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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2986960 06/02/20 09:39 AM
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OK, survey participation has tapered off - we have had 122 responses, so here is my wrap up.

Not much has changed since the last time I did a survey - except participation is down slightly.

All my statements below have this qualifier "Of those who responded to the survey..."

Slightly less than half are really adult beginners. The rest are re-starters.

About half of us are over 56, and the largest age group is over 65. The smallest age group is young adults.

North America and Europe account for 90% of the respondents.

Experience is skewed towards more than less, with the largest group, 30%, with 10 or more years of experience.

About 2/3rds of us play some other instrument.

A majority of the re-starters had 2-5 years of lessons as a kid, but a whopping 42% waited more than 30 years before re-starting.

About half of us take lessons, but only a third of that half use video conferencing.

Only 14% are taking an online course.

Over 40% have been taking lessons over 3 years.

About 55% of those taking lessons spend more than $26 a half hour.

There are lots of reasons why people don't take lessons, but the top three are: Too expensive, can't find a teacher, and they don't need a teacher.

More than half practice 7 days a week, and a whopping 85% practice at least 5 days a week.

And almost 90% practice an hour or more a day.

But a lot of this piano playing is done alone, with only 44% of us playing for others.

Now this is telling - 42% of us own an electronic keyboard, but only 19% prefer an electronic keyboard. Not good news for the digitals.

The majority of us still own just one piano.

I am the only person who owns a harpsichord!

21% use a software instrument - is that the same crowd that prefers digital keyboards?

We think we can play - only about 30% identify as a beginner of some type.

Our musicianship needs work - consistently low numbers of us can play by ear, improvise, sing and play, and compose.

Our theory/history training needs work too - over 60% are self taught or have not had any teaching.

And only 13% take exams of any kind.

This is depressing - 60% have never played in an ABF recital, but most of those are just not interested or don't know what they are.

Over 90% are members of pianoworld, but only 22% donate to support the site.

About 70% of us visit PW at least once a day, but 11% have never posted.

Top 5 genres: Classical, pop, ragtime, jazz, Einaudi-like

We play lots of other instruments, from guitar to flute, double bass to saxophone. Only 5% only play piano.

Most popular composers: Chopin, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart.

Thanks for participating!
Sam

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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2986973 06/02/20 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
This is depressing - 60% have never played in an ABF recital, but most of those are just not interested or don't know what they are.

I'm not sure why that's depressing? It seems like there's quite a lot of participation regardless. I find the turnout impressive.

I'm not sure I'll ever do it. I have no idea how to do a quality recording (and I don't want to spend $100+ on equipment). I certainly don't want to submit something that sounds like crap. Also, anticipating comments on my playing would probably make me nauseous. Or maybe it would be even worse to be overlooked and not receive any comments at all...I can't decide!


I ❤️ Mendelssohn, Yann Tiersen, Heller
Re: ABF Survey 2020
JB_PW #2986975 06/02/20 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JB_PW
Originally Posted by Sam S
This is depressing - 60% have never played in an ABF recital, but most of those are just not interested or don't know what they are.

I'm not sure why that's depressing? It seems like there's quite a lot of participation regardless. I find the turnout impressive.

I'm not sure I'll ever do it. I have no idea how to do a quality recording (and I don't want to spend $100+ on equipment). I certainly don't want to submit something that sounds like crap. Also, anticipating comments on my playing would probably make me nauseous. Or maybe it would be even worse to be overlooked and not receive any comments at all...I can't decide!

It's depressing because I am the admin for the recitals and have an interest in seeing them survive and prosper!

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
JB_PW #2986978 06/02/20 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by JB_PW
Originally Posted by Sam S
This is depressing - 60% have never played in an ABF recital, but most of those are just not interested or don't know what they are.

I'm not sure why that's depressing? It seems like there's quite a lot of participation regardless. I find the turnout impressive.

I'm not sure I'll ever do it. I have no idea how to do a quality recording (and I don't want to spend $100+ on equipment). I certainly don't want to submit something that sounds like crap. Also, anticipating comments on my playing would probably make me nauseous. Or maybe it would be even worse to be overlooked and not receive any comments at all...I can't decide!

You might want to checkout the feedback recital threads, the comments are almost always supportive. Personally I view it mostly as commenting on what I liked about what the player has done. The closest I'll get to a criticism will be to do with an instrument or a recording method which I feel detracts from the quality of the playing. I won't say anything I don't agree with, but I've not yet heard a recording that there isn't something positive to say about. From my observations that is the approach most people who do comment take.

I view the ABF recital as the place that helps build some confidence and gives encouragement to keep going. I've always really appreciated the feedback on my pieces even though I know others are mostly doing as I am and remarking on what they liked.

if you are looking for critical feedback I don't think ABF recitals is the place. There are plenty of other places to go for feedback designed to help you improve your playing.

Re: ABF Survey 2020
KevinM #2986988 06/02/20 11:42 AM
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I've also noticed what KevinM said: no critical feedback in the online recitals. The forum becomes a sort of community and people want to be friendly, so they will only praise each other. Realistically, the only way to receive critical feedback is by paying for it – through a teacher.

