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#1265688 - 09/10/09 02:11 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Horowitzian]
NocturneLover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Dantooine
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Yeah, I'm sure you did. If you can't stomach it, maybe you ought to go over to Piano Street. smile


Would you like to copyright these sentences as well? grin
_________________________
"...music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." -Ludwig van Beethoven

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#1265697 - 09/10/09 03:19 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: trillingadventurer]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer
Am I the only pianist who finds Bach Inventions and Chopin Waltzes challenging?!?!?


No. Nor are you the only pianist who finds them beautiful and also containing multiple levels of depth to discover over a lifetime.

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#1265721 - 09/10/09 06:30 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: theJourney]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: trillingadventurer
Am I the only pianist who finds Bach Inventions and Chopin Waltzes challenging?!?!?


No. Nor are you the only pianist who finds them beautiful and also containing multiple levels of depth to discover over a lifetime.


That's right.

And for that reason I think that it is pointless to have the goal, as a beginner, to play Jeux d'eau, or l'Etude révolutionnaire, or a Rachmaninov concerto, or whatever.

I agree whole-heartedly with etcetra that anyone can get to a level where they can play this difficult music. It don't believe that it is reserved for the lucky few who are born with talent.

But I do believe that those who will get to that level are those who play Inventions and waltzes, and even the Minuet in G, with all their heart, who perceive the genious of this music and don't have the idea that it is nothing more than preparatory excercises for la Campanella.

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#1265765 - 09/10/09 08:55 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: landorrano]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
I think many pianists at a certain level have little understanding of how diffiult some pieces are technically and musically(just look at the number of posts asking if someone is ready to play such and such a piece or "which piece is more diffcult?").Without this understanding, how can one say that anyone can reach a certain level with a big enough effort?

If one doesn't know how tall Everest is, how can one know how difficult it is to climb?


Edited by pianoloverus (09/10/09 08:56 AM)

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#1265788 - 09/10/09 10:16 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: RonaldSteinway]
pianovirus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 940
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
I agree everthing is possible. But using Thomas Yu as your example may not be a good idea. Thomas Yu or Christopher Shih is a superman. These two are not only smart at their regular school, but also very good in piano. They are basically not a NORMAL human being.


RS, I don't think it's ever advisable to state certain people are "supermen", "not a NORMAL human being" etc - neither in piano nor any other area of human life. The reason is that this excuse is leading oneself immediately to accept mediocrity and not to strive for realizing one's full potential. Thus, this attitude is just building up a mental barrier for yourself without helping you in any way.

Of course, there's a difference between thinking that you may reach a certain goal, as opposed to thinking that you definitely will. The latter is a sure way to disappointment and frustration, whereas the former is a positive way of thinking which does not involve any self-imposed barriers.



Just my personal opinion, of course smile
_________________________
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#1265798 - 09/10/09 10:34 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: pianoloverus]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
btw have any of you guys read Maclom Gladwell's "Outliers"? He talks about talent not so much about natural ability, and how most of time it's comparataive advantage that most of us are not aware of. he has a section on musicans too.

pianoloverus,

I also don't think we are qualified to say what a person can or cannot reach at a given amount of time either, because we are all different (unless the expectation is totally ridiculous). If you met someone who was playing Bach invention right now and asked whether they are able to play chopin etudes in 5 yrs, what would you say? You might say that's impossible, but I have met people who were able to do it very musically at a descent level even though it may not be competition level.

From my experience in college, it all came down to effort. I met people who in my opinion 'just didn't have it' when they started.. but they made unbelievable amount of progress through hard work . Some people didn't go very far because they just didn't practice much. I have not met anyone in college who practiced at least 4 hrs a day and just wasn't able to reach the level to play Chopin Etudes or something of that difficulty.

of course there are people with extremely unrealistic expectations, like wanting to play the Fantasie Impromptu within 1 year. But I have met good number of people who could play Chopin ballades/etudes in 6-7 yrs with hard practice, so from my experience, it does seem possible if you are dedicated.



