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Motivation for adult beginners
#2871198 07/21/19 02:43 PM
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So this guy took up the piano roughly 18 months ago (at least he claims so) with no prior music education and this him now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG7D0eEYGe8 - Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C Sharp Minor (after 17 months !!!! )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUr3kazFBLo - Debussy - Clair de lune (after 11 months ...)

He also recorded himself play some of the very famous Chopin´s nocturnes etc. - see his channel.

If I am not mistaken, he is about 31. Obviously very talented, passionate and hard working. For me personally, his videos have been a huge amount of motivation. A proof that you can play these beautiful pieces even if you don´t start as a 5 year old kid.

Also, this video on his practice routine is very interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCQnWEKF9f4
You can see he puts a lot of effort into developing his technique.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871206 07/21/19 03:08 PM
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The practice;
Scale practice is uneven with errors accepted . Practice needs to be mindful otherwise of little benefit if you are just chugging through the notes and patterns.
Slow and fast practice on repertoire. : when he makes an error, he only plays the error correctly once or may just return to the beginning of the piece rather than stopping and drilling on the error. His ‘slow’ is not slow enough.

I’m not impressed with the practice habits or the outcome. .
I am much more impressed with a methodical beginning pianist who plays music at the correct level musically and well and who is developing good habits.

I’m glad the videos are motivating to you.... but I hope you will rise to a higher personal standard rather than rushing to get ‘there’’. The goal is to play beautiful music in a beautiful way, irrespective of the difficulty of the music. And there is beautiful music at every level! Patience in mindful practice and developing skills is so important


"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
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Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871210 07/21/19 03:18 PM
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I enjoyed the Clair de Lune. I agree that was impressive for 11 months. The Rach prelude I did not enjoy at all. It was dull and bland. So I was 50% impressed :p.

Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871212 07/21/19 03:22 PM
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Personally I think these 1 year videos are quite bad examples of how to learn. It is not how I, or I expect most of pianoworldforum, was taught to play. I think you end up learning lots of bad habits if you rush. I think it is more impressive to learn pieces properly and work up slowly. Had I asked any of my teacher to teach me Clair du Lune after a year they would look at me as if I was from the moon! It think it is better to develop slowly and learn to play pieces better. I think in the long run it is better to be a tortoise.

Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871322 07/21/19 11:08 PM
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The time taken to learn a piece at an advanced level can mean a person has learned to do the right things with very few retries. If you play a piece that require very difficult fingerings, using awkward finger sequences and not playing with your muscle relaxed wouldn't get you to your goal.

Some people say it takes time to do everything properly. On the flip side of the coin, you can also say that people who take a lot of time to learn something keep repeating the same mistakes. A lot of demo videos available are online. A lot depends on how well people can follow the techniques of professionals & advanced players. Like learning a foreign language. If you don't make mistakes, you'd never learn. And then there is the fear that doing something wrong would become habitual.

People who gets into Hanon exercises and Czerny exercises early on can go further than those who started with simple beginner pieces and work up at a more gradual pace. There are people on both sides of the debate. A lot of people learn a foreign language. There are those who follow a simple phrase book and try to move up at a gradual pace. After a few years they are able to say a few easy phrases "Hello, how are you" and "Thank you" but nothing close to carrying out a real conversation. Sometimes pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone a little bit can get you further ahead in the long run. You can get yourself to listen to a news broadcast in the first year even if you don't understand every word / phrase.

I am not saying everybody should push themselves to play a Chopin Nocturne within 6 months starting with 0 playing experience. On the other hand, I don't believe staying in your comfort zone all the time would benefit your progress. You need to find the right balance that would work for you.

Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871339 07/22/19 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom97
What are your thoughts on this?

The title of your thread is "Motivation for adult beginners". Personally, I don't get any motivation if I start comparing myself and my progress with other adults. Quite the opposite actually.


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Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871351 07/22/19 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom97

If I am not mistaken, he is about 31. Obviously very talented, passionate and hard working.

The only thing I noticed is that he has huge hands.


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Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871354 07/22/19 02:23 AM
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I'm just an absolute beginner but watching those videos doesn't motivate me because they don't seem realistic to me. I prefer watching and hearing about people describing realistic progress. Just like with fast weight loss. It's not realistic and it harms you in the long run. Both physically and mentally. I hate competition and comparing myself to others.

Re: Motivation for adult beginners
dogperson #2871359 07/22/19 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
The goal is to play beautiful music in a beautiful way, irrespective of the difficulty of the music. And there is beautiful music at every level! Patience in mindful practice and developing skills is so important


This is very well said! Excellent advice.

Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871424 07/22/19 09:35 AM
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I think if you get some motivation from these videos that's great. I'm 52 and can't imagine progressing at this speed so kudos to him. I used to watch videos like this as they are all over Youtube, but I'm not sure how this helps encourage beginning students because it's way beyond the norm. I ended up frustrated watching these 1 year progress videos because I can't compare myself to that and feel good about my own progress. Sure it's cool, but I have to focus on my own small gains to feel motivated because it'll take me years to reach what this guy seems to have done in one.

Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871431 07/22/19 09:38 AM
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I found a better video. 10 years piano progress.

https://youtu.be/jJji9AaFsok

Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Moo :) #2871437 07/22/19 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I found a better video. 10 years piano progress.

https://youtu.be/jJji9AaFsok


Nice, but she started as a kid -> doesn´t count laugh

Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871440 07/22/19 10:13 AM
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I feel like this is an ad for someone's channel. The motivation should come from within.


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Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871444 07/22/19 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom97
Originally Posted by Moo :)
I found a better video. 10 years piano progress.

https://youtu.be/jJji9AaFsok


Nice, but she started as a kid -> doesn´t count laugh


Much more realistic for progress, whether adult or child. And her early efforts are musical, where the results of the 20 year old at 11 months are not. Kids have patience; adults often think they can rush through because they are an adult. (Not true). We need to find the patience of the child.


"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

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871511 07/22/19 03:11 PM
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I am probably an outlier, but I am motivated by the enjoyment of learning and playing music. I enjoyed learning and getting a check-mark from my teacher for “Row Row Row Your Boat” because I was making the music myself. I’d never listen to that song on a streaming play list but making that music myself was motivating to me. Then we moved on to the next piece. Now I’ll admit I enjoy playing some pieces more than others, but I don’t ever hate a piece. I may hate a piece at first because it is hard, and I can’t play it. With teacher’s help I eventually get decent at it and then I begin to love the piece. I do love some pieces than others.

People who are never going to be very good at golf keep playing every week. They tell me it is because of the feeling they get from that one perfectly struck shot or making a par on a hard hole. I can relate to that. When I play a piece well it is a huge rush of enjoyment. I’ll never be very good at piano, but I sure do enjoy the experience of making music. It’s hard to explain I guess but that’s what motivates me.

Last edited by Chili_Time; 07/22/19 03:12 PM.

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Re: Motivation for adult beginners
thepianoplayer416 #2871516 07/22/19 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
......People who gets into Hanon exercises and Czerny exercises early on can go further than those who started with simple beginner pieces and work up at a more gradual pace. ............
Hmmm, I don't believe this has any basis in actual data or even general opinion, and could steer some newcomers in a very mis-guided direction.


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Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Chili_Time #2871555 07/22/19 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Chili_Time
I am probably an outlier, but I am motivated by the enjoyment of learning and playing music. I enjoyed learning and getting a check-mark from my teacher for “Row Row Row Your Boat” because I was making the music myself. I’d never listen to that song on a streaming play list but making that music myself was motivating to me. Then we moved on to the next piece. Now I’ll admit I enjoy playing some pieces more than others, but I don’t ever hate a piece. I may hate a piece at first because it is hard, and I can’t play it. With teacher’s help I eventually get decent at it and then I begin to love the piece. I do love some pieces than others.

People who are never going to be very good at golf keep playing every week. They tell me it is because of the feeling they get from that one perfectly struck shot or making a par on a hard hole. I can relate to that. When I play a piece well it is a huge rush of enjoyment. I’ll never be very good at piano, but I sure do enjoy the experience of making music. It’s hard to explain I guess but that’s what motivates me.


This is me too - I started from scratch at 59. I had only played digitals, and never expected the feeling of an acoustic piano. All these vibrations and rich tones that are created!! I can be happy just playing "Happy Birthday to You".


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Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871573 07/22/19 05:21 PM
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I honestly don't believe ANY Youtube "One Year" claims like this. Sorry, no, this is just not genuine nor realistic. For 99% of people, children and adult, learning piano takes years of regular practice, starting with easy pieces and gradually moving on to more complex pieces. Even if those were the only pieces he played in that year to 18 months, it's still not believable to me. Not by a long shot.


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Re: Motivation for adult beginners
Tom97 #2871585 07/22/19 06:35 PM
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Why dont you believe it ? I could understand if the pieces were polished but they clearly are not. The piece choices are very poor for the ability. Watching Chopin's Op.25 No.1 Etude made me feel quite sad. Setting himself up to fail I think frown

Re: Motivation for adult beginners
ebonykawai #2871606 07/22/19 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I honestly don't believe ANY Youtube "One Year" claims like this. Sorry, no, this is just not genuine nor realistic. For 99% of people, children and adult, learning piano takes years of regular practice, starting with easy pieces and gradually moving on to more complex pieces. Even if those were the only pieces he played in that year to 18 months, it's still not believable to me. Not by a long shot.



I believe it and it is possible in my opinion. As Moo said, the pieces are not polished at all. But it is interesting to see what a person can accomplish by trying hard.



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