I've realized that there is no difference in talent between them and myself. The only damage is of time.

I am full of regrets too whenever I think about it. I didn't even have any music education whatsoever in all of grade school, and have regrets about that. But that is the type of society people chose...whether we will have opportunities in it or not.
Also, you might not have enjoyed it if you were forced into it. It could even have turned you off from piano completely.

Quote
There are no concert halls in my country. There are no recitals. No piano concert has ever taken place during the last 50 or so years.
And it just so happens that the number one aspiration I have is to perform in a concert hall, and be regarded as a "pianist" by the audience, who actually understands and has an appetite for classical music.

I don't know what country it is, but that might be an opportunity if you reach a level where you can perform some enjoyable music. Less competition.

Quote
The only shot at recognition I have is through competitions and such.

Then you do have some possibilities.

Quote
I want to know, in all honesty, in as harsh, direct and upfront words as necessary, that whether a person starting to play at 17 and giving it all they've got, for as long as it takes, would be enough to develop enough skills to be considered a 'concert pianist'? If not, just tell.

I think it's necessary to define "Concert Pianist". It can be a wide skill level and depend on where you perform, and what audience. If you are this ambitious you will never be satisfied no matter what your skill level might be a.t.m..
And why do you think that being a concert pianist would be such a wonderful job?
A highly skilled player like Glenn Gould e.g. hated it.

Quote
If yes, then mention one guy who did that and I'll believe that it's practically possible, no matter how gifted he is.

We reach our particular skill level by how much work we put into it, how we go about it, and depending on how much expert training we have available.
But if we lose 10 years of our youth in piano training, then yes, that time and skill is lost.
You just can't throw in all that training, memory, and skills later on in life and expect to reach the same high results.
It's like throwing in the yeast later on in the oven, because you forgot to work it into the dough and let it rise.

Quote
I don't play for fun, I have this lust type of feeling for those world class pieces they effortlessly pull off.

They don't pull it off effortlessly.

Quote
I want to be able to play them in this lifetime, but I really wonder if I got too late by now.

What we sometimes have to be satisfied with is playing simpler pieces. That is the blunt answer.
But we can always, and likely should, reach as high as we can.
Just my view on it. But what do I know about it...I've just been banging my head against the wall for decades.


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#2713930 - 02/13/18 08:26 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

The only thing which hurt me was that I couldn't start off sooner. I curse my parents for not letting me start at age 4-5-6 like these performers. I've realized that there is no difference in talent between them and myself. The only damage is of time.


Sure they did the best they could with what they knew and resources available at the time. It is what it is now and blaming your past is not going to help you.

Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

...
There are no concert halls in my country. There are no recitals. No piano concert has ever taken place during the last 50 or so years.


Yet, there is a recital here every quarter. There are many resources available now that were not available 20 years ago to get yourself some exposure if that is what you desire most.

Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

And it just so happens that the number one aspiration I have is to perform in a concert hall, and be regarded as a "pianist" by the audience, who actually understands and has an appetite for classical music. There starts the vicious circle. I can't afford to go "out there" and the only shot at recognition I have is through competitions and such. The competitions again have extremely high caliber demands, which gets back to the initial question of age.

I want to know, in all honesty, in as harsh, direct and upfront words as necessary, that whether a person starting to play at 17 and giving it all they've got, for as long as it takes, would be enough to develop enough skills to be considered a 'concert pianist'?


Not sure, probably not. This music thing is nice that we can put on our Curriculum Vitae, but it doesn't define who we are. Seems you are being a bit hard on yourself. Yeah, you missed the boat to be a concert pianist, but they are 1 in million anyway. Look at the good things you've got. Youth, talent ... on and on.

#2713936 - 02/13/18 08:44 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

... feeling for those world class pieces they effortlessly pull off...


Looking effortless requires considerable effort.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2713943 - 02/13/18 09:29 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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You're not going to get an answer here to whether you can become a concert pianist - I doubt that anyone, anywhere, can answer that question.

You are only 17? I don't know what part of the world you are in, but if you were in the US, I would say - go to a university, major in piano performance, and get some experience playing for people - in juries, exams, recitals, and so forth. You will quickly learn whether you can do it or not, or even if you really want to do it.

If you are not good enough to get in a university program (you will have to audition), then either take some more time to prepare or look for a regional university (maybe less prestigious) that will take a chance on you - I bet you can find one.

