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How many of you started as child? #2787312
12/03/18 11:44 AM
12/03/18 11:44 AM
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Netherlands
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hyena Offline OP
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Heya! I'm doing some research for a school project.

I'm curious about how many of you started as child. Not just piano, but music lessons in general.

- Did your parents make you go, or did you want yourself?
- If your parents made you go, was it your mother, your father, or both really?
- Why did they want it? Were they musicians themselves, or other reasons?

Just looking for some personal stories smile!

Last edited by hyena; 12/03/18 11:45 AM.
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Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787360
12/03/18 02:13 PM
12/03/18 02:13 PM
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by hyena
Heya! I'm doing some research for a school project.

I'm curious about how many of you started as child. Not just piano, but music lessons in general.

I'd guess that almost everyone in Pianist Corner started as children grin.
Quote
Did your parents make you go, or did you want yourself?
- If your parents made you go, was it your mother, your father, or both really?
- Why did they want it? Were they musicians themselves, or other reasons?

Just looking for some personal stories smile!

I've written my autobiography in PW lots of times wink , but here is a précis:

My parents bought a piano and started us on lessons because that's what all our neighbors did for their kids (peer pressure, in other words). Like swimming lessons, art lessons etc (which I also had as a kid), it wasn't something I asked for, but like anything new to a child, I was initially attracted because it was a new toy to play with.......and I also had the fanciful idea that my teacher would eventually teach me to play Love Story, like, within a few weeks.

It was the only "classical music" I knew then cry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCzwlSPTnr4

For the record, I never did learn to play it, ever. Mozart took over my aspirations, and I forgot all about Love. By the time I remembered why I "wanted" to learn the piano - several years later -, I could already play it by ear, whenever I wanted.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787373
12/03/18 02:37 PM
12/03/18 02:37 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
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Originally Posted by hyena

- Did your parents make you go, or did you want yourself?

I used to fiddle around on the piano, playing things I heard by ear, incompetently. They asked me if I wanted lessons. I said yes. I was 10. My parents were on a strict budget so the agreement was, "If we ever have to ask you to practice, the lessons stop". They never had to ask. I loved it immediately and eagerly practiced every day.
Quote
If your parents made you go, was it your mother, your father, or both really?

My teacher came to my house. Both parents supported it.
Quote
- Why did they want it? Were they musicians themselves, or other reasons?
Both of my parents loved and listened to classical music. Neither were musicians but my father regretted not taking violin lessons. I think they saw that music was important to me and they wanted to encourage me.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787395
12/03/18 03:23 PM
12/03/18 03:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 385
Yarmouth, Maine
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Originally Posted by hyena
Heya! I'm doing some research for a school project.

I'm curious about how many of you started as child. Not just piano, but music lessons in general.

- Did your parents make you go, or did you want yourself?
- If your parents made you go, was it your mother, your father, or both really?
- Why did they want it? Were they musicians themselves, or other reasons?

Just looking for some personal stories smile!


1. I started at about age 10. I had friends with pianos and I probably mentioned that to my parents.
2. My mother probably drove me to and picked me up from the first couple of lessons, then I rode my bike (small town).
3. Neither were particularly musically inclined (and still aren't). I was required by them to practice an hour a day, but they didn't really want to hear me and did not attend any recitals. If my mother would have had to attend the lesson with me, I am sure I would not have had that teacher!

When we moved away when I was almost 12, that was the end of my lessons for several years until I got a job at age 17 and paid for my own. Then again I moved away after a few months and I've been on my own since. I play a lot by ear, though, and have not been without a piano of some kind.


Sandy

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787398
12/03/18 03:34 PM
12/03/18 03:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 681
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newport Offline
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The Music Box Dancer made me want to learn it ... (kidding)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBo161WBdMg


Actually it's this one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co1-GiL-pJA

(also kidding ... sorry ;-)


Chopin Mazurka Op.59, No.2
Schumann Carnaval "Chopin"

John
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787400
12/03/18 03:45 PM
12/03/18 03:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,063
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wr Offline
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Originally Posted by hyena


I'm curious about how many of you started as child. Not just piano, but music lessons in general.

- Did your parents make you go, or did you want yourself?

I was a self-motivated five-year-old who wouldn't stop asking for lessons, so they gave in. There already was a piano in the house, and my older siblings played some. I pestered one of them to teach me how to read music, with the result that I knew the basics even before I started lessons. The teacher was reluctant to take anyone who wasn't in school yet, but after I recited the alphabet for her, she allowed me as a pupil.

Later, at around twelve years, I also started on the clarinet so I could be in the school band, and over the next few years, added bassoon and baritone saxophone.



