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Originally Posted by ranjit
I think we should allow people to celebrate certain milestones and think about how far they are along in their journey.
There is no reasonable way to celebrate no longer being a beginner as there is absolutely no agreement on what that means.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ranjit
I think we should allow people to celebrate certain milestones and think about how far they are along in their journey.
There is no reasonable way to celebrate no longer being a beginner as there is absolutely no agreement on what that means. One can celebrate passing level x on whatever exam system one is pursuing.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There is definitely no clear or correct answer to the OP's question.

I did not ask for an exact absolute. I said "I know this can vary" and I also said "at what point do you think" I'm looking for very basic suggestion and opinion on this.

Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
As soon as one has played a single note one is no longer a beginner.

Are you serious? Everyone is so philosophical here. LOL.

haha I was thinking the same thing. Although I'm surprised no one said "ask you teacher" laugh laugh laugh

Originally Posted by Learux
Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
As soon as one has played a single note one is no longer a beginner.
So does that make you an intermediate when you strike the second note?

Keep it up like this and you guys can start calling me Maestro.

Maestro Learux has a nice ring to it.

Most fields will determine proficiency and skill with tests and exams.

Use ABRSM and/or RCM as a guidance as when you stop being a beginner.

Beginner, intermediate or advanced.

Does it say what grades are considered what level? I looked but didn't see it.

Last edited by Sebs; 06/30/21 08:18 PM.
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There is definitely no clear or correct answer to the OP's question.
I did not ask for an exact absolute. I said "I know this can vary" and I also said "at what point do you think" I'm looking for very basic suggestion and opinion on this.
There is no rough agreement on an answer either.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There is definitely no clear or correct answer to the OP's question.
I did not ask for an exact absolute. I said "I know this can vary" and I also said "at what point do you think" I'm looking for very basic suggestion and opinion on this.
There is no rough agreement on an answer either. That's why when someone asks if they are ready to play piece x they generally get asked what pieces they have already played. They don't get asked what their level is using a verbal description.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Hi Sebs
Plover is right in that there is no real answer to ‘when am I no longer a beginner? ‘. Just as there is no real answer to ‘when am I no longer intermediate? Or when will I be considered advanced? We all want to classify ourselves, but if you avoid doing this, you will be much more content with what you have learned. And you will keep learning every day. I have seen some here who are so anxious to be considered at xxx level, that they learn one or two pieces at that level and play them badly. I know you haven’t been doing that which is a good thing.

You don’t need to label yourself as beginner, intermediate or advanced. I just call myself a pianist or sometimes a piano student.... since I know that I will always be learning. There will always be those that don’t play as well as I do, and those who play far, far better. I am where I am— wherever that is.

I know this is asking a lot of yourself — but it will give you peace if you can not try to define your level.


Well said. I was just wondering out of curiosity.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There is definitely no clear or correct answer to the OP's question.
I did not ask for an exact absolute. I said "I know this can vary" and I also said "at what point do you think" I'm looking for very basic suggestion and opinion on this.
There is no rough agreement on an answer either.

I thought there would be since there are so many grading systems and I once saw video on Pianote where she lists off tons of things that equate to "you're now intermediate"

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You are still a beginner when you are talking to someone who plays better than you.

You are no longer a beginner when you are talking to someone who does not play the piano.


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Originally Posted by Sebs
I thought there would be since there are so many grading systems and I once saw video on Pianote where she lists off tons of things that equate to "you're now intermediate"
That video was one person's opinion.

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Originally Posted by Sebs
Does it say what grades are considered what level? I looked but didn't see it.
In the RCM piano pedagogy course I took, they classified levels Prep A-4 as Elementary. Intermediate is 5-8.


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If you progress more or less normally, I think in the beginning of the 4th year of playing it is appropriate to say you are an intermediate player.

But really I would recommend to stop considering yourself a beginner as soon as possible, preferably at day 2 at the piano. wink Self confidence is a great thing concerning playing the piano. If you consider yourself a beginner you will likely play like a beginner. Imagine that you're a master and you will play better. It is very important to feel power at the instrument and your authority over it.

One good teacher said, 'I see my student is becoming advanced when I see he is starting to beat the grand'. It's true really.

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Originally Posted by ebonyk
Originally Posted by Sebs
Does it say what grades are considered what level? I looked but didn't see it.
In the RCM piano pedagogy course I took, they classified levels Prep A-4 as Elementary. Intermediate is 5-8.

Ding! Ding! Ding! That’s the guidance I’m following.


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Originally Posted by ebonyk
In the RCM piano pedagogy course I took, they classified levels Prep A-4 as Elementary. Intermediate is 5-8.