Edited by etcetra (09/10/09 10:39 AM)

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#1265812 - 09/10/09 11:05 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
LindaR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 156
Loc: Northern California
I think it may be that people today aren't on the same timetable as pianists and composers of the past or say poets either. They used to learn their crafts at an early age, compose before they were 20 and die before 30 or 40. People say that about learning a languages too but I like to think someone can learn a skill really well at any age if they have the time.

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#1265822 - 09/10/09 11:18 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: etcetra
From my experience in college, it all came down to effort. I met people who in my opinion 'just didn't have it' when they started.. but they made unbelievable amount of progress through hard work . Some people didn't go very far because they just didn't practice much. I have not met anyone in college who practiced at least 4 hrs a day and just wasn't able to reach the level to play Chopin Etudes or something of that difficulty.

You should keep in mind, though, that those college students aren't representative of adult learners or pianists generally. They were already, literally, a select group filtered for talent, potential and, presumably, motivation to succeed. If "it all came down to effort" at that point, it's because the playing field was more or less leveled for the other variables; the statement needs to be considered in the context of an atypical sample of people rather than treated as having broad applicability.

Steven
_________________________

"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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#1265840 - 09/10/09 11:59 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: sotto voce]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3405
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Originally Posted By: etcetra
From my experience in college, it all came down to effort. I met people who in my opinion 'just didn't have it' when they started.. but they made unbelievable amount of progress through hard work . Some people didn't go very far because they just didn't practice much. I have not met anyone in college who practiced at least 4 hrs a day and just wasn't able to reach the level to play Chopin Etudes or something of that difficulty.

You should keep in mind, though, that those college students aren't representative of adult learners or pianists generally. They were already, literally, a select group filtered for talent, potential and, presumably, motivation to succeed. If "it all came down to effort" at that point, it's because the playing field was more or less leveled for the other variables; the statement needs to be considered in the context of an atypical sample of people rather than treated as having broad applicability.

Steven


+1

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#1265842 - 09/10/09 12:00 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: sotto voce]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
sotto voce,

That's true to a certain extent, but my school had a very wide variety of talent.. and frankly some of them were not very good when they started. And my teacher did audition with Bach inventions from what I remember.

I do agree that you do have to have talent, but I also think talent can be very a hard thing to judge. My teacher is a very accomplished jazz pianist, and none of his friends from college ever expected him to go that far because apparently he was horrible... there are plenty of people like that out there.

But then again, I have met good number of people who couldn't believe what I accomplished as a late starter(in jazz). I thought that I was a slow learner, and everything I accomplished was a result of my effort. But then again, you have people who have hard time improvising at all.

I guess its hard to judge what's achievable or not, or define what talent is, because your perspective is going to change depending on what kind of (natural) ability you have or not.

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#1265856 - 09/10/09 12:22 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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etc.,

Re going from Bach Inventions to Chopin Etudes in 4 years:

1. There is a wide range of difficulty in the Etudes. Was your teacher able to play the ones in the top 1/3 of difficulty like the Winter Wind or Etude in thirds? Being able to play Etudes in the bottom third of difficulty shows very good talent but is not nearly as difficult.

2. Even if the answer to #1 is yes and he played them well, I think that means he was exceptionally talented(as in the top few % of those studying piano). Not something that most could do.


If one looks at some of the well known PW professionals like Brendan or Thracozaag, one will probably see that they were perfordming concerti with orchestras or giving solo recitals by their mid teens. They learned very quickly and probably worked very hard also. But in terms of natural talent they are light years beyond most. That's one of the reasons they progressed so fast.