There are lots of careers in music other than being a concert pianist. Very, very few people, even when they have every advantage, make it. Far fewer than become professional athletes, for instance, and you know how hard that is...

Sam

#2713947 - 02/13/18 10:01 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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It is not too late for anything until you say that it is. That sounds trite but it's true. You should really define for yourself what you want to get out of music, though. I don't think that answer is clear to you. As long as it is nebulous, you'll feel like you do. Couple of other points:

Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
I enjoy practice, but...

So everything that comes after that tells me that you actually don't enjoy practice. You use words like, "tire away" and, "horribly monotonous and boring" to describe it. That doesn't sound like something you enjoy. If you just focus on the end result - playing beautifully for others - you never see the journey for what it is and miss 3/4ths of the lesson along the way. I mention that lesson because of this:

Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
...when I see the likes of such ordinary young people with no special talent...

Stop. Don't do that. Anyone on a concert stage at a young age performing Liszt has some very special talent. Tearing others down is something people, and musicians in particular, are very good at. You should work hard at losing this skill. Practice will teach you humility and the value of hard work as well as the shape of your own natural talent. Find a way to learn those lessons and to enjoy the journey.

In all, your posts read like you want to play principally to impress others. That's perfectly fine, by the way. Own that if it's what you want and make it your goal. It will give you a direction, something I sense that you lack. Remember that nobody plots a straight line through life so having some sort of guidepost is helpful. In 10 years, that goal will probably be different. The course of your life is far from written so the biggest enemy you face is not time but yourself.

#2713954 - 02/13/18 10:23 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: Sam S]  
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Originally Posted by Sam S

....There are lots of careers in music other than being a concert pianist. Very, very few people, even when they have every advantage, make it. Far fewer than become professional athletes, for instance, and you know how hard that is...

Sam


I was going to say the same thing. Out of the tens of thousands of children who learn the piano, how many of them become concert pianists? I'll bet it's well under 1%. Same with athletes. Do you know how many kids there are in my town alone who play tennis full time? I mean full time, hours of lessons per day, no school ("home school"). Dozens. Maybe one or two will become number 1 in FL at some point, but maybe only 1 in a generation will become someone you've heard of. The rest will play for college, maybe become a teaching pro.

If you have your heart set on a career, go for it, but realize very few people actually make it to the level of Tiffany Poon, Barenboim, Gould, etc. Most of the competition winners here play small galleries, such as the Steinway Gallery, or for an audience of 20-30 at a local university, and they're excellent.

Last edited by cmb13; 02/13/18 10:23 AM.

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#2713957 - 02/13/18 10:24 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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You might get a better response in the Pianist Corner. This is ABF, so most of us started as adults and don't plan to quit our day jobs to become concert pianists laugh I couldn't tell you how to go about doing that. Some (few) people are in the right place at the right time, and afforded the right opportunities to become what they are today. I don't think you can fault your parents, particularly if the culture you speak of doesn't endorse playing piano. Why would they think any different?


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#2713981 - 02/13/18 12:11 PM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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I've read all of the replies and thank everyone for giving their valuable opinions. I, for one, know very very well that I can not become a 'concert' pianist, as a lot of others have mentioned. The initials posts were more along the lines of emotional outbursts over issues no one has any control over and just can not be helped.

I'll just correct a few things tho, I'm 19.
@Sam S - I really wish I had those liberties. It's not a matter of financial stability, but the whole concept of "Piano" or "Majors in music" does not exist in India. No university has such a course throughout, offering comprehensive knowledge along with a few years worth of degrees. There are no recitals, I think i stated it initially. You did not fully read my post, I think. The trend of 'piano' is limited to small private music conservatories and a vast majority of people consider a Casio synth indistinguishable from a real piano. The classical norm isn't here. That's all. High class degrees, appreciation and exposure exists, to scales equivalent to Europe in here as well, just for different instruments (a cultural difference). So it's just a matter of being locked in the wrong place and choosing the wrong key.

-------

I don't want to impress others and become the kind of concert pianist a lot of you in later posts think of, read my 2nd post if you want to know more about that. It's just not about being that 1 in a million prodigy. It's just about being able to play some of the harder music by the time I'm old, for a small but quality audience. Right now I have no real life audience whatsoever, that's all I want.

