Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 8 of 16 < 1 2 ... 6 7 8 9 10 ... 15 16 >
Topic Options
#2066032 - 04/17/13 01:53 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Old Man]
King Cole Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: Old Man

The last word.


I'll have the last word thank you very much. Ha!

Originally Posted By: Old Man

But after attempting a couple of quarters at the university level, I realized quickly at age 20 that I simply didn't have the chops, and never would.


But you do explain the crux of the talent argument quite nicely, don't you?

Talent is often used to quell pain of our past failures. How utterly un-brave are those who let the notion of talent define them and their life. I will never offer any forbearance to such rationalizations for my shortcomings. At the heart of it all most have failed to tread upon the deep hidden corridors of our souls to find the genius that lies within us all. It is soothing to tell ourselves its not our fault, it is not because of us that we lack the skill. No, it must be our maker, it must be the universe that has cursed us to this life of mediocrity so no, I am not the one to blame.

So difficult is it for us to be honest with ourselves. So unwilling are we to entertain an extremely plausible truth that it is indeed us who are to blame. We don't want to believe that there is a 7 year old child out there right now watching someone else play the piano and is enamored by their playing. That this child goes home to its family's dusty out-of-tune piano and sits and plays for days trying to recollect what those notes were. And that child's parents too busy with the whirlwinds of life hardly notice this subtle yet monumental change, never paying attention. Days turn to months and in fact months turns to years and one day that child's mother who never thought much of the child's strange obsession with banging on the piano hears something. Something beautiful and she's stunned. For her it is the first time in a while that she stopped to listen but now these notes sound like heavenly melodies raining from heaven. My child has God-given talent she exclaims. But she's wrong.

She missed those days, weeks, months when that child struggled so earnestly with no success to recreate those melodies from long ago. No it is not God-given talent that propelled this child, it was the innocent naiveté to believe that those notes would eventually come but importantly that change that happened years ago when no one was looking when that child first heard those notes the change deep in this child wasn't a rewiring of the brain, it wasn't a sudden activation of a gene pathway. It was a fascination for what was heard, it was a deep affection for what was felt, it was beauty.... it wasn't talent.
Indeed, it was love.
_________________________
"What is genius? To aspire to a lofty aim and to will the means to that aim" -Nietzsche

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2066033 - 04/17/13 01:55 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4208
Woohoo we're done.
_________________________
To each his own.

Top
#2066113 - 04/17/13 05:02 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Old Man Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 739
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: King Cole
Originally Posted By: Old Man

The last word.

I'll have the last word thank you very much. Ha!

Ha! As well you should! smile All I was trying to say is that Kreisler's quote was "the last word" on this entire subject.
Originally Posted By: King Cole

But you do explain the crux of the talent argument quite nicely, don't you?

Talent is often used to quell pain of our past failures. How utterly un-brave are those who let the notion of talent define them and their life. I will never offer any forbearance to such rationalizations for my shortcomings. At the heart of it all most have failed to tread upon the deep hidden corridors of our souls to find the genius that lies within us all. It is soothing to tell ourselves its not our fault, it is not because of us that we lack the skill. No, it must be our maker, it must be the universe that has cursed us to this life of mediocrity so no, I am not the one to blame.

Eloquently stated, but completely wrong. I can do without the psychoanalysis (on PW we leave that to MarkC laugh ), and now wish I hadn't personalized it. It's no great tragedy that I don't have the innate ability to play well, and I'm certainly not making excuses. The list of things I can't do (understand quantum mechanics, write a great novel, play tennis like Federer, play golf like Tiger, perform neurosurgery, etc.) is infinite, as it is for most of us. We can all improve ourselves in these areas, but there is a limit to how far we can progress, and all the hard work in the world won't change that. You may believe this is a self-imposed, artificial limit (i.e. an excuse or rationalization), but it's simple reality.

All the wonderful things you described in your post will never explain how a child can be playing with orchestras in as little as 3, 5, 7 years after beginning lessons. I'd love to poll the teachers on this forum, and find out how many times in their teaching careers they've assigned serious study of a concerto in so little time. I'm sure it happens, but I suspect it's a rarity. To believe that just the right combination of hard work, dedication, exposure to music, nurturing, etc. can bring about this miracle is, IMHO, sheer fantasy.

