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Joined: May 2001
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Lang Lang is brought up by a father who wanted to be a musician but was sent to work in a factory by the hardline Chinese dictatorship. The father GR Lang pushed his son to fulfill his dream. Back in those days it was difficult to find a good music teacher in China and LL nearly quit.

The Chinese-American Yale professor & author of the book "Battle Hymns of the Tiger Mother" was also criticized for abusing her 2 daughters. She got the older Sophie into piano and the younger Lulu into violin. Ms. Chua assumed that kids don't know what they want in life so it's up to the parents to decide what is good for them. The daily routine was no music practice, no dinner. She made sure they both perfected their assigned pieces with 0 mistakes. And Ms. Chua wanted their Suzuki music teachers to speed up their learning and finish 9 Suzuki Books in a year than 1 per year as recommended. In the end Sophie became the youngest (at age 16) to have a piano recital at NY Carnegie Hall.
Lang Lang's father told him to commit suicide by jumping off the apartment balcony when he didn't get accepted to some music school(or something similar "failure"). As far as I can see from Google searches, Sophia Chua did not play in Carnegie Hall but in the very small Carnegie Recital Hall, and the performance was during a rental of the hall for a student recital of her teacher's students.

"But those rentals also include many concerts for a string of local music schools that use Weill for their student recitals — including Ms. Chua's daughter, who actually performed in Weill. (Writes Chua nearly parenthetically: "I noticed that the Weill Recital Hall, where Sophia played ... was a relatively small venue, located on the third floor of Carnegie Hall ... I learned that the much larger, magnificent hall that I'd seen on television ... was called Isaac Stern Auditorium. l made a mental note that we ought to try to make it there someday.")"

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I think constantly talking about how certain prodigies were abused makes it sound as if that was true in most cases, which I do not think is true.

But many people don't realize the distinction. I wouldn't consider the children in the videos posted above to be prodigies, for example.

It is also a myopic view of how children are like. It assumes that children want to play and have fun. Maybe play video games or sports of socialize with friends.

However, look at professional writers. They nearly always read voraciously as a child of their own accord. No one forced Joyce down their throats. Professional sportspersons, they are naturally drawn to sports. Mathematicians were often drawn to math as young kids. Then why is there the stereotype that prodigies are forced, abused and not doing it by their own free will? Do we look at Michael Jordan and think, poor bloke, he must have lost out on a childhood?

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My favorite child prodigy.



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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
My favorite child prodigy.
I love his playing and have played transcriptions of several of his arrangements. I don't know how good some of the other jazz greats played at his age but I have a feeling it wasn't as good.


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Wow, if you can play his arrangements then you are a very skilled pianist indeed. Good job!


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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Can we assume part of the reason why a piano student is not reaching his/her full potential is because of the lack of inclination and practice? But instead we assume that person lacked talent?
Lack of desire or enjoyment and/or lack of practice are certainly reasons why some students don't reach higher levels. There are many other factors like the quality of the teacher(how inspiring they are and how well they teach musical and technical ideas), support of the parents, number of extracurricular activities, etc. But I think talent is also a big factor in how advanced the student gets and how quickly they advance.

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An old fiancé (we never got married but...) had been a piano prodigy, and I never knew until they told another friend decades & decades later, when that friend passed along to them an old M-Audio 88-key MIDI controller I'd left at that friend's house for their deceased mom to play (I believe alcohol may have been involved--both the ex & the friend have a weakness for that).

Even as a very little kid, my ex felt like they were on display like a zoo animal and hated it. So one day they just quit and wouldn't play anymore (it's OK, they went on to become a math genius instead).