--------

I've mostly recovered from the initial hit and some of the posts have been really helpful in cheering me up and/or being on point and reasonably suggesting possible attitude for future. I've got a lot of years so there's still a chance at something, hopefully. lol

Thanks a lot for all the assistance. It means much to me. smile

#2713982 - 02/13/18 12:14 PM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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I have already come to terms with most of the so called factors working against me, but it's just that every once in a blue moon something happens and I break down. It's just temporary, so I think there's that. :3

#2713983 - 02/13/18 12:20 PM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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We all go through periods like this, when we wonder if we're any good, if we're making progress, what the point is, etc. It's times like this when it's good to reflect about where you were a year ago, and look at how much you've accomplished since then. I'm sure it's quite a lot.

How about inviting some friends over, or participating in online recitals? As someone mentioned, YouTube is a good avenue, as is this forum, for sharing your passion. Maybe if piano remains very important to your life, in a few years, you could move to a location where it can be a bigger part of your life. Great composers have moved to different countries (eg Chopin from Poland to France). Or try to make it your mission to raise awareness and institute this art in your town. It will require time and effort, but may be very rewarding. You have time on your side.

Good luck!


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#2714001 - 02/13/18 01:25 PM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: cmb13]  
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Originally Posted by cmb13
We all go through periods like this, when we wonder if we're any good, if we're making progress, what the point is, etc. It's times like this when it's good to reflect about where you were a year ago, and look at how much you've accomplished since then. I'm sure it's quite a lot.

How about inviting some friends over, or participating in online recitals? As someone mentioned, YouTube is a good avenue, as is this forum, for sharing your passion. Maybe if piano remains very important to your life, in a few years, you could move to a location where it can be a bigger part of your life. Great composers have moved to different countries (eg Chopin from Poland to France). Or try to make it your mission to raise awareness and institute this art in your town. It will require time and effort, but may be very rewarding. You have time on your side.

Good luck!


When I was younger, Americans or Brits to whom playing the sitar was more important than anything else moved to India to study with experts.


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#2714100 - 02/13/18 06:57 PM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

a person starting to play at 17


Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

I'm 19.


Is this correct? You've been playing for 2 years and you're comparing yourself to someone who's been playing for 12 years?


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#2714104 - 02/13/18 07:04 PM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: ClsscLib]  
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib

When I was younger, Americans or Brits to whom playing the sitar was more important than anything else moved to India to study with experts.



This occurred to me as well.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
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#2714118 - 02/13/18 08:11 PM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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I havn't read all of the thread. If you will only be happy if you can play at a high professional level, it'w very unlikely you will achieve that. If you love great music, there's virtually an infinite amount of piano rep that oesn't require high virtuoso technique.

#2714119 - 02/13/18 08:12 PM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm
I've mostly recovered from the initial hit and some of the posts have been really helpful in cheering me up and/or being on point and reasonably suggesting possible attitude for future. I've got a lot of years so there's still a chance at something


This may seem cliche' (ish) .... but remember .... there is nothing you can other than your best.

It is very possible that your best will not give you the result you wish for.

However, at 19 years old you have (literally) a lifetime to work at it.

I am pretty sure that if you continue to do your best you are going to be very pleased with the result ..... even if it is not what you had originally wished for.

You will be very, very good at playing piano and you will have a lot of years to enjoy playing at a high level.

As they say .... Rome wasn't ..... well, you know the rest .....

Good Luck


Don

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#2714183 - 02/14/18 05:51 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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# 1. Please don't say you curse your parents over not getting you on the piano as a child. I don't mean to sound mean, but in the grand picture of things that is a foolish statement. There are lots of kids out there whose parents beat them, sexually abuse them, let them go hungry while they drink booze with the food money, neglect them to tend to their drug habit, or prostitute them out on the street. That statement disrespects those children because they have real problems that are far beyond getting to play a musical instrument, and one that is considered exotic in your culture at that.

OK, lecture over. I think you can make lemonade from lemons if you only look at your options. If your goal is to perform beautiful music in front of a large audience you need not look any further than being a church pianist, for example. I know both the Catholic and Anglican Commune are big in your country and both play music from the classical era in their masses. You need not be members of their religions to do so either. Our church organist (pipe organ) took up playing piano at 49 and became the organist when he retired from his job at 65. He does very well too. You can be a professional gigging musician too doing parties etc. As others have said here too you may well get some opportunities playing in front of small audiences at universities, and I would say this would be especially true if there are not many other piano players in your region. If you want to play in front of people you're going to have to use your imagination, but you will have to face realities too. I don't think you will ever be the pianist you could have been had you started at six, but then again you may not have had the talent anyway to achieve the highest levels of performance necessary to be a professional classical concert pianist. As a matter of fact the odds are stacked against it. It isn't just how long you have been playing. It takes talent, luck, and a whole lot of heartache, and truth be told money. Most of the people who have graduated from music schools and are trying to make it are living a hand to mouth existence and that's with money coming in from Mom and Dad.

