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Not to rain on your parade or be discouraging, but you said you wanted realistic. So here it is... if you were going to make it as one of the top touring concert pianists, you’d have been discovered by now and already set on the path.

How many full time concert pianists are there in the world that actually make a decent living? Lets be generous and say 100. The number that are well known is less than 50. Keep in mind there are 7.5 billion people on the planet. The odds are not good.

It’s not even all about talent and technical ability either. Those are are required, but don't assure success. You also have to have charisma, be relatively attractive, have good connections, and have a lot of luck.

However, Ithink you should keep up the playing if it brings you joy.

Last edited by boo1234; 06/27/20 08:28 AM.
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@samwitdangol

There is nothing like living in pursuit of your dreams. By all means keep a plan b in the back pocket, don't drop out of school or anything.

But, you're 14 and a good piano player. Can you become a concert pianist? Well, only you know. You'll need to put in a metric sh*t ton of hard work and you'll need a good amount of luck.

But, hours upon hours of working hard on what you love feels effortless compared to an hour slogging through something that you don't.

And secondly, from my personal experience if you're true to yourself, working assiduously at it, and doing what you love, life has a way of aligning stars along your path -- if you're on the right path. I'm not a new age dude. My own life went on a very unlikely trajectory when I embarked on the pursuit of my own dreams when I was at your age.

Is success guaranteed? In life, nothing much is. You never know how it's going to work out. That's why you must ensure that you live each day doing the things you love. With a bit of luck it's all going to work out. Be unafraid -- and keep a plan B just in case lady luck fails to show up.

You're 14. Don't overthink life. Just keep doing your thing with passion and hard work and seek out the happiness in every day. Live for your dreams. Hope for the best and do not fear the worst. (And keep a plan B in the back pocket.)

Last edited by Emigre; 06/27/20 09:17 AM.
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Just as an example for you, here is a 14 year old who is serious about pursuing his dream of becoming a concert pianist - a live stream concert:

Nico's livestream concert

Sam

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My teacher always told us this: 'the way to heck is paved with good pianists...'


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
Sam S #2996519 06/28/20 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Just as an example for you, here is a 14 year old who is serious about pursuing his dream of becoming a concert pianist - a live stream concert:

Nico's livestream concert

Sam
And to put it in another perspective this is a video of my music teachers Muen (Vanessa) and Ariadne was my teacher before she left my school to pursue her doctorate. There are so many great pianists out there. Neither of these 2 are full time concert pianists but they give the occasional concert but a lot of their time is spent teaching otherwise. So pursue your dreams but realize there is a lot of competition out there.







Last edited by Jethro; 06/28/20 09:22 PM.

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You ask young people what they want to be, an astronaut, etc, in 20 years they end up a fisherman or a housewife.

14 is still early, try more things before you decide, keep playing the piano seriously, but it's critical that you're worldly. Being worldly connects you to the right people, polishes your personality, and broadens your charisma and appeal. It's actually not uncommon to be able to develop concert lvl playing skills. However, we seen many of these piano-prodigies fail to track long term, because they're basically imbeciles in every way besides piano playing. The music itself isn't even that critical. Studies have proven that the pianist's visual presence is a significantly stronger determinant of success.

The pianism craft is in low-demand. Now given Covid, even lower, the bottom's fell out. It's going to take alot of things happening in the right order for a rebound.

Last edited by jeffcat; 06/28/20 10:21 PM.
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Yes and here's a nice video with a lot of great advice.



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Originally Posted by jeffcat
Studies have proven that the pianist's visual presence is a significantly stronger determinant of success.

Not really.

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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by jeffcat
Studies have proven that the pianist's visual presence is a significantly stronger determinant of success.

Not really.

There are other studies, but they all clearly point to the same thing.

Humans are far less sensitive to sound vs sight.


https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/sight-over-sound/

Last edited by jeffcat; 06/29/20 09:25 AM.
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Originally Posted by jeffcat
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by jeffcat
Studies have proven that the pianist's visual presence is a significantly stronger determinant of success.

Not really.

There are other studies, but they all clearly point to the same thing.

Humans are far less sensitive to sound vs sight.


https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/sight-over-sound/
It is important to note that that does not necessarily mean the person must be attractive or physically beautiful. It could just be that the way they play appears effortless and natural- a sign of high technical ability. In tennis we say, if it looks too forced or a person is working too hard it's probably because of bad technique. Just watch Roger Federer play and you will know what I mean.


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Jethro #2996638 06/29/20 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by jeffcat
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by jeffcat
Studies have proven that the pianist's visual presence is a significantly stronger determinant of success.

Not really.

There are other studies, but they all clearly point to the same thing.

Humans are far less sensitive to sound vs sight.


https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/sight-over-sound/
It is important to note that that does not necessarily mean the person must be attractive or physically beautiful. It could just be that the way they play appears effortless and natural- a sign of high technical ability. In tennis we say, if it looks too forced or a person is working too hard it's probably because of bad technique. Just watch Roger Federer play and you will know what I mean.

Attractive / physically beautiful , It certainly doesn't hurt.

But again, Visuals trump Sound, Everytime. There's an evolutionary basis for this. You hear a lion, you're scared, but what do you do, you look around, where's the lion? You see a lion, run bi7(H run, it's real, you're probably gonna die.

This isn't to say sound is unimportant, it's just <in actual performance> not as important as the visual presence, which includes demeanor, body movement, facial expression, great haircut, etc.

Your argument also doesn't hold water, because in the study, they compared the top selections for the winner, they're all highly competent performances, no one at these levels will look physically laborious in their keystroke. And the fact that it was impossible to tell who won based on sound alone is clear indication that whatever the circumstance of their production, it made no difference on the sound evaluation.

