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My peer group/friends
#2716223 02/21/18 08:54 PM
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Hello,
I am absolutely loving the fact that I'm back at piano and lessons after so many years of absence. However, I've noticed that I'm kind of isolated in this pursuit and I feel crummy about my friends and peer group/work colleagues. I wonder if any of you have experienced this too, and what did you do. People are polite and even a little impressed that I'm doing piano at my somewhat advanced age, but it seems like nobody has a true interest in it, and they don't really say much when I mention that I've been practicing piano a lot, or that I'm waking up early in order to practice before getting to work, etc. It's not that I want them to ooh and aah but I just wish my friends were also interested in music. I am beginning to consider finding ways to be around other music people. I do take lessons and I get plenty of positives there. I also do a 3-day "chamber music camp" for adults in the summer. I've played a little bit for friends and one time my friend started playing with my dog while I played Bach! It was kind of humiliating. Anyway, I'm not about to get a whole new group of friends but I might need to find a way to be around others with similar interests. I do find that Pianoworld forum has been a lifesaver in this regard. One last thing: I've become kind of obsessed with piano. It's almost the only thing I actually want to do these days and I just want to do piano as much as possible. I have a spouse and adult children, but they don't necessarily appreciate or understand my passion either. Again, polite but not truly into it like I am. Any thoughts/


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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716229 02/21/18 09:07 PM
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I think that you have to decide to accept that other people around you don't share your passion for piano. That's okay. They probably have passions for something else that you find, at best, ho-hum.

I've pared down my response to polite questions from others about whether I'm still taking piano lessons to a sentence or two. Anything more and their eyes glaze over. Even my family isn't all that interested, although I am very fortunate that my spouse and my mother are both piano enthusiasts and let me run on and on........


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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716232 02/21/18 09:27 PM
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I think that you need to find like minded people to share your ideas and passion with.
This is not easy to do.
I have been thinking of trying meetup.org to identify other adult piano enthusiasts.
I think there are more piano enthusiasts than we all realize.


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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716236 02/21/18 09:34 PM
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Consider it a blessing. I’m not much of a social person and pretty much stay alone. I love the fact that I can take lessons online and I enjoy this forum.


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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716238 02/21/18 09:38 PM
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Hmmmm, I never really thought about this. Piano for me is a place of solitude and working at a place somewhere inside myself, I guess because I'm an introvert. So I've never cared if anyone noticed or showed any interest in my playing. It's for me, to be honest. But if I was an extrovert, I would probably find others to befriend, maybe where I took lessons or at the music department of a local community college, or places like that. Piano means so many different things to different people. And a lot of people really have no interest. I'm sure you can find other music lovers out there! Don't you go to classical concerts?


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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716239 02/21/18 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by pianosuzemn

I am beginning to consider finding ways to be around other music people. I do take lessons and I get plenty of positives there. I also do a 3-day "chamber music camp" for adults in the summer..... Any thoughts/



I think you answered your own question. No need to part ways with old friends. Just continue to broaden your sphere of friends. I would think the Twin Cities has many opportunities to mingle with like minded people. Ask your teacher about local clubs or associations. Call the local symphony and ask them. As a last resort, continue to hang out here, lol.

I am in a similar situation. Only my spouse and son truly love piano music...none of my friends...



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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716242 02/21/18 09:42 PM
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Meetups! I found this one: https://www.meetup.com/Minneapolis-an-St-Paul-Classical-Music-Events-Calendar/

Also, see if your local piano shop has a group it hosts or sponsors.


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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716243 02/21/18 09:42 PM
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My biggest conversation stopper is the following phrase, “I can not do xyz because I’m going to piano camp”. Or, in response to the question, what have you been up to I reply “playing piano”. I have figured out to not talk about the piano with most people. But there is some goods news - making piano friends, playing music together, and talking about everything piano. So my thoughts are, continue to cultivate friendships with others who are piano-obsessed, and be thankful you have a supportive network.



Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716244 02/21/18 09:45 PM
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Most if not almost all of my friends, family and colleagues have absolutely no knowledge of or interest in classical music. I myself didn't know Bach from Debussy until a year or two ago, having grown up with classic rock. I believe it's a deficiency in the education system that the arts have fallen by the wayside. Regardless, I speak to those who express some interest, share some You Tube clips of top performers and excellent performances once in a while, but otherwise go it alone.

I have found the local university has a good music department and they hold recitals. I dragged my wife to a few but now plan on going alone, which is fine by me because I don't want to feel guilty about boring her to death while I'm there.

This forum is an excellent community, a way to bring together people with like interests from around the world. Use and enjoy it!


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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716245 02/21/18 09:51 PM
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It's never bothered me that people I know and are around with (starting with my parents and siblings) aren't in the least interested in what I do - and not just music (specifically classical) and piano either. Maybe I'm just hard-wired that way (being an introvert and happiest in my own company) not to care whether others approve of what I like and enjoy doing. After all, I don't much care for what they enjoy either (football, alcohol, fast cars, fast clothes, fashion, whatever........ wink ).

At present, none of the dozen or so people I work and interact with on a daily basis know that I even play the piano, though some have known me for nearly two decades. Most of the people in my hiking/mountaineering club know, but only because we once came upon a lovely little church when walking through a remote village in the hills, and I just sat down and played Bach's Toccata from BWV 565 on the pipe organ grin. But none of the people in my running club know.

That's basically how people discover that I play - when they hear me play for the first time in often unusual situations - not because I mentioned it in conversation, because I never do. It has the benefit that I don't get disappointed if they don't much care, but in fact, I'm usually pleasantly surprised that they seem interested. (Though their interest might not be sustained if they get used to hearing me play on a regular basis, and it's like "uh-huh - there he goes again, playing that twiddly song by that Sho-parn guy".... wink ).

When I was at high school and university, there was no shortage of like-minded friends to make music with, but in the decades since, there have been hardly any - just a few jazzer friends (who don't like what I play) and a few classical ones that I see occasionally. What I find much more fulfilling is making my own opportunities: apart from my regular monthly recitals (incidentally started by my impromptu playing of the piano at that venue, when I arrived early for a meeting) which has brought about interesting interaction with people and re-kindled their previously dormant musical aspirations, I simply just play on any piano I come across, even if it's only a couple of short pieces on an airport piano while on my way to the boarding gate to catch my flight. Complete strangers stop to listen and chat; sometimes I even get requests (which I fulfil if I'm able laugh.).

My first lecture-recital came about through someone hearing me play, and I've given a few more since then. And another occasion when a group of us went for an educational and 'bonding' weekend in a stately home which had a lovely old grand. That was how I found other people with kindred interests.

I could also join a local choir, but I don't have the time to devote towards regular singing these days.


"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: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716249 02/21/18 10:13 PM
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Yea, it's hard. Most of my friends watch sports, lol. But that's good, can't play piano all the time. I take a lessons at a music school, but it's mostly kids there. I'm asked to participate in recitals, concerts, etc., but when it's all kids isn't too much fun. I thought about attending a piano camp in June here in southern California. It's a bit pricey, but it will be with adults.


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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716254 02/21/18 10:52 PM
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In my family there are people who took piano lessons because their parents got them into music as an academic exercise. A cousin ended up hating piano so much he would never play again. However, he got his kids to take music lessons repeating more or less the parents know what is best for the kids routine.

I am the only one in the family who play music regularly. Once in a while I would upload a short video of my playing on social media to share with other friends & relatives. Otherwise not many people knows I can play piano. I know people who are money-oriented and only interested in investing money and others who would only talk about religion. There are 2 who took music lessons (piano & violin) through a Suzuki teacher, more like the parents' idea. In dinner gathering they would sit by themselves with little to talk about.

Started playing piano as an adult after some traumatic events and hasn't stop since. Playing music would take my mind off personal issues that may lead to a nervous breakdown. Music is a personal thing, especially Classical music. I belong to a music group and we practice our pieces once a week. Everybody in the group has a passion for music. I an practice music a few hours a day but would never talk about music at family gatherings. I don't invite people to music recitals unless they want to come.

Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716266 02/21/18 11:59 PM
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Usually when I mention something about piano, people seem to assume that I am an advanced player or a teacher. It must be because I am so supremely competent at everything else I do (HAHAHAHAHAHA!)


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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716267 02/22/18 12:01 AM
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Darn if I can figure out how to private message you and your aol email didn't work for me. I'm a Minnesota piano student/player who travels to the Twin Cities once a month. PM me if you want to get in contact with me. I'm early advanced and live NW of Little Falls. I prefer romantic period, but I'm regularly assigned Bach by my teacher.

Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716272 02/22/18 12:29 AM
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malkin, you make a point. If you mention it folks assume you are a concert pianist. Nah man, been taking lessons 6 months.

The OP is in good company on this forum.


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Re: My peer group/friends
Pianocat3 #2716275 02/22/18 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Pianocat3
Darn if I can figure out how to private message you...


PM is easy. Click on the username (to the left of the post) and scroll down to "send private message."


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Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716279 02/22/18 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by pianosuzemn
Hello,
Quote
However, I've noticed that I'm kind of isolated in this pursuit and I feel crummy about my friends and peer group/work colleagues. I wonder if any of you have experienced this too, and what did you do.

I can relate the exact same experience.
What can be done is quite clear to me.
I think as adult players, we should reach out to other people that have the same interest. Not to be afraid of "strangers", be able to make new acquaintances, and try to relate to each other with some interest and with tolerance. We also need to be able to handle some reasonable critique of our playing.
I don't expect any positive input from anybody anymore.
Other people that have never worked at learning a musical instrument well, do not have a clue what it's about, and they couldn't care less.
Sure, they put up a front of admiration if there is a young kid learning to play an instrument. But that is about all there is.

Quote
People are polite and even a little impressed that I'm doing piano at my somewhat advanced age, but it seems like nobody has a true interest in it, and they don't really say much when I mention that I've been practicing piano a lot, or that I'm waking up early in order to practice before getting to work, etc.

You've got that exactly right and don't doubt yourself.

Quote
but I just wish my friends were also interested in music.

That is likely a futile wish. Today, people with a wish to listen or enjoy some music, check out YouTube or some other media and don't give a darn about anything else.
They might put up a front of interest, but don't fool yourself to think that it is genuine.

Quote
I am beginning to consider finding ways to be around other music people. I do take lessons and I get plenty of positives there. I also do a 3-day "chamber music camp" for adults in the summer.

That is a positive start.

Quote
I've played a little bit for friends and one time my friend started playing with my dog while I played Bach! It was kind of humiliating.

There is some proof to my earlier comments right there.

Quote
Anyway, I'm not about to get a whole new group of friends but I might need to find a way to be around others with similar interests.

Sometimes, we are lucky to connect with a person that sees life in a similar way. That would be an encounter to value and grow.

Quote
One last thing: I've become kind of obsessed with piano. It's almost the only thing I actually want to do these days and I just want to do piano as much as possible.

Don't feel guilty about it. Go for it. It's your life.

Quote
I have a spouse and adult children, but they don't necessarily appreciate or understand my passion either. Again, polite but not truly into it like I am.

Same as previous.


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Re: My peer group/friends
Joe302 #2716282 02/22/18 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe302
Quote
I think that you need to find like minded people to share your ideas and passion with.
This is not easy to do.
I have been thinking of trying meetup.org to identify other adult piano enthusiasts.
I think there are more piano enthusiasts than we all realize.

I also think that there are plenty of other keyboard players, that dabble into classical piano music but also play other genres, and even other musical instruments.
That is something that's never stopped me from relating to them.
Music making in any genre or skill level, is a passion that can be shared.
I think we need to take action and not be afraid.


Czerny's Piano School Vol. 1, now at #77 and giving it a break.
Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716287 02/22/18 01:28 AM
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It's all too common that when I talk about my practice, my lessons, my new piano or whatever the response is always: So when are you going to have a concert? Sigh...

Re: My peer group/friends
pianosuzemn #2716295 02/22/18 03:13 AM
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I was recently excited to be able to play Horowitz’s Piano...... So I automatically shared my excitement with my friends..... The reply says it all ‘who is Horowitz?’ cry

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