So, KC, get practicing and prove me wrong! smile

Top
#2066135 - 04/17/13 05:34 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5071
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Old Man
The list of things I can't do (understand quantum mechanics, write a great novel, play tennis like Federer, play golf like Tiger, perform neurosurgery, etc.) is infinite, as it is for most of us. We can all improve ourselves in these areas, but there is a limit to how far we can progress, and all the hard work in the world won't change that. You may believe this is a self-imposed, artificial limit (i.e. an excuse or rationalization), but it's simple reality.

I think I would consider the greatest limiting factor "time". It takes time to understand QM, write a novel (let alone a great one), learn to play tennis, golf, etc etc. If we dedicate that time, we will see results. If not....

I understand quantum mechanics. As well as Heisenberg, Schrodinger, or Bohr? No, but then, I didn't spend nearly the time they did trying. I've written a novel. Is it Stephen King? No, but then, I didn't take drugs so I could work for 20 hours a day on my writing, either. I can play golf. As well as Tiger? No, but then, I didn't play in college, nor did I hit 3000 balls a day, or spend 5-6 hours on the putting green like he did. I don't play tennis, and no one has yet allowed me to cut open their brain. Any takers? wink

I think it's perfectly fine to not be good at something. But I think it's important to understand why we're not, and why someone else is better. 99.99999% of the time, it's because they worked harder, smarter, and longer.

Quote:
So, KC, get practicing and prove me wrong!

Yes, KC, put a nail in "talent's" coffin and please do this! haha laugh
_________________________
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.

Top
#2066210 - 04/17/13 08:14 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
Old Man Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 739
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Old Man
The list of things I can't do (understand quantum mechanics, write a great novel, play tennis like Federer, play golf like Tiger, perform neurosurgery, etc.) is infinite, as it is for most of us. We can all improve ourselves in these areas, but there is a limit to how far we can progress, and all the hard work in the world won't change that. You may believe this is a self-imposed, artificial limit (i.e. an excuse or rationalization), but it's simple reality.

I think I would consider the greatest limiting factor "time". It takes time to understand QM, write a novel (let alone a great one), learn to play tennis, golf, etc etc. If we dedicate that time, we will see results.

Yes, we will see results - but only up to a point.

Originally Posted By: Derelux
I understand quantum mechanics. As well as Heisenberg, Schrodinger, or Bohr?

Boy, I sure know how to pick 'em. crazy I just pulled that one out of my ... never mind.

Originally Posted By: Derelux
I think it's perfectly fine to not be good at something. But I think it's important to understand why we're not, and why someone else is better. 99.99999% of the time, it's because they worked harder, smarter, and longer.

I would say that 99.99999% of the time it's never because of what you said.

Originally Posted By: Derelux
Originally Posted By: Old Man
So, KC, get practicing and prove me wrong!
Yes, KC, put a nail in "talent's" coffin and please do this! haha laugh

OK, fine. Let's adopt Okiikahuna's phrase: "innate aptitude". As I said, names don't matter. grin

Originally Posted By: Derelux
If we ever get a chance to sit down at the keys, I should like to see and hear you play.

ha I guess that's the nature of internet forums. People think they can withstand anything! laugh No, I will have my hands in my pocket, and you will astound me with your playing. smile

Top
#2066275 - 04/17/13 11:21 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Old Man]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5071
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Old Man
The list of things I can't do (understand quantum mechanics, write a great novel, play tennis like Federer, play golf like Tiger, perform neurosurgery, etc.) is infinite, as it is for most of us. We can all improve ourselves in these areas, but there is a limit to how far we can progress, and all the hard work in the world won't change that. You may believe this is a self-imposed, artificial limit (i.e. an excuse or rationalization), but it's simple reality.

I think I would consider the greatest limiting factor "time". It takes time to understand QM, write a novel (let alone a great one), learn to play tennis, golf, etc etc. If we dedicate that time, we will see results.

Yes, we will see results - but only up to a point.

Originally Posted By: Derelux
I understand quantum mechanics. As well as Heisenberg, Schrodinger, or Bohr?

Boy, I sure know how to pick 'em. crazy I just pulled that one out of my ... never mind.

HAHA yeah, you picked a good one. If you had chosen 16th century French literature, I would have been in trouble.. laugh


Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: Derelux
If we ever get a chance to sit down at the keys, I should like to see and hear you play.

ha I guess that's the nature of internet forums. People think they can withstand anything! laugh No, I will have my hands in my pocket, and you will astound me with your playing. smile

My playing's not that great; I used to be better (lack of piano and available practice time). But if that's what it took, I'd certainly be willing to make you yawn. smile
_________________________
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.

