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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2850457
05/20/19 02:43 PM
05/20/19 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Repetition is important but "how" to repeat is more important. ......

This and more expresses what I was trying to say earlier.

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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2850459
05/20/19 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

. Who is this "famous Moscow piano methodist"
, If you are interested - Gregory Kogan, in his book "The Work of Pianist", which became the bible of the Soviet pianism.
The basic idea is that after a period of "correct" work on some technical difficult place of piece , the pianist comes to such a state that he can repeat many times almost without errors; and even more: he is unable to intentionally play with errors.
For me, this does not make sense: long work, starting from a certain point, does not statistically reduce the number of errors. This is due to the weakening of different types of memory, plus uncontrolled hand movements.
When I was a teenager, I did not prepare for piano lessons, but just read at lessons prima vista , made the minimum of mistakes; although I never read the book of this G. Kogan.

Last edited by Nahum; 05/20/19 02:47 PM.
Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2850562
05/20/19 11:31 PM
05/20/19 11:31 PM
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Thanks for mentioning Kogan for me. The idea of repeating many times, I wonder what "many" represents. When I am talking about repetitions I am talking about small sections of the score that is under study not the entire piece. Surely if you have to do something like 100+ times this is an utter waste of time I even think 20 times is bordering on a waste of time also or evidence you are learning something too difficult. When practicing often a large majority of the piece we are studying is doable without much difficulties but there will be certain parts which are problematic. If someone studies a piece which is far beyond their capabilities then of course you are doing to fall into problems where you have to pay attention to every single bar and deal with excessive attempts, this is not an efficient way to study music as we should build our experience up to a point where the bar is raised as to what becomes manageable for us. So repetition needs often to be done in parts which are challenging and this is usually a small phrase or even parts of single bars. So the amount of repetition is focused in small parts and demonstrating correct repetitions in a row of these small parts is quite important as an indicator of success with it. Of course the tools in which we use to practice as I indicated in my first post here need to be developed and used effectively and this from my experience teaching 70-80+ year olds is still quite effective. It does depend on the individual though, learning new skills is tough if your brain has slowed rapidly in older age though if skills were learnt when you were younger even at old age if the brain is slowing these can still be used and I have noticed this with more mature aged students I have dealt with. There is also an interesting documentary of a man with the worst case of amnesia, a 7 second memory is all he has, he has like half a brain functioning yet his skill at the piano is still preserved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO-3Ruw61Sg
It is also interesting to know where the ability to play piano comes from and this article also might be of interest: https://www.theage.com.au/national/...lets-you-play-piano-20181122-p50hlm.html

Last edited by Lostinidlewonder; 05/20/19 11:37 PM.

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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2850574
05/21/19 01:35 AM
05/21/19 01:35 AM
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On the subject of aging.......

If at some point in my life I find myself needing 200 repetitions to get one passage correctly, I will simply quit playing piano. It might be more enjoyable to watch live performances at that age.

With the advent of Youtube, there are now far, far too many performances to enjoy--I don't think I will ever get through even a tenth of what's out there.


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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: AZNpiano] #2850587
05/21/19 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
. Surely if you have to do something like 100+ times this is an utter waste of time I even think 20 times is bordering on a waste of time also or evidence you are learning something too difficult. When practicing often a large majority of the piece we are studying is doable without much difficulties but there will be certain parts which are problematic. If someone studies a piece which is far beyond their capabilities then of course you are doing to fall into problems where you have to pay attention to every single bar and deal with excessive attempts, this is not an efficient way to study music as we should build our experience up to a point where the bar is raised as to what becomes manageable for us.

Your ready-made strategies are undoubtedly good for average students; however, for example, in my case it simply does not work. It is not a matter of misunderstanding music or a lack of piano technique; but the issue of muscular memory disorder leading to inevitable blunders. Multiple repetitions reduce their number to some extent. This phenomenon is not rare for very adults, but in healthy young people it simply does not exist.
Here is the task: to find a method of working with these phenomena, without using multiple repetitions. The neurological problem can't be fixed, but maybe is possible in some way go around.


Originally Posted by AZNpiano
On the subject of aging.......

