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I don't believe this is true #2778495
11/05/18 04:59 PM
11/05/18 04:59 PM
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Chicago IL
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ZanderChicago Offline OP
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This guy claims to have just started taking piano lessons and can play these pieces. All under a year of starting. I say NO WAY. What do you all think? Is it possible?

He's playing Fur Elise at week 3! come on! No way.
Maple Leaf Rag flawlessly at month 6. yeah right.
etc
etc.
watch this video. I don't believe this is possible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqsibzAiIBs

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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778503
11/05/18 05:24 PM
11/05/18 05:24 PM
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Dublin
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johnstaf Offline
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I believe it. It's not as unusual as you might think. You have to take his whole history into account, not just piano playing.

Last edited by johnstaf; 11/05/18 05:29 PM.
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778517
11/05/18 05:58 PM
11/05/18 05:58 PM
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Pennsylvania
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It is well done.

It looks believable ….

But I don't believe it.


Don

Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course - Completed Chapter 5

Pianoteq, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778522
11/05/18 06:18 PM
11/05/18 06:18 PM
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Posts: 246
Chicago
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In another year or two tops, he’ll be playing at Carnegie Hall.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778523
11/05/18 06:21 PM
11/05/18 06:21 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,646
USA
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Hey it's on the Internet, so it must be real.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778529
11/05/18 06:27 PM
11/05/18 06:27 PM
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Orange County, California
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It's only the A section of Fur Elise that is played and I could see someone memorizing that quickly. Now why he pops up the word PRO when hammering down on that high E, well, I don't know. I like to play that note gently.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778530
11/05/18 06:29 PM
11/05/18 06:29 PM
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Kitsap County, WA
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I don't know, listening to the playing he sounds pretty close to my level in his ability to play, make his sound actually musical and play at tempo (i.e. he's really not particularly good, I would peg as early intermediate like myself.) He says he practices 3 hours a day, and is very consistent about it. Extrapolating from my own experience, I've been playing about 2.5 years, however I typically only get about 1 to 1.5 hours a day of practice, and I've had some gaps (a month vacation, missed weekend etc.) I'd put him almost exactly at the same number of hour practiced. And he didn't play anything I didn't (or couldn't, I haven't played all of the songs) at approximately the same "time" in hours. He's also younger than me by quite a bit and probably more dexterous and still has some neurons to develop laugh And, we only hear snippets of some things, mostly the easier parts (like Fur Elise) and I think the Joplin is a simplified version (though not sure.)

Similar to him, I had no prior experience playing piano, though I had a fair amount of musical training in my school years with choral singing. And, though I've never actually studied, I could at least basically read music and knew the keys on the keyboard enough to play a simple tune of one note on one hand.

And edit, meant to say this but forgot, I think he's way to early to be playing Op 66. I think he's setting himself up for a lifetime of playing it poorly. But that's just my opinion.

Last edited by squidbot; 11/05/18 06:33 PM.


Currently learning: Beethoven "Easy" Sonata Op 49 No 2, JS Bach WTC Prelude No 2 in C minor
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: squidbot] #2778543
11/05/18 07:13 PM
11/05/18 07:13 PM
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Posts: 24,054
New York City
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Originally Posted by squidbot
And edit, meant to say this but forgot, I think he's way to early to be playing Op 66. I think he's setting himself up for a lifetime of playing it poorly. But that's just my opinion.
It may be too early for this piece. but playing it poorly at this stage does not mean he can't play it much better later on.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778548
11/05/18 07:28 PM
11/05/18 07:28 PM
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It's possible but make no mistake, it's very rapid progress.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778568
11/05/18 08:15 PM
11/05/18 08:15 PM
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Maple leaf rag certainly was not faultless !

The latest Chopin video no 9 no 1 was actually more impressive than this year progress video.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778576
11/05/18 08:49 PM
11/05/18 08:49 PM
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I noticed that the decor for the piano changes with every piece he plays. Do you think he really moves the piano from room to room? How many rooms?

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Dreamingstill] #2778579
11/05/18 09:08 PM
11/05/18 09:08 PM
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Reseda, California
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Originally Posted by Dreamingstill
I noticed that the decor for the piano changes with every piece he plays. Do you think he really moves the piano from room to room? How many rooms?


The Yamaha upright seems to have been moved once from the room with the woodwork to a room with white walls. OTT, it's different pianos and some of the small stuff in the background gets moved around.


-- J.S.

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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Dreamingstill] #2778580
11/05/18 09:10 PM
11/05/18 09:10 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,661
Victoria, BC
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Originally Posted by Dreamingstill
I noticed that the decor for the piano changes with every piece he plays. Do you think he really moves the piano from room to room? How many rooms?


You really haven't been paying attention, have you?


BruceD
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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778593
11/05/18 10:58 PM
11/05/18 10:58 PM
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This is absolutely real. His opening piece is 'To Zanarkand' from the Final Fantasy video game series written by Nobuo Uematsu. I fell in love with this piece after hearing it when I first started playing piano. I had no idea how to play it and the score was way over my head at the time. Irregardless, I loved this piece and was determined to do whatever it took to learn it.

So I started to play it by learning one or two new bars everyday and then kept replaying the piece up until what I have learned. After a week of doing this, I ended up learning (and memorizing) the piece. I then kept playing it over and over until I could add my own subtle touches to it.

I couldn't play anything else, but I could play the heck out of this one beautiful piece even though I really couldn't sightread or play by ear yet.

So YES, you CAN learn to play a piece beautifully, even if you really don't know how to play just by learning one or two bars a day and then replaying what you've learned over and over until you have the whole piece under your grips. I can't tell you how many times I've done this as this is what true hacks do!

Last edited by mr_super-hunky; 11/05/18 10:59 PM. Reason: Typo caused by dog wanting more pets.
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778602
11/06/18 12:13 AM
11/06/18 12:13 AM
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Pacific Northwest
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Who cares whether this guy is for real or not. It’s not healthy to get into a competitive comparison. Just keep plugging away.



Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: PianogrlNW] #2778603
11/06/18 12:27 AM
11/06/18 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
Who cares whether this guy is for real or not. It’s not healthy to get into a competitive comparison. Just keep plugging away.

Hear! Hear! thumb


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778625
11/06/18 03:28 AM
11/06/18 03:28 AM
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Romania
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It's entirely believable, because his playing is terrible. It's another perfect example of why one shouldn't play things way above his level... I say "his" because all the "my piano progress" video I've seen have been males smile

There seems to be this misconception that if you somewhat get the notes right it's done, the piece is learnt. Nevermind the rhythm, the tempo, the dynamics, the music itself cool

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: mr_super-hunky] #2778633
11/06/18 04:06 AM
11/06/18 04:06 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
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Phoenix
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Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
This is absolutely real. His opening piece is 'To Zanarkand' from the Final Fantasy video game series written by Nobuo Uematsu. I fell in love with this piece after hearing it when I first started playing piano. I had no idea how to play it and the score was way over my head at the time. Irregardless, I loved this piece and was determined to do whatever it took to learn it.

So I started to play it by learning one or two new bars everyday and then kept replaying the piece up until what I have learned. After a week of doing this, I ended up learning (and memorizing) the piece. I then kept playing it over and over until I could add my own subtle touches to it.

I couldn't play anything else, but I could play the heck out of this one beautiful piece even though I really couldn't sightread or play by ear yet.

So YES, you CAN learn to play a piece beautifully, even if you really don't know how to play just by learning one or two bars a day and then replaying what you've learned over and over until you have the whole piece under your grips. I can't tell you how many times I've done this as this is what true hacks do!


I bet a lot of us started that way compulsively playing our favorite piece far out of reach. There is really no avoiding it as the beginner has to play that one song until the itch is satisfied.


"Motivation is simple, you eliminate anyone who isn't motivated." - Lou Holtz.
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778642
11/06/18 05:22 AM
11/06/18 05:22 AM
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Canada
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Why does it matter?

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778649
11/06/18 06:26 AM
11/06/18 06:26 AM
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Canada
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Can't edit. That question was addressed to the OP. smile I'm sort of thinking that it doesn't matter.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778651
11/06/18 06:38 AM
11/06/18 06:38 AM
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Georgia, USA
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Its difficult not to compare yourself to others, but you will be happier if you can manage to do it. There will always be people that play better than you.

