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#1350446 - 01/15/10 12:48 PM Is it possible to become a virtuoso...?
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 112
Loc: Vilnius
...If you're not playing from childhood...? smile Like let's say if you're starting to play at 16 instead laugh?
I have dreams of becoming a dentist and having enough money to buy an acoustic piano, at least upright if not a grand, and hiring some consvervatory professor and becoming a virtuoso who could play Volodos's transcription of Turkish March, or Rachmaninoff's Prelude in Gm, Op23 #5...
Does that sound crazy laugh?

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#1350596 - 01/15/10 04:06 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Evaldas]
RX-Blak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 30
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Replace "have dreams of becoming a dentist" with "am a software engineer" and you would have described me. You have a leg up on me though (and 9yrs), I didn't start playing till I was 25. 3yrs later and id say im moving nicely toward my goal. No one will stop me, though many many many people have tried to dissuade me or write off my goals as mere fantasy. Even 3yrs and a new grand piano later, they still don't believe I'm serious (my wife supports me, so that's a plus).

It will be a challenge for me to gain respect in the musical community when i switch careers here in 5-8yrs, but I've never stopped at a challenge before. Starting at the age of 16 though, that will be a lesser concern of yours.

Hell, I fully intend to audition for Juillard, Berklee etc at the age of 35ish and go back to a reputable school for an undergrad and graduate degree in piano performance. Sure it will be a bit awkward (for everyone else), that I'm 35 and taking classes with the 20-22yr olds, but what do I care. It WILL happen.

It sounds cliche, but its the truth: you are in charge of your future, not the other yahoos that try to tell you no just because you started at 16 and not 6. In the long run, what is 10yrs really?


RXB

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#1350619 - 01/15/10 04:36 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: RX-Blak]
Tiemco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 39
Loc: Connecticut
Probably not. When you are a child your brain has many neural connections that are lost if you don't use them by about age 12. Included in these connections are many of the ones that relate to music. If you didn't start playing the piano, or musical instruments by that age it will be near impossible to play at a virtuoso level later in life. That's not to say you can't become very good at it, but to be a the level of a concert pianist, especially if you aren't a prodigy is pretty much impossible.

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#1350638 - 01/15/10 05:11 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Tiemco]
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Part of this is true, Tiemco, regarding the brain. The brain is a plastic organ that is constantly adapting and rebuilding it's connections. This is why older people can still learn to do things, and why some people can learn to speak and walk again after a stroke. We may take longer sometimes to achieve the end results but we can do it.

Now regarding becoming a virtuoso. There's a lot more to this than starting young. It has I think, partly to do with ones early training. By this I mean teachers, parental support, and one's natural abilities. Not everyone is a virtuoso. Having this ability is rare, and is found in the very gifted pianists.

Being a virtuoso is a lot different than just playing quickly. There is a certain level that goes beyond the "normal" level in performance. Anyone can learn to play quickly, but being able to do so while also being able to play with emotion, is something that takes a lot more work as well as natural abilities.


John
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#1350652 - 01/15/10 05:35 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: John Citron]
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
Perhaps you mean professional? There's a difference and a lot of professionals are not virtusos.



Edited by IPIBAHN - Sandy (01/15/10 05:37 PM)
Edit Reason: typos
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#1350671 - 01/15/10 05:53 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: RX-Blak]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: RX-Blak
...Sure it will be a bit awkward (for everyone else), that I'm 35 and taking classes with the 20-22yr olds, but what do I care. It WILL happen..


No I can say first hand, not awkward at all even at age 50+. Actually kind of fun to be on a college campus after not having been on one over 20 years.

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#1350728 - 01/15/10 07:28 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: ChrisA]
Tiemco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 39
Loc: Connecticut
Another thing, when you say you want to hire a conservatory professor, what do you think he is going to teach you? In fact, you would be better off with a good piano teacher. By the time most students enter a conservatory they really don't need to be taught how to play the piano, i.e. how to read music, fingering, tempo, etc. They have tons of technique, can read music better than words (usually), and can play a lot of the repertoire. What they do learn is the subtle things, color, shading, voicing, overall structure, etc. I hate to be so negative, but let's face it, being a virtuoso is more natural talent than just working hard at it, but if you do work hard at it, you can become a very good pianist, which is a great thing, so don't give up, and don't get discouraged if you can't play the really hard stuff, most people can't.

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#1350760 - 01/15/10 08:31 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Tiemco]
al-mahed Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/09
Posts: 769
Loc: Rio de Janeiro
I'm curious about this statement: "start when you are a 5 yo child is the only way to become a virtuoso".

