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#1049269 - 06/24/06 01:51 AM New here. La Campanella study group?
pianofairy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 4
Hi all, I'm new here. I am 23 this year and I have been taking lessons for a few months after I made up my mind to learn Fur Elise and some pop music arrangements. After almost 7 months of study, I can play a simplified version of Fur Elise and some songs by SENS.

I think it's wonderful to have so many adult beginners here encouraging each other here. I want to propose that we start a study group on La Campanella. I saw a video of Li Yundi performing it in his Japan concert and totally fell in love with it. It is such a lovely song and I can't stop listening to it. It sounds rather difficult but I believe with determination and hard work anything can be done.

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#1049270 - 06/24/06 02:15 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
stephenc Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 693
Loc: Australia
Pianofairy,

Welcome. Good luck, I admire your ambition!

I've often thought that if Yundi can play that song, surely I could also. I've just havn't gotten around to it yet ;\) .

Anyway, I'm busy working on simple pieces by Brickman and Lanz, so for that reason, and that reason only, I'll pass on joining this group for now

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#1049271 - 06/24/06 02:59 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
Ishmael Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 255
I'm not sure which video you watched, but in the video below you can see his hands while he's playing La Campanella.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9jJEFfyayU&search=yundi%20li

Watch this, if you still think you can do it, well, good luck:).

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#1049272 - 06/24/06 03:01 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
Ishmael Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 255
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianofairy:
Hi all, I'm new here. I am 23 this year and I have been taking lessons for a few months after I made up my mind to learn Fur Elise and some pop music arrangements. After almost 7 months of study, I can play a simplified version of Fur Elise and some songs by SENS.

I think it's wonderful to have so many adult beginners here encouraging each other here. I want to propose that we start a study group on La Campanella. I saw a video of Li Yundi performing it in his Japan concert and totally fell in love with it. It is such a lovely song and I can't stop listening to it. It sounds rather difficult but I believe with determination and hard work anything can be done. [/b]
BTW, I love that etude, too. I listen to it almost every night.

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#1049273 - 06/24/06 03:15 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
islamey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Singapore
hi. last year marks my 15th year studying music, and my 13th year playing the pianoforte. last year i performed this piece for my concert. it's a delightful piece to learn, to practise and of course, finally, to bring to an expectant audience.

my philosophy is that regardless of technical ability, anyone should be allowed to try any piece. this piece is technically difficult and is rated LRSM standard.

at my standard, it took me exactly 1 month from the first time i looked at the score till the time i performed it. i'm definitely not encouraging anyone to learn the piece within 1 month. firstly, you will feel totally pressured to practise hard and your end product may not be completely polished.

however, i really admire all of you and i do agree its a very interesting piece. it is inevitable that you may find the piece technically very challenging. that need not be discouraging though- you know that practice CAN overcome them. (:

i await good news following your practise! have fun with the exciting la campanella~!!
_________________________
-islamey

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#1049274 - 06/24/06 03:51 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
Euan Morrison Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 1588
Loc: Edinburgh
Yikes - I think that although I wish to play the piece, my abilities are waaay short, and it would be a pointless exercise.

The first few bars contains lots of 2 octave jumps which I found impossible to hit, let alone turn into a nice melody. And the trills? Try trilling your 4th and 5th fingers and play other notes with your remaining three fingers at the same time.

As I say, would be cool to play - but surely it would take years of practice (in general) before such a piece could be played?

The sheet music is in the public domain, so you can get it at

http://www.sheetmusicarchive.net/dlpage_new.cfm?composition_id=774

All the best!
Euan.

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#1049275 - 06/24/06 04:27 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
Margareth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 99
Loc: Estonia
I'm sorry to tell this but La Campanella is definately way too hard for a beginner. Of course you can try and play around with it but its impossible to get it up to speed right now. It's even hard to get all the notes down. I think its smarter to learn easier pieces first.
Sorry for not being encouraging \:\(

But there are many very good pieces for your level or a little higher that are achievable. =)
_________________________
Attitude is everything.

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#1049276 - 06/24/06 04:33 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
pianofairy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 4
Thank you all for your feedback, the reason I suggested a study group here is because my teacher refused to teach me this song. She is a student in a local conservatory and she said she herself is not able to play this song yet, hence it would definitely be impossible for me. I don't believe in the impossible, and I sort of question my teacher's ability after she declaring that she herself can't play the song. Should I fire my teacher and find another teacher who would be more encouraging and capable?