Life is full of broken dreams kid. I am 42. When I was a teen all I wanted to be was a police officer and do a stint in the military working in communications. In the summer of my 15th year the school system rolled out a program for high school students where you went to school while doing training to be a cop. I enrolled and was set to go when school started. Then I had a stroke. I recovered from the stroke but they found something was wrong with my heart and I had to have open heart surgery. That meant I could never pass the physical to go to the military or be a cop. I was destroyed. The best I could do to salvage that dream was become an armed security guard and an amateur (ham) radio operator. That isn't what I wanted, but it's as close as I can get and I am happy. There has been a lot of other things too, most of which were just forgotten, but some were pursued in the "best as I can get" fashion. If you love piano and want it badly make it work for you. Be aware though that part of the transition from child to adult is letting go of a lot of things that can never be.


Casio CGP 700 and love it. Learning with Alfred's All in One. I have a real live teacher now!
#2714187 - 02/14/18 06:46 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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^^^^ Great post Bill

#2714190 - 02/14/18 07:18 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: barbaram]  
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Originally Posted by barbaram
^^^^ Great post Bill



thumb
I’m going to email this post to myself and drag it out and read it when life drags me down. Thanks so much for the inspiration

#2714195 - 02/14/18 08:15 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: malkin]  
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

... feeling for those world class pieces they effortlessly pull off...


Looking effortless requires considerable effort.


+1. I think most people who have mastered something really difficult, would agree. The many hours of practice and study, that's needed to look "effortless", is very hard work.

A question for luckiest_charm :

. . . Have you considered doing music that's _not_ "concert-level performing" ?

I don't know the state of Western-music study in India. From your first description of things shutting down for the past 50 years, I guessed that you were in the Middle East, where many Muslims frown on _all_ instrumental music. I thought that India was more accepting.

But in India, there's a thriving pop-music industry, isn't there? Could you teach? Could you compose? Could you become the first jazz harmonium player? The idea of working as a church musician is interesting; my choir director makes (some of) her living, doing that.

At 19, there may be some doors that are closed to you. But there are a lot of doors still open.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2714201 - 02/14/18 08:56 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Mmm so many caveats. Yet so many inspiring ideas.

I'll get a few things out of the way.
Churches do hold masses and such, but rock bands are employed there, electric guitars, basses, vocals, choirs and such. I play guitar for a church already. It's loads of fun jamming, like once a week. Still, there's no piano or organ church in the city as far as I know of. So that's ruled out.

The reason I dislike my parents' (dad's) past action is because I always wanted to learn piano ever since I was little. But back then being 7 or 8 had no real "authority". I had to give in to his refusal until I was in my late teens.
Even then I finally hand wrote him a 9 page letter explaining my love for the instrument and explicitly begging him to let me buy one from my a-few-years-worth of savings. A digital piano. That was when he agreed, but after passing highschool. That's when and how I got my piano. How can I not curse that man?

Your idea about worse parents existing is definitely up there and I think it's lucky of me that I'm not a part of such a family, still, I do feel bad thinking back over what happened.

-------

Now, I've thought up of posting piano improvisations recorded with highest quality samples, everyday over youtube. A different emotion for each. Some calm, some fiery, some of them telling how I'm feeling that day. I'll inject elements of Indian culture here and there in between new motifs to garner interest in the country towards the instrument (cmb, thanks for the idea!).
I might start a thread in the recordings subsection here and post a link everyday to let you all listen as well, if you'd like to of course.
It's not right to feel down over what's gone and lost. You are right Bill, got to salvage what's left and make something out of it.

#2714683 - 02/15/18 09:38 PM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Hi - I've been reading all these posts with sympathy, but I'm probably a little late to comment. with that being said -

Several things you wrote have reminded me of similar experiences.