If at some point in my life I find myself needing 200 repetitions to get one passage correctly, I will simply quit playing piano. It might be more enjoyable to watch live performances at that age.

.
In Israel it was said that A. Rubinstein closed the piano at the age of 91, when his hands lost stability (he stopped giving concerts before - due to the development of blindness ). I accompanied him in a symphony orchestra in 1976; He sometimes missed notes, but this did not interfere.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2850589
05/21/19 02:58 AM
05/21/19 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
. Surely if you have to do something like 100+ times this is an utter waste of time I even think 20 times is bordering on a waste of time also or evidence you are learning something too difficult. When practicing often a large majority of the piece we are studying is doable without much difficulties but there will be certain parts which are problematic. If someone studies a piece which is far beyond their capabilities then of course you are doing to fall into problems where you have to pay attention to every single bar and deal with excessive attempts, this is not an efficient way to study music as we should build our experience up to a point where the bar is raised as to what becomes manageable for us.

Your ready-made strategies are undoubtedly good for average students; however, for example, in my case it simply does not work. It is not a matter of misunderstanding music or a lack of piano technique; but the issue of muscular memory disorder leading to inevitable blunders. Multiple repetitions reduce their number to some extent. This phenomenon is not rare for very adults, but in healthy young people it simply does not exist.
Here is the task: to find a method of working with these phenomena, without using multiple repetitions. The neurological problem can't be fixed, but maybe is possible in some way go around.

I use the practice techniques mentioned before with my older students as well with success as well as lower functioning students of all types, they can be modified to deal with whatever challenges they may face. Repetition also works well for severly low functioning austistic students I have taught, some of which cannot even speak, repetition and routine is essential for their development. So I don't see how age can factor in to such an extent that MINDFUL repetition with many practice tools becomes obsolete. If there are other skills you are suggesting (which you still have not yet elaborated or mentioned) they can use then these skills would also be able to help "able minded" students a great deal also, I don't see how there could be a mutually exclusive nature between them so too do I not understand a mutually exclusive relationship between the few practice techniques I have mentioned.

I personally don't see how one can get around a certain amount of reptition, are you suggesting it can be a mental exercise, just think about it in a certain way and then you can do it, this still would require an amount of reptition to become ingrained woudl it not? I feel that studying the piano is unavoidably a repetitious activity and acknowledgement of repetitious ideas found in previous pieces can be used to solve new pieces one may study. Once certain ideas have been understood in the past you do not have to "recreate the wheel" when seeing it in something new you acknlowedge the repetition, simply build upon your experience base thus future pieces become easier if they contain similar ideas you have solved before. Repetition in this manner becomes essential, we will work with pieces which repeat similar ideas from before and thus there is not this need to learn it from scratch or take as much time as it took before to learn similar pieces which used similar ideas. One needs to also become very familiar with certain ideas within a safe controllable space and use mindful repetitions until it is solved well otherwise when they are found in future pieces if they are not known well enough wasted time may be used again to try and solve it as if it is a new idea.

Last edited by Lostinidlewonder; 05/21/19 03:07 AM.

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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: AZNpiano] #2850636
05/21/19 07:48 AM
05/21/19 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
On the subject of aging.......

If at some point in my life I find myself needing 200 repetitions to get one passage correctly, I will simply quit playing piano. It might be more enjoyable to watch live performances at that age.



But, could you teach someone who needed it?

This thought occurred to me: there may be a huge neglected market for teachers who specialize in geriatric piano students. These students have time, disposable income (and realize they have to pay for quality), and the motivation to learn. Unlike kids they don't have soccer tournaments and dance recitals getting in the way, and they don't graduate from high school and move away, so you might lure them in for the long term.

Of course we know that adult students can be a risk, dropping out early when they realize how hard and slow progress is. But if as Nahum suggests we specifically tailor instruction differently, with what works for the older adult, there might be an audience up there that makes up for the decline in child students.


gotta go practice
Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2850660
05/21/19 08:57 AM
05/21/19 08:57 AM
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This blog is a good starting point —- he has addressed this need for forty years. Please note that there a number of adults starting lessons late or coming back late in the ABF

http://www.musicalfossils.com/wpmf/


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

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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: AZNpiano] #2850673
05/21/19 09:34 AM
05/21/19 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
On the subject of aging.......