It's the same idea as when I've discussed here some sight reading feats I've seen some professionals do. I've seen some sight read with great accuracy pieces I could really never learn in this lifetime(the example I gave was some virtuosic piece by Szymanoski). It's a completely diffeent ball game.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/10/09 12:25 PM)

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#1265867 - 09/10/09 12:40 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: trillingadventurer]
jnod Offline
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Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 794
Loc: Toronto
No, they're serious and excellent music.
_________________________
Justin
-------
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Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
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Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780

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#1265871 - 09/10/09 12:47 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: pianoloverus]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
pianoloverus,

He learned the Black key and Revolutionary etude. I know he practiced 5 hrs a day in college. I started piano as a teenager also and I was play the same kind of repertore by the time I finished school. I was learning Bach Inventions in my first year and I was playing the first Beethoven piano sonata in my 2rd year.

I guess there was no questions as to my ability to do what my teacher was able to do before i switched to jazz.. I don't think neither me or my teacher have exceptional talent, certainly not any more or less than any of our classmates.

But then again I did meet people who were just starting Bach invention in their 4-5th yr too... So Maybe my perspective would be different if I was teaching classical piano.


Edited by etcetra (09/10/09 12:56 PM)

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#1265886 - 09/10/09 01:25 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: etcetra
pianoloverus,

He learned the Black key and Revolutionary etude.


Those are usually ranked in the easiest third of the Etudes. Which brings me back to your original question in another post. There I discussed Op.10 #1,4 and the Winter Wind. These are usually in the hardest third of the Etudes(or at least the hardest half).


Edited by pianoloverus (09/10/09 01:29 PM)

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#1265941 - 09/10/09 03:22 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: pianoloverus]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Pianoloverus,

I agree that there is a difference in difficulty between the etudes. How does Jeux d'eau compared with respect to the easier etudes and the winter wind?

I still do wonder what is capable and what isn't. I know a lot of people who started young with years of training and was never able to play fantasie impromptu, and someone here said that some people are probably not capable of learning revolutionary etudes even with years of practice.

I have met people who didn't go very far even after years of practice.. and I feel like a lot of times its because of different psychological factors, like low self-esteem, or being too intimidated.. etc. Sometimes people don't improve because they didn't learn to practice correctly, or they weren't willing to practice with the discipline required to do things right.I see that quite often when I teach jazz piano. So I wonder how much of the limitation is physical and how much of it is one you put on yourself.


Edited by etcetra (09/10/09 03:23 PM)

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#1265966 - 09/10/09 04:22 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: etcetra

I have met people who didn't go very far even after years of practice.. and I feel like a lot of times its because of different psychological factors, like low self-esteem, or being too intimidated.. etc. Sometimes people don't improve because they didn't learn to practice correctly, or they weren't willing to practice with the discipline required to do things right.I see that quite often when I teach jazz piano. So I wonder how much of the limitation is physical and how much of it is one you put on yourself.


Interesting point, etcetra. I'm sure that you are, or are going to be, an excellent teacher.

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#1265976 - 09/10/09 04:41 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: pianoloverus]
NocturneLover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Dantooine
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think many pianists at a certain level have little understanding of how diffiult some pieces are technically and musically(just look at the number of posts asking if someone is ready to play such and such a piece or "which piece is more diffcult?").Without this understanding, how can one say that anyone can reach a certain level with a big enough effort?

If one doesn't know how tall Everest is, how can one know how difficult it is to climb?


I agree pianoloverus. When I first read this post, I thought to myself if the OP or anyone has to ask if they can do difficult pieces, then most likely something is holding them back to even ask this question. Most likely the OP is a jazz musician who is looking apprehensively at his classical musician counterparts and wondering if he can match them in the future. Because if you know you could master a piece, one wouldn't be asking in the first place.

I am in the school of thought that says anything is possible with enough commitment and practice, but I hear some people play and this rule probably doesn't apply to them. smile

But yes I think it has to do with low self-esteem, if the person lacks the belief that he/she could do it, they wouldn't even try in the first place or give up at the first obstacle. That's why jealousy is rampant in piano because those who are unable to create such music with their music are jealous of those who can. God, I've even seen grown men get jealous over an 8-year old boy because his playing made them feel inferior.