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#1049277 - 06/24/06 04:35 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
pianofairy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 4
Yes, I saw the video that was posted on the Youtube. I'm aware that it looks very impressive. I already printed the score and tried to play the first page. It looks quite impossible, how the heck do you hit so far a jump with your right hand? Any tips on that?

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#1049278 - 06/24/06 04:45 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
stephenc Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/06
Posts: 693
Loc: Australia
I don't think it would be fair to fire your teacher because she can't play that piece (I'll bet the majority of teachers out there cannot). Yundi is surely one of the better players in the world today.

Also I highly doubt you would find a teacher at your level who would genuinely try and teach you that piece either. I would take Margareths advice and learn some pieces at or just over your level and I'm sure you will get a lot more enjoyment from playing the piano.

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#1049279 - 06/24/06 06:59 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
dvdiva Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 249
Loc: Manila
Maybe you could try this version of La Campanella instead:

http://sheetmusicplus.com/store/smp_detail.html?item=4620079

Liszt Made Easy
By Franz Liszt. Arranged by John Brimhall. Piano.

"This is a great book for early intermediate piano players that want to play Liszt music, but are not piano virtuosos."

"These skillful arrangements capture the essence of the original composition in easy-to-play versions that stay faithful to the original musical intent."

Contains: Concerto No. 1 in E Flat Major (Adagio Theme); Consolations, Nos. 1, 3 & 5; En RIve (Dreaming) - Nocturne; Hungarian Fantasy (Theme); Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (Theme); La Campanella [/b](6 Grand Etudes of Paganini, No. 3) (Excerpt); La Romanesca; Liebestraum No. 3 (Dream of Love) (Theme) and more.

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#1049280 - 06/24/06 07:32 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3239
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Dvdiva, you beat me to the punch. I was also going to suggest finding any easier version.

Pianofairy, are you in Japan? There are all kinds of "classical Piano Solos made easy" type books, and also lots of "for adult beginner" type books as well. Thanks to Fujiko Hemming and Yundi Li, in Japan this piece is almost as popular as a pop song, so it should be easy to find an arrangement that's more accessible for you.

I also wouldn't say "don't try this" because it's up to you. But I personally don't choose pieces that are so dramatically above my current level for two reasons. 1) I want to experience the satisfaction of finishing something and getting it up to playabilty so I can share it with others. 2) I'm going to be playing the piano for a long time, so there's no reason to suffer for an unreasonable amount of time on a difficult piece when I can work on other satisfying music and then get to that difficult piece when I'm more ready for it.

However, I have read about people who just focused on one piece, and worked only on that, and they were eventaully able to play it. You have to decide what your priorities are, to put all of your energy for the next 1 or even 2 years into one piece, or work on a variety of music as you work up towards the dream piece.

Just my opinion. \:\)
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1049281 - 06/24/06 09:03 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
dannylux Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1815
Loc: Connecticut
Hi pianofairy, and welcome.

Are you the pianofairy who's into healing music?

*smiles*

Here's a welcome picture for you:





Mel
_________________________
My Recordings

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn

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#1049282 - 06/24/06 09:16 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 918
Loc: North Carolina
Wow Pianofairy!

I hate to limit myself, but I don't see La Campanella in my repertoire at any time in the forseeable future. And if I'm going to be realistic and honest with myself, then I will have to admit, unfortunately, I will likely never see this in my piano repertoire.

Thank God there are many other challenging choices for me to enjoy.

Don't let my own self assessment discourage you, by all means...go for it!
_________________________
Jeff

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#1049283 - 06/24/06 09:20 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17701
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Pianofairy, I just watched the video, and I can see why that piece has gotten under your skin. It is beautiful. But at your current playing abilities (= simplified version of Fur Elise), attempting to play the original version would be an exercise in frustration and heartbreak.

I think dvdiva's and ShiroKuro's suggestion to try a simplified arrangement is an excellent one. I suspect the simplified version would preserve the beautiful melody and get rid of a lot of the extremely hard trills and runs.