Last edited by wr; 12/03/18 03:46 PM.
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787421
12/03/18 05:07 PM
12/03/18 05:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 45
Manchester, UK
leemeadowcroft Offline
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Manchester, UK
Yes started as a child, self taught at home until I excelled in music at secondary school and took up guitar, piano and the gospel choir at age 10. Played guitar primarily and piano on the side until 17 with lessons in both.

No musical history in the family, in fact I think my dad is tone deaf. I enjoyed it so was encouraged and given the opportunities to continue.

We had a keyboard in the house for years which I encouraged my own son to play and he has since taken up violin as his main instrument. Bought a digital piano 2 years ago and going to start regular practice imminently as my primary hobby.

Music is a life-long past time.

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787427
12/03/18 05:26 PM
12/03/18 05:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 465
Istanbul
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IosPlayer Offline
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My seventeen year old sister was playing so we had an Acrosonic. I was nine but had been fiddling around for a couple of years. My mom played popular tunes including stride bass. She taught me my first blues... The one from St. Louis, stride bass, of course. I started with Mr. Lisanti at age nine. After a year Mr, Lisanti said, "Mrs. Levy you are wasting your money." My mother said "Oh please, Mr. Lisanti, try a little more!" Shortly afterward Mr. L. Developed cancer and went back to Italy to die. Mr. Feldman showed up. My sister stopped because Feldman put his hand on hers to demonstrate and it creeped her out. He did the same with me. He was a great teacher with spatulated finger tips. Introduced me to Chopin.

Sixty years later I have five CDs on a jazz label and have played at The BlueNote and Birdland. I guess Mr. Lisanti was wrong and my mom was right. My dad played the mandolin, drank schnapps and paid for the Sohmer grand my folks bought me when I was fourteen.
$1500 in 1962. A lot of money for my old man and I am sure my mom pushed him.

Anyway, he was proud and drove me to lessons on the weekend when he could have been doing something to please himself. He sat with Feldman's wife in the kitchen drinking coffee. Did he ever put his hand on Feldman's wife's hand like Feldman did to my sister and me? I'll never know.


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070
1915 Steinway B, Kawai MP11se, Casio AT5
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787445
12/03/18 06:10 PM
12/03/18 06:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,081
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Tim Adrianson Online content
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Hi, Hyena! In answer to your questions:

1 My parents both agreed to start me very early in music, about 5 years old or so, under the tutelage of the Dominican Nuns, who did the bulk of the teaching that I attended, both in Elementary school and in High School. I was pretty self-motivated, and became the organist for the early church services by 5th or 6th grade, which I continued through my junior year of High School. We lived within walking distance of both the church and school, and so my parents never had to do much in the way of time, although of course they had to pay for lessons.

2 My dad was a music lover, both Jazz and Classical, and played the piano with pretty good proficiency. My mother was not musical, and tended to be somewhat hostile to it at times -- for example, my dad and I would play duets sometimes, and she once flat out said that she just found that annoying.

3 The Catholic society in which I grew up was not supportive of music in general in the mid 50s - early 60s, and so I simply was regarded as an odd duck at that time. That was pretty much true in High School as well. Talented, yes - but who needs it?

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787484
12/03/18 08:00 PM
12/03/18 08:00 PM
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Posts: 187
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My mother was a violist in the symphony but for some reason the instrument didn't appeal. My dad was organist at the local cathedral and taught a few piano students. I begged for lessons starting around 1st grade, and finally in 2nd grade he relented. So I took piano lessons for 10 years from him, and 5 years of organ lessons (which wasn't my idea!). I quit cold turkey at 19 and didn't start up again until my 50s, although I fooled around on the piano starting in my 30s. Only played organ a few times since high school though.

One summer I also took some counterpoint theory lessons from him. For some reason, I'm currently fascinated with counterpoint and fugues, and enjoy fooling around using Dorico. But it's kinda like my photography phase. I was probably better at learning about it than doing it!

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787500
12/03/18 08:45 PM
12/03/18 08:45 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 22,627
Victoria, BC
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Like most of us here - and elsewhere - I started life as a child.


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787504
12/03/18 09:13 PM
12/03/18 09:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 465
Istanbul
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Bruce, you sound like Aphrodite springing from the forehead of Zeus!
Surely you started with... You know, mom and dad... late one night... somewhere in the house, on some hopefully clean surface...like most of us here... Except for the clones and their incessant cloning around. 🤔😜😇


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070
1915 Steinway B, Kawai MP11se, Casio AT5
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787514
12/03/18 09:35 PM
12/03/18 09:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,768
Seattle area, WA
gooddog Offline
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laugh


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787557
12/03/18 11:33 PM
12/03/18 11:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,634
Dublin
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I started at age 10. I had been pestering my parents for years. My father was a gifted pianist, but he hadn't played for years. I hated lessons, didn't practise. After two years, I had made so little progress I wasn't even allowed take the exam below Grade 1. I didn't touch it again until I was 21.