Sam

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Sam S] #2778655
11/06/18 07:05 AM
11/06/18 07:05 AM
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Florida
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Its difficult not to compare yourself to others, but you will be happier if you can manage to do it. There will always be people that play better than you.

Sam
.

...... and there will always be those that state ‘I wish I could play the piano’, but never take the plunge. That should be our comparison group😊..., those that ‘wish’ rather than ‘do’.


"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
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778664
11/06/18 08:04 AM
11/06/18 08:04 AM
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Toronto, Canada
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Originally Posted by ZanderChicago
This guy claims to have just started taking piano lessons and can play these pieces. All under a year of starting. I say NO WAY. What do you all think? Is it possible?



You have heard the one about the Tortoise and the Hare, yes?

Nothing is flawless here. All is rushed and melodic and amateurish tone quality. Expected of course, but overall seems impressive at this distance, admittedly.

At least compare apples to apples if you're going to compare at all. This Hare is focused on playing only and these snippets are from all his practice playing these pieces, I assume by rote and memory. Can he read what he plays? Has he any theory, even the most basic or posture, fingering training? If not, when is he going to learn this other stuff? It's an individual choice if he does at all and no harm in whatever choice is made, so long as it is in keeping with the desired outcome.

When they are doing great at one year, I like to see what they are doing at 5 years, then 10. Things usually start to level out by then, but we're not all out for the same things either. Some are quicker than others and that is just life. It is not a race. Stay your course and be confident in the method you are using.

Tone quality will come from playing experience and the lack of it shows, no matter how quick the progression seems to be.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: pianoloverus] #2778807
11/06/18 04:46 PM
11/06/18 04:46 PM
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Kitsap County, WA
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by squidbot
And edit, meant to say this but forgot, I think he's way to early to be playing Op 66. I think he's setting himself up for a lifetime of playing it poorly. But that's just my opinion.
It may be too early for this piece. but playing it poorly at this stage does not mean he can't play it much better later on.


It's an interesting question and you're probably right, I may have been hyperbolic. I guess you could "unlearn" what you've done, but man it would be hard to do that for a whole piece. In one of the pieces I'm learning now I'm just trying to undo a few months of playing fingering a certain way for one measure and it's really, really difficult to change at this point.

I will say that I'm surprised his teacher supported him learning it. For a couple of months I was playing Chopin's black key etude, but purely as a technical exercise, playing it extremely slowly and only one bar a week. It was my teacher's suggestion (I'm not a huge fan of Hanon type things), but he cautioned me about trying to think of it as something I'd turn in to repertoire. I'll probably revisit it in 10 years or so smile


Last edited by squidbot; 11/06/18 04:48 PM.


Currently learning: Beethoven "Easy" Sonata Op 49 No 2, JS Bach WTC Prelude No 2 in C minor
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778819
11/06/18 05:48 PM
11/06/18 05:48 PM
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What gets me is the rapid learning of piece after piece. I suppose it’s possible but to learn piano AND to read music that quickly he must be quite a prodigy. Good for him. Wish I could learn that quickly.

But what really amazes me is that he has a million and a half views!!! Holy cow! That’s even more than some silly cat videos.


"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."- Oscar Wilde
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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Peyton] #2778836
11/06/18 06:57 PM
11/06/18 06:57 PM
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Victoria, BC
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Originally Posted by Peyton
[...]That’s even more than some silly cat videos.


How silly do cats have to be before they can make videos! smile

Cheers, folks!


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Peyton] #2778893
11/07/18 03:55 AM
11/07/18 03:55 AM
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Toronto, Canada
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Originally Posted by Peyton
But what really amazes me is that he has a million and a half views!!! Holy cow! That’s even more than some silly cat videos.


When it comes to YouTube videos, sometimes we forget the audience is not very sophisticated. Many of them probably don't play music of any kind. Anybody who can play at an advanced level can attract an audience. We are not talking about viewers who may be music teachers and even ones who teach at an university or a prestigious music school who are looking for good dynamics, phrasing, etc.

A few years ago, I came across a YouTube video with the title "3 year old violinist" presumably from Korea. The video featured a young lady playing "Twinkle Variations" from Suzuki Book 1. In just a year the video had over 3M views. Anybody who knows the Suzuki music program, students are required to learn the Twinkle Variations by ear and perform the pieces in their first recital at the end of the year. Every day you see new comments that numbered in the thousands. Some complemented on her wonderful playing that she is a prodigy while others criticized the parents for pushing the kid into music at such a young age (that she didn't choose to play an instrument on her own sort of thing). And others talked about her "stabbing the instrument". The way students play the Twinkle Var. tend to be rather mechanical repeating each note 4x with different rhythms. A friend of my family got their 2 kids (around age 5) enrolled in the Suzuki piano & violin programs. They had to go through the same repertoire starting with Book 1 Twinkle Var. as the first pieces on the list. Back then the 2 kids did not post their videos online. Some people think a kid at age 3 who can perform even a easy piece without mistakes is a genius.

-------------------

The first thing I can pick out on this YouTube video is that the man who learned his pieces for over a year did not "read" music. There is no indication anywhere whether he learned from sheet music and then memorized his pieces or he simply followed YouTube demos on finger sequences and would learn his pieces completely by ear.
His hands seemed relaxed with nice phrasing / hand gestures. Many of us struggled playing the right notes... never mind the phrasing & dynamics.

I know a man who learned by play by watching YouTube demos. For the past 3 years he learned to play just 5 advanced pieces which he would practice for many months. And he put off learning notations as being too difficult and would only get into a piece if he can find video demos... no concern for the technical stuff: tempo, dynamics, Key Signature, Time Signature even don't get into counting beats.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2778994
11/07/18 02:42 PM
11/07/18 02:42 PM
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I rarely post here and this is kind of why.

I know what I am about to say is going to trigger a bunch of you but here it goes.

Many time people on here sound very elitist. Who cares how he progressed, why he plays, if he learned theory, can he read sheet music, did he watch demos, ect..

I feel many new piano players will steer clear from this forum for this reason. Feeling like they will be critised to no end because of how they play.

I for one go by the rule that if we can't offer something constructive to say and offer feedback in a positive way then we shouldn't say anything at all.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: philipraposo1982] #2779017
11/07/18 03:47 PM
11/07/18 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by philipraposo1982

(...)
Many time people on here sound very elitist. Who cares how he progressed, why he plays, if he learned theory, can he read sheet music, did he watch demos, ect..
(...)

Speaking for myself: I'm new here and also beginner and I have to admit that I was tempted to post this link here myself. I was just curious of the opinions (from colleagues with more years under belt as well as teaching experience) and I'm glad someone else posted it. Didn't find replies elitist and tbh I identify with some of the shared opinions.

Originally Posted by philipraposo1982

I feel many new piano players will steer clear from this forum for this reason. Feeling like they will be critised to no end because of how they play.

I for one go by the rule that if we can't offer something constructive to say and offer feedback in a positive way then we shouldn't say anything at all.

Personally I registered to look for criticism as as beginner I don't have much experience to share and help. And I'm glad that people express freely here. There are not many places where piano loving comunity "hang out". Others that I found are either half-dead (pianostreet, though I found some brilliant posts in history) or not very structured with lots of post that I'm not very interested in (/r/piano and lots of questions that are answered in faq).

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: philipraposo1982] #2779049
11/07/18 04:48 PM
11/07/18 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by philipraposo1982
I rarely post here and this is kind of why.

I know what I am about to say is going to trigger a bunch of you but here it goes.

Many time people on here sound very elitist. Who cares how he progressed, why he plays, if he learned theory, can he read sheet music, did he watch demos, ect..

I feel many new piano players will steer clear from this forum for this reason. Feeling like they will be critised to no end because of how they play.

I for one go by the rule that if we can't offer something constructive to say and offer feedback in a positive way then we shouldn't say anything at all.


This was not posted by the pianist asking for feedback, but by someone whoo just found the YouTube. Videos. This is a Different situation than a forum member asking for help and feedback. If you look at the general feedback from the ABF recitals, the comments are supportive regardless of the level and the quality.