Please do not be too hard on your teacher. She has your best interests at heart. Why not ask her about one of the simplified versions and see if she is more encouraging?
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1049284 - 06/24/06 09:35 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3410
Loc: US
Hi Pianofairy,
La Campanella is one of those touchstones of the piano literature, difficult even for advanced players. It's a real virtuoso piece. Your teacher is actually making the correct call in this case.
I also like the idea of having the goal of working on a simplified version. It is likely to be much more satisfying for you while still letting you capture the essence of the piece.
Good luck!

Sophia

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#1049285 - 06/24/06 09:48 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
Mr. Widmore Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 531
Loc: Lost
Pianofairy... I don't want to make you feel bad, but I think it's a very big jump. IMHO you should study pieces you can play at your level, when you finish them... try harder pieces, and so on...

Enjoy your playing.
_________________________
And in my twisted face... there's not the slightest trace of anything that even hints at kindness...

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#1049286 - 06/24/06 10:07 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
islamey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Singapore
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianofairy:
Yes, I saw the video that was posted on the Youtube. I'm aware that it looks very impressive. I already printed the score and tried to play the first page. It looks quite impossible, how the heck do you hit so far a jump with your right hand? Any tips on that?

[/b]
 Quote:
Originally posted by stephenc:
I don't think it would be fair to fire your teacher because she can't play that piece (I'll bet the majority of teachers out there cannot). Yundi is surely one of the better players in the world today.

Also I highly doubt you would find a teacher at your level who would genuinely try and teach you that piece either. I would take Margareths advice and learn some pieces at or just over your level and I'm sure you will get a lot more enjoyment from playing the piano. [/b]
not all teachers can play la campanella. but generally, in my opinion, teachers should not try to teach pieces that are way beyond their own abilities. chances are neither the student nor the teacher has the physical resources to overcome technical problems presented in this case.

yet, it is not fallacious to cast a doubt on your teacher- because usually, conservatory students should be able to play la campanella. I myself played it with 14 years of study of piano. (actually I'm an intruder in this forum and I apologise for that- firstly because im not really an adult (im still a student) and ive been learning the piano for quite long already), but I should expect most piano teachers to be able to handle this if they really focus on it.

but if anyone here is keen on the original version, i myself can offer some advice on overcoming the technical difficulties.

-several say that the jumps are difficult. actually, this more-than-1-octave leaps are not dangerous. not to discourage anyone, but they should be played as if they were "the easiest thing to play on earth". you shouldn't be looking at the high D# by performance. these jumps are made by controlled horizontal movements of the hand and the fingers. several pianists use the 5th finger on the D#- which requires practise, but reduces the distance of movement in the hand. I prefer to use my 4th finger because I find that it is more accurate than the 5th, although that may be because I have large hands. just keep practising. your hands must keep moving left and right. feel the notes with your fingers and just look at the lower note because that is what changes. the D# stays there all the time! (:

-the trills on the 4th and 5th finger should be practised slowly and until they become natural. where chords are involved at some places, do lots of slow practise.

-if you get to the running notes, make sure your hands are warmed up! (: and practise slowly, with the correct fingering. the fingering is very systematic for the most part, thankfully.

-if you make it to the repeated octaves section, keep your wrist relaxed and refrain from practising much should your hands be fatigued.

-the last part has some rather nasty looking octave passages. don't think too much about it and just play it (:

if anyone manages to complete it, please feel absolutely accomplished- it IS as sophial said- a touchstone of piano literature. but having already played it, I might be biased, but my opinion is that la campanella is not as difficult as many make it out to be. there are much more difficult things in piano literature- like reminiscences du don juan de mozart- an outrageous 16-minute fantasy that makes incredulous technical and spiritual demands upon the pianist.

have fun with la campanella! (:
_________________________
-islamey

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#1049287 - 06/24/06 10:10 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
islamey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Singapore
but if you wish to try a simplified version, it is of course okay (:

i would encourage you try the simpler version to see the themes and compare them to the original score to see how liszt made "variations" out of them. and then maybe you can try looking around for the paganini score- which is a really cute score - in a minor i think.

the high D#s (or rather, high E's) are made by playing natural harmonics on the E-string on the violin. it's really a very colourful piece. hope you all will continue to enjoy it!
_________________________
-islamey

