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#1942750 - 08/14/12 07:13 PM Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s?
BBM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/29/11
Posts: 30
Loc: USA
I’m an absolute beginner with zero music experience / background. I have been taking classes for a little more than a year and am in my 30s. I’m averaging 30minutes of practice every night. I am wondering if anyone from the forum start music late in life and it is able to make it in the advance level. If you do, what advice you would give to stick with the practice and keep progressing?
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#1942779 - 08/14/12 08:16 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
majones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/21/07
Posts: 331
Loc: Deep East Texas Piney Woods
Define advanced. I took up music at age 65 when I retired in 2000. Yep, do the math.

Banjo led to rhythm guitar. Rhythm guitar led to electric guitar, that led to keyboard, keyboard and chord piano (chord accompaniment)is how I play the keyboard. Somewhere in there 4 string electric bass guitar came into my life. The bass and keyboard get most of my time now.

Will I ever be really good, probably not, but, I can, and do, hold up my end in two bands. Been with one of those bands for over 10 years now. Its not rocket science..... One way or another get with other people and play music with them.

You asked about being 30. Age itself has little to do with it, it's the time you give to your music that will determine how far you advance. Thirty minutes a day is the bare minimum to spend. If I look back when I was 30 I doubt I would have had 30 minutes a day to spare what with the job, family and putting bread on the table.

All the musicians I know have a day job. Most of us will never make enough money from music to feed the family. Enjoy the journey, its a great hobby and if a little money does come in so much the better.


Edited by majones (08/14/12 08:57 PM)

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#1942804 - 08/14/12 09:07 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Your age is irrelevant. From my perspective, thirtyish is practically a teenager, but try for at least an hour of practice a day. Thirty minutes just won't cut it. It's not unusual for serious amateurs to practice three or four or more hours a day. That's about what it takes to reach a genuine advanced level. For now an hour of focused practice each day will at least build you a good foundation. You don't have to do it all at one go. You'll find that as you progress you'll want more practice time and you'll figure out all sorts of sneaky ways get it.
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#1942812 - 08/14/12 09:21 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4804
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: -Frycek
Your age is irrelevant. From my perspective, thiryish is practically a teenager, but try for at least an hour of practice a day. Thirty minutes just won't cut it. It's not unusual for serious amateurs to practice three or four or more hours a day. That's about what it takes to reach a genuine advanced level. For now an hour of focused practice each day will at least build you a good foundation. You don't have to do it all at one go. You'll find that as you progress you'll want more practice time and you'll figure out all sorts of sneaky ways get it.
thumb (Hi -Frycek! Great post.)
Originally Posted By: BBM
I am wondering if anyone from the forum start music late in life and it is able to make it in the advance level. If you do, what advice you would give to stick with the practice and keep progressing?
Yes! I have two friends who both started piano in their 40's. Neither took lessons as children and both are now playing RCM level 9 music. How did they do it? By working with a good teacher, working hard and practicing what they loved.
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Deborah

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#1942922 - 08/14/12 11:01 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3165
The key is to get a good teacher, and learn how to practice correctly.
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#1942943 - 08/14/12 11:58 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7096
Loc: So. California
Started at 47 and practiced 2-3 hours a day, every day!
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#1942994 - 08/15/12 03:59 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Yes.
Advice: stick with it and keep practising.
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#1943070 - 08/15/12 09:01 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: rocket88]
chopin_r_us Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 958
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: rocket88
The key is to get a good teacher, and learn how to practice correctly.
Good advice. I got a performance diploma in my late 40's, only because I had a superb teacher. Remember, it's not how long you practice it's how you practice.

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#1943091 - 08/15/12 10:01 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Don't try to run before you can walk. If you try to advance to rapidly you will get frustrated and maybe even quit. Enjoy the journey and one day you will wake up with pretty good skills.

Really work on reading music and theory! Just as you learned to read text, which opened up a whole world of knowledge, being able to read music well and sight read a little will enable you delve into the vast amount of piano literature. Knowing theory will help it all make sense and facilitate learning pieces and improvisation.

Remember that most instruments are monophonic. Just because the piano is polyphonic doesn't mean that you can't produce beautiful music with even simple melodies and "easy" pieces.

Good luck you can do it just as others have said, be patient and keep at it!
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#1943094 - 08/15/12 10:11 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 639
Loc: Chicago
BBM: Why worry about becoming an "advanced" player? "Advanced" means you can play more technically challenging pieces, but there are simple pieces of music that are utterly beautiful. If you love making music, how "advanced" you become is not that important. Sure, it's fun to play more complex pieces, and there is a nice sense of accomplishment. But the the real pleasure in all of this is the magical ability to make music, and you can do a lot of that at almost any level.

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#1943325 - 08/15/12 05:28 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: jjo]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I wonder if we scared him off - - -
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#1943385 - 08/15/12 07:54 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 1993
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Yes you can if you practice every day and take lessons from a good teacher. Even if you are an average player like me, you will get there. Give it ten years with 2 hours a day. My friend started piano 10 years ago first time in life, now she is playing Bach Italian Concerto very well.
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#1943901 - 08/16/12 02:47 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
9symphony9 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Long Island, New York
I think it depends more on the persons ability to learn rather than age. It is usually much harder the older you are though. Some peoples brains are still active enough to learn at an older age.

I'm also learning two languages at once; Spanish and Japanese. It is anything but easy. You don't remember things as well compared to when you were 15 years old.


Edited by 9symphony9 (08/16/12 02:48 PM)

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#1943911 - 08/16/12 03:01 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
PianoFlyer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 10
Loc: Park City, Utah
I am sure I'm paraphrasing a well-known quote here, but just like with most things in life, whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right!
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2008 Perzina GP-129
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#1943938 - 08/16/12 03:32 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: PianoFlyer]
writebynight Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/23/12
Posts: 14
I just turned 40 this year. While there's not a day that goes when I wish I took lessons much earlier, I love the discoveries I make everyday. I'm not looking to be Liberace. I simply love music and I love keeping my brain sharp.
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#1943971 - 08/16/12 04:24 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: writebynight]
9symphony9 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Long Island, New York
That is the same reason why I really did it also. Another way of keeping your brain sharp is learning languages.

That will keep you going forever since it is really impossible to ever learn all of the words in an entire language.

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#1944085 - 08/16/12 08:13 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Butcherbob880 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/17/12
Posts: 1
Loc: ohio
I sure hope so BBM.Im 52 and just started taking lessons.I always loved the keyboards.and I figure with my piano i will never be bored.

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#1944797 - 08/18/12 12:19 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: -Frycek]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: -Frycek
I wonder if we scared him off - - -

LOL laugh

If not, this might..

It is quite possible. Age is not a barrier. Time is. Sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but I'm not. I've read that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of dedicated study to become a "master" at something. So, at one hour a day, that's 10,000 days or about 27.5 years. Someone who begins at 30 and expects to be an expert by 31 is most assuredly not going to make it.. but by no means is it impossible to eventually reach your goal. It just depends on how much time you have available to dedicate towards that goal.
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1944968 - 08/18/12 09:52 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: 9symphony9]
Cmajor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: 9symphony9
I think it depends more on the persons ability to learn rather than age. It is usually much harder the older you are though. Some peoples brains are still active enough to learn at an older age.

I'm also learning two languages at once; Spanish and Japanese. It is anything but easy. You don't remember things as well compared to when you were 15 years old.