Edited by Thomas Lau (09/10/09 04:46 PM)
_________________________
"...music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." -Ludwig van Beethoven

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#1265990 - 09/10/09 05:12 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
etcetra,

I think everyone can agree that (1) "how far one can go" (per your OP) depends on a combination of factors that include talent, learning speed, amount and consistency of focused practice, quality of instruction, the standard to which one aspires, physical factors that may impose limitations, and self-defeating psychological factors whose presence may not even be recognized, and (2) the combination of those elements in each of us—and consequently the destination each of us reaches—is necessarily unique.

There may be some other factors in the mix that I've overlooked, but I don't think that the explanation of why everyone's mileage varies—in any human endeavor—is any more complicated or mysterious than that.

Steven
_________________________

"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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#1266194 - 09/11/09 12:29 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: sotto voce]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
landoranno,

Thanks I certainly do hope you are right!!

Thomas Lau,

You are correct in your assessment of what I want. I really wish I started earlier and absorbed more classical music. But I can't really commit a lot of time right now because there is so much to work on in jazz.

I am really seeing those difficult pieces as a long term goal. I'd be happy if I can start them in 3-5 yrs, but it won't bother me if it takes longer. And my desire to do so is strictly personal, i don't have any intention performing them.

I also think your self-image and your expectations has a huge influence. I met a lot of people including working musicians who tell me "gee I wish I can do that on the piano".. and some of them have been playing the piano much longer than I have. It's almost as if they told themselves they will never get there without even trying.

I remember reading that Gilbert Arenas practices 100,000 jump shots during the off season... anyone who attains high level of achievement was able to do so because they had the passion to put tremendous amount effort and dedication into one thing... I think that desire and dedication alone is a talent.


Sotto voce,

I mentioned Malcom Gladwell's "Outlier" before.. reading his book gave me reasons to be more suspicious of the importance talent/natural ability in high achievements on the piano and other thing.

He talks about proffesional atheletes how most of them are born in the early part of the year.. and his conclusion is that it's not that these kids are necessary more talented than others, but they were relatively older than other kids and they had more time to practice whatever it is that they do. And because of that, they were able to join the best teams and get the best oppertunities for traning

He also talks about Bill Gates and other great people, and how 'being in the right place at the right time' was a huge factor in their success, and how they were able to become who they are because of their specific age.

I am guessing that there are tons of factors that we are not even aware of.. even your birth date, and birth year can be a factor in some strange ways.


Edited by etcetra (09/11/09 12:53 AM)

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#1266205 - 09/11/09 01:04 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
However common or fashionable it is to dispute the importance (or even the existence) of talent, I find mystical or paranormal theories to be even less credible explanations for achievement.

Steven
_________________________

"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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#1266222 - 09/11/09 01:41 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8696
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: etcetra
landoranno,
He also talks about Bill Gates and other great people, and how 'being in the right place at the right time' was a huge factor in their success, and how they were able to become who they are because of their specific age.

Much of that was due to Apple's stumbling at a very key moment which allowed Microsoft's Windows 3.1 to gain ascendancy on the computer desktop. So Gates and his company were there 'at the right time', but not because they were offering a superior product. That has never been the case with Microsoft, and talk to any veteran computer user and they will tell you that there were far superior products to Microsoft's Word and Excel. They just squashed the competition, and now the horrendous Redmond giant simply rules the computer world.

Microsoft products are not superior, they're just ubiquitous.

I actually admire Bill Gates very much, but not for his association with Microsoft.
_________________________
Jason

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#1266233 - 09/11/09 02:15 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
NocturneLover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Dantooine
etcetra,

You said most musicians come up to you and say, "Gee I wish I could do that..." Would that probably be classical musicians or just musicians in general? Yes, if I heard you play improv I would probably wish I could play like you because as a kid my teacher forbade me from playing jazz (well, only the kiddy version of Entertainer) and thus I have no idea how to improv.

