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#1479574 - 07/23/10 12:34 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: argerichfan]
Brooke Taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 161
Loc: Citrus Park, Tampa, FL
Will do! This is a very lovely website. The people on here are actually educated, unlike the numbskulls on yahoo answers.
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Currently working on - Ballade No.1 in G minor Opus 23 by Chopin and Un Sospiro by Liszt

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#1479580 - 07/23/10 12:49 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Brooke Taylor]
argerichfan Offline
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Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8925
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Brooke Taylor

I agree with you on the prodigy part, but in my opinion, all of the teeny pop bands have been a joke. Jonas brothers, Justin Bieber, (edit: Jesse McCartney)

Well not quite. Is it a joke that all of these performers have incredible charisma, a commanding presence on the stage? That can only be rehearsed up to a certain point, and one cannot take anyone off the street and bring them to that level.

In a more extreme case, it has been discussed here that one cannot take any pianist off the street and transform them into a Horowitz or Argerich... and I don't think the pop world is as different as one might think. The untalented ones are weeded out very quickly. Whatever you say about the Jonas Brothers -and it is not music I particularly care for- they put on a helluva fun show, they play beautifully together, they do more than justice to their material, and they convey a love for their audience. It is a wonderful chemistry, and I am grateful to see this in action. Talent? Well, yes.
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#1479610 - 07/23/10 02:38 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Brooke Taylor]
Afterthought Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 35
Originally Posted By: Brooke Taylor
Maybe they can! I can NOT sing, nor dance. It's just my opinion on their music. But what do I know, I'm just some 14 year old kid! I do understand obsessions, because I have Aspergers, and I have had some very bad obsessions that have taken over me completely. But hearing about these people everyday, it just bothers me when it all comes down to it. You know?


Haha, what do I know? I'm just some THIRTEEN year old kid! Well, yes. Shouldn't people be focusing their attentions elsewhere? It reminds me of teenagers that waste all day playing Guitar Hero and Rockband, when, with that commitment and time, they could be taking up an instrument! And I've had plenty of obsessions myself, until it burns out completely. I try not to get too obsessed, beause I don't want to ruin it for myself.

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#1479698 - 07/23/10 08:03 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Afterthought]
hippymusicman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 150
Amusing.. Everybody has a different idea of what prodigy means.

The teeny boppers think Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga are prodigies, the pianists think beethoven and chopin are prodigies, the babies think people who can play with 2 hands are prodigies.


Everybody is a 'prodigy'.. in some people's brains.
And everybody is a 'non prodigy' in some people's brains.

And that's all that word means...

Of course, the most important thing is how you define prodigy in your OWN brain.
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#1479727 - 07/23/10 09:03 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: hippymusicman]
Brooke Taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/19/10
Posts: 161
Loc: Citrus Park, Tampa, FL
I completely disagree with you, hippymusicman. Justin bieber and lady gaga aren't prodigies. Especially lady gaga. She's what 20? I think your forgetting the age limit. In various definitions, I'll average it out to be, say 15. Lady gaga exceeds this limit. The reason she does not fit into the prodigy definition, is because she does not sing like a highly trained adult. She is an adult. She writes disgusting, meaningless songs. Justin bieber too. Beethoven was not a prodigy. However, His father exploited him to be one. His father was jealous of child prodigy Mozart, and all of his success. So when he made young Beethoven perform, he set back his age. Claiming he was. He was not. Because Mozart set different standards for Prodigies at the time. Chopin, WAS a child prodigy. You are abusing the word, and letting it's meaning go way beyond it's definition, and standards.
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#1479744 - 07/23/10 09:29 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Brooke Taylor]
hippymusicman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 150
They do not fit into your definition of 'prodigy'.
It's unfair to say "they don't fit THE definition of prodigy" because there is no one definition of prodigy. Prodigy means whatever we think it means.

In your mind, Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga are not prodigies.

In your mind, Age is important and only people below 15 can be prodigies.

In your mind, Singing like a trained adult would contribute to your beliefs on becoming a prodigy.

You could very well share this belief with many other people.
But the fact that you and many others else think them, does not make them true to everybody.

So when you say, 'That person is a prodigy' you may as well be saying 'That person appears to be a prodigy to everybody who has defined 'prodigy' in the same way as me.'



Edited by hippymusicman (07/23/10 09:57 AM)
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#1479766 - 07/23/10 10:00 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: hippymusicman]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: hippymusicman
The terms 'prodigy' or 'talented' mean whatever you want them to mean, and have completely different meanings in the minds of different people.

The same concept applies for all people. Some will define 'really talented' as someone who can use 2 hands at the same time... others will only call 'really talented' as someone who can sight read beethoven..

So in response to your question... Yes a prodigy can be made and formed right now... In fact, I can make you one right now.

