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Topic Options
#522179 - 09/24/01 07:51 PM Seeking advice
kin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 42
Loc: US

I am a piano music lover and I used to take lessons when I was young for about three years.
Now I occasionally still play some easy pieces. I am currently probably
Grade 3 or 4 level. Recently my daughter started to take piano
lessons and that has rekindled my desire to continue to study again. The problem is I am already
40. At this age, I think I would not be able to make it very far. My dream is that someday I could
play at least some of Mozart or Beethoven's sonatas. I really doubt I will ever be able to accomplish
that dream. At this age, hand conditions are certainly not as good as young one's. I wonder if someone
knows any case in which a person starts this late and still can get somewhere.


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#522180 - 09/24/01 08:22 PM Re: Seeking advice
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH

I am really happy to report that barring illness or physical impairments, it is very possible for you to realize your dreams. Thinking hypothetically, if you start lessons now, factoring in that you had some exposure when you were young, it may take you 10 years to work up to some Beethoven sonatas--you'll only be 50! That'll leave you lots and lots of years to enjoy. Let's say it only takes you 5 years--you'll only be 45! BY ALL MEANS, do it.
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

#522181 - 09/25/01 01:06 PM Re: Seeking advice
ZeldaHanson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/31/01
Posts: 276
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, USA
And I was complaining about not seriously playing until 15. ha. ( I had diddle daddled with the piano during the previous years)
\:\) I'm 18 now by the way.

I think this is a massive pressure for everyone who has started after the age of, lets say about 12. I feel the pressure of lost years weighting upon me almost every day. But fortunately I am strong enough to think that the only thing that matters is that I've decided to play now. And nothing will postpone me from my desires, not even the fear of not accomplishing as much as a child prodigee. I know exactly how you feel. But what exactly are you hoping to accomplish? I mean, do you want to perform in concerts or anything? If you're only doing it for your own pleasure there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

Zeldah \:D
Glenn Gould in regards to music:

The problem begins when one forgets the artificiality of it all, when one neglects to pay homage to those designations that to our minds-to our reflect senses, perhaps-make of music an analyzable commodity. The trouble begins when we start to become so impressed by the strategies of ours systematized thought that we forget that it does relate to an obverse, that it is hewn from negation, that it is but a very small security against the void of negation which surrounds it.

#522182 - 09/25/01 02:25 PM Re: Seeking advice
kin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 42
Loc: US
Thank you very much for your supportive responses. The only goal of mine is self-entertainment at a higher level.
I worry about continuing to study at this age because sometimes when I play fast runs (sixteenth notes), I just
can't do it evenly and smoothly and fast even though I practiced the same run for a long time. Is it lack of
tecnical practice or is it just 'old' bones are just not as agile. If I continue to pratice, will I be able
to improve to play fast?


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#522183 - 09/25/01 02:45 PM Re: Seeking advice
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5485
unless you have arthritis or bone deformities or other physical ailment, there is no reason you can't regain your ability to play fast runs. think about the great pianists who were at the peak of their abilities in their 60s, 70s, even 80s! it isn't like singing, where the voice has a limited shelf life, or like being an athlete, where you are washed up at 30!

banish these thoughts and find a good teacher who will help you overcome whatever obstacles you are facing in your technique.

now in paperback:

Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

#522184 - 09/25/01 07:18 PM Re: Seeking advice
Laura Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/01
Posts: 33
Loc: london
It's never too late!
what ever your hand conditions are don't matter. My old piano teacher was about 60 and teaches and her hands must not be as good as young ones.
Good luck with ur diciion

#522185 - 09/25/01 11:01 PM Re: Seeking advice
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
I would encourage you to continue your learning of the piano. I, too, had a long layoff from the piano, stopped playing regularly when I got to college and when I finally completed my Ph.D., I went back to it since I had more free time outside of work. Once I get a real job (and a postdoctoral stint is not a real job by any means) then I'm hoping to be able to take both voice and piano lessons, although I have a fascination for the organ and would love to learn how to play that.

But don't hesitate to follow your dream. My cousin is just now learning to play the piano, and he's 35. His aim is not to be a concert pianist, but to be able to entertain himself and his family and friends.
Lyn F.

#522186 - 09/26/01 01:03 AM Re: Seeking advice
BronzeWomn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/08/01
Posts: 56
Loc: Michigan
Well, if this make you feel better. I started playing the piano when I was about 36 and I just turned 46 last week. I don't have any regrets of my past fraustrations, headaches..and getting discourage about other younger pianoist playing all that fancy stuff. I tell you...if I happen to smile during the day its because Iam playing my piano and just love it, I think about all the days that I was going to stop playing because of all the piano achievers out there. I don't care if I can't do some things in music...all I know I have earn to smile at my determination that I had in the pass years of learning to play practically by myself. I think you shouldn't let things intimadate you practice my friend as time pass and you will be happy that you kept playing 10 years down the road.null[/b]

#522187 - 09/27/01 10:48 PM Re: Seeking advice
Beth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 151
Loc: Atlanta Area
Kin- go for it. Believe it or not, there really are a lot of us "fossils" out there,many of us took for a few years as kids and then gave it up; others started out as absolute beginners at 40+. I've been an adult student for just over 3 years. I have made very good progress, though I'm still a novice. (Take a look at the repetoire thread where everyone lists what they can play. I stayed out of that one.)My lesson is one of the high points of my week and I value my practice time. Check out the Musical Fossils Web site, and some interesting reading on the Adult Music Student Forum about adult beginners and adult music students. Enjoy! \:\) \:\)

#522188 - 10/06/01 10:42 AM Re: Seeking advice
Kelly L. Henderson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 10
Loc: Toronto
I too am a latecomer. I took lessons for about three years as a child then gave it up although I still continued to play until I left home for university. After that my playing was sporadic for 20 years. At 40 I decided to start taking lessons again to learn how to play properly. Right now I am working toward the Grade 9 exam (RCM in Canada). As for playing difficult and fast passages they can definitely be learned with time and practice. I discovered I really needed to build up the strength in my fingers to play them though and after three years of lessons I still have to work on this. Hanon will help or simply work (and work and work and work) on the difficult passages in your pieces. I'm a dreamer I suppose but I still hold out hope that I may be good enough to teach someday and maybe in my golden years play lounge piano somewhere!

#522189 - 10/06/01 07:18 PM Re: Seeking advice
Beth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 151
Loc: Atlanta Area
Welcome Kelley. Great first post. And good luck on the grade 9 exam. \:\)

#522190 - 10/06/01 09:25 PM Re: Seeking advice
SethW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/01
Posts: 106
It is never to late to start on the piano. I first played on the piano at age six ,so I'm afraid that I do not quite fit into the "started as adults" category. But I do know of people who have started the piano late and have become fairly proficient at it. By the way,if you are planning to learn a Beethoven sonata I would recommend sonata op.49 no.2. This sonata is easy,short,but still great sounding. It was the first Beethoven sonata I ever learned in its entirety.

[ October 06, 2001: Message edited by: SethW ]


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