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#1049288 - 06/24/06 10:26 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17701
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by islamey:
[QUOTE]
[qb](actually I'm an intruder in this forum and I apologise for that- firstly because im not really an adult (im still a student) and ive been learning the piano for quite long already), (: [/b]
islamey, you're not intruding and there is no need to apologise. Everybody's welcome in the AB forum, and the more advanced players help us novices out a great deal. \:\)

p.s. I liked your comment about the "nasty looking octave passages" ("don't think about it too much and just play it"). That's good advice for the Cristofori's Dream piece that several of us are playing.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1049289 - 06/24/06 10:48 AM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
I've always wanted to know that if a beginner just starts with Liszt's La Campanella and dedicate all his lesson and piano time to this piece and this piece alone -- how long would it take before the student gets the piece down? More interestingly, would it take just as long or longer than had the student took the more traditional route of learning easier pieces first as stepping stones towards La Campanella.

So if a beginner wants to embark on La Campanella right out of the gate, I think it'll be an interesting case study to watch (but will likely be "bad" for the student, going by conventional wisdom).

Good luck. \:\)
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#1049290 - 06/24/06 12:11 PM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
playliszt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/06
Posts: 449
Loc: Oh/Fla
Pianofairy,

Picture a one-legged man in an A~s kicking contest.
His technical ability will not allow him to master the event.
And he never will.

Your piano mastery right now is a little better than his kicking ability is. The GOOD NEWS is You can improve your abilities to eventually Kick A~s with this music.

When I first started piano at 13yr old it was beacause I heard & fell in love w/ Chopin's Bb-minor Scherzo.
My older cousin (who was my teacher) told me it would be years before I could even attempt this kind of music.

Did I listen? Of course not. I bought the music and struggled to figure out what the those notes were in the first treble chords.

The music stayed on my piano for years and I would "play at it". Eventually I got good enough so that second piano teacher years later let me study it with her.

So keep at it, but realize it will take a lot of development for you to eventually study this piece and maybe master it.

Don't give up.

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#1049291 - 06/24/06 01:40 PM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
islamey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Singapore
of course it would be good to learn some things as stepping stones- to improve basic technique and control over the instrument. but that need not be cause for stopping people learning stuff that's way too advanced for their own abilities.

If you HAVE the conviction to learn something, you WILL have the willpower to carry it through.

admittedly i didnt have a piano teacher when i was 11, that was for about 6 months. my discipline suffered, but yet I tried a lot of 'interesting' repertoire behind my teacher's back- and when I was ready to showcase a half-polished product to my teacher, she would be happy to keep me going until i finished learning the entire song. I also didn't have a teacher when I was 14 all the way till I was 17. It was a 2 and a half year period. I stayed on the piano and I tried learning concerti by myself- The Yellow River Concerto, Tchaikovsky's 1st- getting most of the notes but still needing much polishing.

the point is that, if someone restricts himself/herself to what they CAN already play, they are unlikely to improve much further or faster. of course, if someone restricts themselves to what they CANNOT play, they may be discouraged (or encouraged) to improve. i guess you have to strike a balance. besides la campanella, do try some more forgiving pieces like some haydn sonatas or something.

for me, I bought the score to Islamey and Gaspard de la Nuit when I was 11. at 17, I swore to myself I would learn islamey before I reached 18. Indeed, that year I was 17, I played islamey for a recital and a competition in december. I also played "Ondine" from Gaspard de la Nuit. I bought the score to rachmaninov's 3rd concerto and to beethoven's 3rd volume of sonatas. the shopowner said- these were way beyond my ability and I shouldn't be buying such scores.

imagine, if i had listened to him, I doubt I would be where I am now. now i return to the shop and i buy equally difficult scores because I can play them. now I play beethoven's waldstein (but it's unpolished), fur therese (no.24 in F#, and its slightly unpolished too) appassionata and les adieux. I'm trying out hammerklavier and op.111- beautiful works in the repertoire as well.

just keep your interest there, and don't be afraid to try out new songs- for in each song, you may just pick up a new technique! it was through asking my piano teacher how to glissando properly that I learnt a good glissando. then, as I progressed, I looked at liszt's mephisto waltz and balakirev's islamey, and slowly, from a single note glissando, I learnt how to do octave glissandos in 1 hand- that kind of thing. it's progressive. even if it comes slowly, you know it's coming along.

don't hurry too much. it will take time to learn difficult pieces and you should not overly pressurize yourself. enjoy the music; if you don't enjoy what you're playing, my opinion is that you won't play it as well. yup.

i just hope that regardless of what you play, everyone will just continue to enjoy music and spread the love for music and the piano. and of course, i'll wish that at least a couple of us here will be able to perform the uber exciting la campanella someday!!! (: (: (:
_________________________
-islamey

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#1049292 - 06/24/06 02:57 PM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
la campanella is a very advanced piece, and i don't even think i could ever try it myself after over 5 year piano learning. you can try it, but if you cannot even get all the notes down (not to mention even play through) within 3 months, then you might be better off to give it up. there's no point of trying when you don't have techniques for it yet. some techniques such as playing this one would take years to develop really.