I may never be a virtuoso, but I don't think that the major problem is not I didn't start as a child. People with no talent at all can play since 6 months of life and don't become a virtuoso, in my opinion. I think natural talent plays a big hole in every single human activity. And the other major factor is how much one dedicate himself to do whatever he or she wants to do.

Natural talent is or is not a brain structure that benefits the playing? If it is true so the better brain structure anyone can develop playing since early ages could be found in a natural talented adult begginer, why not? Be develop. And with 16 yo the brain is not totally formed.

I'm an example myself in several knowledge fields I started to "flert" with more than 20 yo, but I don't want to talk about it because people might think I want to show off instead of making my point.

If a 16 yo person has an strong desire to become a virtuoso I bet he can play pretty well all the Chopin's pieces some day if he or she have some talent and put a lot of effort on it.

Will he play like Horowitz, Zimerman, and other great virtuosi? I don't think so, because the greatest virtuosi started at early ages AND have great talent AND decidate themselves a lot for years, but why he should become like Horowitz, Zimerman, etc? Why not be pretty good, but not the best, is not ok, is not desirable, is not enough? Why people always tend to think: "be the best or stay away"?

And one thing anyone can do starting with any age is to compose. I would prefer thousand times be a talented composer like Beethoven to be the best piano performer, no doubt about it - of course this is my opinion and a matter of taste.

cheers

ps: hope my english wasn't a barrier to make myself clear


Edited by al-mahed (01/15/10 08:33 PM)
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#1350763 - 01/15/10 08:37 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: ChrisA]
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: RX-Blak
...Sure it will be a bit awkward (for everyone else), that I'm 35 and taking classes with the 20-22yr olds, but what do I care. It WILL happen..


No I can say first hand, not awkward at all even at age 50+. Actually kind of fun to be on a college campus after not having been on one over 20 years.


I absolutely agree, Chris. I too am an older student, returning to school after a very long time in the work world, having gone from a computer geek to now a music student at UMASS Lowell. This has been so far the most fun I've had in a very long time.

John
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#1350772 - 01/15/10 08:53 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: al-mahed]
CMohr Offline

Silver Supporter until Dec 29 2012


Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 1029
Loc: Oregon
I agree with you, Al-mahed. I think the thing is that starting later in life we will NOT be concert pianists. First of all, there's so much competition between the really, really excellent pianists out there and there's only so much "room" for them in today's concert climate.

I DO think we can all become "better" pianists with practice, hard work and dedication. For me, it's just being able to play for friends, family and of course the ABF recitals! The recitals are a great motivator!

We have friends whose daughter plays flute - she is absolutely amazing! When I heard her play, it brought tears to my eyes - she has amazing tone, interpretation, and a level of emotion in her playing I had not heard for a long time. She told me (after deciding not to pursue a career in music) that the competition was SO incredibly overwhelming that maybe only one of a hundred or so flutists would ever make it to the soloist tier. She is now teaching, which she loves as much or more than performing. She started out wanting the performance music career, but found out the competition (alot of backstage drama and back-biting, too) was not how she wanted to spend the better part of her life.

Don't know if this little story helps anyone, but it was a first-hand sneak peek into the music competition world for me. I'm assuming it's pretty much the same for pianists.
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#1350787 - 01/15/10 09:23 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Tiemco]
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1176
Originally Posted By: Tiemco
Probably not. When you are a child your brain has many neural connections that are lost if you don't use them by about age 12. Included in these connections are many of the ones that relate to music. If you didn't start playing the piano, or musical instruments by that age it will be near impossible to play at a virtuoso level later in life. That's not to say you can't become very good at it, but to be a the level of a concert pianist, especially if you aren't a prodigy is pretty much impossible.


I'd have to agree with Tiemco. Scientific studies support this theory also.

I recently thanked my mom for the piano childhood piano lessons that i had (and hated) from age 9 to 12. My journey as an adult "re-beginner" would've been 10x harder, and there's no way I'd be tackling my current repertoire.

The things I retained from childhood were finger dexterity, hand independence, and most importantly RHYTHM. I have yet to buy a metronome - rhythm and timing were automatic and hard-wired during childhood. My rhythm also came from my 5-year childhood background in percussion.

However, let me say that I believe in, and celebrate the human spirit. Hard work and determination will overtake any "childhood background" any day of the week! You guys who are true adult learners are awesome - I've heard some of your playing in the piano bar this month, and subscribe to many of your YouTube channels. smile
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#1350832 - 01/16/10 12:02 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: John Citron]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: John Citron
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: RX-Blak
...Sure it will be a bit awkward (for everyone else), that I'm 35 and taking classes with the 20-22yr olds, but what do I care. It WILL happen..