Top
#2066389 - 04/18/13 06:49 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: slipperykeys]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7460
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys

"For talent itself, in its most general sense-that exhibition of a strong bias toward some particular pursuit, may be defined, from its results, as simply: ability to learn with ease.

Tobias Matthay, "First Principles of PIANOFORTE PLAYING"



I wanted to respond to this earlier, but got distracted.

Defining talent by results is a bit too easy, I think. To me, that result - ability to learn with ease - is just a result, but not the thing itself.

I think talent is more about a special kind of comprehension of a given subject matter. To get that comprehension manifested in the real world, it needs to be coupled with some particular physical attributes and the kind of focus/discipline/desire that propels a person to actually do what it takes to achieve what the mind is presenting as possible. I think there are lots of talented people who, for various reasons, never turn that talent into their life's work, much less a major international career.

Top
#2066463 - 04/18/13 10:01 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Old Man]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2631
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Old Man
but there is a limit to how far we can progress, and all the hard work in the world won't change that. You may believe this is a self-imposed, artificial limit (i.e. an excuse or rationalization), but it's simple reality.

All the wonderful things you described in your post will never explain how a child can be playing with orchestras in as little as 3, 5, 7 years after beginning lessons. I'd love to poll the teachers on this forum, and find out how many times in their teaching careers they've assigned serious study of a concerto in so little time. I'm sure it happens, but I suspect it's a rarity. To believe that just the right combination of hard work, dedication, exposure to music, nurturing, etc. can bring about this miracle is, IMHO, sheer fantasy.

There are many studies by neuro-scientists that indicate the mind develops some specific talents at particular times. For example it's well known that younger people learn languages more easily, but even children who learn a new language after somewhere between the age of 6-8 will have an accent. Among pianists it's believed that anyone starting to play the piano after the age of 8-10 will never develop the technique of virtuoso (and it's generally believed the younger the better). These are not self imposed limitations these are proven scientific facts.

For example this study indicates that hearing impaired children develop better language skills the younger there is intervention in their hearing impairment.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/106/3/e43.full

However, that doesn't mean that any child starting at the age of 5 can develop into a virtuoso. That takes commitment determination and yes probably innate talent.

Top
#2066502 - 04/18/13 11:25 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Steve Chandler]
mermilylumpkin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 121
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler

There are many studies by neuro-scientists that indicate the mind develops some specific talents at particular times. For example it's well known that younger people learn languages more easily, but even children who learn a new language after somewhere between the age of 6-8 will have an accent. Among pianists it's believed that anyone starting to play the piano after the age of 8-10 will never develop the technique of virtuoso (and it's generally believed the younger the better). These are not self imposed limitations these are proven scientific facts.


It would be interesting if we could provide a concrete example of a technical skill that definitely could not be acquired after age 10. Like if could we say definitively, e.g. it is not possible to learn how to play an Ab major scale in perfect fourths at 120 bpm (semiquaver) with relaxed hands and good technical form after the age of ten. Maybe there are examples like that out there, but to me I struggle to think of any.

I approach this as someone who had a piano at home growing up from around age 10 but only started formal training during adulthood. For me, when I am approaching a new technical challenge (e.g. simultaneous trills in both hands) I generally start at the point of not being able to do it, break it down step by step, increase the tempo and end up being able to do it with solid technique. I am never 100% sure what is meant when people say it's not possible to acquire technique during adulthood because it seems to contradict my experience. And when we speak of technique aren't we just thinking of the sum of all of those individual technical skills? Feel free to straighten me out here if you think I am off track.

Top
#2066558 - 04/18/13 01:36 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: wr]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5071
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys

"For talent itself, in its most general sense-that exhibition of a strong bias toward some particular pursuit, may be defined, from its results, as simply: ability to learn with ease.

Tobias Matthay, "First Principles of PIANOFORTE PLAYING"



I wanted to respond to this earlier, but got distracted.

Defining talent by results is a bit too easy, I think. To me, that result - ability to learn with ease - is just a result, but not the thing itself.

I think talent is more about a special kind of comprehension of a given subject matter. To get that comprehension manifested in the real world, it needs to be coupled with some particular physical attributes and the kind of focus/discipline/desire that propels a person to actually do what it takes to achieve what the mind is presenting as possible. I think there are lots of talented people who, for various reasons, never turn that talent into their life's work, much less a major international career.

