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#2103519 - 06/16/13 08:40 PM Adult needs an inspirational 'boost'. Help!
Ezra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 66
Loc: New York
Hi all. Been a while since I posted something about myself... but I'm here for some inspiration to get my fingers moving again! (And, yes, I saw that great essay in the NY Times woo hoo!)

I started adult beginner lessons a few years ago (late 30s), but amidst a career and family/kids, I'm sure you can all understand how difficult it is to squeeze in time to play/lessons. Nevertheless, I carved out time and started at grade ZERO (as in "never ever even playing a single note on piano or reading music before") and took Grade 1 of ABRSM in NY a year later (passed with Merit!) That was a few years ago... then, I dunno... I sort of got very busy (or so I told myself).. but job and kids, etc... you know, it;s hard balancing it all.

Now my son (7 yrs old) is playing and he has *real* talent. After a mere few months with *me* as his "teacher" (yes, not a joke -- but wanted to see if he could play before hiring a teacher), he can really fly on the piano... so we're going to get him a real teacher. (Here he is playing on a free acoustic piano in NYC parks as part of the two-weeks of "88 Pianos): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH9lMdxVSuU and http://youtu.be/1rITbEfh4H8 thumb

But back to me... I want to start playing again, but I feel a little blue about it. I wonder how far I can really go by beginning so late in life, not that I plan to be a concert pianist(!), but I can't help but feel a little 'down' sometimes at starting so late and getting frustrated when trying to move on to Grade 2 pieces... (esp since my son can play like lightning after a mere few months of me teaching him? Crazy, right.)

Any words of inspiration are appreciated so I can kickstart myself back into high gear. smile Thank you.

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#2103538 - 06/16/13 09:14 PM Re: Adult needs an inspirational 'boost'. Help! [Re: Ezra]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Ezra, you have a lifetime of piano enjoyment ahead of you. Dive in now and have fun.

Find a teacher, ideally someone who has experience teaching adults and enjoys teaching adults.

Decide if there are things that you'd like from your piano lessons. Is there a particular type of music you'd like to play? Be patient and willing to practice what your teacher suggests. Read and post here on PW to find out how to practice effectively. Don't compare yourself to your son. Record yourself and join in on the Ecco Fatto thread (for your first posted recording to PW), the Piano Cafe, and the quarterly Beginners And Beyond Recitals. Always talk with your teacher about concerns or questions you may have. Welcome back to PW and piano.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#2103555 - 06/16/13 09:30 PM Re: Adult needs an inspirational 'boost'. Help! [Re: Ezra]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2106
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Ezra.... I suggest what my teacher has done with me. Only been taking lessons from her for two months. We were discussing songs I really like...err... love. She told me that we could work on one. Doesn't matter how far above my head it is. We could do one bar at a time. So we do....kinda. It's a piece I love and admire the composer. It's also an easy version of the piece. I can work out most of it myself. She told me last week to get the harder versions of it and look at them. See what makes them harder. So I'm doing that. We only address the piece for a little time at the end of the lesson. Her wisdom in this is that it provides much motivation. Which it does. I obsess over this. Also causes me to want to learn everything else better. So I can play better.
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2103558 - 06/16/13 09:38 PM Re: Adult needs an inspirational 'boost'. Help! [Re: Ezra]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1876
Loc: Pennsylvania
I started playing recreation basketball when I was in my 30's and enjoyed it. I got to be pretty good, actually. I never worried about what "might have been" if I had played as a child or in highschool. I just played and enjoyed every moment.

Same with piano. I started when I retired. I am enjoying it every day. I have no agenda about how "good" I am supposed to get. I just enjoy doing it. It is not a job, it is recreation.

My advice is for you to treat this new interest for what it is ... a new interest, a hobby (if you will). Enjoy it. Don't spoil it by worrying about how good you are getting or that someone else is learning faster than you.

Forget all that. Just do it and enjoy it.
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2103590 - 06/16/13 11:25 PM Re: Adult needs an inspirational 'boost'. Help! [Re: Ezra]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Ezra Online, I have read your post, here:

Hi all. Been a while since I posted something about myself... but I'm here for some inspiration to get my fingers moving again! (And, yes, I saw that great essay in the NY Times woo hoo!)

