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ABF Survey 2020
#2984591 05/27/20 12:00 PM
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Take the 2020 version of the survey!

ABF Survey 2020

Get all your questions about who hangs out in this forum answered.

This survey is totally unscientific. The more responses we get, the better the data. Please only take the survey once!

After you answer the survey, you can see the current results.

Or, Here is a link to the results

Sam

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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984600 05/27/20 12:21 PM
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Question - does learning on another keyboard instrument (e.g. Yamaha Electone "organ") as a child count as learning piano as a child? It has synth-style keys and pedals.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 05/27/20 12:22 PM.

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Re: ABF Survey 2020
WeakLeftHand #2984611 05/27/20 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Question - does learning on another keyboard instrument (e.g. Yamaha Electone "organ") as a child count as learning piano as a child? It has synth-style keys and pedals.

Beats me - did you learn anything that helped you learn piano?

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984616 05/27/20 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Question - does learning on another keyboard instrument (e.g. Yamaha Electone "organ") as a child count as learning piano as a child? It has synth-style keys and pedals.

Beats me - did you learn anything that helped you learn piano?

Sam

Yes. I learned to read lead sheets and play chords in the left hand and melodies in the right hand. I guess I'll just answer as if I learned as a kid then, although pianos are so very different from the organ I learned as a kid. smile


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984645 05/27/20 02:12 PM
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Sam, am I remembering right that you wrote the questions?

It occurs to me that the questions might take for granted score reading ability, and hence the questions about ask about ear-playing by not sightreading etc.

In the future, you might consider adding corresponding questions, something like: do you read music? how good would you say your sightreading skills are?

Just my two yen though smile


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Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: ABF Survey 2020
ShiroKuro #2984672 05/27/20 03:43 PM
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Yes I wrote the questions, but they have changed a little over the years. The first survey was in 2011. I added questions about online lessons this time around. If I can remember, and I do it again, I'll try to include something about reading music.

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984740 05/27/20 06:26 PM
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*bump*

We are up to 50+ responses - the other side of the planet should be waking up now - keep them coming!

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984741 05/27/20 06:26 PM
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I find multiple choice questions difficult and sometimes impossible to answer truthfully. I said I practise two or three hours a day, every day, when actually I do next to no practice at all. Although semantically incorrect I substituted “playing” for “practising” in order to be less misleading and closer to the spirit of the question. Even at this early stage, the proportion of people over sixty-five surprises me, as does the number owning two or more pianos.


"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 #2984754 05/27/20 07:10 PM
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Well it appears that this forum is one of the few places I can still consider myself young wink

Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984768 05/27/20 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Yes I wrote the questions, but they have changed a little over the years. The first survey was in 2011. I added questions about online lessons this time around. If I can remember, and I do it again, I'll try to include something about reading music

thumb


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Ted #2984778 05/27/20 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ted
I said I practise two or three hours a day, every day, when actually I do next to no practice at all. Although semantically incorrect I substituted “playing” for “practising” in order to be less misleading and closer to the spirit of the question.

I thought the same thing - I see myself as 'playing' (rather than 'practising') every day. While it probably amounts to the the same thing, 'playing' makes me want to get back to the bench because it doesn't feel like real 'work'. smile


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984781 05/27/20 08:43 PM
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Thank you Sam!


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984848 05/28/20 02:16 AM
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Thank you Sam for your survey! Fun to answer, fun to read the answers. As I now know that you write the questions, may I suggest one option? In "If you perform for other people, where?" could you add: "online, for instance youtube". Because there are a couple of different answers to that question that are different ways of saying "online".


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984849 05/28/20 02:21 AM
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I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?

Maybe the age of the focus population has something to do with it.


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
AZNpiano #2984851 05/28/20 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?

I don't. It's a hobby and we do it for fun. Think about how many days per week and hours per day some people watch TV or play video games and you won't find it hard to believe at all.

Re: ABF Survey 2020
AZNpiano #2984869 05/28/20 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?
I do.
I do play seven days a week (MOYD 2020 and I suppose whatever you play counts) and I do work five days a week.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Maybe the age of the focus population has something to do with it.
And yes, I'm of age but not retired yet.


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984871 05/28/20 04:45 AM
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How do I unmark an answer without choosing another one?


Jaime CLP-645 😃
Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sol Finker #2984888 05/28/20 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Sol Finker
How do I unmark an answer without choosing another one?
You can always just exit the page and start over...

Looks like we are up to 80 responses so far - keep them coming...

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
AZNpiano #2984899 05/28/20 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?

Maybe the age of the focus population has something to do with it.

When I was working, out of the house for 12+ hours, long drive each way, 5.30 start and coming home to teenage kids, dog, cooking etc etc, I probably did practice just about every night of the week. It was a wonderful contrast to the mundane obligations of life, like entering another world of skills and imagination.
Funnily enough, since I retired this year I'm probably less consistant and the fantasies about all the extra playing I would do seem to have been, um, fantasies!

Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2984900 05/28/20 07:51 AM
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For the questions like "can you improvise" or "do you compose", I'd be interested in how many of the no's are because they're interested but haven't yet developed that skill, or how many are due to lack of interest.

Re: ABF Survey 2020
AZNpiano #2984907 05/28/20 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?

Maybe the age of the focus population has something to do with it.

We all work form home smile And when we are on those conference calls with people that use 10,000 syllables to express what can be said in 10, I slip in a little scale practice while on mute, haha!


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
AZNpiano #2984912 05/28/20 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?

Maybe the age of the focus population has something to do with it.
Those who join a site like this and stick with it are probably already not the average.

I'll suggest that if you have any degree of effective practice, 15 minutes on a busy day, can already do a lot. Would working stop one from those 15 minutes?

