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#2633163 - 04/15/17 06:57 AM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: Kreisler]  
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 128
nancyde Offline
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nancyde  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 128
I usually post on the adult beginners forum, because I think I will always consider myself a beginner, but since I lurk here often, so I will introduce myself. I am Nancy, from Saint Louis (USA). I took piano lessons as a child for a few years but did not make the most of that opportunity. I also played clarinet in marching and concert band in high school but after that gave up "music making" while I went to school, established a career and then married. In my 50s, I decided I really wanted to play the piano again and started taking lessons at the music school of one of the universitys here in town and have been at it ever since. I absolutely love it--love the journey--the practicing, everything about it. So many of my friends don't get it--they keep asking me why I am working this hard--what I am going to do with this skill. I have no illusions about my playing. I know I will never be really good but as long as it gives me joy, I will continue. When my husband died several years ago, the piano provided so much solace. New widows tend to make some initial move/ take a big trip/ something to try to heal. I bought a 1929 Steinway M that had been completely rebuilt by Premier Piano in Walker, Iowa. The man who started this company was the technician for the St. Louis symphony. The piano is just a dream and I absolutely love spending time playing it every day. I enjoy meeting so many interesting, like-minded people on the Piano World forums.

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#2635133 - 04/21/17 04:07 PM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: Kreisler]  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1
B7 Music Studio Offline
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B7 Music Studio  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1
Wisconsin, US
Well, I'm looking for an excuse to post!

I've been lurking on these forums for years, finally made an account.

Short history: Grew up in Germany. My Dad was trained on organ, but played some mean piano too. Worked in Christian music production, so I got to see a lot of the back-end of making CDs, etc.

Got a B.Mus. in Piano Performance from Lawrence University. (Is this sounding too much like a resume? eek )

After graduating in 2014, I started a full-time independent piano studio.

The stuff that doesn't go on resumes as much: I did a buttload of jazz and composition in college (and before), and really try to bring all that into my teaching.

My youtube channel has some of my playing.
Barber's Sonata is the coolest piece, although I don't feel like I do it justice. My proudest performance would be Brahms Op. 119.

I've been spending this year doing a wicked amount of work writing pieces for my students and producing playback tracks for them. I've published 24 of them so far...

I recently have been looking at these forums cause I'm about to take the plunge and get my first grand! Somewhere around 5 grand is all I can afford right now, but it'll be nice to finally play on a grand again (have been practicing on uprights and digital since college).

I guess I should get back to work, I'm at my studio right now.

So long!

#2635629 - 04/23/17 11:21 AM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: Kreisler]  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1
DanJ Offline
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DanJ  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1
San Francisco
Thanks for the invitation to introduce myself. I just joined. I have played the piano since I was six and studied all my life. I am in the category of passionate amateur.

Right now I am working on Grieg's Piano Sonata. Plus Bach's English Suite in C minor, a Prelude by Rachmaninov etc. The Grieg piece is lengthy and full of beautiful melodies and strong rhythms.



Dan Joraanstad
“The piano keys are black and white
but they sound like a million colors in your mind”
― Mena
#2637413 - 04/28/17 05:27 PM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: Kreisler]  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 10
chrisyip789 Offline
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chrisyip789  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 10
Hi I'm Chris and I have a question

Out of these three concertos: Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Franck Symphonic Variations and Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No.1 in G Minor, what is the order of difficulty?

Thanks

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#2637744 - 04/29/17 05:39 PM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: Kreisler]  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 10
chrisyip789 Offline
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chrisyip789  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 10
Hi I'm Chris

Out of these three concertos: Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Franck Symphonic Variations and Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No.1 in G Minor, what is the order of difficulty?

Thanks

#2640430 - 05/05/17 05:21 PM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: Kreisler]  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1
gesine Offline
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gesine  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1
US
Hello. I've been lurking about 6 months now and honestly I just joined so it would be easier to see what I've read and haven't read on the forum, which doesn't happen when you're just a guest. A poor reason I know, but now that I've joined, I thought I'd stick a toe in the water to see how it goes.