This was different, and many of the comments were based on the thought of
‘He really did this???? I didn’t’. Is he real? How good is he REALLY

IMHO, a waste of time to compare ourselves to others.... just human nature.... but not cruel to question a meteoric progression.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: philipraposo1982] #2779051
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Originally Posted by philipraposo1982
I rarely post here and this is kind of why.

I know what I am about to say is going to trigger a bunch of you but here it goes.

Many time people on here sound very elitist. Who cares how he progressed, why he plays, if he learned theory, can he read sheet music, did he watch demos, ect..

I feel many new piano players will steer clear from this forum for this reason. Feeling like they will be critised to no end because of how they play.

I for one go by the rule that if we can't offer something constructive to say and offer feedback in a positive way then we shouldn't say anything at all.
Certainly there is no call for plain old meanness, and I think here on the ABF when it does occur, it's an outlier.

As for who cares how he progressed, well, a lot of people. It's an interesting topic for discussion. Some will find tips and/or inspiration for their own studies.

Over the years I've been on this forum, I've never had the impression it's elitist in the least. Many of the people who post here on a regular basis are passionate about music (piano, specifically) and invest a fair amount of their time and energy to the pursuit of it. It's not elitist to form your own opinions and discuss what you've learned from your own experiences.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: philipraposo1982] #2779052
11/07/18 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by philipraposo1982
I rarely post here and this is kind of why.

I know what I am about to say is going to trigger a bunch of you but here it goes.

Many time people on here sound very elitist. Who cares how he progressed, why he plays, if he learned theory, can he read sheet music, did he watch demos, ect..

I feel many new piano players will steer clear from this forum for this reason. Feeling like they will be critised to no end because of how they play.

I for one go by the rule that if we can't offer something constructive to say and offer feedback in a positive way then we shouldn't say anything at all.


My opinion of the forum differs. I come here for support, guidance, education, companionship (my friends and family have no interest whatsoever in this hobby), and try to offer the same when possible. It has met my expectations, and I generally don’t get involved in the tiresome debates about teacher / no teacher, etc. I hope you can get out of it what I have, which has been a tremendous amount.

My opinion on this person is who knows? With a lot of hard work, motivation, and time I’m sure one can progress very rapidly. I cannot but I’m perfectly pleased with my progress nonetheless. I’m doing better than some, not as well as others, and really don’t care. I’m noncompetitive, just doing the best I can personally.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: cmb13] #2779056
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Originally Posted by cmb13
I’m doing better than some, not as well as others, and really don’t care. I’m noncompetitive, just doing the best I can personally.

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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779073
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"It's not about comparing yourself to what someone else is today, rather, it's about comparing yourself to what you were yesterday".

Can't remember where that's from, but you get the point.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779089
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This guy covers it later on in the video, comparisons are futile.
His videos tend to be quite lengthy. I didn't care for his 'zen like' approach but now I'm seriously having second thoughts. I tend to make many many mistakes in playing, ridiculously frequent. He wanted me to stop thinking about playing. I didn't know how to do that, seemed impossible. Then I suddenly found myself listening to the actual sound rather than the physical activity of moving fingers. Mistakes suddenly became much less frequent. Maybe he's on to something.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2enAp8px6tg

Last edited by Michael P Walsh; 11/07/18 07:09 PM.
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Zaphod] #2779117
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Originally Posted by Zaphod
"It's not about comparing yourself to what someone else is today, rather, it's about comparing yourself to what you were yesterday".

Can't remember where that's from, but you get the point.


+1 thumb

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779158
11/08/18 12:51 AM
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Everybody has a different reason why they would pick up music and play an instrument such as reducing stress, keeping the mind healthy, etc. If we would compare ourselves to other people who are supposedly more talented than we are, then more than half the people including myself wouldn't get into playing piano in the first place. Many people who took lessons before no longer play and the piano is just sitting at home like a piece of furniture.

If somebody came up with a faster way to master advanced pieces whether by reading music, playing by ear, etc. we are all curious to find out and learn some new tricks.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2779159
11/08/18 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416

If somebody came up with a faster way to master advanced pieces whether by reading music, playing by ear, etc. we are all curious to find out and learn some new tricks.

But here's the thing. There aren't any tricks. Just a lot of hard work.



Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779213
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That is why I never see such videos - progress of beginners! I feel I will get depressed 😀. Most will be so much better than me. And now I clicked on the link and it opened in the YouTube app. And now app will keep suggesting beginner's videos🙁.

On a serious note, this forum has been a huge help for me. My playing has become a bit better and easier because of suggestions here.


Wish I had started earlier!
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779231
11/08/18 09:07 AM
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Do you really believe this guy started at age 15 with no musical knowledge whatsoever and is playing Fantaisie-Impromptu when he is 16? (I'm just guessing his age). Come on...

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779233
11/08/18 09:23 AM
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If you read more info on his YouTube channel you'll see he was accepted into a university to study music. He says he had to audition, so I guess somebody liked what he did. I don't know if that really means anything though.

Instead of speculating here what it is he does and does not know, just ask him.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfKUKLeXWjWR5IKVNwxQ_7A/discussion


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779242
11/08/18 10:17 AM
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If he practices 3 hours/day then he's really had more like three years of typical practicing time in one year. This would make his playing good but not quite as impressive. He plays advanced pieces but with some flaws so that's also part of the total picture. His progress is very good and certainly faster than the average amateur. But compared to many pianists who end up studying at good conservatories the graph of his learning is not that great.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/08/18 10:25 AM.
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: bSharp(C)yclist] #2779246
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
If you read more info on his YouTube channel you'll see he was accepted into a university to study music. He says he had to audition, so I guess somebody liked what he did. I don't know if that really means anything though.

I was reading about another piano major at the conservatory who had to audition but he didn't know how to sight read. So he crammed for 10 x 4hrs/day before the audition on sight reading and despite naysayers, managed to pass the sight-reading portion. He's a piano performance major now and prefers to sight-read even harder works now. A little odd, but both these examples show that sometimes "cramming" can work. I consider learning to play piano, practicing 750 hours in one year, and passing a conservatory audition with your new skills to be "cramming" too.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If he practices 3 hours/day then he's really had more like three years of typical practicing time in one year. This would make his playing good but not quite as impressive. He plays advanced pieces but with some fairly serious flaws so that's also part of the total picture. His progress is very good and certainly faster than the average amateur. But compared to many pianists who end up studying at good conservatories the graph of his learning is not that great.

Yes, he has said he played a total of 750 hours. The issue now that he has achieved admission to school, his professors at the conservatory will be much less impressed with him as a wunderkind. He will have to compete and catchup with students who have played piano for 13 years and not 1 (or 3, depending on how you count). Some of those who played 13 years also didn't practice only 1 hour per day either! It remains to be seen how he will adapt to this new environment.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779290
11/08/18 01:32 PM
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For any conservatory student, it always remains to be seen how they will do... whether they have been playing for 12 yrs of two. FWIW, there is a forum member on another site that had been playing about three years, was accepted to conservatory and has done very well.

We should just congratulate this young man on how hard he has worked and wish him well.
I’m sure he is well aware of the competition and is willing to face it.


"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
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779301
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I have seen now many examples of people who superficially quite advanced but it appears they have practiced very intensely to play very few pieces. To a skilled pianist do not appear great. I’m not so sure they always become great.

The person who works very hard at novice pieces and slowly works through many more pieces often does not get the attention but I would argue often becomes the better musician over the longer term. I personally have noticed things like tone and control of piano is what is quite hard to achieve. I think this comes with experience at the piano.

As I said in this case the Chopin nocturne I have tried and the technical skills seem ahead of the musical ness so it sounds like a relative amateur who has worked very hard to me rather than a lie.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779308
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It's obvious from his playing he would never be accepted to a high level conservatory. Without knowing what school accepted him his "getting into a conservatory" doesn't have much meaning IMO.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: pianoloverus] #2779320
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It's obvious from his playing he would never be accepted to a high level conservatory. Without knowing what school accepted him his "getting into a conservatory" doesn't have much meaning IMO.