I decided I wanted to learn by myself, and did all the grade exams, and then went looking for a teacher. That didn't work out well. One teacher would give me no feedback or advice, and the second one was very unpleasant. He liked to shout abuse at me, and as I found out later, he was the same way with everyone. I then studied music theory in university in the '90s and didn't play the piano for about fifteen years. In 2011 I returned to it, and my piano is the centre of my existence. grin

Last edited by johnstaf; 12/03/18 11:34 PM.
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787564
12/04/18 12:05 AM
12/04/18 12:05 AM
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Posts: 888
Niagara Falls NY
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I begged to play piano but my parents couldn't afford one so I played violin through grade school. It was definitely helpful, I learned to read music and developed a very good ear and finger dexterity, which came in handy when I could finally buy my first piano when I was 30. I think learning piano was a lot easier than if I'd started at that age with no musical background.


Lisa

Currently working on Bach 2 part inventions, Satie Gnossiennes, and some Keith Snell Level 5 stuffs, lol. smile
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP, Kawai KDP110

"Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano!" - Frederic Chopin
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787605
12/04/18 04:42 AM
12/04/18 04:42 AM
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Posts: 186
Trondheim; Norway
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I started in what they called a 'music kindergarten' at the age of five or six, and had piano lessons shortly after that, when my grandfather, who had grown up in dire poverty and always wanted to play an instrument as a child, bought a piano for my brother and me. I didn't like it much, and was often very frustrated about the learning process. My parents told me I had to sit at the piano for 30 minutes every day, even if I did not play or practice at all, and they more or less told my teacher to stick with me, even though I had very little motivation. The lady tried many things, and in the end managed to make me interested in the piano, predominantly through the music of Scott Joplin (this was ca 1974, and 'The Sting' was a huge hit movie in Norway), some trad jazz and boogie woogie. She was a great teacher, one of the many unsung heroes and heroines who create musicality and love of the arts in just about every pupil who's lucky enough to get pushed through their door. I played simplified versions of the most famous rags, before moving on to the 'real' versions, and to Grieg (I am Norwegian, after all), Chopin, Debussy, Schumann, Schubert.....and some Bartok. I played in jazz bands from age 14 or 15, and ended up with an MA in musicology (on New Orleans piano traditions...) from The Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway, where I am now an Associate Professor of Music in the Dept of Teacher Training. As a musician, I have worked within the fields of jazz, blues, free improvisation, theatre music, folk and rock, of which free improv is my current main interest. I also play some guitar (poorly), ukulele, tuba, diatonic accordion and melodica, but the piano is my home. I have had the immense pleasure of being on stage with New Orleans musicians such as the late Eddie Bo, Marva Wright - and even Allen Toussaint(!) when he played a concert in Trondheim. The piano defines me, my life, and my way of communicating and expressing myself. It is privilege I do not take lightly. I am grateful every single day, for having this possibility.

Last edited by Tor E Bekken; 12/04/18 04:47 AM.
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: ebonykawai] #2787612
12/04/18 05:38 AM
12/04/18 05:38 AM
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Posts: 360
Netherlands
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hyena Offline OP
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Thanks for all the responses laugh! I didn't expect so many to started playing as child, I hanged out too much on the Adult Beginners forum I suppose smile

Originally Posted by bennevis

I've written my autobiography in PW lots of times wink , but here is a précis:

My parents bought a piano and started us on lessons because that's what all our neighbors did for their kids (peer pressure, in other words). Like swimming lessons, art lessons etc (which I also had as a kid), it wasn't something I asked for, but like anything new to a child, I was initially attracted because it was a new toy to play with.......and I also had the fanciful idea that my teacher would eventually teach me to play Love Story, like, within a few weeks.

It was the only "classical music" I knew then cry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCzwlSPTnr4

For the record, I never did learn to play it, ever. Mozart took over my aspirations, and I forgot all about Love. By the time I remembered why I "wanted" to learn the piano - several years later -, I could already play it by ear, whenever I wanted.


Francis Lai love story was also one of the first music I learned to play on piano. At least the melody of it.