*I believe what you can do on the piano makes you a prodigy.*

Congratulations. You are prodigy in my mind. Now work on changing what prodigy means for you... until you believe you are one.

The point is, it's just a label. If you are one to me. You can be one to yourself, and you can be one to other people in the same way.

And then the penny drops... labels mean nothing but what you think they mean.

Hippy (which is a fine way to be, by the way, less of a medical risk than carrying weight on the abdomen)

What kind of penny is this - English? Australian? could I use a dime? And how do I know which direction the penny drops? A penny dropping in China takes a different trajectory than in my county. Or.. does it?

Why do you tell me this penny drops when you know that all our pennies drop differently (literal and metaphoric pennies). Have you tried communicating without nouns. I think this would avoid the *----- altogether.

* = problem (in my mind at least).

hi brooke, you sound very enthusiastic and passionate - enjoy your music and piano playing. It is a gift smile
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Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
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#1479768 - 07/23/10 10:02 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: hippymusicman]
Piano*Dad Offline
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HP,

Is your definition of the indefinite integral whatever you want it to be? Are your feelings about the tensile strength of various metals every bit as valid as a metallurgists? Just because the concept of 'prodigy' isn't from mathematics or materials science does not mean that anything goes. Social scientists define terms so they can use them to communicate to each other and so that they can be sure that when they are measuring things, and trying to understand processes like human development, that they are talking TO each other instead of PAST each other. You may not like how the term is being used by these social scientists, though I suspect you have not really thought seriously about it, but your feelings really don't advance anyone's ability to understand anything.

In everyday speech, people often use words imprecisely, and they personalize the meaning in different ways. This does lead to communication problems. But it does not mean that people cannot rigorously study a phenomenon. Precise definition is the starting point for any serious study. Precise definition allows clear observation and comparison. Clear observation permits tentative conclusions about correlation and perhaps even causality. This is how serious people think about complicated issues.
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#1479773 - 07/23/10 10:11 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Piano*Dad]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia

yes yes that's what I meant!
Elegant, precise and accurate post P*Dad. And I liked your earlier one too.
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1479774 - 07/23/10 10:12 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: hippymusicman]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
Do you want pepperoni on that? wink

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#1479778 - 07/23/10 10:16 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: moscheles001]
Piano*Dad Offline
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What really IS a pepperoni? There are thousands of types. I'm SOOO confused. My brain hurts. grin
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https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1479779 - 07/23/10 10:16 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: moscheles001]
Canonie Offline
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Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: moscheles001
Do you want pepperoni on that? wink


Brilliant moscheles. Too funny!!
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1479780 - 07/23/10 10:17 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Canonie]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Canonie

Hippy (which is a fine way to be, by the way, less of a medical risk than carrying weight on the abdomen)
I'll buy that!
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#1479782 - 07/23/10 10:19 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Canonie]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
The post really was about pizza, before it was edited.
_________________________

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

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#1479807 - 07/23/10 11:00 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: cast12]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12137
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: cast12


You've stated that can play ... Un Sospiro...From what I know, no pianist in history -- not even Liszt or Rachmaninoff -- progressed as rapidly as you have.


Liszt couldn't play Un Sospiro after 10 weeks, but that's only becuase he hadn't written it yet wink
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#1479808 - 07/23/10 11:01 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Canonie]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Canonie
The post really was about pizza, before it was edited.


If I eat too much pepperoni pizza, I'd be "hippy" too :P
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#1479811 - 07/23/10 11:06 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Brooke Taylor]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12137
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Brooke Taylor
BitWrangler,

The reason I laugh when people say that justin bieber or lady gaga are prodigies, is because, well, they don't show that they have any significant amount of talent. Justin bieber, writes songs about teenage puppy love, that any moron could write, and most of his songs are all done up, because when he sings live, it's god awful. Lady gaga, In my opinion, any "singer" that has to dress up like an ignorant fool to get peoples attention, then there is obviously something missing. Talent. Don't get me wrong, I am all about individuality, but it's gotten way out of hand. Her songs are disgusting. Did you watch the telephone? It really puzzles me. Why people have to be so dirty. Sure, Justin bieber can write some songs, and make some overly done soundtracks, but give him a guitar and ask him to play an E minor, and I bet you he wouldn't know how.

- Brooke


Well put! I most pop stars today cannot be considered musical prodigies simply because they aren't very good at music. Autotune is very popular these days, as well as lip-synching. I recall when that sort of thing used to be scandalous to use (Milli-vanilli anyone?). Why bother practicing and learning to sound good when you can have computers fix your issues? Why bother if you are talented and have a good voice when you can doctor it up to make it presentable?