No I can say first hand, not awkward at all even at age 50+. Actually kind of fun to be on a college campus after not having been on one over 20 years.


I absolutely agree, Chris. I too am an older student, returning to school after a very long time in the work world, having gone from a computer geek to now a music student at UMASS Lowell. This has been so far the most fun I've had in a very long time.

This discussion got me so pumped up. I’d go back go school in a heart beat. Problem is, we as adults, have so many responsibilities. Food on the table isn’t something most can avoid if having a family and children, so school is out of the picture. Children and young adults have a leg up because they don't have to worry until later in life. I honestly think if you’re still young and don’t have many life commitments yet, there’s no reason you won’t succeed. Remember though, you might have to work 10 times harder if you want to be as good as they are.
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#1350879 - 01/16/10 02:10 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: SAnnM AB-2001]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: IPIBAHN - Sandy
Perhaps you mean professional? There's a difference and a lot of professionals are not virtusos.

This is correct. It is especially important for a virtuoso to have had major exposure to music before 9 months.
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#1350885 - 01/16/10 02:42 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
piano_primo_1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/25/09
Posts: 319
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA
UMMMMMM,,,, uhhhhhhhhh, just who or what is this thing called Virtuoso? Is he from Italy or somethin? or just a good kinda guy? (humor break)
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#1350898 - 01/16/10 03:39 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: piano_primo_1]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
There is no magical age, by which, one must have been exposed to music in order to produce a virtuoso. Of course, an early start IS much more conducive to allowing one to begin forming the technical facility required to become a virtuoso, as technical development is paralleled with muscular development. Musical development, however, is a journey that lasts a lifetime. Musicianship and virtuosity, are not one in the same and should not be confused. That said, of course, an early start that is grounded in strong musical principles allows one to much easier integrate the two (which is not always the case with those we label virtuosos) than a later start.
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#1350901 - 01/16/10 03:53 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: stores]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5429
Loc: Europe
A few things sprung to mind the minute I read the Original Post...

I know that these are examples, but the Rach Gm prelude, is not devilishly hard and, at least for me, not what a virtuoso would play to show off his ultimate amazing skills. Same for the march.

Maybe it depends, but it seems that the OP wants to play "what he wants" when he grows up.

It's very reasonable to assume that with the right will power it can be done. He never stated he wants to be top, or competitive, or professional, or anything.

On what he wants though, the chosen path seems quite weird. He dreams of being a virtuoso and in order to do that, and buy a piano, he wants to be a dentist... Am I the only one who thinks that this is a tiny bit weird, but also very practical, pragmatic and realistic?

Yes, there is a matter of age, I don't think one can deny that, but not to the edge of making things impossible... at least I'd like to believe that.
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#1350902 - 01/16/10 04:00 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: stores]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: stores
There is no magical age, by which, one must have been exposed to music in order to produce a virtuoso. Of course, an early start IS much more conducive to allowing one to begin forming the technical facility required to become a virtuoso, as technical development is paralleled with muscular development. Musical development, however, is a journey that lasts a lifetime. Musicianship and virtuosity, are not one in the same and should not be confused. That said, of course, an early start that is grounded in strong musical principles allows one to much easier integrate the two (which is not always the case with those we label virtuosos) than a later start.
I agree, totally, not because I’m an experienced pianist. It just makes sense.

Evaldas, I’m wondering, why do you concern whether you’ll be a virtuoso or not? Even if one has the best teacher, the best piano, the best environment, the best school, and time at his hand, will he be good? It’s really up to him. Learn to play the Piano. Practice everyday. Push yourself to the limit (this I preach but not do lol). And let’s see where it leads us.
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#1350914 - 01/16/10 04:50 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: stores]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Originally Posted By: stores
There is no magical age, by which, one must have been exposed to music in order to produce a virtuoso.
We obviously have differing definitions of the word and, no doubt, it's been cheapened in our media age.
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#1350956 - 01/16/10 07:58 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Evaldas]
F.Chopin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/10
Posts: 10
Yes, it IS possible.
Of course, you must practice from the very beginning, from the basics of the basics. And the problem usually is, that adults tend to skip the basic and easy parts because it will make them feel like a little kids, but skipping those parts will make the advancing very difficult...
And I'm saying it because it was the problem with me (I've started 3 years ago, at 17) and it took me some time realizing it...
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#1350975 - 01/16/10 09:13 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: F.Chopin]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Originally Posted By: F.Chopin
Yes, it IS possible.
So, you're a virtuoso?
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#1350985 - 01/16/10 09:24 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
F.Chopin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/03/10
Posts: 10
Hmm... I won't declare myself as a virtuoso, but I hope I'm on the right way.. XD
And I'm sure I'm not perfect, I just gave my opinion about the topic smile
Recently I've properly mastered some of Chopin's etudes and for me it is a major achievement :P
(I study by myself, without any teachers)
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#1350990 - 01/16/10 09:38 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
keystring Offline
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The word "virtuoso" is often used by non-musicians and relative newcomers to mean someone who plays well. It is probably a good idea to get at what they are picturing, otherwise a discussion is meaningless.