But peer pressure? Did your parents listen to any Classical Music too? Luckily it turned out quite nicely smile Would you place your own children (if you have) in piano lessons too? I'm not sure much has changed with time, whether children are more likely to play now, or for different reason. Thanks a lot for your story!

Originally Posted by gooddog
Originally Posted by hyena

- Did your parents make you go, or did you want yourself?

I used to fiddle around on the piano, playing things I heard by ear, incompetently. They asked me if I wanted lessons. I said yes. I was 10. My parents were on a strict budget so the agreement was, "If we ever have to ask you to practice, the lessons stop". They never had to ask. I loved it immediately and eagerly practiced every day.
Quote
If your parents made you go, was it your mother, your father, or both really?

My teacher came to my house. Both parents supported it.
Quote
- Why did they want it? Were they musicians themselves, or other reasons?
Both of my parents loved and listened to classical music. Neither were musicians but my father regretted not taking violin lessons. I think they saw that music was important to me and they wanted to encourage me.


So intrinsic motivation right from the start smile But you already fiddled around on the piano, I assume you had one at home?


Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by hyena


I'm curious about how many of you started as child. Not just piano, but music lessons in general.

- Did your parents make you go, or did you want yourself?

I was a self-motivated five-year-old who wouldn't stop asking for lessons, so they gave in. There already was a piano in the house, and my older siblings played some. I pestered one of them to teach me how to read music, with the result that I knew the basics even before I started lessons. The teacher was reluctant to take anyone who wasn't in school yet, but after I recited the alphabet for her, she allowed me as a pupil.

Later, at around twelve years, I also started on the clarinet so I could be in the school band, and over the next few years, added bassoon and baritone saxophone.




A lot more people than I expected started because they wanted it themselves! Do you remember what made you so curious with wanting to play piano?

Originally Posted by piRround


1. I started at about age 10. I had friends with pianos and I probably mentioned that to my parents.
2. My mother probably drove me to and picked me up from the first couple of lessons, then I rode my bike (small town).
3. Neither were particularly musically inclined (and still aren't). I was required by them to practice an hour a day, but they didn't really want to hear me and did not attend any recitals. If my mother would have had to attend the lesson with me, I am sure I would not have had that teacher!

When we moved away when I was almost 12, that was the end of my lessons for several years until I got a job at age 17 and paid for my own. Then again I moved away after a few months and I've been on my own since. I play a lot by ear, though, and have not been without a piano of some kind.


Why don't you think you'd have that teacher if she would? Do they still not listen to you playing?

Originally Posted by leemeadowcroft
Yes started as a child, self taught at home until I excelled in music at secondary school and took up guitar, piano and the gospel choir at age 10. Played guitar primarily and piano on the side until 17 with lessons in both.

No musical history in the family, in fact I think my dad is tone deaf. I enjoyed it so was encouraged and given the opportunities to continue.

We had a keyboard in the house for years which I encouraged my own son to play and he has since taken up violin as his main instrument. Bought a digital piano 2 years ago and going to start regular practice imminently as my primary hobby.

Music is a life-long past time.


Nice! How old is your son now? I've been trying to get my sisters child to play some piano too. He's about 4 now, so far he doesn't seem to understand the difference between hitting the keys with his fist or playing a little song laugh

Originally Posted by IosPlayer
My seventeen year old sister was playing so we had an Acrosonic. I was nine but had been fiddling around for a couple of years. My mom played popular tunes including stride bass. She taught me my first blues... The one from St. Louis, stride bass, of course. I started with Mr. Lisanti at age nine. After a year Mr, Lisanti said, "Mrs. Levy you are wasting your money." My mother said "Oh please, Mr. Lisanti, try a little more!" Shortly afterward Mr. L. Developed cancer and went back to Italy to die. Mr. Feldman showed up. My sister stopped because Feldman put his hand on hers to demonstrate and it creeped her out. He did the same with me. He was a great teacher with spatulated finger tips. Introduced me to Chopin.

Sixty years later I have five CDs on a jazz label and have played at The BlueNote and Birdland. I guess Mr. Lisanti was wrong and my mom was right. My dad played the mandolin, drank schnapps and paid for the Sohmer grand my folks bought me when I was fourteen.
$1500 in 1962. A lot of money for my old man and I am sure my mom pushed him.

Anyway, he was proud and drove me to lessons on the weekend when he could have been doing something to please himself. He sat with Feldman's wife in the kitchen drinking coffee. Did he ever put his hand on Feldman's wife's hand like Feldman did to my sister and me? I'll never know.