Individual ability does indeed play a role in how effectively and adult, or a child, can learn. However, the belief that it is "much harder", in general, for older adults to learn is a very common misconception that has been contradicted by numerous studies.

I am presently taking part in an 18 month study of retirement age (55 to 75) adults who have taken up challenging hobbies, specifically, a musical instrument or a new language and the effects on learning ability and cognitive skills. It is being conducted at a major University Medical School and the early indications are a substantial increase in learning capacity the longer one pursues that hobby. (Seems you have to practice learning too)

According to the medical professionals administering the study, their results so far coincide with numerous previous studies of older adults and their ability to learn and that is... Unless they are suffering from a neurological disorder of some type they are able to learn as quickly as younger adults and even children in some cases. Of course, there are many variables that can effect this ability and it may be necessary to "relight" certain areas of the brain to pursue languages and such but it can be done.

These types of studies continue to validate the age old datum of "use it or lose it".

Older adults should embrace challenge, not fear it as being too hard or even impossible, as it is the only known "fountain of youth" to actually exist.

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#1945139 - 08/18/12 05:04 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
PianogrlNW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 301
Loc: Seattle, WA
Forget about the goal of becoming a certain level of pianist and enjoy the process. Believe me, you have plenty of years to become accomplished. As you probably have already gotten this message from the previous posters, there are NO SHORTCUTS. Dedicated practicing with short-term goals and a good teacher will be the key to improving.
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#1945150 - 08/18/12 05:37 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
BBM, practice more every day, dear, and then write us back. You are on the right track: studying with the guidance of a teacher, and practicing every day. But you have to double down on that practice time if you expect to learn your lessons faster than you forget them.

"...the belief that it is "much harder", in general, for older adults to learn is a very common misconception that has been contradicted by numerous studies..."

It sounds like you are not older yourself, or you would know better. The plastic, amazingly absorbent, relatively uncluttered and wonderfully energetic mind of a very young person does learn very quickly, and often almost effortlessly. This is an endowment of nature. We do have to make more of an effort to pick things up and remember them as we get older: that is nature's endowment of the older mind. But you're right that it is possible and very much worth the effort; idle brain cells rust up just as surely as idle fingers.

BBM, practice at least an hour a day, at least five days a week. There's a figure "cited by numerous studies" that it costs 10,000 hours to attain proficiency, not just in piano but in many endeavors. Having not reached 10,000 myself, I couldn't say for sure, but let's say it is (or something like it): divide 10,000 by however long you're practicing, then figure out how many years it would be. If it's longer than your life expectancy, better step it up if you want to get there and enjoy it for awhile.

I think the growth of your desire to progress is a natural feature of the learning process, and a sign that you are on the right track. The fact that you are wise enough to ask this question is another good sign. Your thirst for mastery and your open mind for knowledge will take you a long way.
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Clef


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#1945157 - 08/18/12 06:04 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
ukbuk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/10
Posts: 86
Loc: UK
Go for it. I agree, increase the practice time but just go for it. Other than probably not being able to become a concert pianist most of the repertoire will be playable by you in time if you persevere (but more practice will be required).

I don't believe in that 10,000 hour thing. More important is the quality of your practice. 10,000 hours practising with bad technique will make you really good... at playing with a bad technique.

Just focus on short term goals, learn as much as you can and put it into practice as often as you can. Read stuff on here but don't take anything for granted (including my post!), try stuff out but if it doesn't work for you just leave it behind. Ask questions of your teacher and don't be afraid to move on to another if you feel you've outgrown that teacher. Absorb as much piano music as you can whilst not at the piano. Develop a good ear too.

Another thing about the age thing. There are some people who say that it's easier for a child to learn to play the piano but think about the advantages you have. Self-motivation. Your own experience as to how you learn best. Better problem solving ability. Handspan! What you probably don't have as much of is time in the day, but you'll just have to work around that.
_________________________
Restarted piano in September 2010 after previous misguided attempts to learn without a teacher.

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#1945166 - 08/18/12 06:38 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: ukbuk]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5321
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: ukbuk
I don't believe in that 10,000 hour thing. More important is the quality of your practice. 10,000 hours practising with bad technique will make you really good... at playing with a bad technique.

Good post. I just want to try and clarify one thing, since more than one poster has now mentioned the "10k rule". You bring it up here, as well: it is considered "understood" that someone attempting to achieve mastery, or proficiency as Jeff used, would attempt to practice correctly. You are 100% correct in saying that someone who practices something incorrectly will be a master at doing it incorrectly. The premise for the "10k rule" supposes that a person is practicing correctly.. and that it still takes 10k hours.
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Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1945180 - 08/18/12 07:42 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
SoundThumb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 344
Loc: San Diego, CA
Although the 10,000 hr number gets thrown around a lot, there is anechdotal evidence based upon the experience of members of this forum that somewhere around 3,000 hrs one moves from student to practiced musician. So don't get scared off by the 10,000 hr number. We can debate what "advanced" means, but I like to think it is probably a skill level that is obtainable a lot sooner than at the 10,000 hr mark.

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#1945248 - 08/18/12 11:29 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: -Frycek]
Brian Lucas Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 979
Originally Posted By: -Frycek
I wonder if we scared him off - - -
Maybe he was 39 when he posted, just had a birthday and now this subject no longer applies.

My thoughts, you're going to age anyway, might as well go for it. In response to the "Do you know how old I'll be when I finally get good at piano?" question, I always say, "Yep, the same age you'll be if you don't learn!"
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BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
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#1945261 - 08/19/12 12:09 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Brian Lucas]
PianogrlNW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 301
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Brian Lucas
My thoughts, you're going to age anyway, might as well go for it. In response to the "Do you know how old I'll be when I finally get good at piano?" question, I always say, "Yep, the same age you'll be if you don't learn!"


Bingo - couldn't have said it better!
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#1945302 - 08/19/12 04:41 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Johan B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/07
Posts: 979
Loc: The Netherlands, Grootegast-Gr...
Hi BBM,

I use to think...... Nil volentibus arduum.....that's Latin for.... Nothing is difficult for those who really want.... grin

Enjoy it and good luck.

Cheers,
Johan B
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#1945314 - 08/19/12 06:48 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Tubbie0075 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 544
I think the key factor between an adult and a child's learning speed is resource. Adults have less time, financial limitations and life to worry about other than music. A child who is provided a piano and piano lessons has a lot less to think about other than music. If both are as motivated, a child progress quicker mainly because of the circumstances.

I don't believe an adult cannot learn something new purely because they are older. I envy those that has 3 hours a day to spend on practising. The most I can practise during the work week is 2, 3-5 hours on Saturday and 3 hours on Sunday.

Good luck!

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#1945335 - 08/19/12 07:56 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2995
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
The 10000 hour rule comes from the book
'Outliers' in which glad well claims that those musicians who reached 10000 hrs of practice by age 20 went on to become the elite.
Those with 8000 became good musicians.
And those with 4000 became music teachers.

Not my words :-)
Read the book for more details, great book.

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#1945341 - 08/19/12 08:04 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
knotty Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 2995
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
The ears of a 4 year old are incredibly better than those of a 9 year old.
If a child learns English at age 10, he will forever have an accent.
If he does at age 5, he will not.
If he does at age 21, he will have a thick one.