While I disagree that this "special" comprehension is called "talent", at this point, we would largely be arguing semantics and language, because I agree with darn near every word you said here. smile

Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
There are many studies by neuro-scientists that indicate the mind develops some specific talents at particular times. For example it's well known that younger people learn languages more easily, but even children who learn a new language after somewhere between the age of 6-8 will have an accent. Among pianists it's believed that anyone starting to play the piano after the age of 8-10 will never develop the technique of virtuoso (and it's generally believed the younger the better). These are not self imposed limitations these are proven scientific facts.

I've read a couple of these, but I admit, most of the details have since left me. Regarding accents, particularly, I believe there was a study done that showed that some people's brains develop the ability to pick up accents much faster and easier than others. I believe it was because their brains used "movement" centers in conjunction with "speech" centers--impressionists do this very well. But I don't remember anything in that study that limited the ability by age..? (could be wrong)

Originally Posted By: mermilylumpkin
I am never 100% sure what is meant when people say it's not possible to acquire technique during adulthood because it seems to contradict my experience. And when we speak of technique aren't we just thinking of the sum of all of those individual technical skills? Feel free to straighten me out here if you think I am off track.

No, I think you're on track. From my experience, and that's not to say it's everyone in the camp, those who believe that people can't learn the piano after age "x" tend to think of it more as a language, and use "language-based" arguments. But playing the piano isn't about language. It's about movement. And adults learn fine motor skill coordination far more easily than children.

Now, someone who has never heard music before may be at a disadvantage in interpreting the written notes into sounds, but I don't know anybody in that category, nor do I think it would be a permanent handicap. One could simply focus on movements to produce the required sounds.

Some people seem to intuit movement by sound; others intuit sound by movement. Doesn't matter much which side you're on, so long as the result is the same. wink
_________________________
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.

Top
#2066616 - 04/18/13 03:40 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
mermilylumpkin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 121
Originally Posted By: Derulux

No, I think you're on track. From my experience, and that's not to say it's everyone in the camp, those who believe that people can't learn the piano after age "x" tend to think of it more as a language, and use "language-based" arguments. But playing the piano isn't about language. It's about movement. And adults learn fine motor skill coordination far more easily than children.


I really agree with you that language learning is a different process than music learning. I don't want to get too nerdy here, but I think there's really strong research support for the idea that language learning and its components (learning the syntax and phonology of a language) happens in a very specialized part of the brain with a very particular process that isn't comparable to e.g. how the brain learns to knit or how it learns to play the piano.

I just feel like those in the musicianship-is-borne-of-talent camp sometimes assign certain mystical properties to pianism as if it takes a sort of voodoo to learn how to do it rather than an enormous amount of elbow grease, which is what I think is closer to the reality. I just think about how I learn a new piece, and for me that process is breaking up everything I want to do musically into the atomic parts: learning the fingering for a certain run, practicing it slowly, thinking about my musical intention and where it's leading and experimenting until I hit on what I'm looking for. There's boiled down to a quick recap, but essentially it's a sequential process. While it is very cognitively demanding, I don't think "Learning Music" or "Learning Music Greatly" even requires the certain CB31LEARNMUSIC gene, as much as it requires you to sit at the piano and do a lot of complex problem solving on a very consistent basis over many many hours and years.

Or else what is it that you think a virtuoso does that outside the realm of normal cognitive processing? Certainly I personally think virtuosos need to be deeply in touch with their humanity in order to communicate something universal and beautiful, but while that's incredibly rare, it is clearly in the humanistic realm and not some special gene.

I think it's more like, "Do you want it very very badly? Are you willing to devote 2 to 5 hours per day to it, every day, for years?" For most people the answer to those questions is no, in practice if not in intention. I think that's why there are so few virtuosos. Those child virtuosos equally did their grueling time at the keyboard and at a time when their young brains were capable of doing the neurological sequencing work (or whatever it is) to learn fingerings and gain fluency/automaticity at sight-reading at a much faster pace than an adult brain. We just think it looks like magic (or "talent") because we see the finish product only.

I'm afraid I may have ventured into TL;DR territory, which is too bad.

Top
#2066703 - 04/18/13 06:39 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: mermilylumpkin]
Ataru074 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: mermilylumpkin
as much as it requires you to sit at the piano and do a lot of complex problem solving on a very consistent basis over many many hours and years.