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#1049293 - 06/24/06 04:20 PM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
Margareth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 99
Loc: Estonia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Axtremus:
I've always wanted to know that if a beginner just starts with Liszt's La Campanella and dedicate all his lesson and piano time to this piece and this piece alone -- how long would it take before the student gets the piece down? More interestingly, would it take just as long or longer than had the student took the more traditional route of learning easier pieces first as stepping stones towards La Campanella.

So if a beginner wants to embark on La Campanella right out of the gate, I think it'll be an interesting case study to watch (but will likely be "bad" for the student, going by conventional wisdom).

Good luck. \:\) [/b]
I think that it would take at least the same amount of time as if one takes the traditional road. In the end (in 15 years maybe)he/she would know only one piece - La Campanella. The other one would know many pieces + La Campanella. Just my opinion.
_________________________
Attitude is everything.

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#1049294 - 06/24/06 05:37 PM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
geek in the pink Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 340
Loc: New Jersey
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianofairy:
Thank you all for your feedback, the reason I suggested a study group here is because my teacher refused to teach me this song. She is a student in a local conservatory and she said she herself is not able to play this song yet, hence it would definitely be impossible for me. I don't believe in the impossible, and I sort of question my teacher's ability after she declaring that she herself can't play the song. Should I fire my teacher and find another teacher who would be more encouraging and capable? [/b]
It's usually a good thing to be so determined to conquer things that others deem "impossible," but sometimes it really is just that simple that something may be out of your reach--this is one of those latter times. But by all means go ahead and fire your teacher and drive yourself crazy trying to learn this piece, if nothing else you'll learn on your own that this piece is really THAT difficult.

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#1049295 - 06/24/06 07:38 PM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
pianofairy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 4
Wow, is this La Campanella really that notoriously difficult? Anyway, after hours just getting the first few bars right, I think some of you maybe right, that this piece is too difficult. But I'm not sure if I want to give up learning this piece. I am a career woman in IT industry and I have never given up on a project before, no matter how much difficult and impossible the project is (some clients can be absolute pain!). I have been taught in my life to be extremely competitive and believe in the impossible because of the incredibly cuttroat competition in my field (I work in Singapore). When I started learning programming, I catched up pretty fast, and within one year of learning, I topped the C++ module in my course last time. Most people in university picked up their skills within a short span of 4 years and they become very good at them. So, by logic, I feel that learning piano can be approached the same way. My teacher told me that it's impossible to be a competent pianist at 4 years, she herself has learned piano over 10 years to get where she is. I showed her the Arthur Cimarro's website and she proclaimed that the guy was exaggerating. I don't like people who are pessimistic, because I feel that's what limit them. Preconceived notions set by society often prevent people from achieving the greatness that they are.

I'm actually thinking of a career switch to become a pianist. I've been attending classical concerts for almost 2 years now and I really feel that music is what I truly want to do. I've read about this post that has the link to the website of Arthur Cimarro and I feel that if he can do it in such a short time, I should be able to do it too. I'm thinking, how long would it take before I can get into a conservatory and play the real pieces?

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#1049296 - 06/24/06 07:43 PM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3239
Loc: not in Japan anymore
 Quote:
Originally posted by Margareth:I think that it would take at least the same amount of time as if one takes the traditional road. In the end (in 15 years maybe)he/she would know only one piece - La Campanella. The other one would know many pieces + La Campanella. Just my opinion. [/QB]
Margareth, you put into words what I was thinking. It' about priorities. What's the priority? To play this piece, and who care's about any others? Well, if that's the priority, then of course the student should work on this piece. If the priority is to play piano, and also play this piece, then I would say this piece should be put off, for at least several years if not more.