It doesn't even need to be conscious practice or lessons. You can throw in all the 10s of thousands of hours you want. The 5 year old wins. Without a sweat. :-)

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#1945412 - 08/19/12 10:19 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
"Nil volentibus arduum.....that's Latin for.... Nothing is difficult for those who really want...."

Thank you for that; it is beautifully said.

Please excuse my not using the diacritical characters in transliterating the Sanscrit:

Tivra-samveganam asannah
"It is nearest to those whose desire is intensely strong." Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Book One, Sutra 21
_________________________
Clef


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#1945474 - 08/19/12 12:06 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: knotty]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains

Quote:
It doesn't even need to be conscious practice or lessons. You can throw in all the 10s of thousands of hours you want. The 5 year old wins. Without a sweat. :-)


Only if the five year old has the discipline, desire and support to keep on. This is where self determining adults have him beat hollow.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1945627 - 08/19/12 04:09 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
I think for every person who makes it to the advance level, scores of others do not. The important question to ask is whether you climb this mountain to get a view at the peak or do you enjoy climbing.
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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1945876 - 08/20/12 12:08 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: knotty]
nicolakirwan Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/09
Posts: 37
Loc: midwest
Originally Posted By: knotty
The ears of a 4 year old are incredibly better than those of a 9 year old.
If a child learns English at age 10, he will forever have an accent.
If he does at age 5, he will not.
If he does at age 21, he will have a thick one.

It doesn't even need to be conscious practice or lessons. You can throw in all the 10s of thousands of hours you want. The 5 year old wins. Without a sweat. :-)


The 5 year old wins what though? People who learn English after childhood can still obtain native level fluency, irrespective of the thickness of their accent. (I know someone who did exactly this, coming from a completely unrelated language, and starting at 18). I think there might be a misleading assumption thrown in here that ease of learning determines how far one may advance. Because the reality is that to play at an "advanced" level and to be one of *the* elite pianists are two wholly different things. Can an adult learner develop true "fluency" on the piano? Of course. Piano is not such an impossibly complicated task that it is beyond the mastery of an adult learner. You just have to put in the time.

Also, regarding the 10,000 hours bit. The 10,000 hours study looked at the most elite performers in a given field. I believe the focus was chess (this is discussed in another thread). 10,000 hours reflects the amount of time spent by the best of the best (think grand chess masters and olympic athletes), not the time it takes to simply be good at something.

The 10,000 hours rule is not always helpful because the study focused on those who played competitively and not how long it took to obtain technical mastery of an activity. The "mastery" referred to competitive ranking, not simply ability to play well. When you are looking at an activity from a competitive angle, you get increasingly diminished returns for each hour spent practicing. If it were mapped out on a graph with time on the x axis and progress on the y axis, you'd see a curve that starts getting flatter and flatter after a certain point. People at the very top are putting in hours and hours of practice just to be able to execute a skill a hair better than the next person.

If you think about it in terms of something like the Olympics, the hours spent are not spent learning or even mastering skills so much as improving performance relative to their competitors. Similarly with chess, it didn't take the chess masters 10,000 hours to become good at chess. That's at least how long it took before they became better than everyone else. They were "good" at chess long before they became chess master.

So, this is not really a suitable comparison for something like learning to play the piano. It's not going to take you 10,000 hours to either learn or become good at piano, even at an "advanced" level. Most kids who stick with piano in no wise practice 4 hours a day, and they eventually get there if they keep playing through high school. If you decide to play professionally or in competitions, that's where your commitment is really going to have to ramp up.


Edited by nicolakirwan (08/20/12 12:21 AM)
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#1945938 - 08/20/12 04:58 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Johan B]
TrapperJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Johan B
Hi BBM,

I use to think...... Nil volentibus arduum.....

Johan B


You used to think that? In Latin? In a dead language? Really? And if so why "used to..."?

I'm thinking Absolutum Absurdum laugh
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#1945941 - 08/20/12 05:10 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: SoundThumb]
TrapperJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: SoundThumb
Although the 10,000 hr number gets thrown around a lot, there is anechdotal evidence based upon the experience of members of this forum that somewhere around 3,000 hrs one moves from student to practiced musician. So don't get scared off by the 10,000 hr number. We can debate what "advanced" means, but I like to think it is probably a skill level that is obtainable a lot sooner than at the 10,000 hr mark.


I went from student to practiced musician at precisely 1,876 hours (I remember the remarkable transition clearly), and from practiced musician to advanced performer at exactly 4,732 hours (I can still feel the thrill of the surge of power & efficiency)...

But while this may be motivating & encouraging to some of you (especially those of you in a big hurry to get real good) you should not necessarily expect these results...outcomes will vary...log your own personal hours...

Trap
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#1945942 - 08/20/12 05:26 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
TrapperJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
I think for every person who makes it to the advance level, scores of others do not. The important question to ask is whether you climb this mountain to get a view at the peak or do you enjoy climbing.


The correct answer is both...However, the trouble with a lot of students is that they don't want to do the hard work of the climb...that hurts too much...they want it all and they want it immediately...what they really want is to be dropped at the peak right away from a helicopter...but a fool and his piano (like his money) are soon parted...


Edited by TrapperJohn (08/20/12 05:26 AM)
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#1945946 - 08/20/12 05:40 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Jeff Clef]
TrapperJohn Offline
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Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef


Please excuse my not using the diacritical characters in transliterating the Sanscrit:



There is simply no excuse for that...but we'll let you get away with it this once...especially since hardly anyone here knows the difference anyway...but don't let it happen again smile
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#1945950 - 08/20/12 05:56 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
outo Offline
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My own experience:
In my forties now. I played for about 5 years as a kid. I hardly practiced more than maybe 2 hours a week in average. That would make about 500 hours. I learned some basics that are still helpful, but never got to anything worth playing.
Started again last year. Playing grade 4-6 stuff now and have a demanding classical teacher. Practice at least 7 hours a week. That will make about 350 hours a year. Most of my time still goes to trying to figure out how to play better technically, not to learning new pieces. At this rate I should be able to play some grade 8 stuff after a few years unless I reach a plateu. But to become good at it and have a decent repertoire will take at least 10 years I believe. 10 years of practicing 7 hours a week only makes 3600 hours. So I just hope that's enough.

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#1946023 - 08/20/12 09:53 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Kbeaumont Offline
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Registered: 03/26/10
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I have a friend she spoke Vietnamese exclusively until she was 10 almost 11. Her family came here after the fall of Saigon. She has a thick accent its called a southern drawl! She has no discernible accent other than what every other southerner from the Florida - Alabama border has. She still speaks fluent Vietnamese but cannot read or write it.

I have met two very accomplished pianists that didn't start until their mid thirties. They each did have one thing in common, they had played other instruments (guitar,violin) and were exposed to music in grade school. They are both very very good and are teaching music. They aren't selling out concert halls, but they both earned Master's Degrees in music as pianists. Of course they were in their early 50's when I met them. They didn't become that good overnight!


Edited by Kbeaumont (08/20/12 09:54 AM)
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#1946107 - 08/20/12 12:23 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: TrapperJohn]
1RC Offline
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Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
I went from student to practiced musician at precisely 1,876 hours (I remember the remarkable transition clearly), and from practiced musician to advanced performer at exactly 4,732 hours (I can still feel the thrill of the surge of power & efficiency)...

But while this may be motivating & encouraging to some of you (especially those of you in a big hurry to get real good) you should not necessarily expect these results...outcomes will vary...log your own personal hours...

