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#1149633 - 04/02/06 09:58 PM prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
Hello, I'm new to this forum, but I had a question that I thought you could answer.

My little brother is 13 years old and has recently started composing piano pieces. They are really, surprizingly good! He has played for about4 years, but it has always been a struggle to get him to practice. Until recently, that is. He realized that he loves to compose and has a special skill for it, so lately we can't get him off the piano. He has perfect pitch with partially explains his amazing aptitude for music. He also plays the cello and aspires to compose for movies.

My question is: Where should he start? What does he need to do to get his songs published? How can he improve at composing or whatever he needs to do to be successful? I just want to help him take advantage of this great talent he has.

Thanks for your input.

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#1149634 - 04/02/06 10:00 PM Re: prodigy composer
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
There may not be a need right now to rush for publication. Let him practice composing, and let his style formulate itself, and then when he is older it might be good for him to think about publication.
_________________________
Sam

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#1149635 - 04/02/06 10:05 PM Re: prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
Thank you. I think that is good advice, but he has been composing for about 6 months and has written 13 songs. His recent ones are really good. Although publication may not be appropriate right now, I have no idea what steps to even take when it is that time.

He really is a prodigy. His music involves all sort of interesting theory that he hasn't even learned yet. I'll say to him, "nice modulation." and he'll respond, "what is that?" He is interesting in learning though.

What advice do you have for him?

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#1149636 - 04/03/06 03:44 AM Re: prodigy composer
Mick Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 49
Well, show off some of his music. Post sheet music so you might get some unbiased opinions about this gift of his you state he has. It's really tough to give advice to someone when their work remains elusive. I'd wager if he's a prodigy with the quill everything will take care of itself in time and he will likely be noticed, but there's just too much to be determined based on your two posts so far. Here's my first rule of thumb for anyone starting out in composition: If you want someone to take notice of your music, a great starting point is to share it with them.

I can tell you right now that most people take prodigy claims with a grain of salt. It's not a challenge to write pretty melodies spanning several bars and pages of music. It's giving them depth, substance and life that separate the "fairly good" composers from the masters. You make it sound like you know a bit about music and I'm surprised you don't draw some parallel comparisons to back up your claims. As for the output - thirteen songs in six months doesn't mean much, not to mention that it's easily attainable. Quantity means absolutely nothing. Haydn wrote a lot of symphonies, and Beethoven wrote only nine. Arguably, Beethoven was the more accomplished symphonist by far.
_________________________
Mick

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#1149637 - 04/03/06 11:52 AM Re: prodigy composer
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2760
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Hi madmusic,

I'm glad you think highly of your brother's efforts, I'm sure your support is important to him. We would of course be interested in seeing or hearing some of his music.

I decided to Google produgy composer and found a number of them. The links below will take you to some interesting article about two composer prodigies. One has been profiled on 60 Minutes, Jay Greenberg. The first two take you to articles on Jay, a student at Julliard (he was 12 at the time). The last is perhaps more interesting because the prodigy is now in his 20s

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/24/60minutes/main657713.shtml
http://www.therestisnoise.com/2004/11/jay_greenberg.html
http://arts.guardian.co.uk/proms2003/story/0,,1031172,00.html

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#1149638 - 04/03/06 07:58 PM Re: prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
ok, I'll admit, I may be a little biased since we are talking about my little brother, but there is no doubt that he has amazing talent. I would say there is a range of "prodigyness." He is no Mozart. My brother is 13 and just discovered he has perfect pitch. His skill lies in writing beautiful melodic themes and interesting chord progressions. It is true that he needs to make the pieces more full, but actually one of his last pieces is quite full and varied.

As you've noticed, I do know a little about music. I don't claim to be an expert, but I have been playing since I was six and have taught for a couple of years, although I haven't pursuid a career in music, so I haven't been playing as much. I am now a science teacher.

So the teacher in me wants to cultivate his talent.

Is it safe to post unpublished music or do people steal (not you of course) ideas? Can I post music on here?

