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#1943245 - 08/15/12 02:38 PM Life of an Amateur Pianist
Skorpius Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 751
I aspire to be an amateur pianist (Computer Science is my major). I read the topic about music degrees and it doesn't seem to have as much bearing on a person's ability to make themselves known. How would an amateur pianist, well, go about?
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#1943249 - 08/15/12 02:45 PM Re: Life of an Amateur Pianist [Re: Skorpius]
Hakki Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3527
It depends on how amateur is an amateur pianist.
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#1943258 - 08/15/12 03:11 PM Re: Life of an Amateur Pianist [Re: Skorpius]
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19687
Loc: Victoria, BC
It also depends on what that "amateur pianist" wants to do, musically. Isn't that the first item to be considered?

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#1943556 - 08/16/12 04:40 AM Re: Life of an Amateur Pianist [Re: Skorpius]
bennevis Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 7980
I thought all pianists are amateur unless they earn money from their music (whether performing or teaching), in which case they're 'professional'. Which is to say that everyone posting here are amateur (assuming they play the piano) unless they're professional.
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#1943567 - 08/16/12 05:13 AM Re: Life of an Amateur Pianist [Re: Skorpius]
Svengali Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/23/12
Posts: 15
Loc: South-Africa
How would an amateur pianist go about? Practice like a professional.

I studied music. I teach mainly and perform (very) occasionally. That is to say, 'perform' real music (which I consider to be mainly, but not exclusively by dead composers).
Choir accompaniments of the latest MTV hit arrangement or any of the offerings by choir music specialist composers in my book does not count nor require me to be a pianist, amateur or otherwise, regardless of how expertly my execution may be.

I am a pianist in the sense that I play piano, but I don't feel like one in the sense that I do not live my dream of giving strings of recitals with all Schumann, Chopin and Liszt programmes (my ideal). Least of all am I a professional pianist although I make my living from the fact that I can play piano.

In fact, I figured the way forward for me would be to have projects (where I might occationally perform or record - likely in collaboration with someone) which would then enable me to lable myself (in my own mind) as an amateur pianist (a very desirous title, I think...)

Example: My ex-piano lecturer have been bugging me for years to do the Brahms sonata for two pianos with him. It's by no means something which can be accomplished by all and sundry, but I would have to practise in the dead hours of the morning with my current work load and will probably not receive any earnings from the attendees of the concert which would probably be a University affair. Surely this is not how it is suppose to be for professional pianists?


There's a Naxos recording of ALKAN concerted piano works by Dmitry Feofanov. A law practitioner by day and obviously piano virtuoso by night. He's made money of that recording (presumably), yet he's an amateur pianist. To my mind that settles it. AN amateur is someone who plays like a professional (?), but only performs as a pianist as a side-line to something (be that teaching piano, like I am) whereas a professional is, for lack of a better point in case, someone like Lang Lang.

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#1943590 - 08/16/12 06:44 AM Re: Life of an Amateur Pianist [Re: Skorpius]
Ganddalf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 998
Loc: Norway
I have been playing the piano for 45 years and is definitely an amateur pianist. I play mostly for fun, not often for other listeners and only occasionally I make public performances. When playing for audiences I'm usually accompaning choirs or soloists, and every now and then include a solo piece in the programme.

Strangely enough I sometimes earn money as an organist during church services. When the employed organists need a Sunday off or in case of illness I serve as a stand-in. I play the piano much better than the organ, but still it could be said that I'm an amateur pianist and a semi-professional organist.

Actually I like it this way. I just enjoy playing, always trying to improve my technique and learning new pieces. I'm convinced that piano playing is excellent brain training, and I also belive that it helps reducing my levels of stress hormones and lowering blood pressure.

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#1943622 - 08/16/12 08:50 AM Re: Life of an Amateur Pianist [Re: Ganddalf]
arpan70 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 102
Loc: Mumbai, India
I guess that settles it. An amateur is one to for whom playing the piano reduces stress, whereas for a professional, playing the piano increases stress. grin


Edited by arpan70 (08/16/12 12:17 PM)
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#1943814 - 08/16/12 01:16 PM Re: Life of an Amateur Pianist [Re: arpan70]
Carey Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 7659
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: arpan70
I guess that settles it. An amateur is one to for whom playing the piano reduces stress, whereas for a professional, playing the piano increases stress. grin


Actually, there's a lot of truth to that !!!
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#1943917 - 08/16/12 03:07 PM Re: Life of an Amateur Pianist [Re: Skorpius]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1275
Loc: chicago, il
since "amateur pianist" quite literally means 'one who plays the piano for pleasure rather than for financial benefit', i would suggest aspiring to have as much fun at it as you can -- that's what i do!

as far as the implied "making oneself known", about 2 1/2 years ago i decided that i wanted to have a record of summiting these monuments, albeit clumsily, so i purchased a little video recorder and set about uploading them to my youtube channel. some of my chosen pieces are based on a particular type of music that has a small but worldwide following, and it's been gratifying to connect with so many interesting people as a result. and i'm up to almost 26,000 views, which is also somewhat gratifying.

like steve jobs once said, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. so follow your bliss and see where it takes you!
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