Trap


hahah!

What I find more meaningful is ye ole goal setting. Beginning with the grand longterm goals everyone loves to dream about and then actually plugging it into a timeframe and then shorter term goals right down to what I can do today to get one step in that direction.

It's still a bit of a crapshoot to be honest, but I always felt like counting hours was too similar to punching a clock.

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#1946160 - 08/20/12 01:36 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Brian Lucas]
CebuKid Offline
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Originally Posted By: Brian Lucas
Originally Posted By: -Frycek
I wonder if we scared him off - - -
Maybe he was 39 when he posted, just had a birthday and now this subject no longer applies.

My thoughts, you're going to age anyway, might as well go for it. In response to the "Do you know how old I'll be when I finally get good at piano?" question, I always say, "Yep, the same age you'll be if you don't learn!"


I think it's never too late, and if the OP never does it - for fear of never being able to reach an "advanced level" - he will forever live with regret.

I'd like to take a moment and pat all of the members of the ABF in the back. smile So many people go through life just *talking* about doing something. For example, my sister, a natural artist, recently said that "one day, I'll get a canvas and paint something." I asked her, "why not right now??!! What is stopping you? Go to the hobby store and pick up a canvas and some oil-based paint." Or...another common conversation that I have with people: "You play piano?" "Yes, I took it up again at age 38." "I'd like to learn piano one day." I think what sets *us* apart is that we actually pulled the trigger and did it.

The OP sounds like he's "on the fence" with totally ensconcing himself into piano, and again, because he's afraid he'll never play at "an advanced level" (<--- whatever that means...lol).. Not sure what defines that..."Fantasie Impromptu?" lol. Anyway, the moral of my story is...just do it!! Who cares how *far* you get or if it takes you 10,000 hours. smile
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#1946196 - 08/20/12 02:40 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
BBM Offline
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I’m so thankful for all the wonderful comments from the forum! When I stared the thread, I was thinking about the Chopin Etudes as the advanced level pieces. I’m seriously think about taking the plunge to upgrade my little upright (spend 1k last year on it) to a mid-size grand. However, I doubt myself that will develop sufficient technically to deserve a mid-size grand due to the practice time/age…etc. This is also a huge financial commitment…….
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#1946212 - 08/20/12 02:58 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
outo Offline
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Originally Posted By: BBM
I’m seriously think about taking the plunge to upgrade my little upright (spend 1k last year on it) to a mid-size grand. However, I doubt myself that will develop sufficient technically to deserve a mid-size grand due to the practice time/age…etc. This is also a huge financial commitment…….


Just do it if you can. I am going to buy a grand next spring and I am not an advanced player at all. But I have realized that having a good instrument that suits you actually makes it easier to learn. I can do the difficult technical stuff much better on my teacher's two grands than my own upright, which makes the practicing frustrating sometimes...I tend to get bad habits when I practice at home that go away when at the lesson and then return after a week, because I just can't get a good sound from my own piano and I try to compensate for that.

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#1946594 - 08/21/12 09:33 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Cmajor Offline
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Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BBM
I’m so thankful for all the wonderful comments from the forum! When I stared the thread, I was thinking about the Chopin Etudes as the advanced level pieces. I’m seriously think about taking the plunge to upgrade my little upright (spend 1k last year on it) to a mid-size grand. However, I doubt myself that will develop sufficient technically to deserve a mid-size grand due to the practice time/age…etc. This is also a huge financial commitment…….


BBM,

We are all here for a very brief period... if you want a grand get a grand. A car is a major investment too but the shine wears off, for most of us, very rapidly. A grand may inspire you to greater heights of achievement and will certainly beautify your home as well... for many, many years to come. Your "baby" will provide countless hours of enjoyment for you and for others, something a vehicle usually can't provide.

Compared to the annual upkeep for a vehicle semi annual tunings for a grand in good shape is a drop in the bucket. The only fuel needed for your grand is you.

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#1946596 - 08/21/12 09:38 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: outo]
Cmajor Offline
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Registered: 05/03/11
Posts: 229
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: outo
Originally Posted By: BBM
I’m seriously think about taking the plunge to upgrade my little upright (spend 1k last year on it) to a mid-size grand. However, I doubt myself that will develop sufficient technically to deserve a mid-size grand due to the practice time/age…etc. This is also a huge financial commitment…….


Just do it if you can. I am going to buy a grand next spring and I am not an advanced player at all. But I have realized that having a good instrument that suits you actually makes it easier to learn. I can do the difficult technical stuff much better on my teacher's two grands than my own upright, which makes the practicing frustrating sometimes...I tend to get bad habits when I practice at home that go away when at the lesson and then return after a week, because I just can't get a good sound from my own piano and I try to compensate for that.


Well said Outo and very true. I too have had a similar experience which has led me put a deposit on a Hailun 178 just this past weekend.

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#1947630 - 08/23/12 03:11 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: -Frycek]
Tech 5 Offline
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Do you think 15 min. sessions that equal to 1 to 2 hours per day is as good as solid time at the piano of an hour or two duration? Do you think that inconsistency in the length of time at the piano each day has an effect on progress. For instance, when I have a day off, I practice all throughout the day spending multiple 15 min sessions at the piano. On the days I work, I can only spend time at the piano in the evening for 30 min to an hour.

Thanks
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#1947634 - 08/23/12 03:32 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Tech 5]
outo Offline
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In any complicated activity there's a limit of time that your brain can really work efficiently. This of course varies, but it is not very long in general. So it would be much more efficient to divide the practice time in shorter session.

But if you practice different things so that you kind of reset the brain in between, then you can have long practice session that still are effective. My maximum time with a short piece is not very long, maybe 5-10 minutes smile So I always have several pieces and alternate between them and also alternate between the sections of a piece and HT/HS practice.

On the other hand for some people (like me) it takes a bit of a time to really focus on what you are doing. Then it is useful to start the practice session with something easy or scales. I think of it as mental warm up, I don't think you really need physical warm up to play the piano (unless you are playing something really fast and difficult).

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#1947738 - 08/23/12 10:04 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Tech 5]
jotur Offline
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Registered: 09/16/06
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Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Originally Posted By: Virginia Larson
Do you think 15 min. sessions that equal to 1 to 2 hours per day is as good as solid time at the piano of an hour or two duration? Do you think that inconsistency in the length of time at the piano each day has an effect on progress. For instance, when I have a day off, I practice all throughout the day spending multiple 15 min sessions at the piano. On the days I work, I can only spend time at the piano in the evening for 30 min to an hour.

Thanks


This is the way I work most often, and I've found significant improvement over the last year or so (and the folks in the ABF recital seem to agree smile ) So, yes, I think it works well. And I can really focus for that 15 - 30 minutes and don't get burnt out. So I think you're on track.