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#1149639 - 04/03/06 11:17 PM Re: prodigy composer
Tonic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 29
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by madmusic:
ok, I'll admit, I may be a little biased since we are talking about my little brother, but there is no doubt that he has amazing talent. I would say there is a range of "prodigyness." He is no Mozart. My brother is 13 and just discovered he has perfect pitch. His skill lies in writing beautiful melodic themes and interesting chord progressions. It is true that he needs to make the pieces more full, but actually one of his last pieces is quite full and varied.

As you've noticed, I do know a little about music. I don't claim to be an expert, but I have been playing since I was six and have taught for a couple of years, although I haven't pursuid a career in music, so I haven't been playing as much. I am now a science teacher.

So the teacher in me wants to cultivate his talent.

Is it safe to post unpublished music or do people steal (not you of course) ideas? Can I post music on here? [/b]
I think you are full of ur brother. First i dont think there is any brother second you are such a weeny that you cannot post your own music and want this attention and call yourself a prodigy. I mean if there is really a brother and he is prodigious why not let him develop like others have said in this forum. Believe me when I say this, when there is real talent and when some one really is so prodigious the world will notice eventually, it may not come in 5 days but real talent overflows and spreads like a fragrance from a flower. You cannot hide it or stop it. So quit being such a loser and post your songs. Lets us hear what its all about.
BTW perfect pitch has nothing to do with composing great songs. While it may aid or it might hinder is up to how one uses it.

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#1149640 - 04/03/06 11:30 PM Re: prodigy composer
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
I'm sure it's safe to post some of your brother's music here (with his permission, of course!)

Many of us post our music here, and the idea is just to get the music out there so others can listen to it. I don't think any of us are trying to sell the music that we put up here; it's just to share with others and get others' opinions and advice.

He might be a prodigy, which would be really great, or he might not be, but what's important is that prodigy or not he composes and he continues to do what he loves to do. It will be interesting I think for you and he to see where he goes with his music and how he develops as a musician.

If you'd like, and if your brother agrees, post some of his music; we'd love to hear it! \:\)
_________________________
Sam

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#1149641 - 04/03/06 11:48 PM Re: prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
First of all, I would like to respond to Tonic. I don't know who you are and if you are actually this rude to everyone, but my brother, Cameron is, in fact, real. My name is Ashley and I am 21 years old and am a middle school science teacher. I don't compose, although I love music and have a lot of musical training. I wrote hoping to get advice for my brother who is too young and immature to get his talent out there. I am not in the music world and don't know how these things are done, hence my first post.

Also, his perfect pitch is a huge help when writing music. I know a lot more theory and have a lot more experience, but when I play around writing a simple melody sometimes I can feel where I want it to go, but can't actually make my fingers do it (I don't know if that is normal, but I suspect it is relatively). Cameron on the other hand can tell me as I'm playing "play a Gm next" and there it is, the next chord I wanted in my progression. You're right, though, I don't think his perfect pitch makes him a good composer, but I do think it helps.

But then again, I'm just a weeny and loser, so what do I know. (I'm not too offended, but really? Who do you think you are?)

I didn't realize that composers post their music. Can I do this on pianoworld.com? I think I will do this to get more input.

I think some of you took my label of prodigy too seriously. I think he has amazing talent. I think he has a great future. I just want to help direct him. Thanks for the good advice (those of you with actual advice, not critcism.)

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#1149642 - 04/04/06 06:00 AM Re: prodigy composer
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
Hey madmusic,

I think it's great that you're taking such an interest in your brother.

Probably a good place to start is finding a good music teacher. One that can expose him to a lot of different music and help him refine his compositions.

Also have him do a lot of listening to many different styles of music. Take him to recitals, concerts, musicals, etc.

Without knowing how far he is developed in his composing it would be difficult to address the subject of publishing. If he can make quality recordings of his music he could submit the tracks to film music libraries.

If his music is notated on manuscript he could submit those to companies like Alfred Publishing, Hal Leonard, Carl Fischer, etc. Do a Google search for “piano music publishers”; you’ll find plenty of them to submit his music to. Many of these publishers will give valuable feedback. Either way you’ll find out quickly if his music is ready for the publishing stage or needs more polish.

Probably the best thing you can do for him, which you’re already doing, is giving him encouragement.

If he truly loves composing, nothing will stop him. He’ll find a way to be heard in the music world.

Good luck.

