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Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: ghosthand] #2739349
05/25/18 09:40 AM
05/25/18 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ghosthand
Originally Posted by Slothrop, Tyrone
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Someone like the English piano / violin virtuoso Alma Deutscher who also wrote an opera "Cinderella" at age 9.

And it's a darn good opera too. But I doubt her particular "talent" is limited to music. For example, the libretto for Cinderella is in German. Ignoring for the moment that it is an opera, what 9-year old native-English speaker would think about publishing something or putting on a professional performance in the German language? I'm sure her IQ (or whatever measure of intellect one might choose) is through the roof...



Sure, but her name should give you some hints in a certain direction. "Deutscher" means "German" in German ...


I believe she was born in the UK, but has parents who have Israeli connections - I believe she speaks some Hebrew. I am not aware of German connections, but I don't think if there are any its related to her name. I don't think she wrote the lyrics for the opera - I am pretty sure I read somewhere that someone else had done those (although maybe in collaboration). Remember there is also an English version of this opera that was performed in San Diego around Christmas time.

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Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2739370
05/25/18 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Slothrop, Tyrone
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Someone like the English piano / violin virtuoso Alma Deutscher who also wrote an opera "Cinderella" at age 9.

And it's a darn good opera too. But I doubt her particular "talent" is limited to music. For example, the libretto for Cinderella is in German. Ignoring for the moment that it is an opera, what 9-year old native-English speaker would think about publishing something or putting on a professional performance in the German language? I'm sure her IQ (or whatever measure of intellect one might choose) is through the roof...


Sure. But her skill at relating to other 9-year-olds might be down in the basement.


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Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: malkin] #2739377
05/25/18 11:04 AM
05/25/18 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Sure. But her skill at relating to other 9-year-olds might be down in the basement.

But from the videos I saw of her last year, her abilities to relate to (and even to instruct) adults appears to just fine! And after all, isn't the vaster percentage of one's life spent as an adult than as a child? (I say this as one who spent their undergraduate days in the graduate school library because I couldn't relate to the other undergraduates who were all about 5-8 years older than me at the time, yet I feel that ultimately, this didn't have a lasting negative effect on me.)

Last edited by Slothrop, Tyrone; 05/25/18 11:04 AM.

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Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: Finfan] #2739574
05/26/18 03:09 AM
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There are a lot of parents who enroll their kids in a Suzuki music program. The slogan is "Every child has talent for music" and a child's musical talent can be nurtured by love.

Have to admit there are some families who brought up very talented people. Once came across the 5 Browns on TV playing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" in NYC. They are members of the Brown family, all Classical trained pianists. And then there are the Masons. Every sibling plays an instrument (piano, cello, violin) as solo or together. 1 who plays the cello got invited to perform at the royal wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan. Most of us having a practice routine of 3h/day for the next 10 years would never be playing at the level these virtuosos achieved before age 10.


Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2739582
05/26/18 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Most of us having a practice routine of 3h/day for the next 10 years would never be playing at the level these virtuosos achieved before age 10.

What you are saying seems to be the exact opposite of the point of the chart presented at the start of the post. I skimmed through the video that you posted, until I found an actual point of substance - what these youngsters actually do. You see that they commute quite a distance in order to study in a place where presumably there are very good teachers giving excellent guidance.

So let's take your statement. The practice routine of these kids has the backing of guidance of excellent teachers, and they apply themselves to what they have been taught, with the full support of their parents. If you practice while not receiving any instruction, or poor or mediocre or so-so instruction and "guidance", your practice will not be that effective. To your statement: do most of us practice 3h/day, on any day, let alone every day? If we do so, how many of us have excellent guidance?

Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: keystring] #2739589
05/26/18 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
What you are saying seems to be the exact opposite of the point of the chart presented at the start of the post. I skimmed through the video that you posted, until I found an actual point of substance - what these youngsters actually do. You see that they commute quite a distance in order to study in a place where presumably there are very good teachers giving excellent guidance.

So let's take your statement. The practice routine of these kids has the backing of guidance of excellent teachers, and they apply themselves to what they have been taught, with the full support of their parents. If you practice while not receiving any instruction, or poor or mediocre or so-so instruction and "guidance", your practice will not be that effective. To your statement: do most of us practice 3h/day, on any day, let alone every day? If we do so, how many of us have excellent guidance?