I know a couple of people who do not want to be "virtuosos", preferring to be musicians. The virtuoso, to them, is somebody who can play in an impressive manner at lightning speed or ultra slowness, have all the technical tricks at their command, and great precision. A musician, in their eyes, is someone who has technical abilities and understanding of the stuff of music, and can then use those things to produce music. It is a very particular meaning of "musician".

I imagine that what we are discussing is neither of these extremes, but rather whether a person can reach a level where they can play advanced music decently enough that others might enjoy listening to it.

F. Chopin wrote:
Quote:
Of course, you must practice from the very beginning, from the basics of the basics.

which would have to be a step in the right direction, wouldn't it? But how do we get the basics of the basics right? Can we see, hear, and feel where it isn't, and what direction to take? There the question of teacher (a decent one - not one that will plant problems) comes in, and where either lack of time or money can get in the way. Though I would think that lack of time goes more toward practising: lessons are once a week, practicing is 7 times more often.

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#1351000 - 01/16/10 10:07 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keystring]
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1176
Yes, with hard work and determination, and regardless of age, one can become a "virtuoso". Here's what Wikipedia says, and what Wikipedia says, goes...LOL.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtuoso


Virtuoso
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Virtuoso (disambiguation).
Examples of well known Virtuosi over time. Top Row - From left: Frédéric Chopin, Niccolò Paganini, Franz Liszt, Luigi Boccherini. Bottom Row - From left: Arthur Rubinstein, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman.

A virtuoso (from Italian virtuoso, Late Latin virtuosus, Latin virtus meaning: skill, manliness, excellence) is an individual who possesses outstanding technical ability at singing or playing a musical instrument. The plural form is either virtuosi or the Anglicisation, virtuosos, and the feminine form sometimes used is virtuosa. Virtuosi are often musical composers as well. During the age of Baroque music many composers were also virtuosi on their respective instruments.[citation
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#1351019 - 01/16/10 10:31 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: CebuKid]
Evaldas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 112
Loc: Vilnius
Hm, well I meant not necessarily a VIRTUOSO, or a professional pianist, but just someone who can play those pieces in my first post, the initial post of this thread.
And by "conservatory proffesor" I didn't mean literally a CONSERVATORY PROFESSOR, I just meant someone good at piano teaching...
And I'm also not interested in playing at concerts, I just wanna play for myself, it would be a good way of expressing oneself... Imagine coming after a hard day of work and the jamming as hard as you can a cool, difficult piano piece smile...

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#1351031 - 01/16/10 10:40 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Evaldas]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Evaldas
Hm, well I meant not necessarily a VIRTUOSO, or a professional pianist, but just someone who can play those pieces in my first post, the initial post of this thread.
That's more like it. But with discipline you'll do better than that!
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#1351105 - 01/16/10 12:53 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Larry Larson Offline
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Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
Does anyone know of there are any pianists who reached the top level ability who began later in life?
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#1351111 - 01/16/10 01:02 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Larry Larson]
keyboardklutz Offline
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We've had that question before and the answer is no. No concert pianists started from scratch from say the age of 16.
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#1351118 - 01/16/10 01:10 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nguyen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 430
Loc: Massachusetts
KBK, that's an honest answer rarely seen. Sometimes I wonder why we are so afraid being straightforward and to the point? Worry we'd hurt others? I rather be hurt than keep in the dark.
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#1351155 - 01/16/10 02:01 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Nguyen]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Just to ameliorate the other side of the argument, Rubinstein did say he could take any 70 year old off the street and turn them into a concert pianist in ten years, from scratch...but he never said virtuoso, and as far as I know there are no 'late starters' (and I mean from scratch) out there on the concert platform.
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#1351189 - 01/16/10 02:49 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Evaldas]
Rachel J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 325
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted By: Evaldas
Hm, well I meant not necessarily a VIRTUOSO, or a professional pianist, but just someone who can play those pieces in my first post, the initial post of this thread.
And by "conservatory proffesor" I didn't mean literally a CONSERVATORY PROFESSOR, I just meant someone good at piano teaching...
And I'm also not interested in playing at concerts, I just wanna play for myself, it would be a good way of expressing oneself... Imagine coming after a hard day of work and the jamming as hard as you can a cool, difficult piano piece smile...