When I look back to my experience... if you start when 4 and put even only 1 hour a day on average you will have more than 5000 hour of practice by the time you hit 18.... and we all know that "talented" musicians spend more than that at the piano....

take for example your average 20 year old something... I think most of them, between social life, mates, fun and recreation will hardly put more than 1 hour a day on average even if some day are able to make 3 or 4 hour stints... than you have vacations, than you have some finals... find a job.. gym and so on..... even if you work THAT hard... you'll still reach 34 by the time you have the same amount of hours at the piano of the "talented" kid.....

I don't want to come with the 10.000 hours of dedicated practice... but at the end... I believe that real talent kicks in to reach that last 1% that makes your music "live" or that extra metronome mark..... real talent makes you Richter instead of anybody else with a phd in piano performance.... time and sweat makes you a pro over an amateur.
_________________________
===============================================
working on:
Beethoven: Op. 110
Rachmaninoff: Op 3/2
===============================================

Top
#2066728 - 04/18/13 07:38 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Ataru074]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19105
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Ataru074
I don't want to come with the 10.000 hours of dedicated practice... but at the end... I believe that real talent kicks in to reach that last 1% that makes your music "live" or that extra metronome mark..... real talent makes you Richter instead of anybody else with a phd in piano performance.... time and sweat makes you a pro over an amateur.
IMO talent is a continuum. Even "just" getting a Phd in piano performance takes a level of talent very high on the scale... at least the top 1/100th of one percent. For a Richter the talent level is obviously at the absolute extreme of the scale.

Top
#2066891 - 04/19/13 03:50 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: mermilylumpkin]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7460
Originally Posted By: mermilylumpkin
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler

There are many studies by neuro-scientists that indicate the mind develops some specific talents at particular times. For example it's well known that younger people learn languages more easily, but even children who learn a new language after somewhere between the age of 6-8 will have an accent. Among pianists it's believed that anyone starting to play the piano after the age of 8-10 will never develop the technique of virtuoso (and it's generally believed the younger the better). These are not self imposed limitations these are proven scientific facts.


It would be interesting if we could provide a concrete example of a technical skill that definitely could not be acquired after age 10. Like if could we say definitively, e.g. it is not possible to learn how to play an Ab major scale in perfect fourths at 120 bpm (semiquaver) with relaxed hands and good technical form after the age of ten. Maybe there are examples like that out there, but to me I struggle to think of any.

I approach this as someone who had a piano at home growing up from around age 10 but only started formal training during adulthood. For me, when I am approaching a new technical challenge (e.g. simultaneous trills in both hands) I generally start at the point of not being able to do it, break it down step by step, increase the tempo and end up being able to do it with solid technique. I am never 100% sure what is meant when people say it's not possible to acquire technique during adulthood because it seems to contradict my experience. And when we speak of technique aren't we just thinking of the sum of all of those individual technical skills? Feel free to straighten me out here if you think I am off track.


Oh, you can definitely acquire various bits and pieces of technique when you are an adult, or keep improving on those you already have. I've been playing for over 50 years and still feel that I'm acquiring technique.

But what you probably can't do as an adult is acquire the kind of comprehensive technique of a top notch virtuoso. Put a different way, I don't think there has ever been anyone with a major international career as a concert pianist - you know, the kind who gets concerto dates with the world's major orchestras - who started learning how to play as an adult.

Top
#2066901 - 04/19/13 04:07 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5071
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: wr
But what you probably can't do as an adult is acquire the kind of comprehensive technique of a top notch virtuoso. Put a different way, I don't think there has ever been anyone with a major international career as a concert pianist - you know, the kind who gets concerto dates with the world's major orchestras - who started learning how to play as an adult.

It can be done. I've seen it in other areas, particularly martial arts. The likelihood of someone waiting until adulthood to do this is very small, so there are very few cases, but it happens.

However, I think the example of a major international career as a concert pianist presumes that ability alone gets you such a career. Not even close, unfortunately. It's more about network, opportunity, luck, time (timing for that matter), and marketability. Few adults are as marketable as a "six-year-old-prodigy-ohmygod-supertalented-Mozart-reborn!" What do you say about the adult? "Hey, everyone. Here's a guy that learned to play the piano at an advanced age."

Look at other entertainment venues--acting, for example. Most actors get their start very young. Very, very, very few actors get their start as adults. Give it a shot--see how many A-list actors you can name who started acting as adults. Why? Because it often takes a very long time to "break in". Even Morgan Freeman, the adult-champion of acting perseverance, got his first professional gig (that I know of) at age 27, and probably was acting unprofessionally before that. But he didn't get his "big break" until 25 years later, as Principal Joe Clark in "Lean On Me". Another, Hugo Weaving, got his first professional gig at age 21, but didn't get his "big break" for 18 more years ("The Matrix").

