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Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
Morodiene #2582590 10/29/16 09:22 AM
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In none of his posts here did he ever express a love for music, nor for playing the piano.

It seems that the whole so-called project was just a challenge for him (like going on a one-way mission to Mars wink ) - to prove to himself (?) or to 'experts' that this is possible. Probably plus bragging rights.

Of course, almost anything is possible - but only if you have the talent and the passion:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g59k_VIngG4


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
bennevis #2582686 10/29/16 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
In none of his posts here did he ever express a love for music, nor for playing the piano.

It seems that the whole so-called project was just a challenge for him (like going on a one-way mission to Mars wink ) - to prove to himself (?) or to 'experts' that this is possible. Probably plus bragging rights.

Of course, almost anything is possible - but only if you have the talent and the passion:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g59k_VIngG4


That's in interesting observation...here's from his 2nd post:
Quote
I think it's such a shame when people think 'I'm too old to learn something new now, if only I'd done it as a child' - so part of me wants this project to prove that adults can learn new skills just as quickly as children can :-)

So we know at least part of his motivation. Thing is, most children don't go from grade 0 to 8 in a year, either. It's very, very rare that anyone can do this - child or adult.


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Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
Morodiene #2582703 10/29/16 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
It's very, very rare that anyone can do this - child or adult.


Rare ?

Then, you are aware of someone that did it ?



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Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
dmd #2582709 10/29/16 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Morodiene
It's very, very rare that anyone can do this - child or adult.


Rare ?

Then, you are aware of someone that did it ?



Apparently that child in the video...it says they started piano at age 6 and they are age 7 doing Grade 8. wink


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Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
dmd #2582711 10/29/16 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Morodiene
It's very, very rare that anyone can do this - child or adult.


Rare ?

Then, you are aware of someone that did it ?


Didn't you see the video of Leo Bailey-Yang posted by bennevis above? He got his ABRSM Grade 8 with distinction after one year of playing the piano and is the youngest person ever to have achieved ATCL. Rare indeed.

Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
thomascarding #3031554 10/03/20 05:20 AM
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I know this thread hasn't been active since forever, but for anyone who followed this back in the day, I know that there was a certain poster on a piano forum who started when he was 15 and studied with Josh Wright, got to grade 8 in a year, and later went on to study at a conservatory. Also, Josh Wright mentioned in a video that he had a couple of students who managed to learn Chopin etudes from scratch, in two years. He added, however, that it was indeed very rare to be able to do that.

I think many people here would be aware of bernmhard's posts. I believe he has said that many of his students get to the point where they are able to play grade 8 pieces in 2-3 years. I think it requires a certain kind of person to get there (which may in of itself be a gift), but it's eminently possible.

Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
ranjit #3031559 10/03/20 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ranjit
I think many people here would be aware of bernmhard's posts. I believe he has said that many of his students get to the point where they are able to play grade 8 pieces in 2-3 years. I think it requires a certain kind of person to get there (which may in of itself be a gift), but it's eminently possible.
I don't have a high regard of this bernmhard (who apparently cultivated a cult following in another forum), but basically, if you choose your students carefully, you can get great results in a short period of time.

Just like if you choose your parents carefully..... smirk

How did Team GB get so many medals in the London Olympics, following dismal showings in previous ones? After London snatched the 2012 prize (in 2005 - from Paris wink ), scouts were sent to schools to seek out highly motivated sports-mad children, get them to do tests of muscular power and endurance and coordination skills (with a specific regard to their body shape and height & weight), and many were persuaded to change their sports to ones that gave them the best chance of medalling/podiuming, based on their specific attributes. They were then given extensive training in the sport that was chosen for them. It worked. Within a few short years, kids who'd never done rowing, fencing, judo (etc) before became elite athletes in those sports.

That is nothing new - Eastern European countries and the USSR had been doing that (and more smirk ) for nearly a century, including for musicians..........


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
thomascarding #3031562 10/03/20 06:06 AM
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If you happen to be that ''special person'' of course anything is possible however, for the rest of us it isn't going to happen. Keep in mind the OP gave up are burning himself out as well as getting an RSI problem.

I don't understand the fascination with getting to grade 8 at warp speed anyway. What exactly is the point of that? It is not as if passing grade 8 is really a measure of greatness.