Best, John \:\)
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1149643 - 04/04/06 03:56 PM Re: prodigy composer
snap_apple Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/03
Posts: 710
madmusic, here are some tips for your brother.

Study theory

Study scores

Learn (via theory) how to analyze music both aurally and visually

Discover what makes a piece great or genius (never assume)

Read, watch films, study art, interact and soak in life

read philosophy

learn to communicate via music only

learn to write a good essay...how does an essay relate to a piece of music.

Question everything

Find an inner voice

-----------------------

if your brother likes film scores and aspires to be a hollywood composer....


what is the difference between a film score and a concert piece.

read interviews with film composers

watch movies and listen closely to the music...how does the music function? what is it's role? what works and what doesn't?

seek out job opportunities.

listen to film scores outside the movie and ask what's the difference.

----------------------------


Being a composer is a lot like a writer or a philosopher. You are always asking, always seeking and always absorbing information. Pretty melodies and harmonies are fine but just about anyone with good musical skills can do it. What makes a composer great and successful is the meaning and purpose to the work. How well does the piece make it's point. Did it do it's job? For a film score the music is all about illuminating the visual components on the screen. It is a collaborative process, a narrative pupose. For concert music the piece must stand enitrely on it's own and frankly requires much more out of the composer himself.

If your brother is at all serious then it will be innate behavior to do these things (learn, question, struggle.) If your not exhausted by it, if it isn't a struggle, then the talent/he will never develop and grow.

Don't try to force your brother to do anything too much, rather stimulate a desire to want to find out more. It is through curiousity that we gain the most out of a new experience. It is through curioiusity that we develop an open mind. It is through curiousity that we discover and it is through discovery that we gain a personality, which is essential to any composer.

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#1149644 - 04/04/06 08:40 PM Re: prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
Wow!
These posts are filled with great advice. I have been trying to get him to listen to more types of music. Right now he is mostly inspired by movie soundtracks, phantom of the opera, and new age (which I'm not particularly excited about).

One of the things that I struggle with the most is not trying to encourage his compositions, but encouraging technic. I try to get him to play scales or Hannon, but he just wants to work on his music. I also try to get him to learn different styles of piano pieces, but he just plays his own stuff. He has been getting better, but I think it would be more efficient if he worked more on his technic and expression.

He does aspire to be a film composer...and his songs sound like great soundtracks, like they have a story with moments of grandeur or suspense. Does anyone on this forum do that? write film scores? What advice do you have for that?

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#1149645 - 04/04/06 08:58 PM Re: prodigy composer
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
Nothing wrong with composing TV and film music. Film music consists of every genre of music. Maybe someday his music will be immortalized in a great movie. What greater accomplishment is there?

If he has a CD of some of his work, copyright it and send it out to film music libraries.

I don't blame him for not working on Hanon exercises. They use to bore me to death.

Best, John \:\)
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1149646 - 04/07/06 04:17 PM Re: prodigy composer
Theodore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/05
Posts: 347
Loc: San Antonio, Texas
I highly recommend formalized piano classes along with theory. Otherwise, he's wasting his time developing skills that are going to stop him from getting acceptance into serious music schools. Without the necessary tools, he won't gain access to continuing qualified education.

I see many, many, many hackers come into the store thinking they are "prodigies" even saying so; but then not even be able to play scales, arppegios, chords or keep a cadence to tempo. Let along perform anything requiring thought out fingering.

But they all play and compose around a 1-4-5 sequence and people think they're great. Really, the better ones write everything in 1-6-4-5 progressions, making everything similar not only in sound , but in structure and thought.

The key is discipline and it appears as if there is a descending interest in anything requiring discipline, practice, structure, goals setting and gaining results. Without this simple management of applied time correctly used, your little brother is wasting his time. Get him the skills and the recognition that there is no such thing as a naturally talented prodigy that can plow through life amazing everyone without ever acquiring the necessary skills. Otherwise, he'll just be hack.

His perfect pitch won't work either. Perfect pitch relative to what? If I play a note can he describe it in the number of string vibrations per second, exactly according to the laws of physics? That would be perfect pitch relative to the human musical staff and generally includes "ALL" frequencies from 27.5 vibrations per second to over 3520 vibrations per second. So, can he do this? Can he open his mouth and reproduce the tone and call out the note, without hitting a key on the piano?

