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#1697010 - 06/17/11 12:12 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
fieldflower Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/12/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
40 years old and started playing piano yesterday (when I got an electric piano from my wife as a 40 yo present).
Seeing Your YT clip makes me wonder if I'm ever going to get good at this, but as long as I'm having fun with it I'm happy...
_________________________
Beginner - played for weeks now. Yamaha P-155.

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#1697038 - 06/17/11 01:08 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
casinitaly Offline

Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 4678
Loc: Italy
Hi Tom! ,
I'm just a smidge younger than most of those who have posted their ages (except of course Teodor.... I'm way older than he is smile )

Having high expectations of where we should be is something that adult learners of just about everything go through.
My teacher and I were talking about this just this week. I teach adults English - and had one student in tears this week because she is so upset with what she perceives as her lack of progress.... and I was feeling a little low because I was having trouble getting my fingers around my Beethoven piece, which "seemed" simple enough on paper...

Adults are their own worst critics. We are used to being able to do the things we want to do without too much frustration. We then pass 50 (ouch. It still hurt to write that....sigh).... take up piano, and feel like 2 year olds. We know how everything is supposed to work but we can't do it the way we see others doing it.

We also seem to lose any sense of perspective on how long it takes to really learn something that is physically and mentally demanding.
Those of us who have played other instruments tend to think "well, how much harder can it be?" Ha! I was stunned at how tired my brain was after trying to read and play very very simple pieces of piano music.

The other thing we tend to forget is that we "plateau". We make a certain amount of progress and then it feels like we are standing still. Those are the times we have to pull out pieces that one or two months earlier seemed challenging. It is exciting to see that what was really hard before, has suddenly become approachable.

I can not imagine playing the Maple Leaf Rag right now. Kudos to you!
I just know it is beyond me.... for now, maybe for the next year, I'm really not sure.

The other point I wanted to talk about is sight reading - there are a lot of mixed opinions about this - and why not ? There are alot of very differnt musicians here, with wonderfully eclectic tastes in music.

I think sight reading is fun - I do sight reading duets with my teacher and it is a blast to year new music come alive - I laugh outloud at musical surprises. It helps me with note recognition in general (I'm fine with treble, still a wee bit shaky on the bass clef) - and it gives me a sense of progress. Some of my sight-reading is true "prima vista", some is material that I don't play enough to "know", but that I have seen a little bit before.
I think it is good to learn to sight read, because one of the things I really want to do is to play with others. For example, at Christmas we had friends over for a musical evening - we were from Canada, Brazil, Ireland and Sweden..oh and Italy too smile lol.... and we all had our favourite Christmas music. It involved a lot of sight reading, and I was NOT great at it, lol.. but I had such great fun!

Personally I think developing your sight reading skills just speeds up the whole process as you approach new pieces.

But hey - to each his own!
_________________________
Interested in MOYD? Check out the RULES!
XVIII-XXXIII
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#1697068 - 06/17/11 01:57 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Teodor Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 939
Loc: Bulgaria
Originally Posted By: Musical Tom
I am impressed at how supportive everyone has been. I do get discouraged, but, have new hope, as I hear that I am not alone. I feel so incompetent at times, and still get nervous even playing in front of my teacher....

Thanks again to all for the heartfelt encouraging words....

Tom


I feel the same way. It often so happens that I sit at the piano and I feel as if I can play anything and on these days I play quite well. But there are other times when I see no progress or I just feel tired from all the lessons and from practicing and I get frustrated like this:



I have been at it for weeks, I know it by heart but on some days I can't do a clean playthrough no matter what.


Edited by Teodor (06/17/11 02:15 PM)
_________________________
Currently 2nd Year: Music & Piano Teaching Major


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#1697085 - 06/17/11 02:36 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Emissary52 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 317
Loc: Monroe, NC USA
Originally Posted By: Musical Tom
I am impressed at how supportive everyone has been. I do get discouraged, but, have new hope, as I hear that I am not alone. I feel so incompetent at times, and still get nervous even playing in front of my teacher....

Thanks again to all for the heartfelt encouraging words....

Tom


Musical Tom - When I started to read your original post, I immediately identified with you. After a year and a half of playing I sometimes feel the same way. Then I watched your video and I thought "Is that his piano teacher or him"? When I realized it was you ... I'm thinking to myself ... "Holy Moly ... If he's depressed with that level of talent, I should be downright suicidal at this point


Tom - you are a very talented and musical guy. At the rate you're progressing, we'll be buying your music on itunes in a couple of years. Teodor, whose post is above mine is similarly talented too! You two guys could do an album ...Tom and Teodor at Carnegie Hall by the time I finish my Masterwork Classics Volume 3 book! I feel ...soooo inadequate now! Don't be so hard on yourself!! You got it!


Edited by Emissary52 (06/17/11 02:39 PM)
_________________________
I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
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#1698080 - 06/19/11 12:30 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
KathyH Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/08/10
Posts: 6
Loc: Southern California, LA area
Hi, all. I too am 57 (for a few weeks more, anyway...). I began a year ago, with a teacher who had only children as her other students, so she went very, very slowly with me. Also, she was very ill, and she has now passed away. After a month or so hiatus, I began with her teacher in January (2011). He keeps saying I'm doing great, but I still feel all thumbs, and can't really play much of anything yet. But I keep plugging away.

My goal is not to be a professional pianist, but to play well enough to teach voice, which I'm also studying. And to enjoy myself. But I'm still going on faith at this point! Have a demanding job (patent secretary) and can't always practice as much as I should. I live in an apartment and the hours I can practice without disturbing neighbors are limited; if I work late, by the time I get some dinner, it may be too late to play. But I keep at it...

Guess we all need encouragement.
_________________________
KathyH

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#1698235 - 06/19/11 04:45 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Johan B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 922
Loc: The Netherlands, Grootegast-Gr...
Originally Posted By: Musical Tom
Hi Everyone,

I need some encouragement. I am getting a little discouraged, feeling that I am not progressing fast enough. I feel some days, I don't remember anything. I have to practice things over and over again to finally get it.....I just get a little discouraged and feel incompetent with my piano teacher at times....but I know he understands.....does anyone else get this way? I sometimes think it is my age.....

Tom


Hi Thom......I'am still 57, within a week 58......one day I play every sheet I want....other days it seems my fingers are sitting in a knot.....

Playing by heart....mmmm...not me.....only Wonderfull world...and some fragments of classics......always need to have sheets with me....

Best regards and enjoy every moment on the bench...

Johan B
_________________________

Currently working on Sonaten of Haydn and Mozart...
'Nil volentibus arduum'

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#1698673 - 06/20/11 01:39 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
PianoU1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/09
Posts: 93
Loc: uk
congrats Tom, Maple Leaf Rag is a grade 8 piece on my board, you obviously have a lot of natural talent to play grade 8 pieces after just 2 years. Well done.
_________________________
Piano Yamaha U1
Studying Grade 8 piano and 6 theory

Currently working on:
Chopin Nocturne in C# Minor
Beethoven Sonata Op10.no.1
Martinu Columbine Sings
Chopin: Waltz 69 no.2
Scott Joplin: Pineapple Rag




Achievements:
Grade 1-7 Piano (LCM)
Grade 1-5 theory (LCM)

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#1699361 - 06/21/11 01:41 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Wannaplay Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 6
I have been playing piano for just over 2 years. I am now 57 and am still having fun.

My piano teacher has me working my way through a series os grade school piano books. I can tell that the learning curve for learning a new piece is sslloowwlly getting shorter. From discussions with my teacher the improvement in sight reading due to practice is what happens. It is a slow painful process.
My challenge piece currently is a rendition of the New World Symphony. This is really beyond my current skill level. I am working on it over the course of a number of months.

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#1727525 - 08/05/11 10:21 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
Hi everyone.....I am still playing and practicing.....I can't believe how rusty one can get when we don't practice often.......I still wish I could site read a little better, but am getting better at it. Does anyone have any suggestions and/or exercises that might help?

Tom
_________________________
Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1727527 - 08/05/11 10:22 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: PianoU1]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
Thanks for the compliment......I appreciate it, but still need much work to improve my skill and speed.......I still make plenty of mistakes on The Maple Leaf Rag.....

Tom
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Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1727528 - 08/05/11 10:27 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Teodor]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
You seem like you play with confidence, don't ever give up......You are much much to young for that.....lol I think you play well

Tom
_________________________
Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1728147 - 08/07/11 10:41 AM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: PianoU1]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
I am not familiar with the grading system, can someone explain it to me?

Tom
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Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1728237 - 08/07/11 01:04 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1801
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
MusicalTom, you got my encouragement as well. I am not young either but save me from confessing my age (LOL), Cas, I think we are pretty darn close in age (smile).
_________________________
Pieces at work - Schubert Sonata D960 2nd mvmnt Andante sostenute, Bach f minor Fugue WTC Bk1, Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Chopin Trois Nouvelles Etudes #1, Haru No Umi-the Sea In Spring (Michio Miyagi) for Flute & Piano (Nov Diversity Fair at work)

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#1737321 - 08/20/11 07:07 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
What is every one working on? I am working on Chopin Prelude in D-Flat Major.....hard piece.....I just want to give up on it sometimes......
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Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1737584 - 08/21/11 10:43 AM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1815
Loc: Rocky Mountains
When we quit learning. We quit living. Live on, Tom! Enjoy!
_________________________
Ron
Ingrid, my beloved VPC : "Play it Sam....For old times sake...Play it for me...I'll sing it with you...Play me again, Sam."

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#1737592 - 08/21/11 11:00 AM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: rnaple]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
Ron, You are so right......I will never quit. Practicing and playing the piano has become part of my life. There are friends and relatives that say I am obsessed and resent my time practicing, but I don't. Playing piano keeps me from feeling lonely. It's one of my best friends......and good therapy.

Tom
_________________________
Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1737593 - 08/21/11 11:03 AM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: PianoU1]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
Thank you for your encouragement. You sound like you are well on your way to becoming something special in your playing. Good luck....

Tom
_________________________
Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1737596 - 08/21/11 11:04 AM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Wannaplay]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
I would love to hear you play The New World Symphony, I am sure you are progressing well......

Tom
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Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1737613 - 08/21/11 11:56 AM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Bamabeginner Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 4
Loc: Alabama
Wow, Tom- I am 55, have been playing for not quite 2 years, and am waaaaay behind you. Just watched your youtube of The Maple Leaf Rag and it was amazing!! Congrats to you for the progress you have made! Please don't be discouraged- you are doing great. Now I feel a challenge to get off my butt, practice more often, and make a bit more progress. Compared to most of y'all, I have really fallen behind the curve. Time to step up my game! Thanks for the wake-up call.

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#1737615 - 08/21/11 11:59 AM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 1815
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: Musical Tom
... There are friends and relatives that say I am obsessed ...
Tom


You do realize there is only one solution to this?
Whenever they are around. Excuse yourself for a moment. Go in the piano room. Play a 4 bars of something hard core. (maybe even get an organ just for this) Then yell out at the top of your lungs... Bwahhhaaa haaaa haaaa!!!!!!! Then find your way back to the "party" and very innocently add to the conversation that you have no obsession with music. smile
_________________________
Ron
Ingrid, my beloved VPC : "Play it Sam....For old times sake...Play it for me...I'll sing it with you...Play me again, Sam."

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#1737643 - 08/21/11 01:15 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Artur Gajewski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Tom,

You are a living proof that its never too late to start playing piano.

Don't worry about sight reading capability. It might now come in a week, month or even couple months, but it will come.

Piano is funny in the sense that it takes lots of practice but then one day you realize you just know whatever you have been practicing.

Welcome to the forum!
_________________________
- Artur Gajewski

Author of Piano Lessons Package for Synthesia & Child's Piano Play

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#1741247 - 08/26/11 09:18 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
Thanks again everyone for the encouragement, I would love to hear anyone play, if anyone has a video on utube.......This is a wonderful forum, and I certainly enjoy all the comments and am learning much from everyone....enjoy playing....
_________________________
Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1741273 - 08/26/11 10:04 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: fieldflower]
jed1988 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 34
Loc: United States
No need to worry because if you like to play piano and have the chance to play, you can have fun with it. Piano is there to comfort us, and if you are comforted through playing, then it has fulfilled its purpose.
_________________________
Let's learn piano!

Let's Learn to Play Like a Pro


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#1741289 - 08/26/11 10:51 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: fieldflower]
KeysAngler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 228
Loc: The Fabulous Florida Keys


62 years old here ... started piano a few months after retiring ... I think I'd go nuts (or nuttier) if it wasn't for my piano ... it's a totally fascinating and never ending challenge. I know my wife is glad that something is keeping me out of her hair. She has told me so several times. LOL. I didn't really think about what my goals were when I started ... I just wanted a fun hobby. I probably won't join a rock band and go on a bus tour. But one never knows do they. I guess my goal is just to have fun and keep my mind active. I hope that eventually I'll be able to play a few simple classical pieces and accompany some jam tracks. My teacher is a nice person and I really enjoy my weekly lesson. As they say ... it's called playing the piano not working the piano.



Edited by GardDawg (08/26/11 10:53 PM)

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#1741514 - 08/27/11 12:17 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Teodor]
Cmajor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
I offer this excellent example of perseverance...

http://www.dogwork.com/ihopk8/

anything worth having is worth working for! We all have good days and bad days. Sometimes a couple of days off can work wonders too...

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#1741517 - 08/27/11 12:24 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
I strongly recommend Peter Feuchtwanger's exercises. He's written a book, unfortunately just in German at this point, but the DVD that goes with it is in English, and you can learn a lot from that without the book. http://www.peter-feuchtwanger.de/english-version/book-with-dvd/index.php. I worked with him a few summers ago. The man is a genius coach though relatively unknown here in the USofA.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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#1767261 - 10/09/11 12:16 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Seeker]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
Has anyone played "Estudiantina" Waltz? It's challenging, but nice.

Tom
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Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1767264 - 10/09/11 12:20 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: casinitaly]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
I found your comment quite encouraging and motivating. Although I am a beginner, I will not give up, not matter how badly I sound. I remember my teacher telling me to start at the beginning of this piece, and go as far as I can, and I said, you mean: "as far as you can stand it." lol We are our own worst critics. I am enjoying the forum and hope everyone is as well.

Tom
_________________________
Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1792560 - 11/20/11 12:23 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
Musical Tom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 53
Loc: Michigan
I am now 58 years old and still struggling...I find that things don't come so easily any more, but, I can't give up......I still need to practice every day.....
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Your objective feedback is welcome.

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#1792600 - 11/20/11 01:29 PM Re: New Beginner, age 57 [Re: Musical Tom]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3252
>Is there anyone out there that is about my age, and worries about being able to site read?

I'm not your age but I don't care about sight reading (I assume that's what you ask about). I will just memorize the stuff. I can read pretty slow; I'm sure it will improve anyway even without doing any work specific on it.
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