I played trumpet in high school. I didn't really want to teach high school band, but I really liked music. My band director found a program called Music Therapy which sounded quite interesting to me. So off I went to college, a Music Therapy major. The first thing I found out was that trumpet was no longer my main instrument, all Music Therapy majors had piano as their main instrument. So even though I'd never played piano before, I was now a piano major. I had 2 semesters (1 school year) of class piano to learn the basics taught at an accelerated rate for us college students. After that I was given a staff piano teacher for half hour lessons every week. She started me out with several books: Schumann's Kinderszenen and Album fur die Jugend, Chopin Preludes, Mozart's Six Viennese Sonatinas, and the dreaded Bartok's Mikrokosmos Vol 3. So you can get an idea of where a year of class piano will take you. I took lessons from her for 3 semesters (1.5 school years) then dropped out of college, got married, and left music behind me, or so I thought.

That was 1974! About every 10 years I'd get a yearning to play the piano. I still had the trumpet in my closet, but I never got a desire to play that. And while at college, I never really took the piano very seriously because I thought of myself as a trumpet player. So here I was with yearnings that I tried to fulfill. Once we rented a piano, but we had to move and the piano went back to the store. Once my husband became a minister for a small church and they were excited that I played the piano. So I became the church's pianist. They had a little 61 key electric piano I took home and practiced like crazy to be able to play on Sundays. They were lucky to get the melody and base line in the hymns, they didn't seem to mind. It was hard to get 5 or 6 hymns ready every week. Then we moved on from that little church and so even my little 61 key piano was taken from me. When my mom died I got a small inheritance, just enough for a Clavinova, I forget the model. But it was great and I played quite a while with that. Then one day I was playing my favorite Chopin Prelude, #15. I played it beautifully, by the end I had tears of joy from the beauty of it all. I thought well I will never play it that good again, I may as well stop. My conscious mind meant stop for the day, but my subconscious assumed that I meant forever, so even though I had a piano, I stopped playing.

I just recently took up the piano again. So far I've just been reading through all my music starting at level 1. Right now I'm in Alfred's level 5 Masterwork Classics. I'm still able to play most of the songs straight through without too much effort. I figure I haven't hit my level yet, the level of my college music. I'm enjoying it. But I'm ever so old now with health issues as one gets, so I am trying to be careful as well.

I apologize for the length of this rambling, but it was fun for me to remember my musical journey. I will probably continue to mostly lurk as I'm not very talkative. Well, reminiscing aside!

#2647122 - 05/25/17 11:59 PM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: Kreisler]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 8
hilizanne Online content
Junior Member
hilizanne  Online Content
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 8
Texas
Hello my name is Hillary. I am not used to forums and I was about to just give up when I finally found this space to write! Yay!

The reason I am here is because I have no musical people in my life. None. It's like I am speaking a foreign language that no one else speaks. I tried to talk to my husband and he just told me he is not interested. He is blunt to a fault. Well there is one person who I can talk to: my piano trainer/technician, but he only comes by once a year.

The last time I was on here I was researching a piano purchase. I planned on buying a Yamaha c-series ( I think they are something else now) used, but couldn't find one used. Was just about to purchase a new one when I found out I was pregnant with baby #3, so I went with the more economical choice:used Kawai Kg-3C. That was almost 8 years ago.

About me: took lessons from 2nd-12th grade. In high school had a few performances on public radio and TV, art shows, but only because of my age. Went to college as Bio major, music building very far away, but did take 2 semesters of piano for fine art credit. Med school played on a 4 octave keyboard for the first year, then didn't touch a keyboard (well maybe once a year at my parents' house) for the next 6 years. Bought my own upright piano in 2003 with my first doctor paycheck, but again didn't do much with it. Work and family got in the way. I also had convinced myself that I wasnt any good and the only reason I was able to play what I had was because I am a fast learner. I still think this might be true. Anyway, new house with a big space 9 years ago and I finally got my grand, which I am finally doing ok at playing for about the last 2 years, maybe since I turned 40. I am lucky really to get 30 min a day in though.