Well it does say "something" to me. I doubt there are any conservatories, no matter what tier, that often enroll students with only one year of experience. He did say in his Q&A he had some prior flute experience, but that probably can't be counted except from the perspective of being able to read notes on one staff before he started this 12 month self-improvement program. As bSharp(C)yclist said above, someone liked what he did. No doubt the examiner probably knew better than us all the flaws in his audition performance, probably better than most of us, but they probably saw he had energy, enthusiasm, and potential.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779341
11/08/18 04:28 PM
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I'm with dogperson. We should congratulate this person on his hard work and wish him the best. Wouldn't it be nice to see an older (relatively speaking - he looks young adult-ish to me) beginner succeed at a high level musically? I thought his op. 66 was fantastic and, if I'm being honest, quite humbling. I've been playing for 3 years and there is no way I could equal his tempo or smoothness if I practiced only that piece for 6 months!

He's special, and that's a good thing. I'm not sure why it merits a thread this long to discuss him. Yet. Let's see him graduate to the concert stage in 5 years and then we can come back to this and be amazed anew. Whatever else he might do, he's managed to pull a lot of interest to himself and that's very important for musical career progression.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779346
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Some people set a very high bar on this forum. One year, let's not forget that. Most piano teachers I've come across think you are doing well if you advance two grades (ABRSM) per year. They think 3 grades per year is doing extremely well.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2779353
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It's obvious from his playing he would never be accepted to a high level conservatory. Without knowing what school accepted him his "getting into a conservatory" doesn't have much meaning IMO.

Well it does say "something" to me. I doubt there are any conservatories, no matter what tier, that often enroll students with only one year of experience. He did say in his Q&A he had some prior flute experience, but that probably can't be counted except from the perspective of being able to read notes on one staff before he started this 12 month self-improvement program. As bSharp(C)yclist said above, someone liked what he did. No doubt the examiner probably knew better than us all the flaws in his audition performance, probably better than most of us, but they probably saw he had energy, enthusiasm, and potential.


Well, it could be the school wanted to take his money. I have no idea. I couldn't tell you how much a program like that costs smile


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779356
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I'm not concerned about any of this per se. Here is what can concern me. You get fellow students who have put in some time and effort in starting to learn to play the piano. Then they post about a child billed as being 3 years old playing what he's still struggling with, or an adult who has been at it a fraction of the time he has, and ditto. You can psych yourself out depending on how you look at it. It can seem to trivialize your own efforts and make them seem silly. You question whether you achieved anything. You question the kind of work you have been doing diligently. Otoh, if it's a full-out cheat by a trained pianist wanting to get hits, then it makes a mockery of your efforts. So my concern is only if somebody ends up feeling miserable. Don't let that happen to you.

The person who uploaded the videos of his journey intended to "inspire" others. He has no idea that it might have the opposite effect. He is not an experienced teacher, and he is also not experienced enough on piano. He's trying to say "Look what I did. You can do it too." and doesn't anticipate, "Omg, he did this in six months and I'm still struggling with it after 2 years. I might as well give up now."

Everybody's path is different - many roads lead to Rome - music is a multifaceted thing. The path this person took probably advanced him in some areas, while leaving holes in others. Your own path (anybody here) may have given you things that will support you, where he has holes, while you will reach things later that he got to first. Each will bring in the missing bits in his own time.

When I was little my parents gave me a little keyboard with "child size" keys and a book meant for adult autodidacts (I was 8). Then I got a piano and a relative's books from a conservatory for "young ladies" in Germany in the early 1900's. I got straight into sonatinas. Fuer Else was one of the first things I every played. It was "mercurial" too. When I came back to piano 35 years later, my abilities and knowledge were all over the place. There are holes in what I can do and know so big you could drive a truck through. There are things I struggled with and still do, because of those fast beginnings. And then there are things I shouldn't know that are as certain as 1+1=2. I don't know if "mercurial" is a good thing. It's just different.

We each have our own path. We are where we are, and this gentleman is where he is. As long as nobody ends up stressing because of that video, I have no feelings about it. I like the fact that the young man is enjoying himself and is motivated.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: bSharp(C)yclist] #2779362
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It's obvious from his playing he would never be accepted to a high level conservatory. Without knowing what school accepted him his "getting into a conservatory" doesn't have much meaning IMO.

Well it does say "something" to me. I doubt there are any conservatories, no matter what tier, that often enroll students with only one year of experience. He did say in his Q&A he had some prior flute experience, but that probably can't be counted except from the perspective of being able to read notes on one staff before he started this 12 month self-improvement program. As bSharp(C)yclist said above, someone liked what he did. No doubt the examiner probably knew better than us all the flaws in his audition performance, probably better than most of us, but they probably saw he had energy, enthusiasm, and potential.


Well, it could be the school wanted to take his money. I have no idea. I couldn't tell you how much a program like that costs smile


No, the school, no matter which one, did not want to take his money. There are many applicants for every slot, and it does no good for any music program to enroll somebody who will drop out after one year or so.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779364
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I haven't, and probably won't, read all the details of this guy's story. And I may have skimmed this thread. So I apologize if I'm off base. And I'm not going to argue with a more experienced person who says I'm wrong or have the wrong impression. You win. I'm just skimmed through the one year progress video and I'm just throwing out my unqualified lay opinions.

I think a lot are making much of his one year progress. But I zeroed in on day one and day four. Where he was trying to read music and play. Sorry, I don't think he looked like someone with zero experience playing the piano. I would more readily believe he was formally instructed as a younger boy, and was trying to pick it up again.

Again, if you know better, you win. But that's my impression. People regularly post misleading things on the internet. Or say things in a way that allows others to read into it something they want, without actually lying. Which is not to say I'm accusing anyone of lying or misleading here. Only that that fact of life on the internet probably informs my opinion.

Again, I'm going to try not to argue with anyone about this. You win.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779380
11/08/18 06:36 PM
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What pains me about videos like this is that some people will think it somehow lessens their own work, or that their progress is less remarkable. The fact of the matter is that if you follow good instruction on the piano, and it seems like you are not making as much progress as you would like, you don't necessarily realise what is going on somewhere in your brain. Then some day things fall into place, your hands take you on a roller-coaster ride and you ask yourself: "Did I just play that?!?!" Conscious (often slow) deliberate practise can make incredible things happen.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: johnstaf] #2779382
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Note to self: Steer clear of this thread.

John, not to take away from any of your points, but your comment about good instruction has me wondering what percentage of teachers do you imagine consider good instruction having students completely new to the piano work on such music reading and playing on day one and four of someone's first exposure to piano playing? I'm not a teacher so could we get a show or hands from those who are and have students new to the piano jump in like that?

And this has nothing to do with any personal feeling of inadequacy or not being able to progress as fast. I began with professional instruction. And on day one no such level of music was put in front of me. Not even close. So I'm wondering if teachers are doing it wrong and this guy got "good instruction"?

Originally Posted by johnstaf
What pains me about videos like this is that some people will think it somehow lessens their own work, or that their progress is less remarkable. The fact of the matter is that if you follow good instruction on the piano, and it seems like you are not making as much progress as you would like, you don't necessarily realise what is going on somewhere in your brain. Then some day things fall into place, your hands take you on a roller-coaster ride and you ask yourself: "Did I just play that?!?!" Conscious (often slow) deliberate practise can make incredible things happen.


Last edited by Agent88; 11/08/18 06:58 PM.
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Agent88] #2779385
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Originally Posted by Agent88
But I zeroed in on day one and day four. Where he was trying to read music and play. Sorry, I don't think he looked like someone with zero experience playing the piano. I would more readily believe he was formally instructed as a younger boy, and was trying to pick it up again.

He posted on his YouTube channel he had prior experience with flute from a few years before and already knew how to read music before although it had already been a few years. You win too. Perceptive observation.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Agent88] #2779386
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Originally Posted by Agent88
And this has nothing to do with any personal feeling of inadequacy or not being able to progress as fast. I began with professional instruction. And on day one no such level of music was put in front of me. Not even close. So I'm wondering if teachers are doing it wrong and this guy got "good instruction"?