Evaldas... You can get as far as you want to given enough time and dedication. I'm sure you have a natural affinity for music if you are this serious about it. I'll tell you what I tell all my adult students: Do not place limits on your expectations, but do not get hung up on how advanced you feel you should be either. Revel in the *process* of learning to play the piano. That way, you will keep the good attitude that is essential for progress. Stay positive, set big goals, but do not despair if it takes longer to get there than you want. With good practice habits and a healthy attitude, you will improve at the piano every day for the rest of your life. Don't worry about how fast you are progressing, just celebrate every achievement and every improvement along the way!
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#1351206 - 01/16/10 03:29 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Nguyen]
Brent B Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nguyen
KBK, that's an honest answer rarely seen. Sometimes I wonder why we are so afraid being straightforward and to the point? Worry we'd hurt others? I rather be hurt than keep in the dark.


Agree.


Quote:
Just to ameliorate the other side of the argument, Rubinstein did say he could take any 70 year old off the street and turn them into a concert pianist in ten years, from scratch...but he never said virtuoso, and as far as I know there are no 'late starters' (and I mean from scratch) out there on the concert platform.


That's what he said, but did he ever do it?
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#1351207 - 01/16/10 03:32 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Brent B]
keyboardklutz Offline
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He was over 90 at the time so...
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#1351209 - 01/16/10 03:33 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
F.Chopin Offline
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You're right, but I think it's not because they will never can play that good, it's that usually at this age they have already chosen what to do in life and don't have the intention to be a concert pianist... also because they don't think they will can..
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#1351215 - 01/16/10 03:41 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: F.Chopin]
keystring Offline
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Being a concert pianist is a career. Not only does the musician need to reach a certain level of playing, but he also has to get bookings, an audience. Who among the young people who start at the right age and reach the right level end up being known? Also, will the older person who is willing to do the work, assuming he has the potential, find a teacher who can teach him what he needs to know? There are two separate things. If an older person did reach this level it is unlikely that we would end up hearing about them.

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#1351510 - 01/17/10 12:04 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keystring]
Batuhan Online   content
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if you study 6 + hours a day you could be the piano virtuoso ( i study 10 hours everyday ). But you should know the path which you will follow very well. And for this you should get 15 lessons at least from any piano teacher. After you will able to set up your own working path to become piano virtuoso.

sorry for my english.


Edited by Batuhan (01/17/10 12:05 AM)
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#1351586 - 01/17/10 01:39 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Batuhan]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Batuhan
if you study 6 + hours a day you could be the piano virtuoso ( i study 10 hours everyday ).
sorry for my english.
It's not your English, it's your poor definition of virtuoso.
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#1351642 - 01/17/10 03:21 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Batuhan Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
if you study 6 + hours a day you could be the piano virtuoso ( i study 10 hours everyday ).
sorry for my english.
It's not your English, it's your poor definition of virtuoso.


I tried to explain him from easiest way. And where is the problem in my sentence ? Everybody must study hard to become Virtuoso. Am i wrong ? I play piano for 8 years and my teachers always said me WORK HARD, WORK HARD, WORK HARD. You cant be a virtuoso if you study 1 hour per day.


Edited by Batuhan (01/17/10 03:28 AM)
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#1351645 - 01/17/10 03:26 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Batuhan]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Yes, but unless like other virtuosos you were WORK HARD, WORK HARD, WORK HARD from the age of 3 or 4, you won't make it. Yes you can become a pro, but that's not the same thing.
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#1351646 - 01/17/10 03:27 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Batuhan]
piano_primo_1 Offline
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or. If you play a piece well and beautifully ,,,,no matter where you are, you're a virtuoso.
Otherwise, you need a "ad agent".
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#1351649 - 01/17/10 03:36 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Batuhan Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Yes, but unless like other virtuosos you were WORK HARD, WORK HARD, WORK HARD from the age of 3 or 4, you won't make it. Yes you can become a pro, but that's not the same thing.


i cant understand please explain me this quote from other way my english was not enough to understand this. confused

pianonewbie what is ad agent ?


Edited by Batuhan (01/17/10 03:40 AM)
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#1351660 - 01/17/10 03:51 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Batuhan]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Pro is professional, virtuoso is a very, very, special professional.
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#1351663 - 01/17/10 03:58 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Batuhan Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Pro is professional, virtuoso is a very, very, special professional.


yes its true but knowledge and technique give special abilities to us you think lang lang is a piano virtuoso ?
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#1351668 - 01/17/10 04:08 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Batuhan]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Yes, but a twisted one! You'll find he started at age 3 or 4.
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#1351672 - 01/17/10 04:20 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Batuhan Online   content
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Yes, but a twisted one! You'll find he started at age 3 or 4.