Have to agree you made very good points. Talent in something like art or music is something many of us can develop but only if we have an interest and is goal-oriented. In my younger days I went with the family to listen to a few orchestra performances. The most memorable was Beethoven's Symphony #9 from the intro to the final chorus. Like everybody else in the audience we were moved by the playing and singing. However, I had no ambition to perform that piece with an orchestra. The closest I got to playing it on violin was the first year of taking violin class in high school. The teacher made an arrangement of the melody for the Strings (violin, viola, cello & bass) class. The piece we performed for the parents at the year end concert lasted less than 2 minutes, not even a movement out of the symphony.

I was enrolled in music class alongside my sister playing violin. We had 1 violin at home and another one on loan from our high school. We played identical repertoire most of the time. Back then we moved along as fast as the teacher thought we should be (one 18th century suite & 1 exercise piece per week) which wasn't very much. The teacher would assign "Minuet" from the Mozart Eine kleine Nachtmusik, "March" from a Handel Suite, "Minuet in G" from Notebook for Anna M Bach, etc. (the standard stuff). After 5 years, neither of us achieved a consistent enough playing level and we stopped taking lessons.
1. Playing the same pieces we should be able to pick up each other's mistake and get better -> not the case.
2. Having 2 instruments in the home allowed us to play duets and would move us to a higher level of playing by keeping each other in tune and on the beat -> we never played together once.
3. Being goal oriented -> not the case. We just went along with the assigned repertoire but never had the motivation to get ahead like let's learn Schubert "Ave Maria" or Beethoven Romance in F, op. 50 (never).

Take the example of Sujari Britt who is a young cello virtuoso: she listened to a Yo-yo Ma performance on TV and fell in love with the cello. Her parents started her with the piano and switched to the cello. Within a short time her teacher said Sujari already learned everything she had to teach. Sujari continued with another teacher and eventually got accepted into a prestigious music school in NYC. Having a good teacher & developing a person's talent go hand in hand. There are many music teachers who can teach up to an intermediate level. If you want to go further, you have to get a teacher who are at the concert performance level. And you have to prove that you can play consistently at that level before the teacher would take you. Many students can play "Minuet in G" from the Notebook for Anna M Bach by Christian Petzold. Does this makes a person talented? It's a good start but there is still a long way to go.

Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: Finfan] #2739593
05/26/18 07:36 AM
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Thepianoplayer416 - an interesting conversation. smile

Some contrasts in our background:
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416

In my younger days I went with the family to listen to a few orchestra performances...... The closest I got to playing it on violin was the first year of taking violin class in high school.

..... I was enrolled in music class alongside my sister playing violin.

I was not taken to any performances, and when I turned 12, my parents decided to become farmers in a Green Acres mood (I used to watch the show with some irony). They had their records, and would put on classical music, so I did hear it. There were no music lessons on any instrument, ever. I was given a recorder, mouth organ, a little electric organ that got replaced by a piano when the "farmer period" started. A grandmother sent over her 1905 (publ.) music from Germany -- the sonatinas and Czerny I write about. I taught myself everything - no teacher, no pianist to watch. I was very keen.

To help with income once they were farmers my mother cooked for an American cottaging family in the summer. I found out when I was 60 that these Americans had heard me play self-taught, and had offered to send me to a conservatory, where they would pay for room, board, and tuition. My parents thought it was "not necessary" and so I kept trying on my own. The piano disappeared when I was 19, and I got a piano again 35 years later. By then I knew the importance of technique etc., and also figured (correctly) how messed up my "technique" was.
Quote
Back then we moved along as fast as the teacher thought we should be ...... After 5 years, neither of us achieved a consistent enough playing level and we stopped taking lessons.

I read the whole thing even if I just quoted the outer edges. Reading between the lines: you got the common so-so type lessons which focus on repertoire, going through pieces etc. rather than the things that would create musicianship. Of course your playing level would stay stagnated! I figured this out after several years of lessons on violin as an adult, which also suffered from a strange glass ceiling and even deterioration after a year. What was missing were things like real technique, learning what is underneath music and notation, and working with all of these things. You might call them the "base elements".
Quote
There are many music teachers who can teach up to an intermediate level. If you want to go further, you have to get a teacher who are at the concert performance level.

Here's the problem with that: "Advanced" performance depends on having good control and understanding of the elements that go into music: physically, orally, and theoretical. These elements belong to the beginner stages. The beginner teacher is not held in high regard, and too many think that if they don't know much yet, they should teach beginners, because the notes themselves are easy. Yet the skill foundations are critical! At random:
- playing loud and soft effectively so as to not tie up your hands in effort for the "loud": doing so to bring out voices by contrast
- a solid basic pedal technique where you truly coordinate hands and feet, and learn to listen to a note's sustain, its degree of blending into the next note, which can be done even in chord practice

These two things alone will bring tremendous subtlety and musicality into even a simple piece. Add to this an ability to read music basically; learning to take the music apart for effective practice so you know how to practice; an ability to read music for understanding and interpretation later.