Most teachers subscribe to the walk before running, crawl before walking school - rightly so too. However, stories like this are not completely unheard of. One was posted to the teacher's forum a few months ago from a student who felt his teacher was dragging him along with material that was too advanced. We've all heard about teachers of real-life prodigies (but in those cases, the teacher probably already got the measure of the student first and understood they could handle a faster pace). The 7yo's playing Moonlight mvt 3 had to learn somewhere - doubt they taught themselves. While we want to think that no piano teacher would conduct "piano pedagogical malpractice" by force feeding repertoire to a student which is not merely challenging but clearly too advanced for the student, I think there are those out there who have their own theories of education/pedagogy.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Agent88] #2779389
11/08/18 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Agent88

And this has nothing to do with any personal feeling of inadequacy or not being able to progress as fast. I began with professional instruction. And on day one no such level of music was put in front of me. Not even close. So I'm wondering if teachers are doing it wrong and this guy got "good instruction"?


With a good teacher you might feel you are progressing very slowly, but I see spending time on the fundamentals as like building a firm foundation. You can make tremendous leaps forward if you attend to the basics, and let everything take its time. Concentration during practise is, IMHO, the only thing that matters. Beginners have a kind of mental overload, and it can seem like dragging a rock up a steep hill. Someone who has already studied music just has to concentrate on the peculiarities of the piano.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779392
11/08/18 07:38 PM
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I studied music in college (without an instrument), and everyone was required to take keyboard skills, which was realising continuo as well as sight-reading scores and transposing at sight. Some people didn't play the piano already, but they were able to do it, as their level of general musical training was at a high level. A good friend of mine is a composer of wonderful choral music. He can sight-read scores pretty well, but he says he can't play the piano.

Beginners at the piano are usually beginning their musical training as well. This is why you have to take someone's full history into account.

Last edited by johnstaf; 11/08/18 07:40 PM.
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: johnstaf] #2779393
11/08/18 07:50 PM
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John, unlike a lot of commentators above I didn't really pay too much attention to the end result and was trying to emphasize my comments had nothing to do with comparing my own progress. I see now what I wrote might be read as an admission I did not progress as fast. That is not what I intended to express.

My point focuses on day one and day four. When comparing day one and day four I cannot conclude I didn't progress as quickly because that level of playing was not introduced to me. Even though I told my teacher I studied music theory at university.

And I would like to know how many teachers start students with zero experience on the piano with that level of music.

Even if they already play an instrument and can read music.

I don't know, and I admit this above, but I don't see reading music as the whole ball of wax. I think learning the keys and how to play them as being somewhat of a challenge. Especially with two hands. And would personally be very surprised if we get a majority of experienced, full time, pedagogy trained teacher here who start someone new to piano out on that level of music and playing.

I could be wrong. So I'm asking and have no problem being told it would be wholly appropriate for someone who could already play the flute.

But in my experience -- admittedly limited -- I'm guessing that doesn't happen too often. Thus, I suspect he doesn't have good instruction and he's self-taught. Or, my guess, he's played before and is picking it up again. Or both.

My analysis has nothing to do with where he wound up after a year. It's focused on where he began on day one. And it doesn't pass the smell test to me. BUT, I admit I lack the credentials to do much more than use logic and experience to formulate my view.

Carry on.

Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Agent88

And this has nothing to do with any personal feeling of inadequacy or not being able to progress as fast. I began with professional instruction. And on day one no such level of music was put in front of me. Not even close. So I'm wondering if teachers are doing it wrong and this guy got "good instruction"?


With a good teacher you might feel you are progressing very slowly, but I see spending time on the fundamentals as like building a firm foundation. You can make tremendous leaps forward if you attend to the basics, and let everything take its time. Concentration during practise is, IMHO, the only thing that matters. Beginners have a kind of mental overload, and it can seem like dragging a rock up a steep hill. Someone who has already studied music just has to concentrate on the peculiarities of the piano.


Last edited by Agent88; 11/08/18 07:58 PM.
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2779395
11/08/18 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
It's obvious from his playing he would never be accepted to a high level conservatory. Without knowing what school accepted him his "getting into a conservatory" doesn't have much meaning IMO.

Well it does say "something" to me. I doubt there are any conservatories, no matter what tier, that often enroll students with only one year of experience. He did say in his Q&A he had some prior flute experience, but that probably can't be counted except from the perspective of being able to read notes on one staff before he started this 12 month self-improvement program. As bSharp(C)yclist said above, someone liked what he did. No doubt the examiner probably knew better than us all the flaws in his audition performance, probably better than most of us, but they probably saw he had energy, enthusiasm, and potential.


This is stated very well. I agree that it says "something" to me as well!!

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779437
11/09/18 02:16 AM
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I didn't watch his videos and I don't have any opinion about him, the only thing that comes to my mind is: what for? What do this people think they can achieve? Do they really think they will become concert pianists, world-class musicians? There are literally thousands of people out there who started playing the piano at 2 or 3 years old and were giving concerts with orchestras at 8. There are many more who were already accomplished pianists by his age. If you watch piano competitions, you see hundreds of talented and refined musicians that never get to win a prize. And as we speak there are millions of young people in China and South Korea that are training to become amazing pianists, and many of them succeed. And then the Russians (have you seen Shishkin in Geneva yesterday night?), and the Italians, etc.

What I mean by this is... he may hopefully manage to find some kind of job in music if that's what he really likes to do, but be a concert pianist, or even a great pop or jazz musician? Not a chance. Happens once in a million times. I wouldn't commit precious years to that, when I could have a normal life, go to university, get a good job and just play the piano as a hobby. Call me cynical - I definitely am. I don't believe in anything. Good luck to him, anyway.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: sinophilia] #2779445
11/09/18 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
I didn't watch his videos and I don't have any opinion about him, the only thing that comes to my mind is: what for? What do this people think they can achieve? Do they really think they will become concert pianists, world-class musicians? .

If "What for?" were asked by somebody who isn't learning to play an instrument, I'd get it. But if you are practising and learning piano, it doesn't make sense that you are asking why this young man is doing so as well. You might as well ask why any of us here are learning to play. I'm puzzled.

There is a kind of answer as to why he got into this. He liked the music he was hearing, wondered if he could play it, discovered he could, and after a bit he discovered he enjoyed classical music as well. He seems to be enjoying himself. To me that is reason enough.

Or are you asking why he is taking music lessons in that conservatory. Rather than why he is learning to play the piano.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: sinophilia] #2779457
11/09/18 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
I didn't watch his videos and I don't have any opinion about him, the only thing that comes to my mind is: what for? What do this people think they can achieve? Do they really think they will become concert pianists, world-class musicians? There are literally thousands of people out there who started playing the piano at 2 or 3 years old and were giving concerts with orchestras at 8. There are many more who were already accomplished pianists by his age. If you watch piano competitions, you see hundreds of talented and refined musicians that never get to win a prize. And as we speak there are millions of young people in China and South Korea that are training to become amazing pianists, and many of them succeed. And then the Russians (have you seen Shishkin in Geneva yesterday night?), and the Italians, etc.

What I mean by this is... he may hopefully manage to find some kind of job in music if that's what he really likes to do, but be a concert pianist, or even a great pop or jazz musician? Not a chance. Happens once in a million times. I wouldn't commit precious years to that, when I could have a normal life, go to university, get a good job and just play the piano as a hobby. Call me cynical - I definitely am. I don't believe in anything. Good luck to him, anyway.


The chances of him becoming a true concert pianist (touring) is virtually none. You soon hit the players who have been highly trained since they were 4 or 5 and the number of concert pianists who started before the age of 7 is incredibly high. That's irrelevant. The number of music school grads who do become concert pianists is very small anyway and yet countless thousands enter such establishments every single year. Most may aspire to being the concert superstar. I'm sure there are some who are just happy getting through the course and getting a little teaching job in a provincial town or moving on in life to do something else.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: PianogrlNW] #2779475
11/09/18 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
But here's the thing. There aren't any tricks. Just a lot of hard work.


A number of people in my family circle (including close friends & associates) took music lessons or got their kids to take music lessons. I've been to 2 funeral services where the grandchildren had their trio / quartet in the background to remember grandpa during the service. 2 people were in a Suzuki music program (violin & piano) so they performed in solo recitals and are comfortable playing in small gatherings including special occasions like birthdays & weddings.