So you think when you make money from the piano you are the virtuoso. And when you rush the piano while playing you are the virtuoso. Your definition is false sorry thumb


Edited by Batuhan (01/17/10 04:22 AM)
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#1351688 - 01/17/10 05:02 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
4evrBeginR Offline
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While adults could probably accomplish a great deal, adults often have far more distractions and obligations than children. Paying the rent for one, or a full time job doing something else for another. To be the best requires complete focus, which is easier when you are living on mom and dad. On top of that, the chances of becoming a virtuoso for someone who began lessons at age 5 or 6 is slim at best. Not all children are equally gifted. Not all children have the will power to practice for hours on end. Not all parents are supportive of their child's gifts. Not all musically gifted children want to be musicians! To become a virtuoso seem to require a large number of coincidental factors all converging into a single person. It's extremely unlikely for a child and basically impossible for an adult.



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#1351697 - 01/17/10 05:24 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Batuhan]
etcetra Offline
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I think when you are doing music, you should just strive to become better every day, and forget things like "becoming a virtuosso".. those ideas so vague and relative, and to me it's just one of the ways we trap ourselves into pursuing false idols/images and feel insecure about ourselves.

To me excellence is just a result of working very hard at something everyday for years. I am not saying you will be just good as Richter or Art Tatum, but chances are that you will be able to play music at a very high-level, and that should be a satisfying experience, even if you are not the best in the world.

And again virtuosso is such a relative term.. I knew this guy in high school who was playing some of the easier Chopin Etudes and I thought he had insane god given talent.. my perspective has changed a lot since then.

Anyways, I think that the pianists whom we consider "Special" got there not because they want to be a 'virtuosso' or 'great'.. they just felt a very strong need to express themselves musically and dedicated their lives to realize that desire fully/effortlessly.

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#1351700 - 01/17/10 05:31 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: etcetra]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: etcetra

Anyways, I think that the pianists whom we consider "Special" got there not because they want to be a 'virtuosso' or 'great'.. they just felt a very strong need to express themselves musically and dedicated their lives to realize that desire fully/effortlessly.
And because their parents dedicated their lives too.
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#1351701 - 01/17/10 05:33 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Batuhan]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Yes, but a twisted one! You'll find he started at age 3 or 4.


So you think when you make money from the piano you are the virtuoso. And when you rush the piano while playing you are the virtuoso. Your definition is false sorry thumb
No. Someone who gets paid to play the piano is a professional. Someone like Horowitz, Rubinstein and yes, even Lang Lang, are on a different level altogether. They are virtuosos.

Well posted 4evr88keys.
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#1351702 - 01/17/10 05:37 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: etcetra]
Batuhan Online   content
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Originally Posted By: etcetra
I think when you are doing music, you should just strive to become better every day, and forget things like "becoming a virtuosso".. those ideas so vague and relative, and to me it's just one of the ways we trap ourselves into pursuing false idols/images and feel insecure about ourselves.

To me excellence is just a result of working very hard at something everyday for years. I am not saying you will be just good as Richter or Art Tatum, but chances are that you will be able to play music at a very high-level, and that should be a satisfying experience, even if you are not the best in the world.

And again virtuosso is such a relative term.. I knew this guy in high school who was playing some of the easier Chopin Etudes and I thought he had insane god given talent.. my perspective has changed a lot since then.

Anyways, I think that the pianists whom we consider "Special" got there not because they want to be a 'virtuosso' or 'great'.. they just felt a very strong need to express themselves musically and dedicated their lives to realize that desire fully/effortlessly.


Completely true thumb
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#1351824 - 01/17/10 11:21 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
jazzwee Offline
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These types of threads come up so often and then I get to see the pre-requisite response that there is no chance an Adult starter will be a Horowitz.

It seems like everyone always misses why the OP in this case (and in practically all cases) ask the question. Once again here it is clear that the OP's primary goal is to be a Dentist -- not making a living as a Concert pianist.

I will answer this for the n-th time. An older adult is quite capable of playing at a very high level if you dedicate the appropriate amount of hours to the job and you have some built in talent. It is said often here that 5000 hours of practice gets you competence and then 10000 hours gets you to the upper ranges of skill. I believe this because I'm doing this.