I am trying to explain why others may be perceived as being rude to you in their posts; we've all heard about prodigies never to be heard from again.
_________________________
Theodore
Alamo Music Center
San Antonio,Texas

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#1149647 - 04/07/06 05:05 PM Re: prodigy composer
canaday Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/05
Posts: 328
Loc: Petaluma, CA
Some really harsh comments here.

Madmusic - I'd find a good music teacher to assess what your brother needs to develop.

If your brother understands why certain skills are important, and how they relate to his main goal, he'll probably take it from there.

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#1149648 - 04/07/06 05:18 PM Re: prodigy composer
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
The key is discipline and it appears as if there is a descending interest in anything requiring discipline, practice, structure, goals setting and gaining results.[/b]
I would certainly hope so...art, in its general and basic form, was never meant to be a profession and, since I consider music to be art, neither was music intended for such a sorry fate. ;\)
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1149649 - 04/08/06 06:12 AM Re: prodigy composer
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derulux:
The key is discipline and it appears as if there is a descending interest in anything requiring discipline, practice, structure, goals setting and gaining results.[/b]
I would certainly hope so...art, in its general and basic form, was never meant to be a profession and, since I consider music to be art, neither was music intended for such a sorry fate. ;\) [/b]
Who said art wasn't meant to be a profession?
And why is it a sorry fate?

There's nothing wrong with making money at something one enjoys.

John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1149650 - 04/09/06 02:30 AM Re: prodigy composer
Kam Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/06
Posts: 184
Loc: Canada
madmusic, have you just said you are trying to make him practice techic excersises? Dont do that, you are going to make him hate it. Let him do whatever he wants, composition is all about the freedom of expressing oneself.BTW, he doesnt have to go to music school to be a musician.

If he wants to be a musician someday playing a world class concert grand in the concert hall, he should get ready playing in front of ppl.

After reading these posts, I am really longing to listen to your bro's songs especially those in New Age style.
_________________________
"Bass creates motion" - David Lanz

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#1149651 - 04/09/06 03:37 PM Re: prodigy composer
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
Yeah Kam, I'd be interested in hearing a few of his tracks too.

Madmusic,
If you don't want to post them you can send me an MP3 in my profile email. I'd be glad to give you my feedback.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1149652 - 04/09/06 04:45 PM Re: prodigy composer
tomt6113 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 85
Loc: new york
in my opinion the best thing you can do for your brother is to get him a good teacher. not just any teacher. there are a lot of teachers that dont know much, but still teach. make sure you get a teacher whose knowledge of music is vast and deep.
_________________________
im not really in a creative mood

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#1149653 - 04/10/06 12:34 AM Re: prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
I really appriciate the feedback. As far as being a prodigy, like I've already said, I think people took that comment a little too seriously, which is because of my over-zealousness in bragging about his composing. And I'm not offended about anyone's skeptism.

He likes to make interesting chord progressions and doesn't like the I-IV-V (says it's boring). Of course, when he wrote his first song he didn't even know what that meant. He likes ones like I-IV-VI-V for example.

I recorded some of his music this weekend, just with garage band and my laptop's mic so it's not that great of quality. I've never put music online before, so can anyone tell me where to go to post it.

Also, like I said I think he has great composing skill, but his piano skills aren't currently the greatest, so keep that in mind. He is starting to take composing more seriously and is actually practicing scales.

In response to some questions, Cameron's perfect pitch is developing. He can name the pitch, (not the exact frequency, but he never even learned those) to our piano with close to 100% accuracy without listening to anything beforehand and is probably 70% accurate with other instruments, but improving.

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#1149654 - 04/10/06 01:10 AM Re: prodigy composer
Kam Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/06
Posts: 184
Loc: Canada
send the mp3 to my email
mckchun@yahoo.com.hk

I am defintely willing to host those songs for you

GO AHEAD AND SEND THEM TO ME
_________________________
"Bass creates motion" - David Lanz

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#1149655 - 04/10/06 07:41 AM Re: prodigy composer
Arjen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/24/05
Posts: 173
Loc: Groningen, Netherlands
"He likes to make interesting chord progressions and doesn't like the I-IV-V (says it's boring)."