Last edited by tangleweeds; 09/09/21 08:47 PM. Reason: proofreading

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Lang Lang survived as a child under very abusive home conditions; you have to give him a ton of credit for that. With other child prodigies, only time will tell how they became prodigies and whether they are a happy, well-adjusted adults.
This is a tough question: to unlock all potentialities, someone or environment should push to extreme condition to understand where the limit is. In the past some teachers may do that. H.Neuhaus' book described his mother were very tough to her students and she has squeezed all the music potentiality of her students. In the same book he also mentioned some thing about S.Richter. In effect S.Richter's father was killed as a german spy and he has to find a way to survive.

Originally Posted by ranjit
This wasn't my schedule, so I know it doesn't have to be this way. I used to sleep for about 9 hours, 1 hour max for eating etc., around 9 hours at school. That still left evenings wide open. I would read for 2-3 hours, do math, or whatever, simply because I liked doing it. I can very well imagine someone (heck, even myself) taking out a few hours to learn to play the piano of their own volition at that age. You just need a kid who is innately interested in music, and they will find the time. I used to find the time for stuff I liked. And weekends are completely empty as a child, so they can spend some 8 hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
.....
Thank you to remember me this, when I was very young, for many years I was very proud that I can almost practice 1h piano / day. I just discovered that is not the case somewhere in the high school.
I met recently a Russian young prodigy who performed in Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with very young age.
But this prodigy cannot speak one word in english, it makes me think about the old USSR specialized school for young artists and athletes. Basically, they just have very basic culture training since the primary school, and the school finances all his/her needs. I think Kissin was trained under the same system. I hope he is still a happy, well-adjusted adult.




Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
...



I would like to compare with Mira Marchenko's class. I am sorry but for me those asian boys shouldn't play piano in this way.



Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
....
Nobody have to teach kids how to play video games. They just spend hours at it and discover how to get from 1 level to the next. When it comes to learning piano, there is proper techniques, learning to read, music theory, etc. Each takes time to master. So far I haven't seen many kids who would quit in the middle of a video game like the time they spend is irrelevant. When it comes to music practice, a student would set aside an hour a day, at most 2. And many would be keeping an eye on the time to end the session as if they have more important things to do during the day.

Can we assume part of the reason why a piano student is not reaching his/her full potential is because of the lack of inclination and practice? But instead we assume that person lacked talent?
bad or worse race?
1.if you presume the kid is bad, you avoid the worse, that's great!
2.something compared to other bad thing: it presumes this something is bad.

Last edited by zonzi; 09/10/21 02:58 AM.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
only time will tell how they became prodigies and whether they are a happy, well-adjusted adults.
PW, the shining example of happy, well-adjusted adults.

(ba dum tsssss)

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A few posts talked about good teachers who inspire students. This is true in many cases. Suppose you have student A & B both study with the same teacher. A excels while B is constantly lagging behind. Looking at A you'd come to the conclusion he/she has a wonderful teacher. Looking at B you might say the teacher is the problem. Yet they both have the same teacher. There are other factors involved.

2 people attending Spanish class in school and both doing well. When the summer comes, A stays home and has a relaxing summer while B travels to Spain on an exchange program. When class resumes, B would be ahead of A in language proficiency even when both started at the same level. The one who went the extra mile ended up ahead.

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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
If basic piano playing is a skill like reading, writing & arithmetic, the majority would be able to sit down in front of a piano and learn to play a tune.
Supposing that children never or rarely got a chance to hold a pencil, or see a book. Or maybe just once in a while. But piano and music was a thing they got exposed to say, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. five days a week, along with homework afterward? Would this be reversed to any degree? And it sort of helps to have a musical instrument, to be able to play one.

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A piano prodigy in the making at age 3?



And here is William Zhang at age 6...


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Not a pianist, but this has got to be the cutest and HAPPIEST little prodigy I have ever seen. Just adorable. grin



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By resume for little prodigy

For some people, little boy/girl can do the same thing as an adult is a prodigy. In this case, they can play difficult pieces almost like adult average professional pianist.

For some other people the boy/girl can play can play not too difficult pieces but with their own particular and beautiful expression is a prodigy.

Last edited by zonzi; 09/15/21 08:49 AM.

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