Cathy
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#1948221 - 08/24/12 01:59 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
-Frycek Offline
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I think any practice is better than no practice and daily practice of whatever duration is much more effective than sporadic practice. I'm afraid I'm one of those three or more hour a day serious amateurs. I didn't start out that way. I learned as a kid, practically lived on the bench as a teenager, then lived a piano deprived life from my 20's to my 40's. About fifteen years ago after my mother, in the process of redecorating her living room, finally relinquished my piano supposedly so that my daughter could take lessons - anyone else see the irony of that? The kid didn't take to it. The piano languished unplayed in my living room for years. Then my husband (the trumpet player) decided he wanted to learn to play and had it tuned. His interest waned after about a week, but I sat my very rusty self down the following October planning to make myself practice thirty minutes a day so I could play a few carols by Christmas. That was the innocent beginning of my readdiction. Soon I'd graduated to the hard stuff, Chopin and Bach and other reprobates. I tend to have two practice sessions, one very early in the morning (I keep milkman hours) before I go to work and I usually get in 1 1/2 - 2 hours spread out over about three hours. Then I have another session in the evening, usually after I've taken a bit of a nap (I get home around five) That would be another 1 - 2 hours spread over about three hours. I make myself a weekly schedule (schedule highly recommended) and try to adhere to it. That way I manage to keep my "repetoire" up and still work on new pieces. There are some pieces I work on every single day but for no more than 15 minutes at the time. Some I work on for 20 minutes a couple of times a weeks. I try to give new pieces and long pieces that I'm trying to polish get about 40 minutes every day.
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#1948239 - 08/24/12 02:55 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: knotty]
Teodor Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
The ears of a 4 year old are incredibly better than those of a 9 year old.
If a child learns English at age 10, he will forever have an accent.
If he does at age 5, he will not.
If he does at age 21, he will have a thick one.

It doesn't even need to be conscious practice or lessons. You can throw in all the 10s of thousands of hours you want. The 5 year old wins. Without a sweat. :-)


What? I was probably 10 when I began studying English, I have no accent whatsoever and I can speak fluently without hesitation, I don't even think in my native language when I speak English. And the ears of a what? Are you serious? I am 24, a few nights ago I was having wine and dinner with some friends and they are from Czech. They were speaking and this was about my 10th time going out with them. Some of the time they spoke in Czech amongst them and at one point I understood a huge chunk of conversation. I stopped them and said I know what you just said and I translated everything. They were amazed and started trying to teach me a little bit of the language. Their language has bizarre pronunciations and double consonants. I was able to learn a lot of those by repeating phrases and words and I had NO ACCENT, and I repeated them with the same intonation and pronunciation they were given to me. Some took 3-4 tries but I got them. Don't believe this age crap at all. To be honest, I am just your average person when it comes to brain capacity. If I can do it, most people can too. You just need to listen, really listen and make sense of things. They just connect if you open your mind. I have major problems remembering things I learn (not music though) and I forget a lot of important things and I am abscent minded. So I'm not special but when I pull myself together and try, good things happen eventually smile

We are capable of SO MUCH more than we believe we are. And these limiting beliefs make our lives miserable. Get rid of them and start doing what you love.


Edited by Teodor (08/24/12 03:06 AM)
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#1948241 - 08/24/12 03:03 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
MaryAnn Offline
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Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 388
Loc: Japan
There is definitely a critical period for accent-less language learning in humans, but it varies hugely from person to person. In addition to age being important, having a good ear also makes a difference.

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#1948243 - 08/24/12 03:08 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Teodor Offline
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Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
The point is he can be as advanced as he wants to in piano and anything he sets his mind to. And honestly, you don't need an internet forum to confirm that. What if someone here said NO YOU CANT! Would you listen? I hope not. Just go for it, you'll be surprised after a while of what you can do.


Edited by Teodor (08/24/12 03:09 AM)
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#1948247 - 08/24/12 03:28 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
-Frycek Offline
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Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: Teodor
We are capable of SO MUCH more than we believe we are. And these limiting beliefs make our lives miserable. Get rid of them and start doing what you love.


Teodor is 24 and picking up Czech. I'm almost 60 and over the past ten years I've picked up a lot of Russian from a coworker just from listening to her talk to her husband on the phone. It's never too late to learn if you allow your mind to be receptive. My Russian friend didn't even begin learning English until she was 60. She's 73 now, holds a job and has passed her citizenship test five years ago. Yes, she speaks with a heavy Russian accent -she sounds just like Natasha on Rocky and Bullwinkle- but she speaks fluently and reads English almost as well as I do.
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#1948301 - 08/24/12 07:18 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
knotty Offline
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Teo,

I was merely picking up on the 10,000 rule and linking it to age, which I believe is the intent of the author.
I'm happy to hear that you can repeat sentences in a foreign language with "NO ACCENT". In my opinion, this is extraordinary.

Having said that, learning an instrument at any age, but especially as an adult, is one of the best things you can do to yourself. We see it time and time again on this forum, especially at the recital. Guys that have played 6 months and killing on the piano.

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#1948410 - 08/24/12 11:31 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: -Frycek]
Playagain Offline
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Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
Frycek,
Thanks for posting about your readdiction! That's how I came back to the piano, too, after many years--trying out some Christmas carols, and I'm addicted again, too.

A weekly schedule is a good idea--I'll try that. I'm taking lessons and so I add new pieces now and then, but I need to add more practice time to keep up some of my older ones.

Do you play for anyone, or do you practice that much just for your own pleasure? I just wondered because sometimes I don't know why I'm working so hard but I keep wanting to get more skill, more technique, and more musical, but it's not easy for me to play in front of others, except very close family. My husband has said that I'm putting so much pressure on myself, but I think that's just the way I am when I want to learn anything. Having lessons helps me focus, too, and pushes me to work harder.

Thanks!
Kathy
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#1948555 - 08/24/12 03:03 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
JimF Offline
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Registered: 10/08/09
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Loc: south florida
Originally Posted By: Teodor
And honestly, you don't need an internet forum to confirm that. What if someone here said NO YOU CANT! Would you listen? I hope not.


+1 amen to that
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#1948568 - 08/24/12 03:31 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Playagain]
1RC Offline
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Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 502
Loc: Alberta
Originally Posted By: Playagain
Do you play for anyone, or do you practice that much just for your own pleasure? I just wondered because sometimes I don't know why I'm working so hard but I keep wanting to get more skill, more technique, and more musical, but it's not easy for me to play in front of others, except very close family. My husband has said that I'm putting so much pressure on myself, but I think that's just the way I am when I want to learn anything. Having lessons helps me focus, too, and pushes me to work harder.


Performing in some capacity is important to me. I think most people find music intrinsically rewarding, but I don't feel complete until there's also the extrinsic goal of sharing it with other ears. It's a social urge.

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#1948599 - 08/24/12 04:14 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: 1RC]
Playagain Offline
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Registered: 07/11/10
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Thanks, 1RC,
I wonder if I'll ever get to that point. It would be nice to feel more confident to play in front of others and share music.
Kathy
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#1948658 - 08/24/12 06:26 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Jeff Clef Offline
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Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...I’m so thankful for all the wonderful comments from the forum! When I stared the thread, I was thinking about the Chopin Etudes as the advanced level pieces. I’m seriously think about taking the plunge to upgrade my little upright (spend 1k last year on it) to a mid-size grand. However, I doubt myself that will develop sufficient technically to deserve a mid-size grand due to the practice time/age…etc. This is also a huge financial commitment……."

It is a big financial commitment; you are doing well to think it over carefully. Besides the purchase, there are lessons (not cheap), tuning and maintenance, and the daily time commitment--- the most expensive item of the bunch.

"What do you deserve," is an interesting question. I think many of us can be very grateful that we do not get what we deserve! But as for getting a better piano that you can grow into (instead of outgrowing), those other questions are the more important ones... or anyway, the more answerable ones.

