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Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787704
12/04/18 11:45 AM
12/04/18 11:45 AM
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Hi, Hyena! In your response, you had asked about the question of non-support -- the Church, or society/peers? I would answer: both -- but for slightly different reasons. In my 1950s world, there was both a significant Catholic and Protestant presence -- but the Protestant element were the Public Schools. From the perspective of music, the Public Schools simply had more money, and could and did support Arts education programs that the Catholic schools did not have. But I can't avoid the observation that the Catholics had a suspicion of "the power of music", and wouldn't have supported Arts education even if they had it. The Catholic attitude was in addition then quite homophobic, and Classical music in particular was seen as being too closely associated with "the love that dared not speak its name". Very naive perspective then -- but times really HAVE changed, and for the better, overall.

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Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787713
12/04/18 12:13 PM
12/04/18 12:13 PM
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Posts: 622
Toronto, Canada
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thepianoplayer416 Offline
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Started music with a recorder around 10. Our school offered recorder classes so I learned a few simple songs like "Lightly Row", the English National Anthem. At the time my older brother was taking Classical guitar lessons. My mother being practical thought that a guitar is a heavy instrument to carry to lessons. My brother being muscular would be the only person in the family who would get guitar lessons.

About the same time mom got a friend to teach me some basics on a piano. I got a few lessons and only as far as playing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". There was a black color piano in the living room for a few weeks and then it was gone. Part of the reason was the workload in school was very heavy. Just didn't have time to practice much. And mom thought I didn't have enough talent to continue.

In high school someone in the family started playing violin and so I had a few years of violin lessons around age 15. In high school I played violin in the school orchestra and picked up reading the Bass Clef playing timpani (kettle drums). All that time I focused mainly playing violin while I still play a few Christmas tunes with a recorder. I didn't get into piano playing then because I thought that getting the 2 hands to coordinate was too difficult.

I started getting seriously into piano music in my mid-30s. At the time I was having a midlife crisis and nearly had a nervous breakdown. I got myself a 61-keyboard and started learning on my own. Didn't get a teacher until much later. Nobody had to remind me to practice my music. I'd do it everyday as a way of relieving stress. While family issues were piling up, my music playing kept going to the point I'd be playing in private at least an hour a day, 7 days a week. Once I played the first movement of the Bach Italian Concerto in F at a Christmas party. This is the first and probably the last time I'd play a piece at this technical level in front of an audience.

Since giving up on piano at age 10, I would use a piano at a community center when lessons are not scheduled. I don't intend to buy an acoustic piano in the future due to practical issues. I live in a building with neighbors around so I need to keep the volume low.

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787725
12/04/18 12:55 PM
12/04/18 12:55 PM
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Unlike most, I started at 15. Studied piano and theory. It was and still is my passion. Went on to get a degree in Music from the City University of New York (City College to be exact).


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787789
12/04/18 03:58 PM
12/04/18 03:58 PM
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Seattle area, WA
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Originally Posted by hyena
So intrinsic motivation right from the start smile But you already fiddled around on the piano, I assume you had one at home?

Yes, we always had a piano. My father believed every home should have a piano. He also insisted that the fall board always stay open because he said it made the piano look alive. In retrospect, I think he was imparting an important message about the spirit of music.



Best regards,

Deborah
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787795
12/04/18 04:13 PM
12/04/18 04:13 PM
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Manchester, UK
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Originally Posted by hyena

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


He is 13 now and plays in this school orchestra. My younger son is 4 and loves messing with the piano; as soon as he can sit still for 2 minutes I’ll teach him a tune. My youngest is 1 and just likes to open and close the cover!

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: IosPlayer] #2787803
12/04/18 04:36 PM
12/04/18 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Like most of us here - and elsewhere - I started life as a child.

Originally Posted by IosPlayer
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. 🤔😜😇



HAHAHAH SO Funny!


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787921
12/05/18 01:48 AM
12/05/18 01:48 AM
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Toronto, Canada
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A few people talked about coming from a musical family and always having a piano at home. I haven't seen an upright in the house since age 10. Nobody in the family is really musical although we all took some music lessons. Everybody would be at a family gathering talking about financial matters.