There is depth versus quantity. Your simple "Minuet in G" has layers of discovery. But often it is taught just for the notes.

The "advanced level teacher" has to have something to work with. How do you decide to bring out shadings in a piece through various means, if your student never got basic control of touch, pedal, etc., or learned to analyze and read music in the earlier stages? This starts at the beginning - or should - but often doesn't. That's what I discovered. smile

Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2739619
05/26/18 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
...came across the 5 Browns on TV playing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" in NYC. They are members of the Brown family, all Classical trained pianists...


Pretty far from a model family.


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Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: malkin] #2739620
05/26/18 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
...came across the 5 Browns on TV playing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" in NYC. They are members of the Brown family, all Classical trained pianists...


Pretty far from a model family.

...and model=typical or model=ideal? I think the word "model" is relative and cultural. In my culture when I was growing up, my parents would constantly point to this one family with 5 daughters and no sons, where all 5 had become medical doctors. The point being that the model in this case was not the children, but the parents and how they supposedly "nurtured" and "raised" these girls - in that subcultural viewpoint, the parents there were "model parents", sacrifice and nurturing their children (again, "nurture" here being culturally relative)!

Last edited by Slothrop, Tyrone; 05/26/18 12:08 PM.

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Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: malkin] #2739623
05/26/18 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
Pretty far from a model family.

Can you explain what you mean by this? What is a "model family", for example? And how are they far from it? Does this mean that families are supposed to be a certain way (the model) and they fall away from that? (I'm genuinely lost).

Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: Finfan] #2739635
05/26/18 01:08 PM
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There are a lot of people who are self-taught playing an instrument. For me having teachers in the early years to learn reading music was a big plus. In my later years, I learned to play many pieces on my own including Bach minuets, Beethoven sonatas. It is a big shift playing by the teacher's assigned repertoire approach.

At the end of the day, how much do we credit our ability to play an instrument to a good teacher and ourselves (whether self-taught or with a teacher)? Sorry to have to go back to people in the family who supposedly passed conservatory exams but cannot play in front of an audience vs. people like myself who performed on & off with a group since high school. I am sure the ones who passed their exams had good teachers but I've never heard them play even the most basic pieces "Lightly Row" or "Mary Had a Little Lamb" so don't want to pass judgement. A while ago a cousin had the sheet music "Linus & Lucy" by Vince Guaraldi for the Charlie Brown cartoon series on the piano stand. That was over 5 years ago and didn't hear anything since.

Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2739641
05/26/18 01:28 PM
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I'm not sure if this was a response to my post, or in general.
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
There are a lot of people who are self-taught playing an instrument. For me having teachers in the early years to learn reading music was a big plus. In my later years, I learned to play many pieces on my own including Bach minuets, Beethoven sonatas. It is a big shift playing by the teacher's assigned repertoire approach.

At the end of the day, how much do we credit our ability to play an instrument to a good teacher and ourselves (whether self-taught or with a teacher)?

I don't know if you read my response. It was rather lengthy. In it I gave you my background, and the fact that I was self-taught on various instruments for years. I cannot credit that first ability to any teacher, good or otherwise, because I didn't have one. I also outlined some of the things that one can get from a good teacher. Being able to play repertoire, in and of itself, is not in there. Did you have a chance to look at my various points? wink

Re: "Beethoven sonatas" --- I played whatever was in the stash passed on from my grandmother, without a teacher, without being taught anything, back then. There were sonatas in there. But what I can do with even simple music now, let alone these, versus then, is quite a difference. Unfortunately a lot of teachers who "teach" music do little more than "go through pieces".

Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2739643
05/26/18 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Sorry to have to go back to people in the family who supposedly passed conservatory exams but cannot play in front of an audience

What conservatory was this, because it sounds like one to avoid? Most conservatories I know of, including ones for which I know some of the former attendees, require auditions and much playing in front of at least small audiences. A conservatory, which trains students to play piano (or any instrument) in the privacy of their bathroom is not one that I would recommend for the children of any family member - "fake school"!


across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2739648
05/26/18 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Slothrop, Tyrone
What conservatory was this, because it sounds like one to avoid? Most conservatories I know of, including ones for which I know some of the former attendees, require auditions and much playing in front of at least small audiences. A conservatory, which trains students to play piano (or any instrument) in the privacy of their bathroom is not one that I would recommend for the children of any family member - "fake school"!