What a bunch of nonsense. As if a chord progression can be interesting or boring: with a I-IV-V progression you can make heaps of unique music, apart from classic genres using these progressions, like latin music and blues.

That being said, there can never be too much ambitious composers. If you would like me to check your recordings and give honest but constructive feedback just let me know. \:\)

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#1149656 - 04/10/06 11:17 AM Re: prodigy composer
Theodore Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/05
Posts: 347
Loc: San Antonio, Texas
This is already a combination not worth investigating or a listen, for these reasons:

- "prodigy" is just now learning scales.
- "recording" quality is admittedly low (amateur).
- Too much praise be given to student with lack of discipline (progess) on his chosen instrument. Good luck.

Now, if he's interested in becoming a midi composer, he can write things he can't play. Sounds like that would be a better direction for a composer not interested in learning an instrument or willing to take instruction, practice, theory and history. However, his programming skills will need to be "disciplined" in order to produce anything worth a listen.
_________________________
Theodore
Alamo Music Center
San Antonio,Texas

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#1149657 - 04/10/06 05:16 PM Re: prodigy composer
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 1514
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Everything which has been posted so far is deadly serious; too serious, I think. Whatever you do in the way of helping him develop his musical ability please do not forget that he is primarily a very young human being with the right to future enjoyment of his music in his own way.

Expose him to all sorts of music, certainly, the more the merrier, and find a good teacher for him by all means. However, in the end, if he has music in him, it may not come out in the way you or anybody else thinks it should. He may find happiness through music at a greater or lesser level of dedication or professionalism; in the end the pragmatic aspect does not matter.

What matters is that his musical abilities bring him unconditional joy for the rest of his life.
_________________________
"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows

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#1149658 - 04/10/06 05:20 PM Re: prodigy composer
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ted:
Everything which has been posted so far is deadly serious; too serious, I think. Whatever you do in the way of helping him develop his musical ability please do not forget that he is primarily a very young human being with the right to future enjoyment of his music in his own way.

Expose him to all sorts of music, certainly, the more the merrier, and find a good teacher for him by all means. However, in the end, if he has music in him, it may not come out in the way you or anybody else thinks it should. He may find happiness through music at a greater or lesser level of dedication or professionalism; in the end the pragmatic aspect does not matter.

What matters is that his musical abilities bring him unconditional joy for the rest of his life. [/b]
Well said Ted.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1149659 - 04/10/06 08:59 PM Re: prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
Whoa, hold on.

"- "prodigy" is just now learning scales.
- "recording" quality is admittedly low (amateur).
- Too much praise be given to student with lack of discipline (progess) on his chosen instrument. Good luck."

Cameron is 13 years old and prior to his realization of this skill his hobbies were basketball and nintendo. He doesn't like scales. So what? Who does? The thing is, he is realizing his potential and starting to put forth an effort. What I was trying to say is that before composing I couldn't get him to practice, but now he has the motivation. Of course he is an amateur! He is 13 years old and only been playing for a few years. The point of me calling him a "prodigy" is not to say he is the best composer or pianist out there, but to say "wow, my brother has an amazing natural talent. If only I could direct him, he could be great some day." That's all I was trying to say.

Thanks Ted and John for your understanding comments.

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#1149660 - 04/10/06 09:34 PM Re: prodigy composer
tenuki Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/06
Posts: 669
Loc: Seattle, Wa
I noticed my 5 year old only liked to 'compose' music on the piano. wasn't interested in being taught anything, we had barely got past knowing where middle C was. However, he _would_ spend 30 minutes perfecting some music for his puppet show and then 'perform' it. It is not really music although he has a good memory and excellent rythm, but there is a process and he is getting better.

Then the other day he asked about my recent/new sight reading activities. I explained to him that notes and cords were the way music got written down like letters and words were the way speech got written down. He now wants me to write down his compositions and play them back and after the first session can recognize C, etc.

hmn, maybe a new piano teaching method? Is there any method out there that is composition centric?
_________________________
Only the humble improve.