I don't think I had the opportunity to get seriously into piano music before age 30. In my younger days, my parents paid for a few lessons and decided early that nobody at home had musical talent and within a month of acquiring an upright, it was given away. The toy keyboard we had at home had only 2 octaves for serious playing. I didn't have much exposure to Classical music besides a few vinyl records dad used to play. The family had little appreciation for music-making at home. Mom wouldn't let anybody play with the keys of the $1000+ piano as a toy until we started lessons. We were expected to play the repertoire assigned by the teacher. My parents didn't encourage creativity through music. Nobody around us would learn songs on their own. At the same time everybody around were focused on their studies that when we had time off we would rather play outside or sit in front of the TV than spending time to practice music.

Along the way I met 2 kids who were in Suzuki music. The 2 boys played a few pieces they worked on for their teachers for us. Their parents thought they had the talent for music. Our family who knew nothing about Suzuki thought that it is a program for the gifted.

Took many years to change my attitude to become someone who plays music regularly for enjoyment than simply playing Classical music for the sake of a teacher. I don't think I will see a real piano at home for many years. I get reminded all the time playing music for some became more like academic exercises seeing pianos sit at home as pieces of furniture after students stopped taking lessons. Having an 88 electronic keyboard is like a personal toy I can play with everyday and learning new songs.

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787945
12/05/18 03:40 AM
12/05/18 03:40 AM
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Please take time to read -- and, it's quite a long story:


Started tinkering around on a very small toy piano that my parents bought for me as a present and I do remember at 6 - 8 yrs. old taking a few tunes I heard on the television and picking them out by ear -- such as that very old cigarette jingle that was sung as -- "You can take Salem out of the country, but ... you can't take the country out of Salem" -- my parents decided I had a good enough ear playing these TV tunes so decided to buy me my first spinet piano which was a "Metropolitan" upright. After having played on that piano (which was rather cheap quality and did not play very well) my parents then purchased a Baldwin Hamilton upright which was considerably much better than the Metropolitan. I was now 9 yrs. of age and started taking my first piano lessons with a teacher (Mrs. Lucas) who resided only one street over from my parents house as I was able to ride a bike over to her house. Mrs. Lucas gave me the fundamentals of playing as I studied through the well known "John Thompson" series and I was up to the Fourth Grade book when she recommended that I study with Josephine Hatt (everyone called her "Jo") who taught piano at the Jordan College of Music (which no longer exists today) and Mrs. Hatt had previously been a student herself with Dorothy Munger who taught at Butler University in which this lineage in teachers / pupils goes all the way back through Beethoven as I had been told. After studying with Josephine Hatt my situation changed drastically as I became a teenager (after 15 yrs. of age) since music was unfortunately interrupted by other family matters and I no longer played piano for a number of years since I no longer had access to one. Many years later as an adult was able to obtain my first acoustic piano (a lowly Wurlitzer spinet) that was simply given to me by my one of my best friends after his mother passed away and he acquired the piano. My friend and I rented a U-Haul truck to drive it up to his mother's house and we were able to load it onto the truck with help of two spot labor guys we found (for only $10 each) and then did the same after getting the piano back to my apartment which was also moved by several spot labor guys. I owned the Wurlitzer spinet for many years up until about 10 yrs. ago in which I decided to sell it towards my first DIGITAL piano. Over the last 10 years or so have owned quite a few digital pianos and have determined it is now time to look for a decent acoustic and since I have around $15K - $20K to spend in January have finally chosen a nice grand piano, i.e., Baldwin SF-10, seven-footer, with Jorge Bolet's signature on the plate. It has been a rather long and difficult road before I had the money to purchase a decent acoustic piano. Since I am nearly 60 yrs. old as of now this story pretty much sums up my entire life in a nutshell. If I were never to post another word in these forums then at least I have something else that is worthwhile to look forward to with the upcoming grand piano purchase.

As one only lives life once!

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787958
12/05/18 06:01 AM
12/05/18 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by hyena

Originally Posted by wr

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?


