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back after 34 years
#3051312 11/30/20 02:44 PM
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I'm 54 years old and have not played for 34 years. I studied with Leonard Eisner for 4 years at Juilliard pre-college and then with Robert Goldsand at the Manhattan School of music for 2 years. I experienced a bout of depression beginning of my junior year and took a leave and then completely changed gears, finishing college pre-law at Rutgers and then law school. I could never quite put a finger on why I made that change other than my mental state at the time but regret it. I experienced on and off bouts with depression since then, which explains why I have not played since then. Now with much time to reflect I realize something is missing in my life and am considering starting to play again - and hoping it will be a form of therapy. Any general thoughts would be greatly appreciated as well as advice regarding getting back into the saddle. Thank you.

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Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3051315 11/30/20 02:49 PM
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Good for you Jerry. You may come to find that after sitting at the piano for a bit that a lot will come back to you quickly. Take your time and enjoy the process. Everything happens for a reason. And, you just may find that playing now will be much better than if you had continued back then. I am glad for you.


Barbara
...without music, no life...
Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3051316 11/30/20 02:52 PM
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Hi Jerry
I did not attend Conservatory but I was quite serious as a young student pianist. I had a break of more than 40 years before I restarted. I studied for the first six months at home just getting my feet wet again, and then started weekly lessons with a really good piano teacher

What I did during the initial few weeks of restarting was to work on repertoire that I had played back when I was a kid. And then ventured out to new pieces. It was not an overnight process and I expected to have some blips. The good news is everything was less painful than I really expected it to be.

You’ll do fine —- Just remember to be patient with yourself

BTW welcome to the forum 😊


"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: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3051328 11/30/20 03:20 PM
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Welcome back Jerry. I also did not go to Conservatory like dogperson but did reach advanced level but also stopped when I was 21 years old. I only took about a 10 year break. Take your time and enjoy the ride. I use playing music for my sanity now and mainly do it for my own enjoyment. I don't care to play the most advance music anyore and play pieces I enjoy. Also I play once and a while for my local church.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3051392 11/30/20 06:18 PM
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Many thanks to all of you. Be safe.

Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3051400 11/30/20 06:30 PM
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Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3051500 12/01/20 03:36 AM
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Quote
. . . Take your time and enjoy the process. . . .

+1.

Welcome back!


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3051584 12/01/20 09:53 AM
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I think you'll be quite fine, many of us here are starting piano after 40+ years on earth without ever playing as a child. Think of the great advantage you have!

Re: back after 34 years
offkey #3051592 12/01/20 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by offkey
I think you'll be quite fine, many of us here are starting piano after 40+ years on earth without ever playing as a child. Think of the great advantage you have!


Hi Offkey
‘Returning’ pianists have their concerns of ‘doing fine’: how much will I remember? Will I need to go backwards for awhile? Will my fingers be able to coordinate like they did before? Will I be able to play my old repertoire? How long will it take to get back to where I was? Will I ever get there?

At least that was some of my concerns after a large gap.


"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: back after 34 years
dogperson #3051702 12/01/20 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
‘Returning’ pianists have their concerns of ‘doing fine’

Yes of course, I was just trying to provide some perspective that it's a nice problem to have.

Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3051721 12/01/20 04:48 PM
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I came back to the piano after a 40+ year hiatus. I was still good with most chords, and right hand melody lines.
Left hand was horrible in terms of muscle control and being independent.

I know many will disagree, but Hanon was the biggest help to me in getting back control of my left fingers.


Casio PX-S3000
Nope, no issues with it at all.
Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3051826 12/01/20 11:17 PM
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I restarted after 37 years. I had forgotten everything including how to read music. Everybody says "Oh I doodled for a week and I could play everything perfectly as if I never stopped!" Nope, not me.

Long story short it took me almost 24 months to get my bearings again. One thing I didn't anticipate is the degree to which hand flexibility is lost in old age. I struggle with it everyday. Oh, please remember to get a teacher. Don't think you have to go it alone.