I wouldn't use the term "prodigy" with these people, but the term "charlatan" comes to mind.
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1479813 - 07/23/10 11:15 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Morodiene]
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Brooke Taylor
BitWrangler,

The reason I laugh when people say that justin bieber or lady gaga are prodigies, is because, well, they don't show that they have any significant amount of talent. Justin bieber, writes songs about teenage puppy love, that any moron could write, and most of his songs are all done up, because when he sings live, it's god awful. Lady gaga, In my opinion, any "singer" that has to dress up like an ignorant fool to get peoples attention, then there is obviously something missing. Talent. Don't get me wrong, I am all about individuality, but it's gotten way out of hand. Her songs are disgusting. Did you watch the telephone? It really puzzles me. Why people have to be so dirty. Sure, Justin bieber can write some songs, and make some overly done soundtracks, but give him a guitar and ask him to play an E minor, and I bet you he wouldn't know how.

- Brooke


Well put! I most pop stars today cannot be considered musical prodigies simply because they aren't very good at music. Autotune is very popular these days, as well as lip-synching. I recall when that sort of thing used to be scandalous to use (Milli-vanilli anyone?). Why bother practicing and learning to sound good when you can have computers fix your issues? Why bother if you are talented and have a good voice when you can doctor it up to make it presentable?

I wouldn't use the term "prodigy" with these people, but the term "charlatan" comes to mind.


Your both missing my point, which is, though they may make their living today as bubble gum artists, that doesn't mean that they were not "prodigies" as kids. Remember, the word does not reflect ones occupation, simply ones abilities. I'm sure that there are many "prodigies" doing things other than the activity that they were prodigies in, does that mean that they weren't prodigies? I think everyone here knows that being a "piano prodigy" as a kid doesn't necessarily translate into success as a concert pianist, so all those former prodigies are out there doing something to make a living, maybe even making millions of dollars dressing up in outlandish outfits and performing dance tunes.

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#1479821 - 07/23/10 11:28 AM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Morodiene]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Canonie
The post really was about pizza, before it was edited.


If I eat too much pepperoni pizza, I'd be "hippy" too :P


You beat me to it! laugh

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#1479841 - 07/23/10 12:08 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: bitWrangler]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12137
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: bitWrangler


Your both missing my point, which is, though they may make their living today as bubble gum artists, that doesn't mean that they were not "prodigies" as kids. Remember, the word does not reflect ones occupation, simply ones abilities. I'm sure that there are many "prodigies" doing things other than the activity that they were prodigies in, does that mean that they weren't prodigies? I think everyone here knows that being a "piano prodigy" as a kid doesn't necessarily translate into success as a concert pianist, so all those former prodigies are out there doing something to make a living, maybe even making millions of dollars dressing up in outlandish outfits and performing dance tunes.


I see your point. I'm not up on what experts define "prodigy" as, but it seems from this thread that there are different uses for the same word. Here's merriam-webster's definition:
"an extraordinary, marvelous, or unusual accomplishment, deed, or event b : a highly talented child or youth." So in the a. version it can refer to anything that is extraordinary, and in the b. version, it refers only to a young person who is highly talented.

So it seems that "prodigy" can refer to an adult as well.

I do find it interesting to know that many child piano prodigies end up not becoming concert pianists, or that it seems things even out later on in their lives (they don't keep progressing at the rate at which they began) so that other talented but non-prodigy children may in fact end up surpassing them later on.

It makes me wonder if all the attention given to child prodigies is harmful and only something that very few can overcome (Beethoven and Mozart, for example). I'd be interested in learning more about this phenomenon.
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#1479849 - 07/23/10 12:16 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Elissa Milne]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
The discussion about Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber demonstrates a lack of understanding about how the pop music world works. If anyone could do it then everyone would do it, and they don't. The 'talent' might not be as uncomplicated as being able to play the piano.

Prodigies are made. If prodigies don't put in the work they don't become any good at what they do. No one gets born skilled.

Although my three year old is freakish with a soccer ball, and has been since he took his first steps. Hmm!



When I was originally posting the remark about lady gaga, I just ment it seemed absurd to call her a prodigy, because she was not a little kid, and did not show all that much musical talent. Some disagree, I know a few people who will fight to the death to say she is the greatest thing out there.

I think your assesment is a bit wrong, not everyone wants to be a pop star. I look at pop music in a different light. Pop music, comes from the same traditions as western classical. The same scales and notation is used for the most part. Pop music overall is very watered down compared to classical, but instantly accessible.

There have always been boy bands, even as far back as the fifties and the sixties, bands that were made because the members looked good. There are articles from session musicians staing that sometimes in the sixties they would hire session musicians to come in and play the album to records for these bands. Now we have computers to do this for us.

All that being said , my only point was not start is lady gaga talented arguement, that would never end, but to say, doubtful she is a prodigy.

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#1479948 - 07/23/10 02:58 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: jdhampton924]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
You're the person who wants to go to Juilliard, aren't you? And
this question presumably is related to that goal.

My impression of Juilliard is that they are looking for star
quality over and above everything else. They get their pick
every yr. from thousands of highly proficient pianists, but
I believe that they will go with the person with star quality
over another who is better technically. For example, if you
look like Richard Gere and your playing is state university
level, I believe that not only will you get in over hundreds
of better players, you'll get in on a full ride, and they'll
put you with the best teacher, who will whip you into something
resembling a concert pianist.

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#1479964 - 07/23/10 03:28 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Gyro]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18221
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Gyro
[...] For example, if you
look like Richard Gere and your playing is state university
level, I believe that not only will you get in over hundreds
of better players, you'll get in on a full ride, and they'll
put you with the best teacher, who will whip you into something
resembling a concert pianist.


... and that "belief" is supported by what facts or by what evidence?
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#1479981 - 07/23/10 03:50 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: BruceD]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Loc: Williamsburg, VA
nothing to see here, move along .....
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#1480000 - 07/23/10 04:20 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Piano*Dad]
moscheles001 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/08
Posts: 753
Loc: Northeast Pennsylvania
Why is it that every time I read a post by Gyro, I have "In the Hall of the Mountain King" playing in my head?

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#1480018 - 07/23/10 04:42 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: moscheles001]
bitWrangler Offline
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Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Actually in his (?) own unique way, gyro brings up an insightful point. Places like Juilliard get a bazillion audition "tapes" a year. I'm assuming (and this may be a bad assumption) that for the 5% that they end up choosing, that while a few might be "obvious" purely from a performance standpoint, that there are many that don't necessarily stand head and shoulders above the others. Given that, what types of other criteria are they likely to utilize when trying to decide between two applicants that are roughly equal in performance abilities? This actually applies to getting into many top tier colleges when you have more students that meet the objective criteria than there are spaces for. So for the Juilliard's and Curtis' of the world, what "other" things should one attempt to beef up to increase their chances of admittance?

- competition results
- prestigious or notable performances
- specialization (e.g. harpsichord expert, baroque expert, etc)
- plastic surgery to look like Richard Gere
- attendance at the Juilliard summer program
- hob nobbing with faculty and general brown nosing
- "outreach"/community musical involvement
- getting the Old Spice Horse Guy to intro your pre-screen dvd
- ????

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#1480102 - 07/23/10 06:49 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: bitWrangler]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6152
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I think for all talents there is a sort of bell curve like for IQ. And also a sort of ceiling beyond which one cannot go.
At any rate, I think a good teacher can probably make a good musician of even an average person, but not a prodigy...
Children are often reluctant to be called prodigies (and even a bit embarrassed), it is usually parents who push I think.
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#1480110 - 07/23/10 07:00 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: moscheles001]
Afterthought Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/10
Posts: 35
Originally Posted By: moscheles001
Why is it that every time I read a post by Gyro, I have "In the Hall of the Mountain King" playing in my head?


I didn't even get the joke, and I laughed.

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#1480112 - 07/23/10 07:02 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: Afterthought]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6152
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
This is a very talented young man I think...
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#1480157 - 07/23/10 08:25 PM Re: Can a prodigy be "made"? [Re: jdhampton924]
Elissa Milne Offline
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Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: jdhampton924
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
The discussion about Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber demonstrates a lack of understanding about how the pop music world works. If anyone could do it then everyone would do it, and they don't. The 'talent' might not be as uncomplicated as being able to play the piano.

Prodigies are made. If prodigies don't put in the work they don't become any good at what they do. No one gets born skilled.

Although my three year old is freakish with a soccer ball, and has been since he took his first steps. Hmm!



When I was originally posting the remark about lady gaga, I just ment it seemed absurd to call her a prodigy, because she was not a little kid, and did not show all that much musical talent. Some disagree, I know a few people who will fight to the death to say she is the greatest thing out there.

I think your assesment is a bit wrong, not everyone wants to be a pop star. I look at pop music in a different light. Pop music, comes from the same traditions as western classical. The same scales and notation is used for the most part. Pop music overall is very watered down compared to classical, but instantly accessible.

There have always been boy bands, even as far back as the fifties and the sixties, bands that were made because the members looked good. There are articles from session musicians staing that sometimes in the sixties they would hire session musicians to come in and play the album to records for these bands. Now we have computers to do this for us.

All that being said , my only point was not start is lady gaga talented arguement, that would never end, but to say, doubtful she is a prodigy.

If my assessment was that everyone wanted to be a pop star I would be a deluded assessor of human dreams and goals indeed.

Of course not everyone wants to be a pop star (or a fireman, or an astronaut, or a missionary....) but of those who do want to be a pop star most will not succeed. Simply to achieve one's goals requires admirable qualities. I would think that having a talent for achieving your goals is still a talent.
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