Re: ABF Survey 2020
bSharp(C)yclist #2984917 05/28/20 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
We all work form home smile And when we are on those conference calls with people that use 10,000 syllables to express what can be said in 10, I slip in a little scale practice while on mute, haha!

Haha, flashback. A couple of months ago, I was put on hold for something like half an hour. The background music looped, and it was piano, sort of intriguing. I'm trying to get better at ear training anyway. So I flipped on the piano, turned on Goldwave set a 3 hours (my default) and started playing in bits of what I heard, one hand at a time. Play. Pause and listen. Play. etc. Got off hold: got my answer to whatever. Pieced together the Goldwave recording, sent it to some people and asked, "Does this sound like any actual piece of music?" It was a bit Chopinesque, but simply made up to be a pretty, looping, calming music. So then we discussed what made it so. All due to being put on hold. wink

Re: ABF Survey 2020
bSharp(C)yclist #2984928 05/28/20 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?

Maybe the age of the focus population has something to do with it.

We all work form home smile And when we are on those conference calls with people that use 10,000 syllables to express what can be said in 10, I slip in a little scale practice while on mute, haha!

You're lucky. I'm usually the one answering questions on those calls and have to pay attention.

Re: ABF Survey 2020
AZNpiano #2984940 05/28/20 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?

Maybe the age of the focus population has something to do with it.

What else would we do?
Clean the house?


Learner
Re: ABF Survey 2020
malkin #2985050 05/28/20 02:43 PM
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I am semi retired now as I only work 20 hours a week. However I was working full
Time when I started taking lessons and practiced two hours a day 7 days a week then.
Judy

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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2985076 05/28/20 04:03 PM
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I just did the survey. It said to tell us who you are, but I didn't see where you were to input that information. Sorry.

Re: ABF Survey 2020
AZNpiano #2985115 05/28/20 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?

.

I found work was interfering with my piano practice so I retired 😂😂


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2985132 05/28/20 06:23 PM
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Just done the survey and checked out the results.

A nice reminder that a significant fraction of people here don’t post at all or very rarely. Lots of mostly lurkers.

Re: ABF Survey 2020
earlofmar #2985137 05/28/20 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?

.

I found work was interfering with my piano practice so I retired 😂😂

And during the lockdown I found myself practicing a lot more than before. Maybe I should take an early retirement. I'll be happier, and the kids who are no longer forced to take piano lessons will be happier, too.


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
PatG #2985144 05/28/20 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by PatG
I just did the survey. It said to tell us who you are, but I didn't see where you were to input that information. Sorry.
I didn't mean to literally tell us who you are, but figuratively. Take the survey and tell us who you are by answering the questions. At least here in the ABF, your name is the least important part of who you are!

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
AZNpiano #2985146 05/28/20 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I find it hard to believe that the majority of the folks here practice 7 days a week. Do people work?.

I'm going to print a t-shirt: I Have a Job. It's called Retirement.


Rhythm & Chords, it's what I do.
Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2985166 05/28/20 08:19 PM
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The responses to the question on Zoom lessons were interesting.

I just started with a new teacher, in person, because the previous one changed to online lessons in March.

Her institute showed with no sign of changing back before end of July at the earliest so I voted with my feet.


Modesty is a form of pride.
Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2985294 05/29/20 05:35 AM
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We are up to 104 responses! Go take the survey!

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2985475 05/29/20 03:09 PM
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a bump up and a comment: 10% of the people taking lessons pay $0 ? Where are people finding free lessons?

Re: ABF Survey 2020
wszxbcl #2985484 05/29/20 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
a bump up and a comment: 10% of the people taking lessons pay $0 ? Where are people finding free lessons?

Maybe from a family member? I go my wife started on piano for a few months until I decided she needed a real teacher!

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2985635 05/30/20 04:16 AM
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Thank you for taking the time to put together this survey . i have found the results intersting .

You say in one of your posts you have been doing these surveys since 2011, Have you or will you do a comparision to see if responses have changed over the years. For exaple it would be an intersting comparision to see if the number of people using digital pianos has increased over time as technology has improved .


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Re: ABF Survey 2020
CognitaP #2985653 05/30/20 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by CognitaP
Sam
Thank you for taking the time to put together this survey . i have found the results intersting .

You say in one of your posts you have been doing these surveys since 2011, Have you or will you do a comparision to see if responses have changed over the years. For exaple it would be an intersting comparision to see if the number of people using digital pianos has increased over time as technology has improved .

I did not ask the question about instrument preference in 2011 - it first appeared in 2012.
At some point over the years Google changed their forms and the data was lost - bummer.
But I have the spreadsheet of responses from 2011, 2012, 2018. See below.
It looks like 170 people answered the instrument preference question in 2012: 84% preferred acoustic, 16% preferred digital.
The numbers have changed a small amount in favor of digital - 16% -> 19%. But we had more responses back then.

I did surveys in 2011, 2012, 2018 and now 2020. Someone else did a survey a couple of times, I think. I have not done a detailed comparison of the numbers, but my impression is that not much has changed, except that the number of responses has gone down.

Here are links to the spreadsheets for 2011, 2012, 2018:
2011
2012
2018

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2986466 06/01/20 05:32 AM
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Bumping the survey back to the top! If you haven't taken it yet, go and answer the questions!

Sam

Re: ABF Survey 2020
Sam S #2986485 06/01/20 06:46 AM
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The (always interesting) issue of experience was difficult for me to quantify, given the options. On the one hand, I have been playing every single year for the last 40 years. On the other hand, for about 35 of them I only played for about 5-10 hours per year (on average). It's kind of hard to answer the questions correctly in a scenario like that.


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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

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!


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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
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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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