And the rest who took music lessons to the point of passing conservatory exams at an advanced level. They no longer play music and don't feel comfortable performing for anybody, even other family members. Without hearing them play live or through recordings, it is hard to judge their playing level. Assuming the ones in the family who passed music exams had at least 5 years of instructions, still doesn't explain why some people get to a level they are comfortable performing in public (in this case through video recordings on social media) and others who had music instructions for years are not at the same level.

Like learning a foreign language. There are people who took French who are not at the level of carrying a basic conversation while others are much more comfortable ordering in restaurants, asking for directions, shopping, etc. You give 2 people the same amount of time, person A is further ahead than B. I am sure both worked very hard but there are other factors in the equation in order to explain why A is getting ahead and B isn't.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779492
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I certainly find this video a little bit suspicious. But regardless, he claims he practises three hours a day. I don’t know if any of you guys practice three hours a day but I certainly don’t. So even if I compare my progress to his, I can’t really say if it’s impossible. I imagine if I started practising three hours a day my progress would skyrocket.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: sara elizabeth] #2779498
11/09/18 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
I certainly find this video a little bit suspicious. But regardless, he claims he practises three hours a day. I don’t know if any of you guys practice three hours a day but I certainly don’t. So even if I compare my progress to his, I can’t really say if it’s impossible. I imagine if I started practising three hours a day my progress would skyrocket.

I've only heard of people practicing 3+ hours of day when they are conservatory-track, at the conservatory or even post-conservatory. There are some present forum members who had posted messages long ago about even practicing 6 hours a day (which leaves me wondering how they had time for school and other non-piano homework!), but then they ended up at the conservatory. There are also some PW forum members who went to the conservatory and have in the past posted about practicing 3+ hours after the conservatory, but I suppose one has that discipline from the conservatory. The rest of us are amateurs and play for fun and fun rarely includes practicing 3 hours a day. That said, this young man now headed for the conservatory, so this probably applies. The surprise is that one would decide to major in music with only one year of experience with one's primary instrument. That's pretty interesting to make a decision like that. If I were his parent, I would try to dissuade my son from an important decision made so quickly (deciding at least part of a career path in just one year).


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2779634
11/09/18 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
I certainly find this video a little bit suspicious. But regardless, he claims he practises three hours a day. I don’t know if any of you guys practice three hours a day but I certainly don’t. So even if I compare my progress to his, I can’t really say if it’s impossible. I imagine if I started practising three hours a day my progress would skyrocket.

I've only heard of people practicing 3+ hours of day when they are conservatory-track, at the conservatory or even post-conservatory.

When I started violin lessons, our teacher said that 3 hours was ideal, so that's what I aimed for. The problem with that is that it must be the right practice, based on something rightly guided. If I ever really return to this, I will have a major chore undoing and changing everything that got "practised in" that now has to get "practised out".

But yes, people do practise that amount of time and there is nothing suspicious about such a statement. In fact, when I get immersed in something and can also find the time, I can easily get absorbed and lose track of how much time I spend. If besides practising you are also thinking about what you're studying while walking or driving to work or school, and count that as "practising" you might add even more time in your calculation.

These days however I rate effective practise over lengthy practise. That can be surprisingly short for rather good overall yields. wink

Last edited by keystring; 11/09/18 07:03 PM.
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779636
11/09/18 07:13 PM
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3 hours is a fair amount. I certainly wouldn't call it excessive although for a rank beginner it no doubt is. I've heard 3 hours (and a lot more) with other instruments like violin and guitar. For serious amateurs who have the time it's not that uncommon.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Michael P Walsh] #2779638
11/09/18 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael P Walsh
3 hours is a fair amount. I certainly wouldn't call it excessive although for a rank beginner it no doubt is. I've heard 3 hours (and a lot more) with other instruments like violin and guitar. For serious amateurs who have the time it's not that uncommon.
Although I have no proof I'd guess that maybe 2% of amateurs practice 3 hours/day. Even if one limits it to serious amateurs(depending on one's definition of serious), I think it would be a tiny fraction, maybe 10%.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779642
11/09/18 07:27 PM
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I sometimes do three hour practices, but I have the time (I'm retired). However, in those three hours I would be working on four or five different pieces, all in different stages. Working on one piece (or the same sixteen or so bars of one piece for three hours at a time would likely be counterproductive. Working for shorter periods on one piece or section, with a night's sleep in between practices, is far more effective.

Developing good, deep fundamentals takes time--time that includes plenty of practice/sleep cycles. Starting from zero and trying to cram it into a year or two of long practice days leaves me doubtful. Perhaps it can be done (the good fundamentals), but the odds are against you.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: pianoloverus] #2779643
11/09/18 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Michael P Walsh
3 hours is a fair amount. I certainly wouldn't call it excessive although for a rank beginner it no doubt is. I've heard 3 hours (and a lot more) with other instruments like violin and guitar. For serious amateurs who have the time it's not that uncommon.
Although I have no proof I'd guess that maybe 2% of amateurs practice 3 hours/day. Even if one limits it to serious amateurs(depending on one's definition of serious), I think it would be a tiny fraction, maybe 10%.

For an amateur who practices 3 hours a day, I would just wonder why they just don't go to the conservatory. For example, I know one guy who spends many many hours of his week flying his very expensive and extensive flight simulator in a virtual airline. At this point, he could go get his private pilots license and fly for real. So why doesn't he? I've asked him and he has said that he wouldn't want to fly a dinky puddle jumper (paraphrasing here). Whatever. (BTW, just a shout out to Sam S as the amateur who is going to the conservatory! Go Sam! smile )


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779649
11/09/18 08:31 PM
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According to the 2018 version of the Adult Beginner's Forum survey,

28% of us practice less than an hour a day.
56.5 % practice 1-2 hours a day
14.5% practice 2-3 hours a day
2.3% practice 3-4 hours a day
0.8% practice more than 4 hours a day.

Reported like that, it certainly sounds scientific doesn't it? But it wasn't really - 132 people responded to the survey. We do like to practice though.

As an undergraduate piano performance major at a regional state university (not a conservatory!), for the first 3 years, I'm supposed to do a minimum of 12 hours a week. For the senior year, 18 hours a week minimum. But the minimum doesn't get much done for me - I'm doing about 15 hours a week as a Junior to keep my head above water.

I have seen Freshman get in to the program without a lot of experience. Yes, there is an audition, but the teachers here are willing to work with the prospective students before they audition so they have a good chance. I've seen some of those students drop out, and others have done well. A lot depends on the major - I've seen kids start out in Piano Performance and then change to Music Education, which doesn't have the same performance requirements.

Sam

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779655
11/09/18 09:17 PM
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Hey Sam S, how about an update on your thread about your academic adventures. It seems like it's been a while since I've seen you post about your studies and I was wondering how things are going. Your post above just reminded me to ask you for an update. It's probably my favorite thread on PW.

Sorry for high jacking this thread.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: keystring] #2779659
11/09/18 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
[...] In fact, when I get immersed in something and can also find the time, I can easily get absorbed and lose track of how much time I spend. [...]


Example: My time on PianoWorld! smile


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: pianoloverus] #2779668
11/09/18 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Even if one limits it to serious amateurs(depending on one's definition of serious), I think it would be a tiny fraction, maybe 10%.


I resemble that remark.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: John305] #2779669
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Originally Posted by John305
It's probably my favorite thread on PW.


Yah, How many of those upstart twenty-somethings have their own built-in cheering section?


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779672
11/09/18 11:33 PM
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I don't think many people can even consistently put in 3h/day practice. People like myself are non professionals and have jobs, family responsibilities. Just coming home from work each day is already very tiring. Unless you are still in university and decided to take a year off, putting in the kind of energy & focus is hard. Even in high school I had 1 music class a day but the workload for other subjects was heavy and only allowed me to practice 1h/day at most.

The average folks who take music lessons tend to work at the speed expected by their teachers. At the end of the first year, you are expected to get to the Minuet in G & Gm from the Notebook for Anna M Bach and most students would get there in a year, maybe later but not earlier. The ones who reach a certain point in a short time are considered prodigies. Some people have a keen interest in music and would play their instrument a few hours a day. Others who may be intelligent and capable would progress at a more leisurely pace. And they would rarely attempt to learn pieces that are outside their assigned repertoire.