Just do it. -- Nike
Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3052379 12/03/20 09:41 AM
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Hi Jerry --

I studied piano as a child, played until my early 20s and pretty much stepped away from it for several decades. I decided I wanted to play again, and bought a piano 6 years ago. I'm not sure I'm as good as I once was, but playing provides happiness (I believe it releases endorphins in the brains) and relieves stress. I even play as a volunteer at a local museum! Good luck to you; you made a good decision to return to your music. --Candace

Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3054015 12/07/20 12:08 PM
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Welcome, Jerry! That's great you are looking to get back into it. I think for every endeavor we were good at younger, it is bound to be frustrating to come back to it later. However, with the wisdom of age we can look at practice more like "a practice," sort of like yoga or meditation. I do much better when I concentrate on enjoying the learning of the piece rather than flawless, memorized performance at the end, though I do enjoy that as well. Something that really helped me was the book Playing the Piano for Pleasure, now out of print, by Charles Cooke. I still re-read it from time to time to get reinspired. Please keep us updated.


Estonia 168
Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3054064 12/07/20 02:31 PM
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Even though I'm a young whippersnapper (34), I'm an old soul at heart. The secret to life is to stay moving and keep challenging your mind and body. The status quo is the worst thing you can do to yourself. Glad to see you break the cycle, and reclaim yourself again. Never give up, age is a number and an excuse. If you do something, it's always better than doing nothing! You have my vote! As far as advice, my wife and I are getting the piano this week so I'm not much help there. I will say for general life advice: don't consider anything, and do what your heart desires. It sounds like you've really thought it through, and you're already here. So start now, and let the journey continue. I wouldn't worry about the past, you're here now. Welcome back. laugh

Last edited by ul7; 12/07/20 02:38 PM.
Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3054087 12/07/20 03:16 PM
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I’ve been away from piano about 25 years. Didn’t get “that good” the first time around but could do some stuff and make it sound musical. My problem, being older, is I’ve lost much of my eyesight so it’s very frustrating as I can’t easily see the music and have to memorize everything if I want to play it through.

But I believe it is a privilege to get older. Not everyone gets to.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: back after 34 years
WBLynch #3054720 12/09/20 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by WBLynch
I’ve been away from piano about 25 years. Didn’t get “that good” the first time around but could do some stuff and make it sound musical. My problem, being older, is I’ve lost much of my eyesight so it’s very frustrating as I can’t easily see the music and have to memorize everything if I want to play it through.

But I believe it is a privilege to get older. Not everyone gets to.
A solution would be listen the piece on youtube instead to read the music sheet/momorize.

Re: back after 34 years
zonzi #3054824 12/09/20 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by zonzi
A solution would be listen the piece on youtube instead to read the music sheet/momorize.

Thanks zonzi, but not everything is on youtube and my problem is I need a roadmap. I can't just listen to something and then play it. Sadly it's a talent I don't possess.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: back after 34 years
WBLynch #3054957 12/09/20 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by WBLynch
I’ve been away from piano about 25 years. Didn’t get “that good” the first time around but could do some stuff and make it sound musical. My problem, being older, is I’ve lost much of my eyesight so it’s very frustrating as I can’t easily see the music and have to memorize everything if I want to play it through.

But I believe it is a privilege to get older. Not everyone gets to.

Have you tried a 12.9" ipad? You can use ForScore app and zoom in and make it bright with the ipad. I would suggest if you have a pdf of the song print as pdf zoomed in then you can use ForScore and it has auto page turn features. Reason I suggest ipad with forscore app is because a zoomed in printed sheet could be double or triple the page count the app can turn page for you. If you think this would help I can list out detailed steps. I zoom in with mine a lot.

Re: back after 34 years
JerryLouis #3054958 12/09/20 10:37 PM
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I'm still wondering if JerryLouis got back at it....

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