Also, Axtremus, you wondered how long it would take, starting as a beginner, to get this piece down. I tend to think it would take longer than someone learning through traditional methods (traditional methods meaning working up through the literature while doing scales and exercises etc.)

By working through a lot of literature, you learn a variety of skills, many of which may seem specific to only one particular piece, but what you're doing is giving yourself a well-rounded piano education. When you take that and approach some masterpiece of piano literature, all that you have done up to that point is in your "toolbox," so to speak, to use at your disposal. If you haven't learned through traditional methods, you have a mostly empty toolbox and can only fill it with very specific things that you get from the one piece. This means you may be able to do the task at hand (play La Campenella) but you won't be able to do it as well[/b] as someone whose toolbox is full of extras.

And this, IMO, is the real point. Yes, you could probably learn just about anything if you worked only on that and stuck with it for as long as it took. To use your words, Ax, you could "get it down." But how would it sound? Are you going to sound anywhere close to Yundi Li, or even an "average" advanced pianist who had acheived the level needed to play this piece? Most certainly no. Because working through all that other piano literature gives something, an intangible something, that you simply cannot get any other way. Expression, emotion, music, these are more than just the sum of notes played in the proper intervals. There are certainly practice methods that are more effective than others, but IMO there are no true short cuts if you want to "do it right."

Now, back to PianoFairy, hopefully you're still reading! Don't take the above comments too seriously. Is playing the piano a "hobby" for you? Unless you're planning on trying to make a career of piano, or thinking about something like going to a music college, then you should do what you want. And post as many questions here are you need. But be very thick-skinned, because every step of the way someone is going to say the things mentioned here. If you can ignore all that and keep working on it, you might just prove us all wrong. If that happens, I'm sure I'm not the only one who'll be delighted. \:\)
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1049297 - 06/24/06 08:03 PM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3239
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Oops, Pianofairy, I think I was typing while you were posting! Sorry.

Hmm, you want to consider making a career switch and entering a conservatory? Well, you might just need a new teacher, because one who says you can't do it probably isn't going to get you very far.

However, if you want to make a career of piano, then you surely need a very well-rounded musical education. You certainly won't get very far if all you can play is La Campanella. One thing you might do is see what the requirements for getting into a conservatory are. Likely, there will be a test/audition. What will you need to play? Probably more than one piece, for starters. Will there be a sight-reading test? If yes, then you have a lot of work ahead of you. That's not to say you can't do it, but you need to make sure you're working on the right skills. Most people enter a music conservatory after at least 10 years of playing, often more. So you want to do it more quickly? That means you have to be extremely efficient in the choices you make. The pieces you study will have to give you a well-rounded array of skills, and you'll have to be sure you can use all of those skills and apply them to whatever you play. If you really want to enter a conservatory, it sounds to me like you need a plan. Not just "be able to play La Campanella," but something much more specific. And you probably need the kind of advice most of us in this forum can't give you. I recomment that you brace yourself for a lot of pessimism, and then go over to the Pianists Corner and post a question asking people to make a list of skills and pieces that you would need in order to enter a music conservatory or university. Good luck!
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1049298 - 06/24/06 08:05 PM Re: New here. La Campanella study group?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
pianofairy, the problem with learning to play piano is quite different from learning to program (btw, i'm in IT and programming too), one is more physically related and the other is more mental. like all kinds of physical skills, it largely depends on individual's physical talent/ability which is not created equal as you know. some poeple can easily run faster than most of us and even if we try and practice and still can never run that fast, and some can easily learn to dance and yet most others cannot even do it well with a lot of practice, and the same could be said about playing piano. maybe you could easily be the one with natural talent in piano who can learn to play piano much faster than the rest of us. who knows? what i am trying to say is that like any type of physical skills, it takes time to build and to be proficient, and it could be months or years for a particular set of skills to be mastered. so far i haven't heard anyone who has only started playing piano for less than one year and without prior experience suceeded in tackling a difficult piece like La Campenalla. it doesn't mean you couldn't and if only you could prove us wrong. but is this worth it? you could spend a year or two learning this and only this without getting anywhere.

it's just what i think. i learn to play myself a few years back and tried some hard pieces too then (although not like this hard) and many times i had to give up because i just couldn't play through some parts for lack of skills and techniques. even now, my teacher often tells me that i tend to choose difficult pieces to learn myself. but now i know i can handle those pieces technically.

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