The case I read about 3 years ago where hard work to the extreme paid off involves a young lady (Sophie) who was pushed by her Tiger Mom (Amy Chua) the Chinese-American author to complete the entire Suzuki piano curriculum in a year. And Sophie was pushed to the point of practicing everyday until every piece was note perfect before the family had dinner. 1 wrong note was like Sophie was holding everybody up. And on vacation, Ms. Chua made sure every hotel had a piano so that her daughter could practice every day of the week without a day off. And Sophie became the youngest to perform in a solo recital at Carnegie Hall in NYC as described in Ms. Chua's book "Battle Hymns of the Tiger Mother".

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2779696
11/10/18 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
I don't think many people can even consistently put in 3h/day practice. .

I am retired and although I have quite a few other commitments I could, in theory, easily put in 3 hours every day. But I seldom manage that. I aim for 2 to 2.5 hrs of intensive practice in short sessions of between 10 and 30 mins - usually 15 to 20 - and it is usually the first hour that is most productive.

It is the quality of the practice that is most important not the overall length, though you won't progress much if you do much less than an hour a day.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: thepianoplayer416] #2779739
11/10/18 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
The case I read about 3 years ago where hard work to the extreme paid off involves a young lady (Sophie) who was pushed by her Tiger Mom (Amy Chua) the Chinese-American author to complete the entire Suzuki piano curriculum in a year. And Sophie was pushed to the point of practicing everyday until every piece was note perfect before the family had dinner. 1 wrong note was like Sophie was holding everybody up. And on vacation, Ms. Chua made sure every hotel had a piano so that her daughter could practice every day of the week without a day off. And Sophie became the youngest to perform in a solo recital at Carnegie Hall in NYC as described in Ms. Chua's book "Battle Hymns of the Tiger Mother".

OT, but I personally feel that Ms. Chua as a person of Asian heritage (though I doubt she's done more than step foot in the countries of her parent's birth), has done the most trouble for the Asian community in the US, by bringing into sharp focus for Americans and people in the West, a particularly unattractive feature of a segment of the Chinese-American community. I took particular perverse pleasure in reading about some troubles she's had recently with her employer. I judge all of this as a person who did come from the country of her claimed ethnicity, whereas it wasn't even clear her parents were more than just "born" on that country (China).

That said, for piano playing, in the end, this sort of thing may be all for the best. As some threads have indicated on PW, if asians (both in West and in Asia itself) were not buying pianos and (tiggrishly forcing their kids) play them, then perhaps the piano playing and teaching industry would be in even worse shape than it is today.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Sam S] #2779827
11/10/18 01:59 PM
11/10/18 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
According to the 2018 version of the Adult Beginner's Forum survey,

28% of us practice less than an hour a day.
56.5 % practice 1-2 hours a day
14.5% practice 2-3 hours a day
2.3% practice 3-4 hours a day
0.8% practice more than 4 hours a day.

Reported like that, it certainly sounds scientific doesn't it? But it wasn't really - 132 people responded to the survey. We do like to practice though.

Sam


I’m impressed with how much people are practicing. If I had to guess, I would have guessed lower. However I’m not sure the people on ABF are the typical adult beginner. I feel like we are all a just a little bit more serious .

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779954
11/10/18 10:21 PM
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For an amateur who practices 3 hours a day, I would just wonder why they just don't go to the conservatory.


I play from 2-3 hours a day, generally split my time. I know people that watch TV 3 hours a day or play video games and no one thinks anything about it. I have no desire to pursue formal education. I do take lessons 4 hours a week, 2 hours piano the other 2 hours theory/rhythm training on 2 different days. However, this is a hobby, I do not worry about GPA or missing a class, doing homework. I am in my 5th year of lessons, I am just having fun. I lose track of time when I practice.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2779957
11/10/18 10:58 PM
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When it comes to time management, I do agree between playing piano and other hobbies depends on a person's priorities. There is 1 person who is retired. She may have taken some piano lessons but did not get into music in a serious way. During the day she preferred to be at home glued to certain TV programs she thinks are educational. Another young man at a high school level had some personal issues and took time off. He took music lessons for a few years but does not show any interest in music or feel comfortable playing and learning new songs on his own. With all the free time he would play video games for hours. On the other hand, his parents made music into an academic exercise that when he is near a piano would bring back bad memories.

Some young people who got enrolled into a music program by their parents ended up hating piano or violin that they wouldn't touch it for the rest of their lives. I'm the exact opposite. Coming from a non-musical family, nobody in the immediate family perform anywhere or practice regularly. Everybody in the family discuss money all the time. I find that playing music is a stress relieve from the rest of the family who seems to be obsessed with money. Living in a building with neighbors around I can only have a keyboard with a volume control. Today I spent the afternoon at a community center playing on 1 of their acoustic pianos. Nobody in the family who took music lessons in the past touched a piano within the past 5 years.

Having an interest in music is a personal thing. Not everybody who had lessons would continue playing many years afterwards. Some people feel that they need a teacher to be around to learn a few songs because they are afraid they may do something wrong. Even after passing a few conservatory exams, some feel they need a teacher to guide them along the way. Like playing piano is something you can never be good enough to do it on your own.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: DFSRN] #2780083
11/11/18 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Quote
For an amateur who practices 3 hours a day, I would just wonder why they just don't go to the conservatory.


I play from 2-3 hours a day, generally split my time. I know people that watch TV 3 hours a day or play video games and no one thinks anything about it. I have no desire to pursue formal education. I do take lessons 4 hours a week, 2 hours piano the other 2 hours theory/rhythm training on 2 different days. However, this is a hobby, I do not worry about GPA or missing a class, doing homework. I am in my 5th year of lessons, I am just having fun. I lose track of time when I practice.


People like YOU are a true inspiration to people like me. Thanks!

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2780142
11/11/18 03:42 PM
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Thanks NobleHouse, I am not implying education is not important, I have a PhD and I am done with that part of my life at 58. However, my rhythm/theory teacher has created test unannounced, I have passed them all, if 80 is passing. When I went to college I thought music majors really were there to have fun. Taking music lessons as an adult I now have a different perspective of what it takes to be a performing musician. People have to go into this profession for the love it.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: DFSRN] #2780151
11/11/18 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
However, my rhythm/theory teacher has created test unannounced, I have passed them all, if 80 is passing.

Just curious- why do you pay a rhythm/theory teacher to teach you music theory? At 2 hours per week, wouldn't a music theory course at your local university be cheaper? Or if it is a matter of convenience, something like this?


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2780231
11/11/18 09:08 PM
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Tyrone, I am a life time learner, however after two masters and a PhD, I am done with the formal schooling and the stress that goes along with it. He creates these test I believe to assess what I may need additional work on. If I did not do well, there is no consequence. If my husband and I decide to go on vacation, I just take the week off (I do still pay for my class). I finished by doctorate in July 2014, and have been taking 4 hours a week 2 for piano and 2 for rhythm/theory. It is nice to have classes customized for my specific learning needs. The director of the non-profit school has not raised my rates of $60 per hour since I started. For the past 2 summers we focused on jazz theory, so for the past 2 years I have been playing some songs out of a fake book. I am also working on 2 pianos 4 hands songs and playing while he accompanies me on the drums (he is a drum teacher also) to get a better sense of the pulse. Keeping time is my weakness and when you play along with someone, it becomes apparent if you missed the beat. This type of education would be difficult to get in a classroom setting. I have regretted not keeping up my music from childhood, I quit playing the violin at 18. I am at the point in life, I don't want to have regrets. I would like to be good enough to volunteer for the church and community functions.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: DFSRN] #2780242
11/11/18 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DFSRN
Tyrone, I am a life time learner, however after two masters and a PhD, I am done with the formal schooling and the stress that goes along with it. He creates these test I believe to assess what I may need additional work on. If I did not do well, there is no consequence. If my husband and I decide to go on vacation, I just take the week off (I do still pay for my class). I finished by doctorate in July 2014, and have been taking 4 hours a week 2 for piano and 2 for rhythm/theory. It is nice to have classes customized for my specific learning needs. The director of the non-profit school has not raised my rates of $60 per hour since I started. For the past 2 summers we focused on jazz theory, so for the past 2 years I have been playing some songs out of a fake book. I am also working on 2 pianos 4 hands songs and playing while he accompanies me on the drums (he is a drum teacher also) to get a better sense of the pulse. Keeping time is my weakness and when you play along with someone, it becomes apparent if you missed the beat. This type of education would be difficult to get in a classroom setting. I have regretted not keeping up my music from childhood, I quit playing the violin at 18. I am at the point in life, I don't want to have regrets. I would like to be good enough to volunteer for the church and community functions.