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Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
thomascarding #3031566 10/03/20 06:28 AM
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Also, I think that while the poster getting RSI was unfortunate, it could have been avoided if he paid heed to the advice of the forum members. Disregarding expert advice is a common trap beginners fall into all the time, as is reinventing the wheel. During my first six months of playing the piano, I was playing anywhere from 4-8 hours daily, without a teacher. However as far as I can tell, I did not develop any real bad habits. And this is because I was extremely cautious to the point of obsession about playing with proper technique from the get go, and was really hard on myself about it. This involved never leaning on the wrist, trying my best not to bottom out on the keys and depress them only as much as I had to, put in only the amount of force necessary.

I have also never felt tired while playing the piano, even when I was playing obsessively for the first few months. Many teachers speak about developing "endurance" on the piano. This is why I disagree -- I am quite confident that anyone can play piano without getting tired if only they knew how not to waste energy. Even beginners -- it's not rocket science, but you need to be really disciplined in that regard imo.

Just putting it out there -- for anyone else who wants to attempt the same kind of thing as the OP of this thread.

Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
thomascarding #3031570 10/03/20 06:38 AM
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If I remember correctly, Bernhardt was teaching very young students who started off taking lessons five days per week. Did I misremember this?

As far as the teenager who later attended conservatory, he practiced 8-12 hours per day; developed an injury from the extended practice. During his senior year in college, he went through severe burnout where he didn’t know if he wanted to continue with piano. His words ‘he imploded’ and had to force every ounce of practice.

I, too, do not understand the fascination with this; new pianists reading this can develop feelings of inferiority when they can’t reach grade 8 in one year, or they do reach it and develop burnout or an injury.

So we resurrect this four yr old thread???


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Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
ranjit #3031583 10/03/20 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ranjit
During my first six months of playing the piano, I was playing anywhere from 4-8 hours daily, without a teacher. However as far as I can tell, I did not develop any real bad habits. And this is because I was extremely cautious to the point of obsession about playing with proper technique from the get go, and was really hard on myself about it. This involved never leaning on the wrist, trying my best not to bottom out on the keys and depress them only as much as I had to, put in only the amount of force necessary.
I don't think you could know if you were playing with proper technique or not without having a good teacher.

Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
dogperson #3031641 10/03/20 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
If I remember correctly, Bernhardt was teaching very young students who started off taking lessons five days per week.
You're right -- I don't think he exclusively took on young students though.

Originally Posted by dogperson
As far as the teenager who later attended conservatory, he practiced 8-12 hours per day; developed an injury from the extended practice. During his senior year in college, he went through severe burnout where he didn’t know if he wanted to continue with piano. His words ‘he imploded’ and had to force every ounce of practice.
Sad to hear that, I hear he was a really nice guy. Still, we do have an actual example of someone who managed to get to a grade 8 standard in one year, which is in itself a pretty incredible feat. Also, I could think of keeping it up for a year or two and then move on to a less strenuous practice regimen. At least as to the question of whether it is possible for certain people under certain circumstances -- the answer seems to be yes. I mean if you had an example of someone who managed to get to the Olympics against all odds and then burned out hard, your conclusion wouldn't be to not aim for the Olympics! It would be that extraordinary feats such as these can have repercussions, and to beware of them.

Originally Posted by dogperson
I, too, do not understand the fascination with this; new pianists reading this can develop feelings of inferiority when they can’t reach grade 8 in one year, or they do reach it and develop burnout or an injury.

I don't think discussion of this kind is necessarily harming anyone -- after all, people are reading both replies for and against, and someone (me! :P) trying to attempt it would know of the possible consequences beforehand. And it is helping me form a picture of what is possible and what isn't.


Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[quote=ranjit]I don't think you could know if you were playing with proper technique or not without having a good teacher.
I am working with a teacher right now, as well asked several teachers online to comment on videos of my playing, and all of them have said that my technique is fine. There is always the possibility of something falling through the cracks, but that happens to people all the time even with teachers.

Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
thomascarding #3031666 10/03/20 12:33 PM
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Ranjit
I believe it’s important to provide complete information: yes, the teenager reached grade 8 in one year but he practiced 8-12 hrs per day, had an excellent teacher and had an injury.

new students shouldn’t just hear the ‘rosy, sounds easy, let’s do it part’. ... but the entire story.


"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: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
ranjit #3031669 10/03/20 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ranjit
I am working with a teacher right now, as well asked several teachers online to comment on videos of my playing, and all of them have said that my technique is fine. There is always the possibility of something falling through the cracks, but that happens to people all the time even with teachers.
As you resurrected this old thread, and you believe that you've cracked the 'self-teaching' conundrum, why not do Grade 8 ABRSM (or RCM level 10, if you're in North America) yourself, and get an independent & objective assessment of your capabilities?