I started adult beginner lessons a few years ago (late 30s), but amidst a career and family/kids, I'm sure you can all understand how difficult it is to squeeze in time to play/lessons. Nevertheless, I carved out time and started at grade ZERO (as in "never ever even playing a single note on piano or reading music before") and took Grade 1 of ABRSM in NY a year later (passed with Merit!) That was a few years ago... then, I dunno... I sort of got very busy (or so I told myself).. but job and kids, etc... you know, it;s hard balancing it all.

Now my son (7 yrs old) is playing and he has *real* talent. After a mere few months with *me* as his "teacher" (yes, not a joke -- but wanted to see if he could play before hiring a teacher), he can really fly on the piano... so we're going to get him a real teacher. (Here he is playing on a free acoustic piano in NYC parks as part of the two-weeks of "88 Pianos): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH9lMdxVSuU and http://youtu.be/1rITbEfh4H8 thumb

But back to me... I want to start playing again, but I feel a little blue about it. I wonder how far I can really go by beginning so late in life, not that I plan to be a concert pianist(!), but I can't help but feel a little 'down' sometimes at starting so late and getting frustrated when trying to move on to Grade 2 pieces... (esp since my son can play like lightning after a mere few months of me teaching him? Crazy, right.)

Any words of inspiration are appreciated so I can kickstart myself back into high gear. smile Thank you.

_______________________________________________

Interesting post.

My father had a pretty bad childhood. The only story of my father's childhood was his father nailed his clothes to the floor, I guess because he forgot to hang them up.

My father was a carpenter/trucker. At 35 he developed an interest in flying and took flying lessons, and bought an small single engine aircraft.

We lived in a small trailer in northern Canada - never having much space, and of course nobody had their own bedroom. Our parents were good but life was modest. I tell you this because it is important for all of us to do the things you want to do.

So you have given your love, support and energy to your son to make his way to learn the piano and that is awesome. But, also, it is important, too, for you take a moment to arrange a time to play the piano - because regardless of our age, we have goals small or large that we aim for.

I learned as a young man that the only time to steal time for myself was when the entire world was sleeping. Today it is possible which was not possible before. Now for $300 you can get a digital piano with weighted keys and you can play and practice - anytime.

I am 63 and tried to learn to play the piano 4 times in my lifetime and failed everytime because I was typing for a living and typing 8 hours and then playing the piano after that was impossible. So I had to the goal and the disire but the time wasn't right.

As a result of a health situation, I am able to play the piano now because I am not typing, so now is the time and I am doing it.

So if the circumstances are good to get a little digital with weighed keys and you can set your alarm for 2:00 a.m., you can get up and practice everyday for a while the rest of the world are sleeping or rest of the world are staggering home from the bar. So you see, you can do it,

cheers and good luck















Top Reply Quote Quick Reply Quick Quote Notify Email Post

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#2103599 - 06/16/13 11:59 PM Re: Adult needs an inspirational 'boost'. Help! [Re: Michael_99]
Ezra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 66
Loc: New York
Appreciate everyone's comment and thoughts thus far. Thank you.

Top
#2104374 - 06/18/13 12:44 PM Re: Adult needs an inspirational 'boost'. Help! [Re: Ezra]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
I think we can all feel that way sometimes here are some thoughts that come to mind:
1.Don’t compare yourself to others.
2.When those negative thoughts pop into your head that make you doubt yourself…Do it anyway! Our thoughts stand in our way more than anything else. Believe in yourself .
3.I can tell you how many times I’ve heard people say “I know I will never be a concert pianist” Well neither will a lot of people who started at age 3. And did you even want to? Think about what you DO want and strive for that. Find YOUR reason and purpose for wanting to play the piano. And don’t think about what you won’t become.
4.Set some mini goals for yourself so you feel like you are making progress.
5.Do what is required but also do what you enjoy.
6.Realize that progress isn’t always a steady stream. Sometimes it comes in leaps and hops.
7.Sometimes I would struggle with “why” what’s the point or purpose of my playing the piano. I think almost everyone would say “do it because you love it”. Well that was why I was doing it in the first place. But I needed a little more of a purpose than that. So, having a purpose might help.
8. You can go as far as you allow yourself to go.

Best of luck.
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

Top
#2104377 - 06/18/13 12:47 PM Re: Adult needs an inspirational 'boost'. Help! [Re: Michael_99]
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 1348
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
Ezra Online, I have read your post, here:

Hi all. Been a while since I posted something about myself... but I'm here for some inspiration to get my fingers moving again! (And, yes, I saw that great essay in the NY Times woo hoo!)