No. Being able to pass exams, and being able to play music independently, or wanting to, are very different things. What Tpp416 is saying is very common, and that is also why I think I wrote some caveats in the teacher forum to your question about RCM exams. In regard to "required public playing" - when handled badly (which often it is), it will be endured by the student, and ensures that the student will never, ever, want to play in public again.

For the last, I would rather study with someone in a bathroom, if they are an excellent teacher, than in premises that look all impressive and official.

Last edited by keystring; 05/26/18 01:45 PM.
Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: keystring] #2739655
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by malkin
Pretty far from a model family.

Can you explain what you mean by this? What is a "model family", for example? And how are they far from it? Does this mean that families are supposed to be a certain way (the model) and they fall away from that? (I'm genuinely lost).



My thoughts exactly! What are they NOT a "model family?" I have only heard positive things about this family!


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Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: Finfan] #2739770
05/27/18 03:20 AM
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The bottom-line for learning an instrument is that a person has an interest in music. You can give a person a brush and train him to be a good painter but if he has no interest in art, he is not going to create masterpieces. Someone in the family once played an accordion. The instrument sat in the closet for many years until one day he took it out for practice. Next he went to a music store and got a beginner's book with easy songs like "Mary Had a Little Lamb", "Lightly Row". After a few weeks the instrument went back into the closet. Can't say that person has no talent, only that he hasn't got to the level he is comfortable playing anything more difficult without a teacher.

Once met someone in primary school who got enrolled in a Yamaha music program by his parents. Like the Suzuki program from Japan, the program require parental participation (at least 1 parent learn the instrument with the child) and a year-end recital (to get a student on stage to build confidence) before advancing to the next level. The father works during the day so the mother took the child to his lessons. After a year, the mother thought she had more interest learning to play piano & practicing than the son so he quit. Not saying that the boy has no talent in music just that he has other interests such as cooking after watching many cooking shows. Being a concert pianist is off the list but being a master chef is still a possibility. Once read an article online from the president of the Kawai Association of America. He wanted his son to be able to play piano and got him enrolled in music lessons. His son hated it and switched to playing baseball instead. A lot of parents got their kids enrolled in a music program hoping they would develop an interest in music. You can tell within a year if the kids are making progress. Not that they are not talented but the interest has to be there.

Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2739778
05/27/18 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jouishy
I'm way more happy when playing and practicing the piano than in social gathering. I'm single and don't want to be involved in a relationship.

Saying the true happiness comes from relationship is a personal perspective. Each individual is different. Relationship is important, yes, but the importance is different for each individual. To be happy, I need to do at least 5 hours of music each week, but I can see my friends only once a month and I'll still be happy. Ergo the person saying this is a very individual matters, depending of your values in life. I'm no hermit, but I have a big "bubble" and need a lot of "me" time. Piano time is part of my "me" time.


Gosh that could have been written by me.


"Study Bach: there you will find everything" - Johannes Brahms.
Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: ID5894] #2739781
05/27/18 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ID5894
The usual corporate slogans of this era... "you can do it!, work! work! work!" Complete nonsense. Life's too short to waste it with cruel unrealistic expectations. Enjoy every day while you're alive because one day you'll die and there's nothing after this, just a reminder.

We can change our attitude, not our aptitude. We can have a true talent at something and not be aware of it though. But ultimately, any feeling of happiness will come mainly from our family and/or social relationships though, not through "achievements" of any kind.


I am not having a dig at you personally, but the life is short, life os too short to... Argument is to me an overused cliche and somewhat meaningless and short is a relative term. Our own life is the longest thing we will ever experience. Everything else, whatever the duration, is shorter.


"Study Bach: there you will find everything" - Johannes Brahms.
Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2739786
05/27/18 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
The bottom-line for learning an instrument is that a person has an interest in music. .

It's like you're only on send-mode. wink I told my story twice, I think. No response to the idea of someone who has a keen interest, and no guidance whatsoever, and what that does. It is NOT just interest. You need an instrument, to start with, and somebody or something to guide you, or you hit glass ceilings, or later have a lot to undo and relearn. Which is precisely where I am now, in my sixties.

Re: A look at attitude and practice [Re: keystring] #2739788
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
The bottom-line for learning an instrument is that a person has an interest in music. .

It's like you're only on send-mode. wink I told my story twice, I think. No response to the idea of someone who has a keen interest, and no guidance whatsoever, and what that does. It is NOT just interest. You need an instrument, to start with, and somebody or something to guide you, or you hit glass ceilings, or later have a lot to undo and relearn. Which is precisely where I am now, in my sixties.


I think everybody’s talking over each other. A person needs to first have interest, because without that an instrument and guidance means nothing. And then you also need an instrument and guidance


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
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