I started in my late forties and I'm closing in on 5000 hours. I can play professionally now. Now I'm shooting for a higher standard. I have not found any limitation at all that's tied to my age.

I do wonder how to do it even faster though. I think what child prodigies are able to do are skip some of the trial and error associated with things like technique. They naturally gravitate to the proper relaxed form, etc. while the rest of us 'humans' have to learn it. That's why they're faster at it.

In a book of interviews of the Classical masters, I remember someone saying that for a Classical concert pianist, there's a limit to your repertoire (just from a time investment point of view), if you don't start young.

Well fortunately, I play Jazz smile My repertoire is unlimited theoretically because it is all based on improvisation.

Musicality is not age driven. At least in Jazz, plenty of child prodigies with prodigious technique never beat the Masters.
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#1352418 - 01/18/10 05:18 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keystring]
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Agreed smile
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#1352745 - 01/18/10 04:00 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: F.Chopin]
etcetra Offline
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I also agree with Keystring. I can say this about jazz and probably true in classical too.. the problem is that we tend to focus/worship too much on the few celebrities, and we tend to overlook at lot of very talented people.

The more you get better and learn more about the music, the more you realize that there are many many excellent musicians out there who are virtually unknown outside of their community.

And there is also a bias against age as someone mentioned before.. if you are 10 yrs old and you have been playing the piano for 6 years, and you can play chopin etudes, you would be considered gifted, and chances are that you will have more oppertunity to study with better teacher/enviroment. But if you are 38 and you managed to play chopin etudes at the level of the 10 yr old, you probably wont get the same kind attention/hype as you would as a 10 yr old.

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#1352754 - 01/18/10 04:11 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Evaldas]
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What surprises me most about this thread and others like it is the extreme rigidity of thought from posters who otherwise wax poetic about the endless mystical possibilities inherent in music.
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#1352761 - 01/18/10 04:15 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: pianonewb]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianonewb
What surprises me most about this thread and others like it is the extreme rigidity of thought from posters who otherwise wax poetic about the endless mystical possibilities inherent in music.
You certainly don't need to be a virtuoso to explore endless mystical possibilities - that's the great thing about music.
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#1353088 - 01/19/10 12:24 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
etcetra Offline
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opps i forgot to add if you are 38 and have been playing just as long as the 10 yr old (6yrs)..

anyways i don't think there is anything wrong with having dreams/fantasies about becoming a virtuosso, I think we all do that. It's just that when we do pursue our dreams, we usually realize that the reality and what you imagined it to be is quite different. You might even realize it's not really what you wanted after all.

I agree with keyboard klutz.. besides, aren't you exploring the "endless mystical possibilities inherent in music" whenever you are playing/practicing, no matter what level you are?

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#1353147 - 01/19/10 02:41 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: etcetra]
keyboardklutz Offline
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One thing this thread has shown me are the differing (and sometimes confusing) ideas on what a 'virtuoso' actually is. Looking back 10 years ago, I would have said it was a matter of practice. Having been very much involved in the game for the last 10 years I realize it's a difference of kind not degree. My teacher discovered, like Rubinstein, how to teach someone to be a virtuoso. She (and I) also realized that knowledge will not take full effect unless transmitted beginning at age 4 or 5.
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#1353156 - 01/19/10 03:01 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
landorrano Offline
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Sancte bovinus, Klutz, aren't we a bit wordy this morning?

I deeply agree with what you have written.

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#1353167 - 01/19/10 03:51 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: landorrano]
keyboardklutz Offline
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I've been taking these Himalayan brain pills this week. Maybe they work?
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#1353186 - 01/19/10 05:37 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
BorisGodounov Offline
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Hi Evaldas,

If you really keep on studying on a daily basis (including saturday and sunday ;-) then no doubt that with the guidance of a teacher and some patience, in a matter of a few years you will discover that, yes, you can play any piece of music you want.

That's just a matter of regularity, practice, pleasure of learning and practicing, playing at every time you can steal from common life.


Edited by BorisGodounov (01/19/10 05:38 AM)

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#1353197 - 01/19/10 05:59 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: BorisGodounov]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: BorisGodounov
then no doubt that with the guidance of a teacher
Dare I add good teacher? I know of too many scheisters. You do simplify a bit Boris viz 'yes, you can play any piece of music you want'??

Hey, and welcome to PW - I'm actually nice when you get to know me!
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#1353226 - 01/19/10 08:03 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: BorisGodounov]
landorrano Offline
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Salut, Boris, et bienvenu!

And by the way, happily Keyboardklutz is there to say that he's a nice guy, nobody else will!