I started adult beginner lessons a few years ago (late 30s), but amidst a career and family/kids, I'm sure you can all understand how difficult it is to squeeze in time to play/lessons. Nevertheless, I carved out time and started at grade ZERO (as in "never ever even playing a single note on piano or reading music before") and took Grade 1 of ABRSM in NY a year later (passed with Merit!) That was a few years ago... then, I dunno... I sort of got very busy (or so I told myself).. but job and kids, etc... you know, it;s hard balancing it all.

Now my son (7 yrs old) is playing and he has *real* talent. After a mere few months with *me* as his "teacher" (yes, not a joke -- but wanted to see if he could play before hiring a teacher), he can really fly on the piano... so we're going to get him a real teacher. (Here he is playing on a free acoustic piano in NYC parks as part of the two-weeks of "88 Pianos): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH9lMdxVSuU and http://youtu.be/1rITbEfh4H8 thumb

But back to me... I want to start playing again, but I feel a little blue about it. I wonder how far I can really go by beginning so late in life, not that I plan to be a concert pianist(!), but I can't help but feel a little 'down' sometimes at starting so late and getting frustrated when trying to move on to Grade 2 pieces... (esp since my son can play like lightning after a mere few months of me teaching him? Crazy, right.)

Any words of inspiration are appreciated so I can kickstart myself back into high gear. smile Thank you.

_______________________________________________

Interesting post.

My father had a pretty bad childhood. The only story of my father's childhood was his father nailed his clothes to the floor, I guess because he forgot to hang them up.

My father was a carpenter/trucker. At 35 he developed an interest in flying and took flying lessons, and bought an small single engine aircraft.

We lived in a small trailer in northern Canada - never having much space, and of course nobody had their own bedroom. Our parents were good but life was modest. I tell you this because it is important for all of us to do the things you want to do.

So you have given your love, support and energy to your son to make his way to learn the piano and that is awesome. But, also, it is important, too, for you take a moment to arrange a time to play the piano - because regardless of our age, we have goals small or large that we aim for.

I learned as a young man that the only time to steal time for myself was when the entire world was sleeping. Today it is possible which was not possible before. Now for $300 you can get a digital piano with weighted keys and you can play and practice - anytime.

I am 63 and tried to learn to play the piano 4 times in my lifetime and failed everytime because I was typing for a living and typing 8 hours and then playing the piano after that was impossible. So I had to the goal and the disire but the time wasn't right.

As a result of a health situation, I am able to play the piano now because I am not typing, so now is the time and I am doing it.

So if the circumstances are good to get a little digital with weighed keys and you can set your alarm for 2:00 a.m., you can get up and practice everyday for a while the rest of the world are sleeping or rest of the world are staggering home from the bar. So you see, you can do it,

cheers and good luck















Top Reply Quote Quick Reply Quick Quote Notify Email Post

I just wanted to say that I thought this was really sweet!
_________________________
“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee

Top
#2104593 - 06/18/13 07:14 PM Re: Adult needs an inspirational 'boost'. Help! [Re: Ezra]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Great pianist and teacher Sergei Babayan once said in an interview:
Originally Posted By: Sergei Babayan
First of all, that they should not give up if things become difficult. One must believe in what one does. That is absolutely crucial. When you believe in something passionately, fanatically, that is when you reach into that inexhaustible source for your inspiration to continue. Those who quit playing because they did not win or became unhappy were not meant to be pianists in the first place. True artists, who are meant to inspire people with their music, will persevere to find their own way. Their voices will be heard. I believe that everyone has his or her place. Yes, some names fade, and some sooner than others. Musicians do have their prime and their best moments in time. However, some of them last for a very long time -- some of them will never die. To answer your question: if a musician of today—I am talking here only about a genuine artist—manages to leave a significant trace in the history without competitions and the attention of concert presenters or audiences, more power to him or her! True artistry and dedication have nothing to do with winning a competition or playing many concerts.


and another:
Originally Posted By: Zig Ziglar
Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.



Look hard and find an experienced teacher also experienced in teaching adults, as PianoStudent88 suggested. This is really the best advice as - unfortunate as it is - learning to learn how to play the piano (a good teacher shouldn't teach you how to play, but teach you how to learn to play) is not intuitive and so only a good teacher or a very great deal of reading will get you there.

In the meantime, here a few really nice links to read over:

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