Being a super-highly-paid A-lister, a name that everyone would recognize, doesn't mean you have the greatest ability. It means you have the greatest marketability. Astronomically huge difference.
_________________________
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.

Top
#2066930 - 04/19/13 06:29 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7460
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: wr
But what you probably can't do as an adult is acquire the kind of comprehensive technique of a top notch virtuoso. Put a different way, I don't think there has ever been anyone with a major international career as a concert pianist - you know, the kind who gets concerto dates with the world's major orchestras - who started learning how to play as an adult.

It can be done. I've seen it in other areas, particularly martial arts. The likelihood of someone waiting until adulthood to do this is very small, so there are very few cases, but it happens.

However, I think the example of a major international career as a concert pianist presumes that ability alone gets you such a career. Not even close, unfortunately. It's more about network, opportunity, luck, time (timing for that matter), and marketability. Few adults are as marketable as a "six-year-old-prodigy-ohmygod-supertalented-Mozart-reborn!" What do you say about the adult? "Hey, everyone. Here's a guy that learned to play the piano at an advanced age."

Look at other entertainment venues--acting, for example. Most actors get their start very young. Very, very, very few actors get their start as adults. Give it a shot--see how many A-list actors you can name who started acting as adults. Why? Because it often takes a very long time to "break in". Even Morgan Freeman, the adult-champion of acting perseverance, got his first professional gig (that I know of) at age 27, and probably was acting unprofessionally before that. But he didn't get his "big break" until 25 years later, as Principal Joe Clark in "Lean On Me". Another, Hugo Weaving, got his first professional gig at age 21, but didn't get his "big break" for 18 more years ("The Matrix").

Being a super-highly-paid A-lister, a name that everyone would recognize, doesn't mean you have the greatest ability. It means you have the greatest marketability. Astronomically huge difference.


I'm not sure why you are bringing up other fields - they are not directly comparable to classical piano playing, IMO.

And while it is true that there's more to becoming a virtuoso with a major international career than just having the comprehensive technique, that technique is still the norm, and there are still no pianists of that kind who have that sort of technique who acquired it as an adult.

But the point I'm making isn't about the career, anyway - it just happens that the big international careers are the most obvious manifestation and convenient example. But, AFAIK, there aren't any known classical pianists of any sort, regardless of their career standing, who acquired that kind of comprehensive virtuoso technique as adults.

And, come to think of it, even if someone could find such an example, the utter freakish rarity of it would mean that it was pretty useless as an example in any general discussion of why it is that people say that you can't acquire a real complete virtuoso technique as an adult.

Top
#2066939 - 04/19/13 07:00 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19105
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: wr
But what you probably can't do as an adult is acquire the kind of comprehensive technique of a top notch virtuoso. Put a different way, I don't think there has ever been anyone with a major international career as a concert pianist - you know, the kind who gets concerto dates with the world's major orchestras - who started learning how to play as an adult.

It can be done. I've seen it in other areas, particularly martial arts. The likelihood of someone waiting until adulthood to do this is very small, so there are very few cases, but it happens.
There have been several lengthy threads about whether or not any late starters(here I think the discussion meant say around 15 and not adults)ever achieving a major performing career. To the best of my knowledge the conclusion was that either no one had ever done or maybe(but probably not) 2 or 3 pianists. The few pianists that posters usually listed(I don't remember those usually mentioned) as those who have achieved major careers after starting piano lessons in their mid teems have been shown not to fit that description on closer examination.

So not only have adults not done this, but to the best of my based on those threads no one starting in their mid teens has achieved a major career.

Top
#2067044 - 04/19/13 10:40 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: pianoloverus]
Ataru074 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Ataru074
I don't want to come with the 10.000 hours of dedicated practice... but at the end... I believe that real talent kicks in to reach that last 1% that makes your music "live" or that extra metronome mark..... real talent makes you Richter instead of anybody else with a phd in piano performance.... time and sweat makes you a pro over an amateur.
IMO talent is a continuum. Even "just" getting a Phd in piano performance takes a level of talent very high on the scale... at least the top 1/100th of one percent. For a Richter the talent level is obviously at the absolute extreme of the scale.