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#1149661 - 04/10/06 09:55 PM Re: prodigy composer
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Madmusic,

My son is twelve. He too has just discovered composition. On the other hand he's been studying piano for almost five years and has become rather decent at it. This helps immeasurably with his composing.

He's also studying composition with a professor at our local university. This offers many advantages over working alone.

The first thing he was required to do was get a copy of Finale as a compostion tool. Finale has a low cost version called PrintMusic. If you are not familiar with it, the tool is a formidable composition program and it costs only $70. Get it for him as a present. If he can compose in the program (which also uses an M-audio keyboard ...another $90), the compositions can be turned into sheet music or midi files for easy sharing.

Best,

David F
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1149662 - 04/10/06 10:32 PM Re: prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
Thanks, actually I already got him finale and encouraged my parents to purchase a USB compatible keyboard. Now, if only he would spend some time writing down the songs. He has done a little, but, not surprisingly, he prefers to spend his time on the piano.

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#1149663 - 04/10/06 11:36 PM Re: prodigy composer
Kam Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/06
Posts: 184
Loc: Canada
Madmusic, those songs are really fantastic. He certainly has some (not some, a lot of) talent and melodic ears.

One question, is he intended to make those dissonance sounds? What style does he wants to play? (that's 2 questions..lol)

There are several areas I'd suggest he to work on:

(1) Harmonization
As you said he just started composing, the first thing to do would be learning various ways to harmonize a melody. I can see he has great talent to use his ears to harmonize but he needs more training, try playing some sheetmusic from some artists, then u'll understand what i'm trying to say. For New Age music, try search for David Lanz, Richard Clayderman, Geroge Winston, and...etc. I think he is playing in New Age style.

(2) Composition format
Like AABBABA, he needs to work on that (for pop songs). The first 2 A can be repeated exactly but not for the last 2, or you will make your listener go away.

"When I Dream" is my favourite, it has more favourable sounds than the others, and the format is more in a appropriate way.

Little changes to the music can sound very differently.

Tell him that I will be supporting him
Ask me any questions here or thru my email.

If your bro could record (or write) them in midi (with dynamics and pedaling..etc if he is writing them), that would be great, since I can make those songs (midi format) sounds like he is playing a world class concert grand.

A sample of 33 seconds of the concert grand.
http://www3.telus.net/public/tommy17/NameTheTune1.mp3

Since I am a amatuer New Age composer my self, I feel enthused about your bro's interest in composing music.

Okay, here are the links to your bro's music.
If you have a couch, sit back and enjoy.

In the End
http://www3.telus.net/public/tommy17/Cameron_In_the_End.mp3
When I Dream
http://www3.telus.net/public/tommy17/Cameron_When_I_Dream.mp3
Rushing River
http://www3.telus.net/public/tommy17/Cameron_RushingRiver.mp3

In the upcoming recital, u will know how i am doing.
_________________________
"Bass creates motion" - David Lanz

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#1149664 - 04/11/06 03:35 PM Re: prodigy composer
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
He's definitely talented for his age. I'd be very interested in seeing how he's progressed in a couple years. I say a couple years because when he reaches 15-16 so much more will be expected of him.

As long as he likes what he's doing he will progress with or without formal instruction.

However, a good teacher can save him a lot of time - and keep him interested. Very few people can find the discipline needed to become an accomplished pianist or composer by themselves. Most need some kind of formal structure.

I would suggest the next step to take would be finding the perfect teacher. One that can teach piano fundamentals as well as composition – and expose him to a lot of well structured music.

Best, John ;\)
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1149665 - 04/11/06 04:34 PM Re: prodigy composer
Kam Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/06
Posts: 184
Loc: Canada
Ya, he needs a teacher who teaches playing piano by ear
_________________________
"Bass creates motion" - David Lanz

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#1149666 - 04/11/06 09:11 PM Re: prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
Thanks KAM!

Yeah, I think he needs a better teacher too. He is just going to some lady down the street (She was my teacher. She is good, but is out of the country half of the year on random adventures.)

Imagine having a 13 year old brother who's main purpose in life is to conquer every video game out there and play basketball in between. He was going to quit piano after learning some church hymns. Then I came home from college and my mom told me, "Cameron wrote a song." I thought, "Oh, this should be cute." But was surprized when I heard songs of this caliber. I don't even think those three songs are his best. They were just ones he chose.