One - the feeling that you cannot be as good as you want to be, or stand out in the way you want. I would bet that a lot of us have those feelings when we're 19. I sure did. I remember sitting in my room at boarding school, 2000 miles away from my family, and feeling too tired to even cry about the fact that I couldn't see the point in all the work - what good was ever going to come out of it, when there was always going to be someone smarter, or more polished, or whatever. I'll spare you the intervening 40 years that have shown me that the purpose was always to do your best and have your best serve not only yourself but others. Time helps more than anything to come to that conclusion - I don't think you can learn it, only live it.

I also remember a comment recently on this forum - I think it was the thread about stage fright - and among the good comments was the thought that if you turned your thinking inside out - stopped thinking about what the audience (1 person or 100 people - but your audience) was going to think about you, and instead thought about all the pleasure you were going to give to your audience - then it was easier to put the stage fright back in its box. That might be helpful for you to incorporate - if your purpose is to bring happiness to yourself and your audience, then, regardless of the level you happen to be at that particular moment, you will always have a place to play, and be sure of a warm welcome.

And finally, writing a 9 page letter to your dad - my brother had to do that too - he had not been forbidden to follow his art, but at a certain point, he had to convince my father that he was not going to give up the art and go to college, he was going to pursue art professionally. There was a not-inconsiderable amount of non-communication going on, as you might guess. I got my brother to write a letter (maybe not 9 pages, but it wasn't short!) and I hand delivered it to my dad. My dad understood, and got out of the way. I think there is something really effective about a serious letter, and I give you full credit for choosing that way of communicating. You may not see it now, but there is a pretty good chance you have earned respect from your parents for the way you have handled this.


Mason & Hamlin A ('97)
#2714721 - 02/16/18 12:52 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

I want to know, in all honesty, in as harsh, direct and upfront words as necessary, that whether a person starting to play at 17 and giving it all they've got, for as long as it takes, would be enough to develop enough skills to be considered a 'concert pianist'? If not, just tell. If yes, then mention one guy who did that and I'll believe that it's practically possible, no matter how gifted he is.


Albert Frantz is a pianist from Pennsylvania who started his career exactly at the age of 17.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3bKoM5NoyI

#2714729 - 02/16/18 02:14 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: luckiest_charm]  
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Quote
I want to know, in all honesty, in as harsh, direct and upfront words as necessary, that whether a person starting to play at 17 and giving it all they've got, for as long as it takes, would be enough to develop enough skills to be considered a 'concert pianist'?


It has occurred to me, that that's the wrong question. The right question is:

Quote
Can I, starting to play at 17 and giving it all I've got, for as long as it takes, be able to develop enough skills to be considered a 'concert pianist'?


Nobody can answer that; you'll have to do the experiment.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2714731 - 02/16/18 03:13 AM Re: I think it's too late a start afterall [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev]  
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by luckiest_charm

I want to know, in all honesty, in as harsh, direct and upfront words as necessary, that whether a person starting to play at 17 and giving it all they've got, for as long as it takes, would be enough to develop enough skills to be considered a 'concert pianist'? If not, just tell. If yes, then mention one guy who did that and I'll believe that it's practically possible, no matter how gifted he is.


Albert Frantz is a pianist from Pennsylvania who started his career exactly at the age of 17.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3bKoM5NoyI


Here's a quote from that YT account:
"Albert Frantz began piano studies at the unusual age of seventeen—years after a childhood teacher proclaimed he would never be able to play piano. "
So he had childhood piano lessons, how long and what kind I do not know...

I have no doubt that there are unusual people who can do unusual things. But lets keep the discussion on "normal" human beings as I assume the OP is.

If we consider an absolute beginner it just isn't very feasible to become a "renowned" classical concert pianist if you only start to begin piano studies at 17. Simply because the need for time, repertoire, musical knowledge and connections needed is so vast, not to mention pure luck. To become a good pianists who performs I think it's quite possible, but one would probably need to add other means to make a living in music only, such as teaching and accompaning. Of course times are always changing and so is the music world so who knows what sort of performances will become popular and what sort of performers are sought out in 20 years or so? If you specialize in something not so common and are willing to move around a lot you may get more opportunities.

Another often forgotten factor is that there are other activities that will develope the same areas of brain, the same cognitive abilities and the same physical skills that are needed in piano playing. So what one has done before starting to play also can affect the outcome. I suspect those who started to play very late but still achieved a lot did not spend their childhood and early youth doing nothing useful for making music and moving the keys.

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