Maybe it's me... but I consider that top 1% people that did work hard, very hard, extremely hard... but real talent is what makes the difference between excellence and real genius. That kind of genius that pops out once in a while and we will be talking about even after his death.
An analogy we can have it with athletes... as well as pianist they need the right "genes" to make it to the Olympics... put it together with a lot of hard work spanning several years.. decades... but the real talent is in the one that does what nobody else can for a while... think about Carl Lewis.. or (the Olympics example would work for him) Sergei Bubka and his span of world records.
_________________________
===============================================
working on:
Beethoven: Op. 110
Rachmaninoff: Op 3/2
===============================================

Top
#2067048 - 04/19/13 10:46 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5071
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus=
I'm not sure why you are bringing up other fields - they are not directly comparable to classical piano playing, IMO.

The skill set may be different, but the industry sure works on similar principles, and that served my purpose well.

Quote:
And, come to think of it, even if someone could find such an example, the utter freakish rarity of it would mean that it was pretty useless as an example in any general discussion of why it is that people say that you can't acquire a real complete virtuoso technique as an adult.

So, because of a lack of evidence, you want to discredit this idea, but when there was zero evidence earlier of the existence of talent, that was fine? wink

Quote:
There have been several lengthy threads about whether or not any late starters(here I think the discussion meant say around 15 and not adults)ever achieving a major performing career. To the best of my knowledge the conclusion was that either no one had ever done or maybe(but probably not) 2 or 3 pianists. The few pianists that posters usually listed(I don't remember those usually mentioned) as those who have achieved major careers after starting piano lessons in their mid teems have been shown not to fit that description on closer examination.

So not only have adults not done this, but to the best of my based on those threads no one starting in their mid teens has achieved a major career.

Yeah, as far as I know, there aren't, either. Capable adults? Yes. International careers? No. That was kind of my point, too, so thank you for hammering it home. smile

I think, in that thread, the only possible example that came up was Arcadi Volodos, but even he started earlier if I remember the eventual unfolding of the discussion? (I think someone said he started at 15; then someone else pointed out that he started around 9; then it went all over the place from there, because he played another instrument before piano... I forget.)
_________________________
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.

Top
#2067088 - 04/19/13 11:51 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Ataru074]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19105
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Ataru074
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Ataru074
I don't want to come with the 10.000 hours of dedicated practice... but at the end... I believe that real talent kicks in to reach that last 1% that makes your music "live" or that extra metronome mark..... real talent makes you Richter instead of anybody else with a phd in piano performance.... time and sweat makes you a pro over an amateur.
IMO talent is a continuum. Even "just" getting a Phd in piano performance takes a level of talent very high on the scale... at least the top 1/100th of one percent. For a Richter the talent level is obviously at the absolute extreme of the scale.

Maybe it's me... but I consider that top 1% people that did work hard, very hard, extremely hard... but real talent is what makes the difference between excellence and real genius. That kind of genius that pops out once in a while and we will be talking about even after his death.
An analogy we can have it with athletes... as well as pianist they need the right "genes" to make it to the Olympics... put it together with a lot of hard work spanning several years.. decades... but the real talent is in the one that does what nobody else can for a while... think about Carl Lewis.. or (the Olympics example would work for him) Sergei Bubka and his span of world records.
I completely agree. What I was commenting on was more your phrase "real talent", which somehow seemed to imply that pianists of a lesser league than Richter didn't have much talent. Hence, my comment that even those who "only" can earn a PhD in piano performance have an incredibly high level of talent if not on the Richter scale.

Top
#2067094 - 04/19/13 12:01 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Praeludium Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/19/11
Posts: 90
Loc: Besançon, France
Volodos wwas singing before he took up the piano seriously, at 16.
French pianist Roger Muraro began to study the piano at 13 (he says it himself in a broadcast of Radio Classique, with Philippe Cassard). Previously, he was studying saxophone.


An interesting fact : a lot of classical guitarists the 60's/70's began late (because from what I gather it was difficult to get a proper teacher, classical guitar wasn't taught everywhere like it is today). I have never heard anyone saying it was a bag generation, and as far as I know many very good guitarists learnt during this period, often beginning at 15, 16, 17, etc.


Edited by Praeludium (04/19/13 12:02 PM)

Top
#2067097 - 04/19/13 12:06 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
chopin_r_us Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 773
Loc: UK
Could we then finally rename this forum 'Pianists Corner where we now all accept international careers are not open to later starters'? That'd save a lot of posting in future.

obviously not.