While I don't teach adults, I know a few who do, and they tell me they turn a blind eye to technical deficiencies and 'bad habits' in their adult students who aren't doing exams (a high percentage of whom tried self-teaching before realizing that they need a teacher), because they don't want to discourage them.

I'm not saying that your teacher does that, but as you keep telling us here in ABF (and in Pianist Corner) that if only we would do what you did, viz: I was extremely cautious to the point of obsession about playing with proper technique from the get go, and was really hard on myself about it. This involved never leaning on the wrist, trying my best not to bottom out on the keys and depress them only as much as I had to, put in only the amount of force necessary etc, we would all progress much faster with no adverse effects, and much more efficiently in our learning, the best way to prove to yourself - and us - that you've got what it takes is to pass the exam.


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Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
thomascarding #3031675 10/03/20 01:17 PM
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In any case i dont know of any adult that has a regular job that can spend effective 40 hours per week on the piano (to the 40 hours, one need to add rest time), except maybe those that dont sleep in the night. Spending 20 hours or 3 real hours per day would already be a challenge for most.

I think these type of challenges belong to the same category as those who decide suddenly that they wan to run a marathon with 3 months training and faster than ... (pick your time) or those fortunate ones that take the challenge to climb Mount Everest or whatever just to prove they can do it (but of course there are real climbers that also do that because they like it). I know a few people that did that and ended up with serious injuries.

All these are just personal challenges that dont bring much in terms of value or lessons for the poor adult struggling to learn piano while facing his every day life challenges.

Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
bennevis #3031769 10/03/20 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
I'm not saying that your teacher does that, but as you keep telling us here in ABF (and in Pianist Corner) that if only we would do what you did, viz: I was extremely cautious to the point of obsession about playing with proper technique from the get go, and was really hard on myself about it. This involved never leaning on the wrist, trying my best not to bottom out on the keys and depress them only as much as I had to, put in only the amount of force necessary etc, we would all progress much faster with no adverse effects
This piece of advice wasn't directed towards you, it was directed towards the kind of adult beginners who start out on their own with ambitious goals. I see that a vast majority of them have a rather lazy approach towards developing technique. It also only applies to grade levels which usually don't involve real technical challenges. If you want to play a chopin etude, sure, you'll have to think much more carefully about hand tension. But I find this to be something clearly doable in the initial stages, which is neglected all the time. It's not some miracle pill.

Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
thomascarding #3031845 10/04/20 04:54 AM
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I just wonder; if this guy or anybody did gr8 in a year, what then? they'd pronbably go crazy from life's mediocracy . . .


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Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
thomascarding #3031974 10/04/20 12:17 PM
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Perhaps they could do it all again next year, but on Trumpet. laugh

By the time it takes most people to get to grade 8, you could have a full piece band.

Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
Sidokar #3032500 10/06/20 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
All these are just personal challenges that dont bring much in terms of value or lessons for the poor adult struggling to learn piano while facing his every day life challenges.

Amen!

I also wonder how can someone find 8 or even more hours a day to devote to a single task. It's not even fun anymore! Single-mindedness to the point of obsession is often behind great achievements, but while I can see the value of devoting one's life to physics or medicine, what's the point of just learning the piano quicker than others? And obviously, passing a grade 8 exam doesn't make an artist of somebody. It's still a life-long endeavour. I suspect that many of these overachievers just want to monetize their YouTube channel grin

Re: Grade 8 from scratch in one year
sinophilia #3032526 10/06/20 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
I also wonder how can someone find 8 or even more hours a day to devote to a single task. It's not even fun anymore! Single-mindedness to the point of obsession is often behind great achievements, but while I can see the value of devoting one's life to physics or medicine, what's the point of just learning the piano quicker than others?
Playing scales for 8 hours a day doesn't really make sense. But supposing that the practice is spread out over a wide variety of tasks, then it makes sense. You could devote some time in a day for sight reading, practicing pieces, memorizing parts of pieces, ear training, transcribing, playing some popular music, improvising, technical exercises, critical listening and score reading, etc. It usually doesn't make much sense to do so at a beginner level, but experts can practice that long effectively for a few days. It's hard to think of it as a long term plan however -- that looks like a recipe for burnout.

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