Interesting and heartwarming story! Quite a long piano journey too smile Why did he think she was wasting money?
Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Hi, Hyena! In answer to your questions:

1 My parents both agreed to start me very early in music, about 5 years old or so, under the tutelage of the Dominican Nuns, who did the bulk of the teaching that I attended, both in Elementary school and in High School. I was pretty self-motivated, and became the organist for the early church services by 5th or 6th grade, which I continued through my junior year of High School. We lived within walking distance of both the church and school, and so my parents never had to do much in the way of time, although of course they had to pay for lessons.

2 My dad was a music lover, both Jazz and Classical, and played the piano with pretty good proficiency. My mother was not musical, and tended to be somewhat hostile to it at times -- for example, my dad and I would play duets sometimes, and she once flat out said that she just found that annoying.

3 The Catholic society in which I grew up was not supportive of music in general in the mid 50s - early 60s, and so I simply was regarded as an odd duck at that time. That was pretty much true in High School as well. Talented, yes - but who needs it?


I've heard it a lot that people got lesson through church. That's quite interesting to me, we don't have that a lot around here. But you say they weren't supportive. Do you thereby mean the church, or simply the society / peers you grew up with?

Originally Posted by RubberFingers
My mother was a violist in the symphony but for some reason the instrument didn't appeal. My dad was organist at the local cathedral and taught a few piano students. I begged for lessons starting around 1st grade, and finally in 2nd grade he relented. So I took piano lessons for 10 years from him, and 5 years of organ lessons (which wasn't my idea!). I quit cold turkey at 19 and didn't start up again until my 50s, although I fooled around on the piano starting in my 30s. Only played organ a few times since high school though.

One summer I also took some counterpoint theory lessons from him. For some reason, I'm currently fascinated with counterpoint and fugues, and enjoy fooling around using Dorico. But it's kinda like my photography phase. I was probably better at learning about it than doing it!


Counterpoint is quite fascinating indeed! I love fugues, can't wait till I'm skilled enough to play them. So far I can at least do Fuga's, or three part fugues.





Originally Posted by johnstaf
I started at age 10. I had been pestering my parents for years. My father was a gifted pianist, but he hadn't played for years. I hated lessons, didn't practise. After two years, I had made so little progress I wasn't even allowed take the exam below Grade 1. I didn't touch it again until I was 21.

I decided I wanted to learn by myself, and did all the grade exams, and then went looking for a teacher. That didn't work out well. One teacher would give me no feedback or advice, and the second one was very unpleasant. He liked to shout abuse at me, and as I found out later, he was the same way with everyone. I then studied music theory in university in the '90s and didn't play the piano for about fifteen years. In 2011 I returned to it, and my piano is the centre of my existence. grin



You pestered your parents to start playing or to stop? That's also seems like quite the bumpy road. I'm happy to have found a good teacher, the first teacher I ever had/have. You play piano professionally now?
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I begged to play piano but my parents couldn't afford one so I played violin through grade school. It was definitely helpful, I learned to read music and developed a very good ear and finger dexterity, which came in handy when I could finally buy my first piano when I was 30. I think learning piano was a lot easier than if I'd started at that age with no musical background.


Do you still play violin too? smile

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787629
12/04/18 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by hyena


But peer pressure? Did your parents listen to any Classical Music too? Luckily it turned out quite nicely smile Would you place your own children (if you have) in piano lessons too?



Peer pressure for my parents meant keeping up with the Joneses - every home in our neighborhood had a piano, and every child had piano lessons. And our relatives' children too.

So, despite the fact that they cared nothing about music, and there was never any music at home (apart from what came out from the TV, which was forever on - including when I was practicing), a cheap little Yamaha vertical (other brands were not available) appeared one day, and a few days later, a teenage girl appeared and told me she was my piano teacher grin.

The rest, as they say in the movies, was history......

And if I have children, they'd certainly get piano lessons - and there would always be classical music at home. BBC Radio 3 is on all the time, except when I'm playing my piano.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787631
12/04/18 07:15 AM
12/04/18 07:15 AM
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Hi Hyena, it was pretty long ago.... maybe I didn't practice enough... maybe did not follow his instructions. Bottom line I believe he didn't think a had a talent for it. Hence, my mom was wasting her money.


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Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787688
12/04/18 10:50 AM
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Started at 6, took your standard classical piano lessons for about ten years, quit at 15 or 16 when the repertoire began to get too hard for my idea of how much practicing I should be doing (Beethoven sonatas and Mendelssohn rondo capriccioso are hard when you only want to spend minimal amounts of time practicing!) Regretted quitting immediately and toyed with the idea of restarting until I was 40, when I came back. Now, I’m 45 and very happily practicing all the repertoire I gave up when I was young!

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