Edited by chopin_r_us (04/19/13 12:08 PM)

Top
#2067104 - 04/19/13 12:21 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 513
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW

Your stance is what's ridiculous, to be blunt.

The thread is even more ridiculous...


I'm in favor of it being locked.

I'm against it. I enjoy reading it.
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

Top
#2067109 - 04/19/13 12:47 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 513
Loc: Germany
I now read most posts on this thread.

One definition of talent that I came up with, after combining other definitions on this thread, is:
Talent is the ability to turn an innate aptitude into a skill.

Do all humans have the same innate aptitudes? I don't think so.
How much does the level of skill one can achieve depend on the innate aptitude? That's what we are debating here.
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

Top
#2067134 - 04/19/13 01:24 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: patH]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19297
Loc: New York
I see it as the innate aptitude.
I agree about not everyone having the same, and I think it's pretty clear that not too many people doubt it.

Top
#2067143 - 04/19/13 01:44 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3630
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I see it as the innate aptitude.

Me too.

How about modifying patH's statement to: "Self-discipline is the ability to turn an innate aptitude into a skill."

-J
_________________________
Schoenberg op.19, Beethoven op.109.
Schubert D.899/4, Chopin op.25/2.
Chopin op.66, Beethoven WoO 80.
Liszt Petrarch 104.

Top
#2067149 - 04/19/13 01:57 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Praeludium]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19105
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Praeludium
Volodos wwas singing before he took up the piano seriously, at 16.French pianist Roger Muraro began to study the piano at 13 (he says it himself in a broadcast of Radio Classique, with Philippe Cassard). Previously, he was studying saxophone.
The key word of Volodos stateement is "seriously". He didn't say that he didn't study piano before 16 or that his didn't approach his study before 16 with quite a lot of care and effort. Other sources give 15 as the age when he decided piano would be his first choice as a musical career. So I don't think his case in any way disproves my earlier comment about all the great pianists starting early.


Edited by pianoloverus (04/19/13 01:58 PM)

Top
#2067224 - 04/19/13 04:38 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: beet31425]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 513
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I see it as the innate aptitude.

Me too.

How about modifying patH's statement to: "Self-discipline is the ability to turn an innate aptitude into a skill."

-J

Thinking about it, maybe this makes more sense than my suggestion.
But there's this famous quote about genius being 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Variants replace "genius" with "art" or "success", and mention a 5/95 ratio.

Maybe becoming a virtuoso is 1% of innate aptitude and 99% hard work.
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

Top
#2067248 - 04/19/13 05:12 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19105
Loc: New York City
I find it bizarre that when a young person has a phenomenal vocal ability, I think no one would deny it's part talent (as in a natural gift) but some feel that this is not true for piano playing.

Anyone really think anyone can sing like this at a similar age without talent?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKGCpMSFjlU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG8RvKtQXZ0


Edited by pianoloverus (04/19/13 05:15 PM)

Top
#2067268 - 04/19/13 05:44 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
mermilylumpkin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 121
Part of the reason I think vocal ability is more innate is because you only get one vocal apparatus, ever, and it's built in. It's easy to imagine that from a pure physiological perspective, some people end up with a "Steinway" and some people end up with a 1902 clunker. Pianism on the other hand, has fairly little to do with the built-in physiology of your hand and arm (though many of the greats are said to have had massive hands), and much more to do with the mental processes involved in putting your limbs to work. In other words, you can go down to a Steinway showroom whenever you like and play on a 50 grand value piano, but you can't trade up for a different larynx and lots of singers are probably moreso considered great on the basis of their "equipment" (as well as interpretation of course).

Top
Page 8 of 16 < 1 2 ... 6 7 8 9 10 ... 15 16 >

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
142 registered (ABC Vermonter, accordeur, A Guy, ando, Alux, AmateurBob, 38 invisible), 1506 Guests and 36 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74307 Members
42 Forums
153690 Topics
2252933 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
HELP! Is this strain because of my technique?
by T.M.E.
04/23/14 11:26 PM
Is it my technique that's causing this?
by T.M.E.
04/23/14 10:49 PM
Best brand of upright piano 48" or larger?
by WG40
04/23/14 10:22 PM
Kawai MP11 vs. Kawai VPC-1 Action / Key Length
by jp2011
04/23/14 10:00 PM
Canadian pricing for Kawai MP11?
by GWILLY
04/23/14 09:52 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission