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#1198984 - 05/14/09 08:54 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: Numerian]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Numerian


They have worked at the piano almost all of their lives, and in every case it started as a requirement imposed on them by their parents.
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.
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Exactly when the parent should begin pushing the child in front of the public is a difficult question, but often the determination is made not by the parent (and certainly not by the child), but by the teacher. At least if they have a very good teacher.

.
.
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I'm sure there are many more cases where the child prodigy fizzles out or drops out, ... What I've seen though, is that before age ten parental pressure to practice, and parental help in getting public performance experience, is important as long as the child enjoys both of these experiences. If the child is only going through the motions, it is probably useless to expect much. Second, the parent has to be prepared to get out of the picture once a really good teacher takes over the education, and especially if a top conservatory is involved. Then it becomes more and more what that young adult wants for herself or himself, and how badly they want it. ...



All very good points.

I think most of this applies to the non-prodigy as well. If a child is not motivated, parental pushing is counter-productive on many levels. If they are, but they are not fully focussed, the parent can provide some of that focus and discipline. Not forever, of course. Butting out is hard, as I know from first-hand experience. And it's not instant, as in switching off a light.
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#1199532 - 05/15/09 01:10 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: Numerian]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7422
Originally Posted By: Numerian
What I've seen though, is that before age ten parental pressure to practice, and parental help in getting public performance experience, is important as long as the child enjoys both of these experiences.


I really don't have a problem with parents working with getting their talented kids to develop their talent as fully as possible, but the line between that and turning the child into a "musical genius project" rather than a well-rounded human being is mighty thin indeed, IMO.

I also agree that some public performance experience for really young kids (i.e., pre-teens) can be a good thing, if it can kept within the range of what most kids do. But if talented tykes start getting presented as extraordinary and sensational, to audiences far and wide, their psyches are in real danger of getting thoroughly warped, and I am not convinced the musical results are worth it, no matter how well they might play.

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#1199563 - 05/15/09 02:53 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: wr]
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
I think that there is nothing wrong with parents sharing their child's gifts for others to enjoy (isn't that what music is all about?) as long as the child is enjoying the process of sharing. I understand how it could easily get out of control, but if a child (or anyone that has a great talent, then let it be shared!)

As far as comparing pianists, what is the benefit of this, unless you talk privately, but I don't think it should happen on a public forum.

I think Umi plays superbly and I hope her all the best on the Ellen show and for the future.


Edited by pianobuff (05/15/09 02:56 AM)
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#1199638 - 05/15/09 08:27 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: Numerian]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Numerian
To some degree or another I've known three of the contestants who happen to be competing this month in the Van Cliburn competition. Two have performed at my house and one I arranged to perform as a teenager with a local orchestra.

They have worked at the piano almost all of their lives, and in every case it started as a requirement imposed on them by their parents. Their parents were very driven people


The competition circuit is a horror and has nothing to do with music.

A parent who pushes their child in that direction is bloodthirsty.

Run, run, little Umi, run, while you still can ...

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#1199668 - 05/15/09 09:17 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: landorrano]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Thanks for that well thought out and nuanced view. I'm sure the Garrett's will benefit greatly.
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#1199674 - 05/15/09 09:28 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: Piano*Dad]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Thanks for that well thought out and nuanced view. I'm sure the Garrett's will benefit greatly.

As one who has personally benefited from a similarly well thought out and nuanced view from the same source, I'm not surprised.

Steven
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"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1199954 - 05/15/09 04:04 PM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: Piano*Dad]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Thanks for that well thought out and nuanced view. I'm sure the Garrett's will benefit greatly.


Thank you for the compliment.

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#1199973 - 05/15/09 04:50 PM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: pianobuff]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
Originally Posted By: pianobuff
I think that there is nothing wrong with parents sharing their child's gifts for others to enjoy (isn't that what music is all about?) as long as the child is enjoying the process of sharing.


My level of agreement with this depends on the definition of "sharing the child's gifts" I guess (not that my opinion matters too much). If a kid likes to perform, then hauling them down to the local senior citizen's center and having them play, I would agree, is "sharing their gifts". Ditto if you tape them playing and put it up on YouTube because you're proud of them and so your friends and relatives can see.

But putting them on a very competitive national stage (tv appearances, competitions)? _Promoting_ them as prodigies, or incredibly gifted? Not so sure. Because if you do that, and the kid is _not_ one of the very very few at the very, very top?

What happens then? Some people will ooh and ahhh and coo over them and talk about how wonderful and special they are...then along will come people who rip them to shreds for 'not being that good' or 'clearly not at the level of so-and-so who is X years younger." And what does that do to a musician's self-confidence and sense of self? It seems to me that if the child is not one truly of the best in the world at their age, PR touting them as a 'prodigy' or an 'incredible pianist at the beginning of a world-class career' will do more harm than good.

You may be a very big duck on your little pond but sooner or later (on this path, sooner) you're in the ocean with the sharks. And you are a very small duck indeed.

I don't know why the music world needs another (or, for that matter, any) child prodigy. It doesn't do any favors for the child and the resulting emphasis on race-the-clock child performers doesn't do any good for the world of classical music, in my opinion. Who cares who will be the youngest to do Rach 3 with the London Symphony?? When we have adults of great artistry who have a hard enough time trying to make a living? What's the point of promoting little kids?

I do applaud a parent trying to give a child who loves music and hopes to make a career out of it (assuming the child does want this) every opportunity. And as someone who grew up in the middle of nowhere I do understand it generally takes connections, and money, to be able to get a musical education capable of reaching that goal. I just have qualms about promoting kids.


Edited by ProdigalPianist (05/15/09 04:52 PM)
Edit Reason: typo
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#1200258 - 05/16/09 04:09 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: ProdigalPianist]
umipiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/22/08
Posts: 4
Loc: Orange County CA
Well the recording for the Ellen show happened on the 14th, I was just blown away by how well they treated us they were so nice. There was allot of dancing going on and I think that really helps everyone feel good and happy. It went very well, I feel her teacher was very instrumental in making this a great moment that Umi will cherish forever. We are so proud of her. As long as she wants to keep pursuing her goal, my wife and I will do our best to keep up with her. Back stage Jamie Foxx even shook Umi's hand and congratulated her on the performance.

Be sure not to miss the show, it will be this coming Monday!

Steve (Umi's Dad)

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#1200297 - 05/16/09 07:14 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: umipiano]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
That's great Umi's dad!

I'll set up my tape to watch it since I'll be out working.

Give her a great big hug from her supporters. ;-)
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#1200777 - 05/17/09 04:28 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: RonaldSteinway]
James Cook Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 7
The first one is obviously older then 7 when the video was made. The second is one year older than, and playing an easier piece, with an obviously less developed technique. What's the matter with you people and your quiping. Find some videos of real 7 year olds that are better, why don't you? Or aren't there any?
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#1201089 - 05/17/09 07:22 PM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: James Cook]
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3910
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
With regard to "pushing children," I think that each individual case has to be treated on its own, and that much as we are interested in the music, we're not the ones to judge.

Well-meaning people (Alfred Corning Clark) thought Josef Hofmann was being exploited, and so gave a gift to the family to allow Hofmann the luxury of not having to perform as a child. He commented that he did not feel exploited, and that as a result of not being on the stage for his later childhood and teen years, he lost the platform ease he had had when younger, and needed many years of concertizing to re-acquire it.

Other pianists (Slenczynska comes to mind) seem not to have benefited psychologically from the pressure put on them as children.

And then (in my own family, sorry to say) I've seen children with definite gifts and interest in an art not supported by parents. Bad mistake on their part? Or was it just a reasonable assessment that a career as a dancer was almost certainly not going to be a "successful" one?

I wish Umi the greatest success, and hope that some day I'll be in the audience when she, as an mature artist, gives us enjoyment.
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There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#1201901 - 05/19/09 02:18 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: Palindrome]
umipiano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/22/08
Posts: 4
Loc: Orange County CA

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#1201967 - 05/19/09 07:22 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: umipiano]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
Originally Posted By: umipiano


She was great! Very personable. Fun stuff with her tricks. And she played her piece very well.

Hugs to Umi!
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"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1205342 - 05/25/09 02:36 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: lilylady]
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Congratulations Umi! Great stage presence and well played Liszt. I look forward to hearing more.

I am curious, what other pieces was she learning while learning Dance of the Gnomes?


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member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#1267596 - 09/13/09 04:11 PM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: Numerian]
Bill Ross Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 3

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#1267600 - 09/13/09 04:21 PM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: Janus K. Sachs]
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
Originally Posted By: Janus K. Sachs
Given how often these "prodigy/child genius" threads seem to pop up nowadays, maybe the mods should consider a sticky thread?


sticky thread? ...good idea - preferably at the bottom of the last page!


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#1267608 - 09/13/09 04:34 PM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: Bill Ross]
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1708
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Originally Posted By: Bill Ross
*SNIP*
Thus, the Sacred Spam resurrects a thread that had already become a zombie once.
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Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

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#1267866 - 09/13/09 11:58 PM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: CC2 and Chopin lover]
GoldenSound Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/06/09
Posts: 19
Loc: Rural Iowa
Originally Posted By: CC2 and Chopin lover
RonaldSteinway asks:
There are soooooo many incredible kids in Youtube. I wonder why she caught your attention?

I think I enumerated the reasons quite specifically in my opening post. The fact that you could state that this kid is at "the bottom" implies you have seen many better seven year olds. Please do post their videos on this thread, as I am highly curious who YOU would put at the top, and why?


This 7 year old plays a mean fantasie impromptu
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"Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience; this was what upheld me in time of misery. Thanks for it and to my art, I did not end my life by suicide."
~Ludwig Van Beethoven~

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#1267922 - 09/14/09 04:04 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: GoldenSound]
cruiser Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1171
Loc: Cornwall, England
Can we PLEASE confine this old thread to the vaults?! mad

I'm sick of hearing about clever kids!! (with half a wink)

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#1267955 - 09/14/09 08:19 AM Re: Incredible Child Pianist [Re: cruiser]
Damon Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 5913
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: cruiser
Originally Posted By: Janus K. Sachs
Given how often these "prodigy/child genius" threads seem to pop up nowadays, maybe the mods should consider a sticky thread?


sticky thread? ...good idea - preferably at the bottom of the last page!


Ditto. Unless....someone has a video of a two year old playing the Mephisto Waltz while dancing a tango.
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