I was fascinated with how my older siblings could open a book with all those interesting markings in it, and translate that into music, which they created with their hands on this strange box with all the black and white levers. I wanted to know how to do that, too, and didn't see any good reason why I shouldn't be able to.

Besides loving the music, I was intensely curious about the written scores - there was something magical about them, I thought. And here is it, more than sixty years later, and I still feel that way (which is kind of magical in its own right, I think)!

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787976
12/05/18 08:13 AM
12/05/18 08:13 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 300
Virginia
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Originally Posted by hyena

- 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!


My mom could play a little bit and I remember dancing around to her playing the "Edelweiss Glide" when I was small. When I was nearly 6 years old (in 1975), I asked her how she knew what to play, so she drew a grand staff on a piece of cardstock from a pantyhose package and labeled the notes (FACE, EGBDF) and showed me where they were on the piano. The story goes that either the next day or a few days later (on a Saturday) they were awakened by the piano... "Dashing through the snow/chord chord/one horse open sleigh/chord chord..." My mom was like, "Joe! Joe! Someone's in our house!" and after a moment he said, "and... they're playing Jingle Bells?" They crept down the hallway to the living room to find me there with a piano book open, and Mom exclaimed, "HOW are you doing that????!!!!!!" I replied, "You showed me where the notes were." Mom thought that this probably was not typical, so she asked around to find the name of a piano teacher. Every one she called rejected me because I was not old enough. So she went to a music store and the man said, "Call Lucy Chu. She likes them young." I enrolled in her Yamaha Piano School. I was in a class of 10 students and was one of the oldest. Another girl and I progressed much faster than our classmates, and very soon, we were in a little "class" by ourselves. We started competing when we were 7. At 11, we had to go our separate ways because, of course, once you get to a certain level, you need to be your own person at the piano and not worry about trying to play Chopin or Debussy the exact same way as someone else at the exact same time.

So no one ever had to make me go to lessons, although my Mom had to yell at me many times to practice because I was so lazy about it. I remember one time (we had to drive 2 hours one way to my lessons between the ages of 11-13) she yelled at me all the way home, saying, "I just DROVE more today than you practiced all week!" So more than once, I was actually threatened with losing the privilege of having piano lessons because they were quite expensive and took a toll on my family, financially. It wasn't until I became an adult with children of my own that I fully understood the sacrifices my parents made for me and my younger siblings to have lessons.

and a fun side note: Mom has been cleaning out the boxes in the basement, and we found the card from the music store with Mrs. Chu's number handwritten on it, my first tuition bill, and also that piece of cardstock with the grand staff that Mom drew. I have them displayed in my house now.


aka Lady Arabesque
YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/hayburner1969
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2787980
12/05/18 08:30 AM
12/05/18 08:30 AM
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Posts: 101
Southern New Jersey
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My father (a violinist) started to teach me violin at age 4. He didn't think I was making sufficient progress, so I began taking lessons with a piano teacher at age 5. I continued taking piano lessons until age 18.

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2788028
12/05/18 11:31 AM
12/05/18 11:31 AM
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Reseda, California
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The trouble with starting very early is that your hands are growing, and the keys aren't.


-- J.S.

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Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: newport] #2788056
12/05/18 12:34 PM
12/05/18 12:34 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 400
Brittany, France
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Originally Posted by newport
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 ;-)


Nevertheless, thanks - loved it. I came across it in a book of 'easy listening' pieces and was hooked. Haven't played that for years, will look it out again!

As I'm a 'hack' rather than a pianist, though, can't really contribute sensibly to the thread.


regards
Pete
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2788060
12/05/18 12:49 PM
12/05/18 12:49 PM
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Posts: 385
Yarmouth, Maine
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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?



No, neither of my parents were or are remotely interested in my playing or my piano. My dad never played an instrument at all. My mother played French Horn in high school I guess and was part of a singing trio in college (like the Andrews Sisters). My sister, who was quite a bit younger than I, took piano lessons for several years, as we had stopped moving by then. My brother played trumpet for a couple of years. Again, my parents made sure they practiced but showed no other interest. Funny, huh?


