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#1194165 - 05/05/09 11:56 PM Lifespan Play
Davinci Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 131
As a late starter, I believe time is really a factor - not literally the amount of time spent on learning but given a lifespan how much can one plays? What are your opinions and /or advises for an amateur? To build as many repertoires as possible with acceptable playing or to play nigh to perfect but only working on very few pieces.

p/s: if I started youngeeerrr probably this would not be my question.

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#1194242 - 05/06/09 03:11 AM Re: Lifespan Play [Re: Davinci]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8631
I think you should really work on at least a piece or two to the very highest level you can achieve, just to demonstrate to yourself what you can do. You do want to know, right? And then you should relax and also play stuff that you know you will never really get to the level you would like, just because you enjoy them. There's no reason to deny yourself either choice (unless you are already on your deathbed, and then it wouldn't matter).

#1194303 - 05/06/09 07:26 AM Re: Lifespan Play [Re: wr]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
I don't think there's a correct answer. It will vary with the individual. I'm working on getting a few pieces I really like to a good level, but perfect I don't think so. I don't think it's in my nature to do that, nor do I really need to achieve that to enjoy playing.

It's nice to have a couple of pieces that you have very well in hand if someone asks you to play something. Which is what I'm really trying to work on. Get a nice varied 30 minutes of repetoire I can call up.

Other than that, it's just the joy of playing. Playing anything at any level of finishedness.

#1194454 - 05/06/09 12:48 PM Re: Lifespan Play [Re: Davinci]
Carldee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 157
Hi Davinci, do you mean your life span is short?, if so welcome to the club of the "living dead".

I have got the same problem, with my dodgy heart every second counts, every note I play is a second or fraction of a second (depends whether the movement is Presto, Allegro, or Andante), less of life and nearer death.

My surgeon told me that if I don`t have the operation within 2 years it will be my final piano keyboard lid. That means just over 63 million seconds of life, that is why I set my metronome to 1 second beat and that is how I play and count every second, "tic", "toc", "tic", "toc".........I reckon if I play Andante time will pass slower than if I play Allegro and therefore I will live longer.

At the moment I practice Czerny and Clementy so that when I get to within 3 million seconds of life I can play the funeral marches properly, because I`m a complete optimist.

I`m taking bets on whether my last second will be on the "tic" or the "tock" of the metronome, and the interesting thing is: "will MY metronome stop ticking when I pop my cloggs?,..............scary if it did...........

#1194484 - 05/06/09 01:40 PM Re: Lifespan Play [Re: Carldee]
gooddog Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 5284
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Carldee that's pretty scary. Why not have the surgery? Obviously, we're all gradually dying and every note is precious, but why not do everything you can to prolong your life and your music?
Best regards,


#1194620 - 05/06/09 05:20 PM Re: Lifespan Play [Re: gooddog]
Carldee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 157
Well Deborah, the reason why is this:

Within myself I do not dwell
since without music I cannot live
reft of myself and music as well
what serves this life, I cannot tell
except a thousand deaths to give
since waiting here for life I lie
and die, because I do not die.

If in the hope I should delight
of playing the piano well
the thought that I might lose the skill
doubles my sorrow and my fear
living as I do in such fright
and yearning as I yearn, poor I,
and dying because I do not die.

Oh rescue me from such death
Deborah, and give me life, not fear
nor keep me bound and struggling
with Czerny and Clementi here
look how I long to see you near
and how in such a plight I lie
dying because I do not die.

The fish that in the stream is swimming
derives some sort of consolation
that is his death he pays the cost
at least of death`s annihilation.
to this dread life with which I am crossed
what fell death can compare, since I
the more I live, the more must die.

Oh Deborah, Deborah,
when shall it be
when I may say, and tell no lie
I live, because I`ve ceased to die?.....

Hope you get the "why" now...........

#1194999 - 05/07/09 11:23 AM Re: Lifespan Play [Re: Carldee]
Davinci Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 131
My mind’s been weighing the quality vv quantity. Maybe I should say I worried how much I can do when I still can. The fact is there’s so many pieces heard and unheard and when I can learn to appreciate, its like“ Argh if only I can play” and they start piling but reasonably how much can I do? I’m a slow learner yet ambitious and I do not want to miss out any of that many. Whilst I do not want to worry about the harvest but to keep sowing and the rest will take care of itself.

wr & HomeInMyShoes: Thanks for reminding me just the joy of playing.

Carlee: Sorry to hear you are unwell. I don’t know much about heart valves but I won’t trust a surgeon until I get enough opinions. Tic-Tock- Tic-Tock reminds me of some horror movies, please put away the metronome, I don’t think it’s healthy to let it control your heartbeat. Breathe properly and your heart will beat nicely smile Likewise I do think about getting my pieces recorded next time for my funeral. Probably something Spiritoso.

#1195004 - 05/07/09 11:30 AM Re: Lifespan Play [Re: Davinci]
joykristel Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/07/09
Posts: 3
Well, i can say that you should start with few pieces and master them. As time goes by, you can gradually increase your pieces but still mastering them. This is because you can adapt to piano playing as you practice and practice and you'll develop your piano skills. So i advice you to start with just few for now and just enjoy playing them. Choose also the ones that you really like. With this, you will find it easy to master them.
all about music

#1195766 - 05/08/09 04:47 PM Re: Lifespan Play [Re: Davinci]
Carldee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 157
Very kind words indeed Davinci but I`m ok, just a leaky valve that needs fixing. The reason why I sound so dramatic and gloomy is done on purpose because I want to emulate my heroes, the great composers of music, to whom many people atribute dramatic and tragic lives but in general lead an ordinary life like any of us, with its ups and downs.

However they were so good at composing who were able to convey a sense of happiness, sorrow, sadness, tragedy, etc, in their compositions but didn`t necessarily feel like that.

Take one of the greatest, Beethoven, he loved to play and improvise for women, who would cry during his performances and then he would laugh loudly, like saying, "it was all a show".
However scholars seem to attribute a sense a tragedy in the composers lives. J S Bach, was a very happy family man, and so were many others, drinkers, womanisers, homosexuals, you name it.

For example today I heard in the BBC Radio 3 that when Mendelsson`s sister died his grief was far superior to any other person`s, and the commentator said so!!. I`m sure that all of us feel very grieved if a dear one died on us, you don`t need to be a composer to feel like that.

When Beethoven realized his hearing was disappearing permanently he felt suicidal, but he confronted it by saying, "I will grab fate by the throat, it will bend me, but it won`t brake me".
In my "tragedy", a leaky valve, (I think 20% of the population has one), just before the anesthetic I will grab my surgeon by the throat and I`ll tell him, "I`ll sue you in the next life for every penny you have got if you let me die, you son of a bitch!!!

#1197943 - 05/12/09 01:08 PM Re: Lifespan Play [Re: Carldee]
Davinci Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 131
Originally Posted By: Carldee

For example today I heard in the BBC Radio 3 that when Mendelsson`s sister died his grief was far superior to any other person`s, and the commentator said so!!

Did the commentator explained why he said so?

#1197952 - 05/12/09 01:26 PM Re: Lifespan Play [Re: Davinci]
Dr. J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/08/09
Posts: 134
Loc: Oregon
Quality vs number of pieces learned??? Hmmmm.........I struggle with that as a teacher and performer. So much music, so little time. What I have found though is that if one does not explore a wide range of repertoire, you may never find that "magical" piece that speaks to your soul. I have found a couple of those incredible pieces during my life's journey through the world of music. I have made those pieces "mine!" They have been "perfected" shall we say and I love to play them. Because they were "perfected" I can get them out of the music cabinet and play them joyfully when I need or want to without poring over them to relearn them.

So, quality is important, yes - especially when after your exploration through the vast amount of repertoire available you find that piece that speaks to your soul - but quantity is also important to allow yourself to discover those gems of music that you can make your own.

Dr. J
Dr. Jordan is a professional piano teacher and performer,
offering creative online piano tutorials to adult beginners.

Dr. Js blog http://playpianotodaywithdrj.wordpress.com/


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