If at some point in my life I find myself needing 200 repetitions to get one passage correctly, I will simply quit playing piano. It might be more enjoyable to watch live performances at that age. .....

If indeed you felt that you "needed" 200 repetitions to get one passage correctly, then you'd be using ineffective means for solving playing problems. It means that in your youth you could get away with stuff, but were probably missing things all along which are now showing up. What you'd do, if you possessed any wisdom, is have a second look at how to do things, maybe consult someone, and change things. If you were an aging teacher, rather than a teacher in the prime years of your life, you might then become an even better teacher because of these new elements and insights.

I doubt that you yourself would come into that situation, because I think you know practice and learning strategies, and you'd never fall into something as weak as repeating something over and over - surely you already advise your own students otherwise even now.

Some of us here are "at that age". It is not "enjoyable" to watch someone else do what you want to do, if you've given up in such a way - it would be painful. I myself am a learner so I'm in a different situation. Older ("elderly" if you will) musicians I know who have found this or that ability waning, generally have a careful look at how they do things, to find more efficient ways, weak areas in their playing or practice strategies, and generally work in a better manner. Nobody I know would simply resort to hammering out the same passage hundreds of times in the hope of nailing it. Neither would you, I'm sure. smile

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: TimR] #2850681
05/21/19 09:58 AM
05/21/19 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by TimR
This thought occurred to me: there may be a huge neglected market for teachers who specialize in geriatric piano students. These students have time, disposable income (and realize they have to pay for quality), and the motivation to learn....

My worry would be about the perception the teacher "specializing", of what a "geriatric" piano student is. I already got burned once (at least) in the perception of "adult" students, and teaching that goes toward that perceived person - which I am not. I don't want the perception of "geriatric" added to that.

If you are a student past middle age, and you want to be able to play more than a recognizable simplified Blue Danube that your earless friends can hum along to ..... you need some things. Efficient, good ways of moving at the piano. A grounding in some "theory" things, but tied to the physical nature of the piano and the ear. Proper practice strategies, both for getting at pieces themselves, and for acquiring the underlying skills. The teacher who gives that may also be one who is good at truly teaching young people. Not one who hothouses kids for exams and recitals with glory pieces in order to appease parents, or one who blindly follows old tradition and figures all the students who don't make it "lack talent". But someone who actually, really knows how to teach in a real way, and isn't afraid to do so if the student is willing to work.

If you are an older student you also don't want to waste your time with something that turns out to be part nonsense, because your time is limited.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: dogperson] #2850682
05/21/19 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
This blog is a good starting point —- he has addressed this need for forty years. Please note that there a number of adults starting lessons late or coming back late in the ABF

http://www.musicalfossils.com/wpmf/


bumping Excellent resource. I know this one well and go back to it from time to time.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: keystring] #2850749
05/21/19 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by keystring
If indeed you felt that you "needed" 200 repetitions to get one passage correctly, then you'd be using ineffective means for solving playing problems. It means that in your youth you could get away with stuff, but were probably missing things all along which are now showing up. What you'd do, if you possessed any wisdom, is have a second look at how to do things, maybe consult someone, and change things. If you were an aging teacher, rather than a teacher in the prime years of your life, you might then become an even better teacher because of these new elements and insights.

No, if I ever needed 200 repetitions to learn a passage, that means my brain has gone bonkers. Is it even worth my time to consult an expert and try to fix what potentially is unfixable?

Originally Posted by keystring
Some of us here are "at that age". It is not "enjoyable" to watch someone else do what you want to do, if you've given up in such a way - it would be painful. I myself am a learner so I'm in a different situation. Older ("elderly" if you will) musicians I know who have found this or that ability waning, generally have a careful look at how they do things, to find more efficient ways, weak areas in their playing or practice strategies, and generally work in a better manner. Nobody I know would simply resort to hammering out the same passage hundreds of times in the hope of nailing it. Neither would you, I'm sure. smile

I'm not that attached to stuff. It would not be painful for me to watch people play piano. Maybe if I go completely deaf. But I can still pull a Beethoven and play symphonies in my head.

I think the more important thing is to be able to change one's perspectives and enjoy life.