Last edited by jeffcat; 06/29/20 09:58 AM.
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I don't know, I'm pretty sure if I only watched Horowitz without the sound I would be fast asleep in less than a minute smile. He was one of the most stoic of players but arguably one of the best pianists of all time. His playing though, was effortless.


Last edited by Jethro; 06/29/20 10:00 AM.

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Of course you can, If that is what you want to be. Why not ?

Make sure that you have a reputable teacher that will prepare you for the competitions.

The rest depends on your dedication and will.

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When I was 14 I wanted to be a composer. I entered a conservatorium of music when I was 18 and quickly discovered that my chances making a living as a composer were nil. The demand for composers was very, very small and the supply pool very large (comparatively). In the end I specialised in music education and became a high school music teacher, a job I detested. Now I'm a 45 year old disability pensioner. So much for dreams.

It might be my cynicism talking here, but give up your dream and get a real job. The repertoire you list is nothing special for 14 year old unless you've only been learning since you were 10 or 11. Music does make a great hobby, though and others can still benefit from your talent. For instance, until COVID-19 hit I played voluntarily once a fortnight at a retirement home. I'm no great pianist, but I put smiles on many faces and temporarily unlocked memories for those with severe dementia. Very rewarding.

Don't listen to people who say "you can do anything you want if you work hard enough" or "the world is your oyster". It's enough in life to be able to support those who rely on you and spend time with the people you love. If you have spare time and money to do some of the things you want to do and own some of the things you want to own, that's a privilege and blessing. Many people don't.


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Originally Posted by L'Orfeo
Don't listen to people who say "you can do anything you want if you work hard enough" or "the world is your oyster". It's enough in life to be able to support those who rely on you and spend time with the people you love. If you have spare time and money to do some of the things you want to do and own some of the things you want to own, that's a privilege and blessing. Many people don't.

There's a sh!t ton of wisdom in that. But the caveat is that when you're 14 you have more energy & more recklessness than you'll ever have later. It's the right age to push yourself & take crazy risks. If it all blows up you still have time to become an MBA or something more marketable than music.

There is also the chance that by running in overdrive to become a performer, he'll end up being a better pianist than he otherwise would have.

Last edited by Fidel; 06/29/20 09:54 PM.

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In life there will always be no end of people telling you what you can and cannot do.

Most of it is well meaning too. Take note and then... Ignore it. Everyone (me included) is talking about themselves. No-one knows you, anything about you, or what will happen in your future.

The road to heck may be paved with good pianists, but it seems that a lot of burned out cynicists with broken dreams are still walking the earth. A wise man once said, "I may go to heck... But I will go there playing my piano!" smile

Embark on a path that makes you happy every day. It's as simple as that. We all have to figure it out along the way, and more often than not it's unclear what will happen next, or in 10, 20, 30 years from now.

Kid, you're only 14. Chill out and live your life how you want. Don't even ask. Every choice seems monumental at 14, but it really hardly matters. Finish school, don't do stupid sh*t... the rest is up to you.

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Originally Posted by L'Orfeo
Don't listen to people who say "you can do anything you want if you work hard enough" or "the world is your oyster". It's enough in life to be able to support those who rely on you and spend time with the people you love. If you have spare time and money to do some of the things you want to do and own some of the things you want to own, that's a privilege and blessing. Many people don't.

While I understand where you're coming from, I disagree with this. When I first posted in these forums 15 years ago I was much like the OP (except I was a much worse pianist). People told me there was no point to even apply to a conservatory with my horrible skill set and that I was doomed to musical irrelevance for life since I was 16 years old and not already famous.

Fast forward 15 years and I got accepted to a decent conservatory, have a music degree, have performed with the Dallas Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra (I didn't play great, but still what a dream fulfilled!), and plan on spending the next few decades of my life on the amateur competition circuit enjoying the company of kindred spirits much more talented than myself.

I was definitely overly-ambitious with my postings back when I was younger...but if I had listened to "reasonable" people I wouldn't have the quite-fulfilling amateur musical life that I do today.

The kid probably won't be a concert pianist - I won't argue with you there. I actually don't think most people should even try to be, given what can be achieved as an amateur nowadays (performances with multiple top-tier orchestras). But It really bothers me when people say anyone can't do something, or isn't capable of doing something. You're probably right...but what if you're not?

Last edited by computerpro3; 06/29/20 11:20 PM.
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Again, If that is what you want you can try entering major piano competitions.
The teacher is important here. You should find a teacher who would believe in your talent and prepare you for the big competitions.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucas_Debargue

http://ismeneb.com/blogs-list/150707-debargues-teacher-explains.html

Last edited by Hakki; 06/30/20 04:38 AM.
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The only advice I can give you: use your brain. With your skill set you can probably be a professional musician, but a concert pianist? I don't think so. Concert pianists are exceptional talents that are recognized at the age of somewhere around 5 and then study 8 hours a day or more for twenty years.
The question is, do you really want to be a professional musician? No secure income, being forced to always do music, not only when you feel like it.
I started piano teaching a couple of years ago, and it was okay in the beginning. But realistically, it paid only half the money per hour that I earn with my normal job, if I take into account the preparation and my own practicing. So I'm getting out of it again.
Get a decent job and play music for a hobby; it will give you a lifetime of pleasure, or aim for a career in music while not pinning yourself down on the concert pianist thing, but be aware of what you are letting yourself into.

Sorry to be so direct, but that's what friends are for ;-)

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Sam, what does your teacher think of your playing? Are you one of her very best students? What is your experience performing in front of groups, even of your teacher's students?


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
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