He definately meant for the dissonance (although he doesn't even know that word. It's true. He just asked me, "what is that?"). He told me that one of his favorite things to do is throw a chord in that you're not expecting. He is influenced by Lanz (because of growing up hearing me play him) and John Schmitt.

So my next step is to find him a great piano teacher. First off, the one he has doesn't even like new age. She strongly discouraged me from playing it. She also doesn't do anything to encourage his compositions (which infuriates me). I would be willing to teach him, but I already have a full-time job and, to be honest, I'm not that great.

Seriously, thank you for your support and I will contact you if Cameron has any questions.

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#1149667 - 04/11/06 11:18 PM Re: prodigy composer
Kam Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/06
Posts: 184
Loc: Canada
Better find a teacher who teaches both music composition and piano playing.

BTW, are u talking about David Lanz?
_________________________
"Bass creates motion" - David Lanz

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#1149668 - 04/16/06 09:19 PM Re: prodigy composer
Iason Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 17
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Does he need to learn composition? Would it hurt? From what I have learned of composition it has greatly influenced me. But some of the greatest new age artists like Yanni, have not learned much of it. Neither have either of my brothers who write great music.

I personally am a knowledge lover. I am studying as much theory and harmony as I can. So far my greatest piece has been a pain staking mix of balancing two keys between each other and resolving on one or the other.

It was a game to me to see If I could do it and still have some tonality. I got to go but I'll post more of my thoughts later. Cause I love to learn more.
_________________________

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#1149669 - 04/17/06 11:55 AM Re: prodigy composer
lol_nl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/06
Posts: 918
Loc: Ede, Netherlands
Don't push him too hard to learn scales etc.!

First leave him for a while, so he can develop his own style of writing and composing. I doubt whether it's a good idea to let him learn theory. He'd be influenced by others too much. First he should develop on his own. When he is ready, let him play other material, from other composers, and practise some technique (I personally don't recomend Hanon), and let him listen to different types of music. Find a good composition teacher for him.

And btw, you can host recordings at www.savefile.com
_________________________
Yiteng

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff.

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#1149670 - 04/17/06 11:57 AM Re: prodigy composer
lol_nl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/06
Posts: 918
Loc: Ede, Netherlands
And I forgot to add, let him post and write here on him own! Why not? Just to know him better \:\) .
_________________________
Yiteng

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff.

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#1149671 - 04/17/06 10:22 PM Re: prodigy composer
musicwizard0 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 4
Ashley, I hope I'm answering the right post. About your brother, I am a composer and the most important thing you can do is listen to his heart. You said he didn't like to practice until he started composing; look at Yanni--he is a self taught composer and did not want to take lessons because he felt it might confuse him and what he wrote; your brother needs to want lessons and finding the right teacher is soooo important. Most of them out there won't know what to do with him but they won't tell you that. I have 7 years of lessons, couldn't tell you how many different teachers I had, but only one! recognized my ability and desires and helped me develop the skills I needed. The rest I've learned on my own. I wrote my first song at age 11. I feel like he is good from what you say and I don't think I would jump to placing his songs on this site for others to hear. Get him in some concerts; check for local music guilds and join. 13 years old is old enough to be a phenomenal composer. Ask him what HE NEEDS to go forward. The majority of the answers you've received here have no clue about what it is to be a composer or what a composer needs.

Awsome wishes, Robyn

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#1149672 - 04/17/06 10:50 PM Re: prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
Hi I'm Cameron the composer guy that my sister Ashley has been telling you about. I was wondering how you guys compose? I compose by ear.
I've been trying to discover some cool chord progressions. I really like i,v,vi,iv and i,iv,vi,v and there is this really long one i,v,ii,vi,iv,i,ii,i. I have others,but it would kind of get boring. What are some cool chord proggressions you people like to use because they're what make the song sort of. That and the melody. Thanks for the advice a lot.

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#1149673 - 04/17/06 11:10 PM Re: prodigy composer
madcomposer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1
Loc: UT
Hi this is Cameron again. I messed up on those chord proggressions. Let me do them again I V vi IV and I IV vi V and the really long one I V ii vi IV I ii I. While were at it lets do some minor ones i VI VII VI and i VII VI VII, but most of you people probably know that one from the titanic. I'm not sure how you write it. Anyways I don't want to bore you with those cord proggressions so I'll stop.