Also, Gladwell's book is pretty superficial, and IMO kids born in January tend to be hockey players not because of the extra practice, but because if you are born in the first of the month you are much older than the peers in your cohort, thus you are seen as the leader. I can remember all the kids that were born in the early months in my school were much tougher and had more of a leadership personality because they were 8-9 months older. As for kids born in Novemeber/December, they make great chess players. smile Just look at the birthdays of most chess grandmasters.

Also, you and I tend to think in generalities and pop-pyschology lines which I think is not too good. We both need to dig a bit deeper than shallow mainstream ideas.
_________________________
"...music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." -Ludwig van Beethoven

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#1266247 - 09/11/09 02:46 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: NocturneLover]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Thomas Lau,

Well, its musicians in general, including working jazz pianists in my area, who started much earlier than I did and studied jazz in college. I am just citing this as an example, i don't think its because I have superior talent, i just worked harder than other people.

I am not really citing Gladwell as defintive case or proof, but reading it does make me think about nature of talent. I don't know how its like in classical piano, but in jazz most people would say its hard work, and not talent that got to where they are. None of my teachers or people I talked to believed that they had much talent, if they did, it's modest at best. I know Bill Evans and kenny Werner have talked about how there were people that were much more talented then they were in college, but they seem to come out ahead in the end somehow.

It certainly do make me think about advantages we are not aware of. I looked up different accomplished young jazz pianists, and I found that they are usually blessed with much better exposure at a young age. A lot of times their families are musicians, and many of them played in high school jazz bands. I mean how many US highschools have jazz bands, 1 or 10 or even less?? the fact that they did is purely out of luck/circumstance.

Sotto,

I do take Malcom Gladwell's idea with grain of salt, but I certainly don't think his ideas are mystical, or paranormal, if that is what you are implying.

I think circumstance can have a huge impact, perhaps more so than talent at times, and it's hard to differentiate the two. Do people go far because they are talented, or because they were lucky enough to be studying with the right people at the right place at the right time?

argerichfan,

I agree with your point.. I wish I can remember what Gladwell wrote in the book.. he talked about Steve Jobbs and Bill Gates, and how they were at an advantage because of their particular age group.


Edited by etcetra (09/11/09 03:05 AM)

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#1266273 - 09/11/09 05:16 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7429
Originally Posted By: etcetra

I think circumstance can have a huge impact, perhaps more so than talent at times, and it's hard to differentiate the two. Do people go far because they are talented, or because they were lucky enough to be studying with the right people at the right place at the right time?



Of course circumstances have a huge impact, but they don't create talent out of nothing. It should be obvious that we only see the results of circumstances helping talent, not the situations where favorable circumstances do nothing to instill talent where it doesn't exist.

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#1266302 - 09/11/09 07:16 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: wr]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Of course you have to put in an awful lot of hard work to know whether you have talent or not. And perhaps by the time you're sure you don't have it, it doesn't matter so much.


An observation - simple luck may or may not play much part in how good a pianist one becomes, but it certainly plays a part in how sucessful one's career as a performer may be - two entirely different things.
_________________________
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#1266322 - 09/11/09 08:11 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: -Frycek]
Bart Kinlein Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Maryland
Well, for what it's worth...

I'm 72 years old. Piano lessons as a child (don't remember but from about 8 - 13), not very motivated, did just OK. Started lessons again about a year ago. Now taking lessons and studying theory at the local community college (excellent music department).

Now highly motivated, I intend to make whatever progress possible for the rest of my functional life. I have no illusions about how far I will go, just enjoying the progress I've made so far.

I do have goals which I think are realistic if I can continue long enough. I've already achieved one of them, playing the Mozart Fantasy in d for an audience at a retirement community. I find it rewarding and expect to do more of this.