Sandy

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: JohnSprung] #2788096
12/05/18 02:05 PM
12/05/18 02:05 PM
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Mars
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
The trouble with starting very early is that your hands are growing, and the keys aren't.

Sorry, I have nothing to add to this thread. I'm posting to preserve this quote. It condensed into a single sentence what had taken other people the whole essays to explain.

Thank you very much.

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2788110
12/05/18 02:50 PM
12/05/18 02:50 PM
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My mother was a violinist and my family had high regard for classical music in general. My grandfather couldn’t get enough of hearing me play and talking about what a good piano student my father had been when he was young (I never heard him play my entire childhood but my guess is he was a quick learn when he was young!) My parents always took me to the orchestra and gave me heroes in musicians like Vladimir Horowitz and Itzhak Perlman. I grew up proud of my Jewish heritage in classical music.

I did not have to be dragged to lessons but I did drag my feet when I practiced. My parents did not beg or punish. After about 7 years, the rate of improvement slowed way down because of my sloppy practicing and by years 8 and 9, I was dreading lessons. That’s when I finally quit. I don’t recall it being a fight.

I did stay in the school orchestra as a violinist until high school graduation. I did a couple of piano ensemble pieces as well.

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2788944
12/08/18 03:57 AM
12/08/18 03:57 AM
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Ireland
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I started as a child. My parents didn't make me, I made them laugh

We didn't have a lot of money, so when I started begging for a piano at 6, my mum was understandably wary. She said what if we buy an expensive piano and get you lessons, and then you lose interest after six months? I kept begging and when I was 8, finally got my piano + lessons. Stuck with it all the way through school (which in Germany at the time, went on until 19) and have never stopped loving it.

Best thing my parents ever did for me. As an adult, I understand much better just how big a stretch this was for them financially on one worker's income and with four kids, paying off a small house all the while, so I'm just in awe. They were amazing people <3


Sibylle

My piano background

"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: coaster] #2789232
12/08/18 10:55 PM
12/08/18 10:55 PM
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canada
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Improvised, doodled until 6. Then my mother gave me lessons. Pro teacher at 8. Stopped at 20. Too much school work. I have played pretty much constantly since then. Now 65!

I admit to being forced to take lessons until I was about 11. Then I began to want to work at it.

Always loved classical. But I didn’t begin to fully appreciate ALL of Bach till I was 16. Still remember my first favs at the age of 7: Schubert Impromptus and Rubinstein/Mitropolous (sp?) Tchaikovsky pc 1 on 78s. Broke one, and remember being inconsolable for days. (This rec is now on CD.)


J. S. Bach, Well-tempered Clavier, Book 1:
https://soundcloud.com/johnlgrant/sets/j-s-bach-well-tempered-clavier
Bach, Chopin, Shostakovich, Scarlatti:
https://www.youtube.com/user/dohgrant/playlists

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2789454
12/09/18 04:23 PM
12/09/18 04:23 PM
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Ohio
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Yep, 11 years old. Christmas day. 2 months before my birthday. I taught myself to read sheet music. After a few months on my own, my mother, a single parent, noticed I was getting somewhere. Offered to pay for lessons.

So, my studies were entirely self motivated, but I was manipulated into performing via an ultimatum of “Perform or I won’t pay for your lessons.” I figure she wanted some sort of reconition or approval for my talents. Maybe feel more successful as a parent. To her credit though, I was never forced to practice or continue on as a musician against my will which I’m incredibly grateful for.

Re: How many of you started as child? [Re: hyena] #2790322
12/12/18 12:24 AM
12/12/18 12:24 AM
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Detroit
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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. At age 11 I wanted to sing in the school choir but was rejected. I joined the band instead on coronet. At 12 the band director switched me to baritone. At 13 switched me again to tuba. At 14 I switched to piano and joined the choir; also dabbled in recorder and clarinet. At 19 I quit everything. At 57 I took up the piano again & continue thru today.

2. My parents opposed my musical education every step of the way. My father was furious when I went college as a piano major. He said I was a fool.

3. Again my parents thought music was a waste.


"the lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne." -- Chaucer.
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