I was just a little surprised because you're paying about $6K per year for your theory classes, for which you could take quite a bit of theory classes at the Uni or online for example at Berklee, but now I completely understand. Thanks for the explanation. We are all willing to pay for convenience and do it routinely, some more than others. And it also sounds like it's not only the convenience of being able to miss classes guilt-free, but that formal classes stress you, and so you are paying for stress-free and tailored learning too. (Are you like me, in that only an "A" will do? LOL.)

BTW, for additional stress-free, but in this case, non-tailored learning, have you every looked into non-graded/evaluated learning opportunities, such as Coursera?


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2780247
11/11/18 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

I was just a little surprised because you're paying about $6K per year for your theory classes, for which you could take quite a bit of theory classes at the Uni or online for example at Berklee, but now I completely understand.


This probably differs by country, but where I live you can't take university classes unless at degree level. Is it different in the U.S. for example?

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: johnstaf] #2780253
11/11/18 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
This probably differs by country, but where I live you can't take university classes unless at degree level. Is it different in the U.S. for example?

This was considered elitist and most educational institutions in the US have moved away from this model. It's elitist because it limits the educational opportunities to only those who can afford to go to college for a degree (afford either from a cost or time perspective). Even my alma mater now offers classes to students not in a degree program. They sometimes refer to this as the "evening division" or "adult learning programs" or some such. What's more, you can even take courses online in the US (including for college credit) even from a foreign country.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2780263
11/11/18 11:48 PM
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Thanks for that. I did a second degree mostly online, but it cost me a fortune. My music degree was free though, so overall it wasn't that bad.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2780336
11/12/18 08:13 AM
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Tyrone and Johnstaf, I believe you can enroll in a face-to-face course as a non-degree student or to audit it. The online I have done some of the Udemy classes, it was like $10 on sale and you keep that life for your lifetime. Regarding online learning, I have taught online previously for 5 years, my masters in nursing was online and the PhD was online with university visits called intensives and presenting the dissertation face-to-face to faculty. My friends husband wanted to learn the piano had a Yamaha U3. At the time they could not afford lessons she was working on her doctorate. Trying to teach him online how to play the piano was challenging. Academics online is different than learning a psychomotor skill online such as piano, dance, drawing, etc...... I think those type of lessons the student derives more benefit face-to-face.

Tyrone, I do pay 12,000 a year for lessons. I figure it is less expensive than a second home, bass boat/fishing hobby, golf, dirt bike hobby, trading a car every few years, etc... This goes to a non-profit school which employees musicians part-time, my previous instructor (the directors son) was a symphony player and had a masters from Oberlin, the one now has a undergrad in piano performance and MA in music education and is a performing artist. I do ask that my instructor has a music degree. The director told me I only employee those with a music degree. I feel I am receiving an excellent education and supporting a small community music school. I believe she told me she has 55 students, currently she only has 2 adults taking lessons. She said they come and go, most not lasting a year.She opened her school in 1997, she was a symphony player the oboe, she also sings, and plays piano. I am happy to support a school that offers arts education to the community.


Deb
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2780490
11/12/18 07:07 PM
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You can't beat one-to-one instruction. You can make much more progress when your teacher is tailoring your tuition just for you. It's as true for music theory as it is for the piano.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: ZanderChicago] #2781264
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Well...if child prodigies exist, may be he is an adult prodigy:)?

Watched the video. From the amateur's point of view it's impressive. But I'll show it to my friends from Moscow and St. Petersburg conservatories to find out how professional it really is.

I think it's the same as with amateur piano competitions. No one cheks the participants are really amateurs. It's just taken for granted.
Or a story my teacher told me about "amateur saxophonist" from TV show. You know, all this "we search for talents" etc. She and other musicians were in their tour bus going for the next recital. And the was a TV in the bus, with this TV show on the screen. And so the anchorman there announced their next participant, allegedly a guy from a small village somewhere in a deep province. They claim he never took any prifessional lesson and was completely self-taught. But when this guy appeared on the screen with his sax, one of my teachers friend said:"Hey!WTF? I know him! He graduated from the same conservatory as me!".
People just want so much to believe in fairy tales...


By the way, we should not forget that ability to play 5-6 pieces is one thing. Having an overall skill of playing an instrument, master it in all the ways is another.


"No succes of failure matters when it's about true vocation". Nicolás Gómez Dávila

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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2781272
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Well...if child prodigies exist, may be he is an adult prodigy:)?
I think it's the same as with amateur piano competitions. No one checks the participants are really amateurs. It's just taken for granted.
He's not an adult prodigy because although the level of the piece is very high for his time studying piano, the performance is not so good.

The requirements for most amateur pianos competitions are usually something like the pianist cannot within the last x years make a significant part of his living from performing or teaching. I doubt many, if any, competitors try and cheat about this because they would eventually be found out with all the negative consequences that would follow.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: pianoloverus] #2781285
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Indeed, no one really cares how many ears have you been learning piano, at what age you started etc. When you play something in front of some public and say "O, sorry, I started playing piano only a couple years ago, at the age of 30" - this is not an excuse. Of course, people can say"Oh, I understand" - but in reality they do not understand and do not care. Only quality matters.
So, forget about who, when, where and how started learning piano. Just concentrate on yourself and practice.


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Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2781347
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Well...if child prodigies exist, may be he is an adult prodigy:)?

I watched most of the video. He has very good finger dexterity and articulation for only one year of experience. His phrasing, tone and dynamics I think show his lack of experience. So no, I would not call him an adult prodigy. Interesting concept, though!



Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: PianoStartsAt33] #2781371
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Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Indeed, no one really cares how many ears have you been learning piano, at what age you started etc. When you play something in front of some public and say "O, sorry, I started playing piano only a couple years ago, at the age of 30" - this is not an excuse. Of course, people can say"Oh, I understand" - but in reality they do not understand and do not care. Only quality matters.
So, forget about who, when, where and how started learning piano. Just concentrate on yourself and practice.

Actually, many people care about how long someone has played. I know because I have been asked this many times. It seems a rather silly question to ask adults for the most part, and I usually reply "all my life" or smile and say "I just started last week" if I'm in a sarcastic mood.

Certainly, people tend to be even more interested in how long a younger student has been playing. And interviews with great pianists often include questions about when they started playing although most hearing them in concert wouldn't particularly care unless they were very young.

Re: I don't believe this is true [Re: pianoloverus] #2781377
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Indeed, no one really cares how many ears have you been learning piano, at what age you started etc. When you play something in front of some public and say "O, sorry, I started playing piano only a couple years ago, at the age of 30" - this is not an excuse. Of course, people can say"Oh, I understand" - but in reality they do not understand and do not care. Only quality matters.
So, forget about who, when, where and how started learning piano. Just concentrate on yourself and practice.

Actually, many people care about how long someone has played. I know because I have been asked this many times. It seems a rather silly question to ask adults for the most part, and I usually reply "all my life" or smile and say "I just started last week" if I'm in a sarcastic mood.

Certainly, people tend to be even more interested in how long a younger student has been playing. And interviews with great pianists often include questions about when they started playing although most hearing them in concert wouldn't particularly care unless they were very young.


IMHO, all these people who care are just like us here - learning or thinking about learning playing piano. Of course, we need some inspiring examples of succesfull adult-starters. But regular people don't.
I like metal music very much. But I never cared who long any of this drummers, guitarists or bass players learned their instruments and when did they start. But when I see keyboard player in a band, I sometimes really wonder how long did he learn, when he has started etc.


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