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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: AZNpiano] #2850799
05/21/19 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
No, if I ever needed 200 repetitions to learn a passage, that means my brain has gone bonkers. Is it even worth my time to consult an expert and try to fix what potentially is unfixable?

That is my point. If someone tells you that due to age they now have to do 200 repetitions to learn a passage, that "strategy" alone suggests that there are things they never learned. If things were not learned, anyone at any age can make a big leap forward, and it will be especially useful for an older person, because when young you can get away with more foolish things, and suboptimal whatevers.
Quote
I think the more important thing is to be able to change one's perspectives and enjoy life.

I'm having a problem with that, because you are coming from a position of youth looking at what age may look like. One really major problem is where those we consult have already written us off. If a younger adult has a problem, you go see the source of the problem. If an older person has the same problem, you don't even try because this "old" thing causes everything always. That is wrong. Does this make sense? (The "you" is a generic you.)

If one truly cannot do something, then you let go. But the first thing is to check whether that is so. Frankly, sitting back and watching others is not my idea of "enjoying life".

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Lostinidlewonder] #2851318
05/23/19 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

. So I don't see how age can factor in to such an extent that MINDFUL repetition with many practice tools becomes obsolete. If there are other skills you are suggesting (which you still have not yet elaborated or mentioned) they can use then these skills would also be able to help "able minded" students a great deal also, I don't see how there could be a mutually exclusive nature between them so too do I not understand a mutually exclusive relationship between the few practice techniques I have mentioned.

I personally don't see how one can get around a certain amount of reptition, are you suggesting it can be a mental exercise, just think about it in a certain way and then you can do it, this still would require an amount of reptition to become ingrained woudl it not? I feel that studying the piano is unavoidably a repetitious activity and acknowledgement of repetitious ideas found in previous pieces can be used to solve new pieces one may study. Once certain ideas have been understood in the past you do not have to "recreate the wheel" when seeing it in something new you acknlowedge the repetition, simply build upon your experience base thus future pieces become easier if they contain similar ideas you have solved before. Repetition in this manner becomes essential, we will work with pieces which repeat similar ideas from before and thus there is not this need to learn it from scratch or take as much time as it took before to learn similar pieces which used similar ideas. One needs to also become very familiar with certain ideas within a safe controllable space and use mindful repetitions until it is solved well otherwise when they are found in future pieces if they are not known well enough wasted time may be used again to try and solve it as if it is a new idea.

You just do not understand me: I do not deny the method of repetition at all; I am talking about something else: where 10 repetitions were required in youth, now it requires more than 150, and not at all because of pianism errors, but errors of an aging brain. Just the ability to mental exercises is greatly reduced - due to a decrease in concentration tone. There are additional factors: it is clear that the work should be carried out on very small fragments, which are further combined; however, confusion sometimes arises between them - the right hand plays one piece, the left hand another. Those doing this work inevitably require more time and effort than in youth; and precisely these forces are becoming less .

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2851320
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The study that Nahum referred to was a very small sample. If repeated, which any decent scientist would do, the results could be quite different. As for learning strategies everyone is different and they will respond differently to any aging issues. I'm a little older than Nahum and am fortunate in still being able to improve. There are no easy answers to learning at any age, we all have to find what is right for us.


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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2851322
05/23/19 03:33 AM
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Nahum
I understand exactly what you are saying about aging; my only thought is to slow down the age-related deterioration as long as possible by continuing to exercise those brain cells in-spite of the frustration. I have a pianist friend who is over ninety who is still learning new music and practicing daily, continuing in spite of the challenges. She has just accepted that the process will be slower. We will all be at that place at some part and will need to adapt and be grateful for what we can do. Not easy to accept.

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2851343
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If you were to take all the different facets involved in playing/learning/memorising the piano and tested everyone you would find a continuous spectrum of abilities which varied from person to person. Whether it is aural, visual or muscle memory, analytical ability, etc., everyone will be different so different strategies are needed. My right hand muscle memory is very good, my left hand muscle memory almost non-existent, so I have to consciously learn and memorise the left hand.