We may not have the perspective to know what we deserve, anyway. When a pack of tainted televangelists were going on TV happily announcing, "AIDS is God's punishment on the homosexuals," someone asked Reverend Billy Graham what he thought about it. After a moment's thought, he replied, "I don't believe these people are in a position to know God's intentions."

While you're thinking about those first questions, you could shop for pianos, and learn more about what's out there and what you might want. That's a commitment of time and effort, but it doesn't cost anything, at least, not immediately. In fact, doing some smart shopping can save you some cash AND help make you more deserving (for it is good deeds which give us this feeling). Going through the process may help you to clarify your thinking. Get the mid-size grand, or keep the upright--- it's possible to be happy either way, and it's also possible to progress as a musician. Chopin loved his little Pleyel upright, and I like to think he would be happy to see you attempting his Etudes on yours--- happier than he would be to see you wait until you were deserving enough to have a go at them. His life story makes a good case for not waiting too long.
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#1948742 - 08/24/12 09:51 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Jeff Clef]
4evrBeginR Offline
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Loc: California
Good points Jeff. By the way, here's a picture of Chopin's piano.

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#1949209 - 08/26/12 03:12 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: 1RC]
Teodor Offline
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Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 945
Loc: Bulgaria
Originally Posted By: 1RC
Originally Posted By: Playagain
Do you play for anyone, or do you practice that much just for your own pleasure? I just wondered because sometimes I don't know why I'm working so hard but I keep wanting to get more skill, more technique, and more musical, but it's not easy for me to play in front of others, except very close family. My husband has said that I'm putting so much pressure on myself, but I think that's just the way I am when I want to learn anything. Having lessons helps me focus, too, and pushes me to work harder.


Performing in some capacity is important to me. I think most people find music intrinsically rewarding, but I don't feel complete until there's also the extrinsic goal of sharing it with other ears. It's a social urge.


I am the other way around I prefer playing for other people not my closest family. My family already listens to me practice every day and is not very impressed by anything smile
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#1949248 - 08/26/12 07:02 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Playagain]
-Frycek Offline
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Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Quote:
Originally Posted By: Playagain

Do you play for anyone, or do you practice that much just for your own pleasure? I just wondered because sometimes I don't know why I'm working so hard

I ask myself the same question quite often. I don't know why I work so hard either, except for my own satisfaction. Lord knows, I'm never going to make a living at it or anything close. Only my own family- a husband and a grown daughter still at home- hears me and I rarely get any kind of feedback. Awhile back I overheard my daughter tell her current boyfriend, that "no, she's not bad" in referece to my playing which chuffed me up no end even though it was said in the context of a whine about all the repetitious practice she has to hear. One gets one's strokes when one can.
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#1949249 - 08/26/12 07:20 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Jeff Clef]
-Frycek Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
Chopin loved his little Pleyel upright, and I like to think he would be happy to see you attempting his Etudes on yours--- happier than he would be to see you wait until you were deserving enough to have a go at them. His life story makes a good case for not waiting too long.


With all due respect, Chopin liked the big Pleyel grands he leased better, though he had nothing at all against small upright (cottage) pianos or pianinos as he called them. He was utterly miserable with the rented, shot to heck instrument he first rented on Majorca and he'd probably have felt something lacking in an electric had he ever met one. My point being get the best instrument you can comfortably afford (there's nothing like financial anxiety to embitter your joy and ruin your concentration) and enjoy it with a clear conscience. Deserving doesn't come into it. A good upright is better than a poor grand. A serviceable piano of any sort is better than an poorly maintained, unreliable one. Just about any serviceable acoustic is better for your long run musicianship than an electric.
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#1949343 - 08/26/12 12:36 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: -Frycek]
Playagain Offline
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HI, Frycek,
When I was telling my husband recently that I really needed to get a better piano and trade in my 30-year-old console, he said, "It's not like you're a professional or anything, or make any money at it, or play for anyone." Other times, he's told people he enjoys hearing me play, though (a few times). We did buy a new Yamaha T-118, which was a huge upgrade from what I had. smile

My young grandkids are interested, though, and I'm hoping to help them learn soon, and I have one brother who plays the clarinet who is interested in what I play. Otherwise, I play only for myself, which is the majority of the time. It does seem kind of crazy sometimes.

Thanks for responding! It's interesting to know others work so hard and play for themselves.
Kathy
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#1949345 - 08/26/12 12:38 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Teodor]
Playagain Offline
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HI, Teodor,
Wow, you've been in a lot of recitals! That is wonderful. Maybe your family is just used to how well you play! smile
Kathy
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#1949529 - 08/26/12 07:10 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: -Frycek]
aTallGuyNH Offline
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Originally Posted By: -Frycek
I think any practice is better than no practice and daily practice of whatever duration is much more effective than sporadic practice. I'm afraid I'm one of those three or more hour a day serious amateurs. I didn't start out that way. I learned as a kid, practically lived on the bench as a teenager, then lived a piano deprived life from my 20's to my 40's. About fifteen years ago after my mother, in the process of redecorating her living room, finally relinquished my piano supposedly so that my daughter could take lessons - anyone else see the irony of that? The kid didn't take to it. The piano languished unplayed in my living room for years. Then my husband (the trumpet player) decided he wanted to learn to play and had it tuned. His interest waned after about a week, but I sat my very rusty self down the following October planning to make myself practice thirty minutes a day so I could play a few carols by Christmas. That was the innocent beginning of my readdiction. Soon I'd graduated to the hard stuff, Chopin and Bach and other reprobates. I tend to have two practice sessions, one very early in the morning (I keep milkman hours) before I go to work and I usually get in 1 1/2 - 2 hours spread out over about three hours. Then I have another session in the evening, usually after I've taken a bit of a nap (I get home around five) That would be another 1 - 2 hours spread over about three hours. I make myself a weekly schedule (schedule highly recommended) and try to adhere to it. That way I manage to keep my "repetoire" up and still work on new pieces. There are some pieces I work on every single day but for no more than 15 minutes at the time. Some I work on for 20 minutes a couple of times a weeks. I try to give new pieces and long pieces that I'm trying to polish get about 40 minutes every day.


So envious of the time you have available... I could do the same... if I got a divorce :-)
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#1949535 - 08/26/12 07:25 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Playagain]
aTallGuyNH Offline
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Originally Posted By: Playagain
HI, Frycek,
When I was telling my husband recently that I really needed to get a better piano and trade in my 30-year-old console, he said, "It's not like you're a professional or anything, or make any money at it, or play for anyone."


You might want to have him try that on for size the next time he wants a new whatchamajig for his favorite pastime... "You don't need a new [bandsaw, bike, boat, fill-in-the-blank] honey, it's just for you after all" :-)

Glad to hear you got the piano in the end despite the comment!
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#1949560 - 08/26/12 08:56 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: aTallGuyNH]
-Frycek Offline
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Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
So envious of the time you have available... I could do the same... if I got a divorce :-)


Happily married for thirty years, I do my thing, he does his. That's the secret.
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#1949567 - 08/26/12 09:31 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Playagain]
1RC Offline
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Originally Posted By: Playagain
Thanks, 1RC,
I wonder if I'll ever get to that point. It would be nice to feel more confident to play in front of others and share music.
Kathy


That's the catch-22 of it, where will you get the confidence from?

After spending many years playing mostly on my own, with maybe an average of 3 'performances' per year, it seemed to me that being able to perform was yet another skill to be developed. On my own it's more like a personal exploration; if there's hestations, mistakes or everything doesn't quite fit together that's fine because I can sort of patch it into the ideal in my head. Having one chance to make this ideal actually come across (more or less) brings me to a higher level of focus.