I agree with that. For people that are learning from method books, I’d suggest you are still a beginner until you’re confident right through books 1 and 2 (I think most method books have 2 parts, right?)


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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
But really I would recommend to stop considering yourself a beginner as soon as possible, preferably at day 2 at the piano. wink Self confidence is a great thing concerning playing the piano. If you consider yourself a beginner you will likely play like a beginner. Imagine that you're a master and you will play better. It is very important to feel power at the instrument and your authority over it.
Beautifully said.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
If you progress more or less normally, I think in the beginning of the 4th year of playing it is appropriate to say you are an intermediate player.

But really I would recommend to stop considering yourself a beginner as soon as possible, preferably at day 2 at the piano. wink Self confidence is a great thing concerning playing the piano. If you consider yourself a beginner you will likely play like a beginner. Imagine that you're a master and you will play better. It is very important to feel power at the instrument and your authority over it.

One good teacher said, 'I see my student is becoming advanced when I see he is starting to beat the grand'. It's true really.

That's a good point. Anytime I actually let loose (which is rare and I dont know why) and play where I really move and and get into and don't over think I play so much better and when I do this I feel like I'm playing really good which then makes it more fun and then I do play better but usually I'm staying in my safe zone being more rigid.


Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by ebonyk
Originally Posted by Sebs
Does it say what grades are considered what level? I looked but didn't see it.
In the RCM piano pedagogy course I took, they classified levels Prep A-4 as Elementary. Intermediate is 5-8.

Ding! Ding! Ding! That’s the guidance I’m following.

I feel like you should have a prize to offer. laugh And thank you both for sharing that.

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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
I agree that there is no clear or correct answer to the OP's question, but if someone claims he's a "beginner" but has had 10+ years of lessons, I will consider that person to be rather dishonest.
I call that modest not dishonest. I'd rather be the one who claims to be less and then makes a good impression playing than one who braggs and then gets the eye roll and facepalm.

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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by ebonyk
Originally Posted by Sebs
Does it say what grades are considered what level? I looked but didn't see it.
In the RCM piano pedagogy course I took, they classified levels Prep A-4 as Elementary. Intermediate is 5-8.

Ding! Ding! Ding! That’s the guidance I’m following.
But learning a piece of a certain level doesn't say much. I would say that you can consider yourself of a certain level X if you are regularly learning pieces of that level (say the last 5 pieces you learned) AND you can learn another one to a decent standard in two months or so.

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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by ebonyk
In the RCM piano pedagogy course I took, they classified levels Prep A-4 as Elementary. Intermediate is 5-8.

Ding! Ding! Ding! That’s the guidance I’m following.

But learning a piece of a certain level doesn't say much. I would say that you can consider yourself of a certain level X if you are regularly learning pieces of that level (say the last 5 pieces you learned) AND you can learn another one to a decent standard in two months or so.

I agree that learning 1 piece at a certain level doesn’t say much. Personally, I learn approx. 20-30 pieces at a given level, including repertoire, etudes, scales, ear training and theory. I also sit exams. I think that’s sufficient for my purposes.

Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
I agree that there is no clear or correct answer to the OP's question, but if someone claims he's a "beginner" but has had 10+ years of lessons, I will consider that person to be rather dishonest.
I call that modest not dishonest. I'd rather be the one who claims to be less and then makes a good impression playing than one who braggs and then gets the eye roll and facepalm.

I guess we have very different meanings for the words “modest” and “dishonest”.

Just a random meaning of beginner:


be·gin·ner
/bəˈɡinər/

noun

- a person just starting to learn a skill or take part in an activity.


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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
I agree that there is no clear or correct answer to the OP's question, but if someone claims he's a "beginner" but has had 10+ years of lessons, I will consider that person to be rather dishonest.
I call that modest not dishonest. I'd rather be the one who claims to be less and then makes a good impression playing than one who braggs and then gets the eye roll and facepalm.
It is kind of dishonest. I don't think that modesty simply means showing yourself as less capable than you are. Faux modesty is very annoying as well and unfortunately common. If you're quite good and tell a beginner that you're a beginner, they can get disheartened. If you don't truly believe that you are a beginner, it is kind of dishonest. If you do truly believe you're a beginner, you are out of touch with reality. Lose-lose wink

Unless you redefine beginner to mean "someone who is still learning". Nothing wrong with modesty, but this ain't it.

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Il be a beginner all my life. I’d say though it’s a combination of things - including being able to play along with other musicians

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Me personally, never. 😉

But here (from 1:12) is one way to measure progress:

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