I have spent so long just playing for myself that I have no perspective. I told someone the other day "I almost have this one memorized. " when he asked why, I couldn't answer. I tried recording myself but the piano sounded out of tune on the recording (it's not). I have no teacher or even a friend who would know if I am good or bad. My piano technician bought a book for me "Playing the Piano for Pleasure" by Charles Cooke. This book has helped me a lot with my practice.

Questions I have: does anyone perform just because? Where do you go? How do you know if it's appreciated? Do any adult amateurs have recitals or is that cheesy?

Where can I find someone to critique me? Do I want someone to critique me?! Do people use this site for that purpose?

Also, why should I play or keep playing? I guess I need encouragement. I know these topics have probably been covered at length somewhere on this forum already, if somebody could point me in the right direction that would be great.

My repertoire: mostly Chopin. I love his music so much that I pretty much decided with my lack of time I would just stick with him.
Can play: Nocturne Eflat major, Nocturne F minor, polonaise A major, Ballade A-flat major
Also Beethoven Pathetique Sonata
Working on Nocturne Csharp minor #20, also Debussy Claire de Lune
Should resurrect Joplin Maple Leaf Rag
Soon will start the first Ballade

There are lot of others I could get back but I don't really want to: Chopin Mazurka, prelude, waltz, etc. Rachmaninoff Prelude C#minor I think. A few Debussy. I just am out of time. And if you read to the end of this, I bet you are also!

Any help is appreciated!


Hillary
#2647192 - Yesterday at 09:53 AM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: hilizanne]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 9,128
bennevis Offline
9000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 9,128
Originally Posted by hilizanne

About me: took lessons from 2nd-12th grade. In high school had a few performances on public radio and TV, art shows, but only because of my age. Went to college as Bio major, music building very far away, but did take 2 semesters of piano for fine art credit. Med school played on a 4 octave keyboard for the first year, then didn't touch a keyboard (well maybe once a year at my parents' house) for the next 6 years. Bought my own upright piano in 2003 with my first doctor paycheck, but again didn't do much with it. Work and family got in the way. I also had convinced myself that I wasnt any good and the only reason I was able to play what I had was because I am a fast learner. I still think this might be true. Anyway, new house with a big space 9 years ago and I finally got my grand, which I am finally doing ok at playing for about the last 2 years, maybe since I turned 40. I am lucky really to get 30 min a day in though.

I have spent so long just playing for myself that I have no perspective. I told someone the other day "I almost have this one memorized. " when he asked why, I couldn't answer.

Questions I have: does anyone perform just because? Where do you go? How do you know if it's appreciated? Do any adult amateurs have recitals or is that cheesy?

Where can I find someone to critique me? Do I want someone to critique me?! Do people use this site for that purpose?

Also, why should I play or keep playing? I guess I need encouragement.!

If you love classical music and the piano rep, you'll keep playing, no matter what. Even if you don't have a piano. Incidentally, I have a somewhat similar résumé to yours, except that I never owned a piano until 7 years ago, when I finally bought one (a digital). During the decades when I had no easy access to any piano, I'd just play on any one that I came across, no matter what its condition, whether or not it was in public.

Unlike you, I never had any inclination to perform, though I did give a couple of lecture-recitals at one time, when I was working at a place where I could use the upright they had. But I have been performing regularly for the past five years, for my own (and hopefully, my audience's) enjoyment and erudition. The opportunity came my way, and I took it: I arrived early at the lecture hall where I'd started attending for educational meetings, and tried out the grand piano there, and suddenly discovered I had an appreciative audience grin. And I was asked to play again next time....People seem to enjoy it, and some have even asked me about how to start learning to play, though most had never knowingly listened to classical music before, and certainly not live, until they heard me perform. That was enough incentive for me to keep on with my monthly recitals.

So, just play on any public piano you come across (or ask permission, if it isn't for public use), and you might well get noticed thumb.

As for criticism, you can always post your recordings here if you like - in one of the many recital threads or in Members Recordings. Yes, people use PW for that purpose, and some only for that purpose. Just be aware that you might get feedback that is negative as well as positive, unless you post them in the Adult Beginners Forum recitals threads.


"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."
#2647290 - Yesterday at 02:06 PM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: bennevis]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 8
hilizanne Online content
Junior Member
hilizanne  Online Content
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 8
Texas
I hope I am replying to @bennevis. I again am not an accomplished forum writer.

I don't think I have a strong inclination to perform. I don't need extra work or money, but just sitting in my house for years playing alone gets old. I just really think the music is wonderful and beautiful and perfect, and I have no one to share it with. And when I do share people humor me or do not know what I am talking about. Chopin has so much range, soul, and even humor. I am reading a biography of him now and hoping I don't find out something about him that I didn't want to know.

Spontaneous performances are a good reason for memorization. I have been disappointed in people many times after I played a classical piece to have them say, "That's really good. Can you play (fill in the blank easy popular piece)? I heard someone play that before and THAT was really cool." So depressing.

I am not sure I am ready for full blown criticism, although I found a review of one of my old concerto competitions. The judge assigned me third place. The only thing was, there were only 2 competitors! I survived that intact so maybe I could take it.

Thanks for your reply.


Hillary
#2647298 - Yesterday at 02:29 PM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: hilizanne]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 9,128
bennevis Offline
9000 Post Club Member
bennevis  Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 9,128
Originally Posted by hilizanne

Spontaneous performances are a good reason for memorization. I have been disappointed in people many times after I played a classical piece to have them say, "That's really good. Can you play (fill in the blank easy popular piece)? I heard someone play that before and THAT was really cool." So depressing.

It's the reality of today's culture - pop(ular).

The USA has a different culture of piano, compared to the UK where I now live. Here the general public associates acoustic pianos with classical music, and keyboards with pop/rock/jazz, and everyone (whether involved with or knowledgeable about music or not) knows about the grade exams (from ABRSM, Trinity et al) that almost all music students do, which is classical-based.

In other words, when I play classical music on acoustic pianos, nobody ever asks me if I can play pop - or jazz - instead. If they don't like the music I play, they can walk away. It doesn't bother me if people don't like my music - after all, if someone was to start singing some pop song, I'd probably walk away as far as possible..... grin


"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."
#2647313 - Yesterday at 03:23 PM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: bennevis]  
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 27
jondavwal Offline
Full Member
jondavwal  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 27
I played a video of myself playing Chopin and the person watching asked it I wrote the piece. I almost started to cry.

#2647418 - Yesterday at 07:51 PM Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: hilizanne]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 225
agraffe Offline
Full Member
agraffe  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 225
Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted by hilizanne
Chopin has so much range, soul, and even humor. I am reading a biography of him now and hoping I don't find out something about him that I didn't want to know.


Hi Hillary, what is the biography of Chopin that you're currently reading? I read most of _Chopin's Funeral_ but had to put it down because of the unsavory portrait it depicted of the great master. I was not ready for the gulf between the tenderness of his music and the irascibility of the man. I would encourage you to lay aside that biography, because you will learn more about Chopin through his own music than through anyone else's (of necessity) derivative prose. It is because of the music, after all, that the prose gets cranked out as it does.

I like Charles Cooke's book, referenced by you above. It has some good pointers on technique and is written in a lively style. Consider also _The Piano Shop on the Left Bank_ by Thad Carhart, for cultivating an enthusiasm for pianos and playing the piano and the place of piano in a full life. There are other books, which a search here on "Nonfiction Piano Books" (for example) will in part reveal, and you can leaven your playing alone at home by visiting these forums and partaking of the passion that animates all of us here. Welcome. It is not at all uncommon for a devoted piano player to have nobody else close by with whom to share this gift.

Last edited by agraffe; Yesterday at 08:12 PM. Reason: refined search criteria
#2647503 - 7 minutes ago Re: New Visitors and Lurkers Please Read... [Re: jondavwal]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 8
hilizanne Online content
Junior Member
hilizanne  Online Content
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 8
Texas
Originally Posted by jondavwal
I played a video of myself playing Chopin and the person watching asked it I wrote the piece. I almost started to cry.


Yes that would truly be a moment for which there are really no words. Or the fewer words, the better! "No, but thank you."


Hillary
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