Learning how to get over mistakes was a big part of it, which was learned by making them and surviving. That whole notion of gracefully recovering from mistakes also seems to come from making A LOT of mistakes (experiencing that it doesn't have to stop the music makes them seem far less significant).

Maybe not to the family members who've already the piece a thousand times in pieces, hahah! but even just having some company over can be a chance to put the piano to use. Even a worst case scenario is just the chance to see that the worst case scenario won't kill you. heh.

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#1949574 - 08/26/12 10:01 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: aTallGuyNH]
Playagain Offline
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HAHA! I know--and that was after he traded in his motorcycle and bought a new one! I'm glad I got one, too!!! smile
Kathy
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#1949604 - 08/26/12 11:45 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: 1RC]
Playagain Offline
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HI, IRC,
You have a really good way of looking at it! I think you're right--it is another skill to be developed because it's different from playing for yourself because it takes so much more concentration when you have more distractions.

I've been really working on concentrating more on the music (being less distracted) when playing for my teacher, and my playing just in front of her has improved, so maybe there's hope! smile I told her I have to stop saying, "Oops!" every time I make a mistake, though! I need to work on playing through the mistakes!

Yes, I think it's a good idea to realize that it won't kill me! I think that I'm feeling a little more confident with my pieces and that will help, too. My teacher chose pieces that were pretty difficult for me, so I never felt that I could play them that well, but I think I'm finally catching up to the pieces. YAY! smile

Thanks so much for your help!
Kathy
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#1949882 - 08/27/12 03:08 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Playagain]
BBM Offline
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My husband gently and lovingly did the simple math. If practice one hour a day everyday of the year, I’ll be at the young age of 64 to get to the 10,000 hour mark 
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#1949910 - 08/27/12 03:54 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Playagain Offline
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It seems like forever when you look at it that way if you're just starting. That's funny your husband figured it out.

It would be neat if you (or anyone) could document your 10,000 hours and did youtube videos to show progress and then when you are at the young age of 64, you could play and video your pieces and see how far you came after 10,000 hours. smile

I roughly just figured that I probably have around 4000 hours so far from the past and now, but it's hard to remember how much I practiced when I was a kid and young adult, and I'm sure it wasn't careful practicing. smile

Kathy
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#1950003 - 08/27/12 06:46 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
1RC Offline
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Treating your lessons as performances is a great idea Kathy! A former teacher used to call it apologizing when we'd say oops or make a face, in a way announcing it. He'd say something like "quit apologizing for your mistakes and get on with the music!", hahah.

If I can offer one more suggestion, it would be that if you decide to prepare some music to perform for whatever occasion to choose pieces you've learned a while ago. They will be easier to play than the newer challenge pieces, your fingers will fall back into place after some review, it'll feel more secure and more likely give an enjoyable, confidence-building outcome. It was always much smoother sailing when I dusted off older pieces than feeling like a tightrope walk with the challenge pieces.

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#1950043 - 08/27/12 08:40 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: 1RC]
Playagain Offline
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Thanks, 1RC! Yes, I love the suggestions! smile
That's funny--I'll have to quit apologizing for my mistakes! I'm going to try that!

I will keep that in mind to play something that I've learned awhile ago. I'm sure it helps build confidence to play better, and so that sounds like a very good idea!

Thanks so much! It is all very helpful!
Kathy
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#1950069 - 08/27/12 10:01 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
Brian Lucas Online   content
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Originally Posted By: BBM

My husband gently and lovingly did the simple math. If practice one hour a day everyday of the year, I’ll be at the young age of 64 to get to the 10,000 hour mark 
You'll be 64 either way, with or without the piano knowledge. wink

Personally, I understand the 10,000 hour theory, but I don't think learning is quite that linear. Some people have natural abilities and can pick up on things easier. Some things take a while to fully get a good grasp on the skills. I believe that playing piano as a concept isn't all that hard. The fundamentals are basic. Application of the knowledge is where the hours of practice come in. And some of those things are easier than others. I prefer to think in 6 month and year long goals. If you can see progress, that's all that matters.
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#1950222 - 08/28/12 05:57 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
-Frycek Offline
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It all depends on the person, the latent ability and the quality of the practice and training. I'm pretty sure I've got the 10,000 hours, or close to it and I'm far from an expert, but I can pretty much play the pieces I want to play after my fashion.
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#1951060 - 08/29/12 05:21 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
eNOTEquest Offline
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I think that the 10,000 hour rule is horribly misleading.

Practice consciously and you'll be awarded over time. If you expect to be expert after 10,000 hours...you may be disappointed. You can't measure expertise on a personal level. There are pieces I have played that I feel like an expert on simply because I have an intimate connection to them and I play them with a very articulate dynamic sensibility. That's expertise enough for me, even if they may not be the "best" interpretations according to music examination standards (although some have gained strong recognition).

You are an expert at what you do well, according to your own effort put into something. Perhaps you may not be "advanced" according to society, but everything is relative. Keep working at what you are good at and you will be rewarded.

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#1951069 - 08/29/12 05:28 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: eNOTEquest]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: eNOTEquest
I think that the 10,000 hour rule is horribly misleading.

In what way?
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#1951079 - 08/29/12 05:41 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Derulux]
eNOTEquest Offline
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Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: eNOTEquest
I think that the 10,000 hour rule is horribly misleading.

In what way?


Practicing for 10,000 hours is no guarantee that you'll become an advanced player. I'm weary of any "rule" that suggests expertise can be acquired by simply logging in hours, when in many cases the person logging the hours may be doing any number of things incorrectly and not learning (at least not in a way that will produce result recognized by society). They may practice without a teacher and use poor fingerings that actually run them into trouble down the road.

Without doubt, many keen new students hearing of the rule will expect from the get go that they will reach the 10,000 mark and then get discouraged when they don't even make it to 10, leading them to give up early on. It's better to avoid the figure "10,000" and simply say that becoming an advanced player takes lots of time and hard work.

As a diligent learner, you can undoubtedly reach a recognized level of expertise earlier than the 10,000 hours. At the best 10,000 is a good benchmark for some form of a achievement, at worst it misleads the student to passively logging the hours will get them there.

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#1951187 - 08/29/12 09:23 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: eNOTEquest]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: eNOTEquest
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: eNOTEquest
I think that the 10,000 hour rule is horribly misleading.

In what way?


Practicing for 10,000 hours is no guarantee that you'll become an advanced player. I'm weary of any "rule" that suggests expertise can be acquired by simply logging in hours, when in many cases the person logging the hours may be doing any number of things incorrectly and not learning (at least not in a way that will produce result recognized by society). They may practice without a teacher and use poor fingerings that actually run them into trouble down the road.

Without doubt, many keen new students hearing of the rule will expect from the get go that they will reach the 10,000 mark and then get discouraged when they don't even make it to 10, leading them to give up early on. It's better to avoid the figure "10,000" and simply say that becoming an advanced player takes lots of time and hard work.

As a diligent learner, you can undoubtedly reach a recognized level of expertise earlier than the 10,000 hours. At the best 10,000 is a good benchmark for some form of a achievement, at worst it misleads the student to passively logging the hours will get them there.

Thanks for the reply! smile

This is the most common response to the 10k rule that I hear. I am certainly no expert on it, but I think it presupposes an argument that is not relevant to the 10k rule discussion.