Aging is just another issue to deal with and again people differ in how they age and their attitude towards it. I always remember back in the fifties with our local cricket team. My parents and their peers were saying they were too old and giving up playing. This was completely at odds with how they were actually playing. But that was how they thought in those days. Once you got to a certain age you didn't do certain things.


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Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Colin Miles] #2851444
05/23/19 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Colin Miles


Aging is just another issue to deal with and again people differ in how they age and their attitude towards it. I always remember back in the fifties with our local cricket team. My parents and their peers were saying they were too old and giving up playing. This was completely at odds with how they were actually playing. But that was how they thought in those days. Once you got to a certain age you didn't do certain things.


Aging is not just another issue , but THE ISSUE that affects everything that you have devoted so much time of your life. !

Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2851447
05/23/19 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

. So I don't see how age can factor in to such an extent that MINDFUL repetition with many practice tools becomes obsolete. If there are other skills you are suggesting (which you still have not yet elaborated or mentioned) they can use then these skills would also be able to help "able minded" students a great deal also, I don't see how there could be a mutually exclusive nature between them so too do I not understand a mutually exclusive relationship between the few practice techniques I have mentioned.

I personally don't see how one can get around a certain amount of reptition, are you suggesting it can be a mental exercise, just think about it in a certain way and then you can do it, this still would require an amount of reptition to become ingrained woudl it not? I feel that studying the piano is unavoidably a repetitious activity and acknowledgement of repetitious ideas found in previous pieces can be used to solve new pieces one may study. Once certain ideas have been understood in the past you do not have to "recreate the wheel" when seeing it in something new you acknlowedge the repetition, simply build upon your experience base thus future pieces become easier if they contain similar ideas you have solved before. Repetition in this manner becomes essential, we will work with pieces which repeat similar ideas from before and thus there is not this need to learn it from scratch or take as much time as it took before to learn similar pieces which used similar ideas. One needs to also become very familiar with certain ideas within a safe controllable space and use mindful repetitions until it is solved well otherwise when they are found in future pieces if they are not known well enough wasted time may be used again to try and solve it as if it is a new idea.


You just do not understand me: I do not deny the method of repetition at all; I am talking about something else: where 10 repetitions were required in youth, now it requires more than 150, and not at all because of pianism errors, but errors of an aging brain. Just the ability to mental exercises is greatly reduced - due to a decrease in concentration tone. There are additional factors: it is clear that the work should be carried out on very small fragments, which are further combined; however, confusion sometimes arises between them - the right hand plays one piece, the left hand another. Those doing this work inevitably require more time and effort than in youth; and precisely these forces are becoming less .

You are saying repetition doesn't work as you age which I disagree with from experience teaching a number of older people. Though what is more important is that if you state that repetitions are not efficient as you get older you need to then explain what then can they do instead? It seems to me that this would be a revolutionary idea if you can practice piano without the need for repetition, or are you simply stating that as you age you might as well give up piano? 150 repetitions for a older students is ridiculous and I have never seen that that amount is required they certainly can do it with much less from my experience. If repetitions are done mindfully and effectively you should be able to do it no matter what age. I have seen it work with people with disabilities and a brain that is much more restricted than merely old age. Of course if we are talking about people with dementia or alzheimers thats another story and I don't think anything can help them learn piano, they would much more benefit from listening to music which they love, that will awaken their mind in a much more beneficial way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyZQf0p73QM

Last edited by Lostinidlewonder; 05/23/19 11:28 AM.

"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all"
Re: 3 Different Types of Practice Strategies and geronto-pianism [Re: Nahum] #2851452
05/23/19 11:41 AM
05/23/19 11:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 739
South Wales
C
Colin Miles Offline
500 Post Club Member
Colin Miles  Offline
500 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 739
South Wales
Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Colin Miles


Aging is just another issue to deal with and again people differ in how they age and their attitude towards it. I always remember back in the fifties with our local cricket team. My parents and their peers were saying they were too old and giving up playing. This was completely at odds with how they were actually playing. But that was how they thought in those days. Once you got to a certain age you didn't do certain things.


Aging is not just another issue , but THE ISSUE that affects everything that you have devoted so much time of your life. !

Nahum. This is obviously hitting a nerve - apologies.


Roland LX7

South Wales, UK
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