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#1149674 - 04/18/06 12:15 AM Re: prodigy composer
Iason Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 17
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Try ( Opening Cadence) I, V 6, vii-, I 6/4, V7, V 6/vi, vi, IV 6, V, (Closing Cadence) IV, iii 6, V 6/V, V, vi 7, I+, IV 6/4, V 6/4, I. (Double the tonic at the end).

The Chord Progressions
_________________________

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#1149675 - 04/18/06 01:58 AM Re: prodigy composer
Iason Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 17
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Here's a simple Piece I just made to match the chord progressions.

Progression Melody as an example
_________________________

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#1149676 - 04/20/06 12:39 PM Re: prodigy composer
Noah Frere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/08/06
Posts: 15
Loc: Knoxville, TN
well said ted.
_________________________
Noah Frere
www.knowapiano.com
Knoxville, TN

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#1149677 - 04/20/06 01:13 PM Re: prodigy composer
Noah Frere Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/08/06
Posts: 15
Loc: Knoxville, TN
the links for telus wouldnt load on my mac. is there some way i could hear this music?
_________________________
Noah Frere
www.knowapiano.com
Knoxville, TN

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#1149678 - 04/20/06 10:26 PM Re: prodigy composer
madmusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Utah
Thanks for the chord progression, Iason, but unfortunately, my brother doesn't know half of what you wrote (I don't even know all of it, but I've never really learned theory that much). I'll look up some of the notation that I don't remember.

We are uneducated.

Anyway, just to keep you updated, we have found a new piano teacher for my brother. Some composer guy or something. Anyway, I think it will be better than his current teacher. I had to almost beg her to let him play one of his compositions in his recital next week.

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#1149679 - 04/20/06 11:11 PM Re: prodigy composer
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
madmusic,

You may want to consider helping your brother to copywrite his songs, before he publishes them here or anywhere else.

Musicians are famous/notorious for "learning" from each other. If your brother can write melodies, it's imperative that his work be copywrited. The forms are available online: http://www.copyright.gov/forms/

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#1149680 - 04/20/06 11:17 PM Re: prodigy composer
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
One last word…

If your brother truly loves composing he'll find a way to make his mark in the music industry - with or without a teacher.

Danny Elfman was self taught, and what a mark he’s made.

The best thing he can do is compose each and everyday. It should become as natural and essential as eating and sleeping.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1149681 - 04/20/06 11:22 PM Re: prodigy composer
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
madmusic,

Artists tend to create in bursts. For now, extensive study will just force your brother to use the side of his brain which is useful for applying rules, but of no help at all for creating.

Please monitor your brother's lessons. If the new teacher loads him up with so much work that he suddenly stops creating, immediately back off and let him go with his creative impulses. He can manipulate/formalize/make more sophisticated at any time.

For now it might be more helpful to get him a small tape recorder which he can place next to his bed. Much of creation actually comes up out of the subconscious. It'd be a good idea for this young man to be able to hum whatever occurs to him, before it's lost.

It'd be nice if one could simply bounce back and fourth from logic to creation without losing anything. My experience, tho limited, says that that doesn't work, and that working with the logical side of the brain will block out creation---even causing him to forget what popped up out his subconscious. Please encourage him to hum everything that occurs to him into his tape recorder.

And please monitor those lessons. He's on a creative roll. The time for extensive study is when he's temporarily out of inspiration.

Pls chk ur PM's.

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#1149682 - 04/20/06 11:36 PM Re: prodigy composer
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
FogVilleLad is right on the money. Composing comes from the heart (so to speak). It can't be taught.

However, a good teacher can show your brother methods of developing his music. But then again, if he keeps writing he'll figure it out on his own in due course anyway.

What’s more important is to keep his enthusiasm and originality intact.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

Top
#1149683 - 04/20/06 11:50 PM Re: prodigy composer
Iason Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/22/04
Posts: 17
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
I notated the chord Porgressions for you.

Notated Chord Progressions here

I'm not very educated myself, I just have some obsessions.
_________________________

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