An aside - Another benefit from my effort is a much deeper appreciation of the music I lasten to. Before, just about every competent rendition of a piece sounded about the same. Now I can discern and understand many of the factors that elevate a performance from professional to world class.
_________________________
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Will somone get my wife off the Steinway so I can play it!

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#1266339 - 09/11/09 09:04 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: etcetra]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: etcetra
Sotto,

I do take Malcom Gladwell's idea with grain of salt, but I certainly don't think his ideas are mystical, or paranormal, if that is what you are implying.

I don't know anything about Gladwell's ideas. Your suggestion that one's birth date or birth year could be relevant implied that your own ideas include the mystical and paranormal.

Originally Posted By: -Frycek
Of course you have to put in an awful lot of hard work to know whether you have talent or not....

I've never found that to be true; a natural affinity and aptitude for a task yield positive results without any hard work at all, so the presence of such a "flair" is quickly recognized. I certainly would agree that maximizing and maintaining one's level of achievement that takes a lot of hard work.

Walter Gieseking said, "Talent goes in inverse ratio to the necessity for practice." Unfortunately, he didn't mention that sustained success goes in direct ratio to the need for practice.

Steven
_________________________

"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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#1266348 - 09/11/09 09:36 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: sotto voce]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: sotto voce

Originally Posted By: -Frycek
Of course you have to put in an awful lot of hard work to know whether you have talent or not....

I've never found that to be true; a natural affinity and aptitude for a task yield positive results without any hard work at all, so the presence of such a "flair" is quickly recognized. I certainly would agree that maximizing and maintaining one's level of achievement that takes a lot of hard work.

Walter Gieseking said, "Talent goes in inverse ratio to the necessity for practice." Unfortunately, he didn't mention that sustained success goes in direct ratio to the need for practice.

Steven


Unfortunately, I was writing from bitter experience and perhaps might have better put it that it takes a lot of hard work and pigheadedness for the more determined of us to accept the fact that we have no talent at all.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1266358 - 09/11/09 09:52 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: -Frycek]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Time for another quotation, this time from Thomas Paine, to express my own bitter experience: "What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly."

I think hard work toward a worthy goal is something to be proud of. (Yipes, that may invite another quotation about the perils of pride. smile )

Steven
_________________________

"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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#1266374 - 09/11/09 10:16 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: sotto voce]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I agree here that talent needs to be accounted for. Opportunities (right time, right place) notwithstanding. The thought that being born in the early part of the year has an effect on a student may be true, but only for those who are in the school system. What about home-schooled or those whose school years are year-round? And what does that have to do with piano at all? For most students, piano study is solitary, and there is little idea of how one measures up with another unless there are competitions involved.

At any rate, the only effect being born during a particular time of year in a school setting might possibly be self-confidence, which has dubious positives (often people with lots of self-confidence think that whatever they do is great, inflating the actual value of their efforts).

People still think in terms of "nature vs. nurture" rather than "nature AND nurture." Talent comes in the way of certain genetic characteristics that when "nurtured" bring about a better result in efficiency, ease, ability to execute, etc. than when compared with one who does the equivalent amount of "nurture" without "nature."

I've witnessed my fair share of students over the years who were hard workers and earned every piece they learned. It was a great effort for them to be able to play hands together and hope for some dynamics and articulations. I've also seen those who I know would put in zero effort, and while they did poorly, on the times when I woudl convince them to actually practice, woudl come in with the ability to play it far sooner than I expected.

I never pigeon-hole my students, by the way. I want them all to do the best they can, at whatever level they are capable of. Music can be enjoyed by all, but not everyone is designed to be a professional musician. I know sometimes things show up a bit later on as well, and so only time will tell with some students(latent talent). These are just the traits that students displayed to me. Students in both categories had supportive families and decent instruments to practice on.

So what makes up for the difference? Being born at a different time of the year? Being at the right time and right place/luck? Having someone else, a competitor, "fail" at a time when they can step in and fill the void? Those things sound great, but when applied to piano are utterly ridiculous.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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