The ABF recitals imo are just for people to not feel so alone. In the survey, not many people perform for strangers. If you don't have a teacher and in addition you don't perform, it's very isolating. If no musician ever hears you, that is not good.

Re: ABF Survey 2020
wszxbcl #2986990 06/02/20 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
If you don't have a teacher and in addition you don't perform, it's very isolating. If no musician ever hears you, that is not good.

Sometimes, or at least for some of us, it's a bit embarrasing to have a musician hearing your beginners playing.

I once took part in the ABF recital - only audio - and yes, the review was very kind and friendly, even though my playing was and still is really poor.


Jaime CLP-645 😃
Re: ABF Survey 2020
KevinM #2987040 06/02/20 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
You might want to checkout the feedback recital threads, the comments are almost always supportive. Personally I view it mostly as commenting on what I liked about what the player has done.

Also, one of the checkboxes in the submission form allows you to request feedback or not. Definitely don't let concern about quality or feedback hold you back. I wish I could participate in more ABF recitals, I've done a couple but my biggest challenge is remembering to record in time for submission!


Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth) and C minor Prelude (big chords), Mozart Sonata in C K. 545
Instruments: Yamaha N1X, Kawai ES110, Roland GO:PIANO
Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2987042 06/02/20 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
It's depressing because I am the admin for the recitals and have an interest in seeing them survive and prosper!Sam

I know...and I think it's wonderful that you donate so much of your time to PW! I can understand that you'd like to see a larger percentage of forum members participate.


I ❤️ Mendelssohn, Yann Tiersen, Heller
Re: ABF Survey 2020
wszxbcl #2987047 06/02/20 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
I view the ABF recital as the place that helps build some confidence and gives encouragement to keep going. I've always really appreciated the feedback on my pieces even though I know others are mostly doing as I am and remarking on what they liked.

Originally Posted by wszxbcl
The ABF recitals imo are just for people to not feel so alone. In the survey, not many people perform for strangers. If you don't have a teacher and in addition you don't perform, it's very isolating. If no musician ever hears you, that is not good.

Thank you both for sharing your perspectives...neither of which I had considered. It would probably be good for me to spend more time polishing pieces, which I generally do not do. Step 1: start recording myself for my own benefit. I've said several times now that I need to do that. One of these days I'll follow through. smile


I ❤️ Mendelssohn, Yann Tiersen, Heller
Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2987050 06/02/20 02:20 PM
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Yes, there is a checkbox in the recital submission about requesting feedback - most people ignore it. We really should not expect detailed criticism in the ABF recitals. When it happens, its usually because someone is very familiar with the piece and has something they can offer. But detailed comments are what you would pay a teacher for.

So you get polite, supportive comments. With 50+ pieces to listen to, I am just glad that someone took the time to listen.

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2987177 06/02/20 08:05 PM
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At my age neither praise nor criticism is likely to influence me. The feedback I value is that which draws my attention to musical features I had been unaware of. This has occurred several times with the ABF recitals and is very useful to me. Curiously, profound feedback almost always comes from people who are relatively naive musically and almost never from professionals and experts, whose comments I can safely ignore. My comments on other ABF playing are always written to encourage, that is quite deliberate.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: ABF Survey 2020
Ted #2987262 06/03/20 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted
At my age neither praise nor criticism is likely to influence me.
Even one hundred years from now, I will not have reached that age.


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2987584 06/03/20 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
With 50+ pieces to listen to, I am just glad that someone took the time to listen.

Had you included that in your list of reasons why people don’t participate in online recitals, that would have been my choice! “50+ pieces to listen to- and make an intelligent positive comment about- and respond to others’ comments on your piece.” It seems like such a formidable task and I admire those who undertake it.

Well, there’s always the piano bar, but I’ve never done that either…

Re: ABF Survey 2020
cefinow #2987657 06/04/20 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cefinow
“50+ pieces to listen to- and make an intelligent positive comment about- and respond to others’ comments on your piece.” It seems like such a formidable task and I admire those who undertake it.

No, listening is not a formidable task. It’s a delight, because there are old favourites to enjoy, and usually at least one new piece to discover (and possibly add to your one-day-I’ll-attempt-this-myself list). Comments (if any) can be as simple as a 'well done' or a general ’thank you’.

For me the ‘formidable’ part comes before submission: deciding on, and polishing, a piece as far as my current skills allow. I play just for myself, so ‘note-perfection’ isn’t usually my priority. smile


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
MarieJ #2987662 06/04/20 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by MarieJ
No, listening is not a formidable task. It’s a delight....

I agree, I enjoy listening to all the pieces, and commenting on those which, for whatever reason, take my fancy. It is not in any sense a task and I always look forward to the next recital.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2987746 06/04/20 09:43 AM
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Well, there was a question targeted solely at ABF recital non-participants— so I thought it might be useful to explain my non-participation a little more! (in the interests of data collection, of course) grin

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