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#1353230 - 01/19/10 08:08 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: jazzwee]
TimR Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzwee


It seems like everyone always misses why the OP in this case (and in practically all cases) ask the question. Once again here it is clear that the OP's primary goal is to be a Dentist -- not making a living as a Concert pianist.



Good insight.

I do think there are limitations to how far a late starter/hobbyist can progress.

But I also think those limits are far past the goals of the OP or of most hobbyists.

I do have a suspicion though. It's not related to the age, it's about the self-identification as a pianist and the committment. I'm not sure that those who want to play only for their own enjoyment, and never for performance or employment purposes, ever reach high levels of skill. I don't have any evidence of this, it's just a feeling. Maybe there's an analogy to sports - do those of us who play tennis for fun ever develop anywhere near the skills of those who compete on the tennis team?
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#1353232 - 01/19/10 08:21 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
BorisGodounov Offline
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Hi landorrano and Keyboardklutz, thank you.

The "nice" was implied, of course.
By "any" I mean "nearly any", as there will always be too complicated - sophisticated ? bits of music - few violonists, for example, can play the Paganini's 24 Caprices - I heard flaws in many a recording of this hardest opus, definitely not composed for anyone not virtuoso ;-)


Edited by BorisGodounov (01/19/10 08:25 AM)

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#1353259 - 01/19/10 09:04 AM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: landorrano]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: landorrano
And by the way, happily Keyboardklutz is there to say that he's a nice guy, nobody else will!
You'd be surprised.
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#1353484 - 01/19/10 02:56 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Tim Stinnett Offline
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"Virtuoso" is a very subjective term. If the question is asking, can some who begins late acquire the abilities of Mark Hamelin, or Horowitz... pick your master. I think the answer is clearly no. These people have a gift that others lack. If you don't begin developing this gift as a child, forget it. It is not possible to become an unforgetable master of the keyboard.

On the other hand, those who start late can become wonderful advanced pianists. It is a matter of a very good teacher, a realistic commitment of considerable amounts of time, and persistence. This person will find great satisfaction in the journey and playing piano. I believe most people can exceed their own expectations and need to think bigger and dream and hope; this inspires work. But this commitment must be tempered with wisdom. The goal is not to become something one can never become, but to develop one's abilities and musicianship as much as possible.

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#1353494 - 01/19/10 03:16 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: Tim Stinnett]
keystring Offline
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Quote:
The goal is not to become something one can never become, but to develop one's abilities and musicianship as much as possible .

I bet that this is exactly what the "virtuosos" did. There is no question of "becoming" anything.

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#1353525 - 01/19/10 04:27 PM Re: Is it possible to become a virtuoso...? [Re: keyboardklutz]
D4v3 Offline
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Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
We've had that question before and the answer is no. No concert pianists started from scratch from say the age of 16.


I dont know if I agree 100% with things stated as absolutes. Anything is possible, they said nobody could defeat the best trained army in the world (Britan), least of all a small group of farmers, and yet here I live in this place called America.

I would say again, anything is possible, but the next question that must be asked is: "Is it very probable?".

That answer is a function of: practice time available, focus, DESIRE/Resillience, natural talent/ability to pick things up quickly, marketability and the quality of your instrument.

Available Practice Time: Some one who has a family is less likely to achieve their goals as quickly as someone who tons of free time on their hands. How much time is needed? That depends on your natural talent and focus.

Focus: I would bet that I can achieve more in a single year of focused study than years of mindless studying.

Resillience: Theres an old saying "As a man thinketh, so is he." If you have an almost obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) with music then it doesnt matter what people say, your going to do it.

Natural Talent: Mozart had a huge amount of natural talent and picked up his skill very quickly. I believe genius will shine through no matter what age you start. Einstein couldn't read until he was 6; they closed the patent office in the 1800s because "everything that could be invented was already invented".

Marketability:Im sure there are many adults who didnt start as children who are virtuoso pianists the problem at that point as others have stated is competition or as I would say marketability. I was watching the 9th van cliburn competition the other day and for the life of me I could not tell the difference between last few pianists, it was as though they played identically. But they all couldnt win. I personally believe that the pianists who have a very unique and different story to tell from their identically talented peers are the ones who go on to become famous because they are the most memorable.


I hope this helps. I started late 15, and I plan to become a concert level pianist virtuoso. I just dont care if I'm as famous as horowitz or if I go on tours, although it would be nice.
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1 Hour 2-5-1 Jazz Workout Backing Track - Slow to Fast Swing
by Nahum
12/20/14 05:36 AM
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12/20/14 05:23 AM
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12/20/14 01:09 AM
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12/19/14 10:19 PM
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12/19/14 08:48 PM
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