The 10k rule, so far as I understand it, supposes that it will take a minimum of 10k hours, assuming that the student does everything correctly, to achieve "success" (the term actually used in the book). I think that the notion that a student will not invest the time or the energy to do something correctly or consciously ("passively") negates the 10k hour rule, since I believe the rule supposes that the individual actually wants to achieve this thing, and will do whatever is necessary to achieve it. I also do not believe the 10k rule guarantees success, only that those who find that success have, generally, amassed the "required" 10k hours.

To pull out one line and address it more directly:
Quote:
It's better to avoid the figure "10,000" and simply say that becoming an advanced player takes lots of time and hard work.

I think this is, relatively, semantics. At 2 hours per day, 5 days per week, it would take someone 19.23 years to reach the 10k hours mark. That's a lot of hard work and time. wink
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#1951207 - 08/29/12 10:03 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
rocket88 Offline
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I have not read every post on this thread, so this may be redundant, and is an extrapolation of my earlier post.

The 10K hours thing is bogus IMHO, one reason because it has attached to it a lot of ifs, ands, and buts.

First, the whole thing is based upon the assumption that "Practice makes perfect"; Thus, 10K hours of this thing called "practice" will allegedly yield (perfect) an "advanced player".

The problem is that any old practice does NOT make perfect. Instead, what practice does is make permanent whatever was practiced.

Thus, if one is practicing incorrectly, what will be made permanent is those practiced-in errors, limitations, dead-ends, etc.

The truth version of that quote is this: Perfect practice makes perfect.

Therefore, learning how to practice correctly, as it relates to how you as an individual person learns, is absolutely key to the goal of becoming an "advanced player" at any age, with any amount of time spent "practicing".

Also, there is the question of talent. Some claim that talent does not factor in here, that we are just programmable blobs of whatever, but I can tell you as a teacher that talent factors in big time.

I am not going to get into the talent thing very far, as it has been thrashed about here over and over. But simply put, years or teaching and playing music professionally has shown me without any doubt that some people learn to play quite quickly, others not so fast, others very slowly, and a few very very very slowly.

So, because you can't change your talent, if you want to become an advanced player (at any age), the thing to do is learn how to practice correctly.

The proven best way to accomplish that goal is to find and study with good/great teacher. If you truly are serious, enough so that you are willing to put in the 10K or whatever hours, a teacher should be at the top of your priority list. A good teacher will guide you in the best way to learn, help you to avoid dead-ends, and basically facilitate and ease the whole thing much better that you can alone.
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#1951239 - 08/29/12 11:28 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: -Frycek]
FarmGirl Offline

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Originally Posted By: -Frycek
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
So envious of the time you have available... I could do the same... if I got a divorce :-)


Happily married for thirty years, I do my thing, he does his. That's the secret.


Hmmm. It's hard to practice and hard to pick time to record. He's a nice guy but TV watching is what he wants to do in his spare time. He watch TV while I practice and we get louder and louder .. Throw in some loud noises from my dog's squeaky toys.. Ah my blissful home life. I am gonna create a sound proof music room someday.
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#1951246 - 08/29/12 11:46 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
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I don't know when or if I'll ever be an "advanced" player, and I doubt I would ever call myself that no matter what. It means a lot to me, though, to be able to say I'm continually advancing.
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#1951266 - 08/30/12 12:14 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: rocket88]
Derulux Offline
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Originally Posted By: rocket88
I have not read every post on this thread, so this may be redundant.

Never fear, it is. laugh
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#1951386 - 08/30/12 07:34 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Derulux]
Rerun Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: -Frycek
I wonder if we scared him off - - -

LOL laugh

If not, this might..

It is quite possible. Age is not a barrier. Time is. Sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but I'm not. I've read that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of dedicated study to become a "master" at something. So, at one hour a day, that's 10,000 days or about 27.5 years. Someone who begins at 30 and expects to be an expert by 31 is most assuredly not going to make it.. but by no means is it impossible to eventually reach your goal. It just depends on how much time you have available to dedicate towards that goal.



.... but it doesn't take that many hours for your listeners to think you play pretty darn good.


Edited by Rerun (08/30/12 07:35 AM)
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#1951450 - 08/30/12 10:44 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Derulux]
eNOTEquest Offline
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Originally Posted By: Derulux

Quote:
It's better to avoid the figure "10,000" and simply say that becoming an advanced player takes lots of time and hard work.

I think this is, relatively, semantics. At 2 hours per day, 5 days per week, it would take someone 19.23 years to reach the 10k hours mark. That's a lot of hard work and time. wink


I agree with most of what you say. I suppose you could say that someone who uses that formula is likely or almost guaranteed to reach success on an advanced level.

However my concern is the reaction to it as illustrated in my above post. I think one should be aware of the 10,000 h/d rule, but take it with a grain of salt. 20 years is a long time, and it can be almost discouraging for younger players to think that they'll have to "wait that long" to become an advanced player.

Yes, it is about the journey, but the destination is fun too. I would like most players to be aware that the 10,000 is at least somewhat flexible.

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#1951452 - 08/30/12 10:53 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: BBM]
knotty Offline
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I think the reason the 10,000 hour rule is bogus is because it is being misinterpreted. Gladwell has a whole chapter on it in his book 'Outliers'. I believe he came up with that concept.

The rule was not that "if you do something for 10,000 hours, you become advanced".

The advice given here is probably better than the made up rule. Enjoy yourself, practice the right stuff, with the right teacher, etc... Then, good luck defining advanced. It's more something that you can define for yourself. One day you say "Hey, I'm pretty advanced aren't I?"

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#1951466 - 08/30/12 11:14 AM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: knotty]
eNOTEquest Offline
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Originally Posted By: knotty
I think the reason the 10,000 hour rule is bogus is because it is being misinterpreted. Gladwell has a whole chapter on it in his book 'Outliers'. I believe he came up with that concept.

The rule was not that "if you do something for 10,000 hours, you become advanced".

The advice given here is probably better than the made up rule. Enjoy yourself, practice the right stuff, with the right teacher, etc... Then, good luck defining advanced. It's more something that you can define for yourself. One day you say "Hey, I'm pretty advanced aren't I?"



YES.

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#1953468 - 09/03/12 04:57 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: Jeff Clef]
Johan B Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
"Nil volentibus arduum.....that's Latin for.... Nothing is difficult for those who really want...."

Thank you for that; it is beautifully said.

Please excuse my not using the diacritical characters in transliterating the Sanscrit:

Tivra-samveganam asannah
"It is nearest to those whose desire is intensely strong." Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Book One, Sutra 21


Hmmm....so you can see......other part of the world......same thinking.....

Nil novi sub sole.........

Cheers

Johan B
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#1953470 - 09/03/12 05:01 PM Re: Is it possible to become an advance player at 30s? [Re: TrapperJohn]
Johan B Offline
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Originally Posted By: TrapperJohn
Originally Posted By: Johan B
Hi BBM,

I use to think...... Nil volentibus arduum.....

Johan B


You used to think that? In Latin? In a dead language? Really? And if so why "used to..."?

I'm thinking Absolutum Absurdum laugh


Also Latin?....... But very nice....

Cheers,
Johan B
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Currently working on:Sonaten of Haydn/Mozart, Suites Bach/Hndel, Sonate pathetique Beethoven
'Nil volentibus arduum'
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