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#2166049 - 10/14/13 12:54 PM Need some advice - how far can I go?
Any1291 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/13
Posts: 7
Hi everyone, I'm new here so sorry if this is the wrong forum.

I need advice on what the next step should be for me. I have played the piano since I was young and I've got to a high standard without ever being taught anything (I learnt most my pieces by ear). I didn't choose to take music to university because of my lack of musical education and chose a different career path. I'm now 21 but I feel like I'm wasting my talent. People always comment on how gifted I am and how I am unique etc, so I do think that I can get somewhere in the industry. Just so you know the standard, I can play pieces like La Campanella, Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement, Revolutionary Etude, Ballade in G minor. I make mistakes but I could probably eliminate them if I had enough practice every day. At the moment I probably get in around an hour every other day where I used to practice two hours a day.

I want to get the most out of it because it's something that I really enjoy doing and if I could still get to concert level at this stage I would be really happy. So I'm asking:
a) whether you think it's possible (I know it might be difficult to say without any more information than you have here).
b) if so, what should my next step be?

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#2166053 - 10/14/13 12:58 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
Originally Posted By: Any1291
Hi everyone, I'm new here so sorry if this is the wrong forum.

I need advice on what the next step should be for me. I have played the piano since I was young and I've got to a high standard without ever being taught anything (I learnt most my pieces by ear). I didn't choose to take music to university because of my lack of musical education and chose a different career path. I'm now 21 but I feel like I'm wasting my talent. People always comment on how gifted I am and how I am unique etc, so I do think that I can get somewhere in the industry. Just so you know the standard, I can play pieces like La Campanella, Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement, Revolutionary Etude, Ballade in G minor. I make mistakes but I could probably eliminate them if I had enough practice every day. At the moment I probably get in around an hour every other day where I used to practice two hours a day.

I want to get the most out of it because it's something that I really enjoy doing and if I could still get to concert level at this stage I would be really happy. So I'm asking:
a) whether you think it's possible (I know it might be difficult to say without any more information than you have here).
b) if so, what should my next step be?


We would have to hear you play to comment so perhaps you could go to a piano teacher, play for him or her and ask their opinion. Also you say you make mistakes? Concert pianists do not make mistakes so perhaps is it a bit too early to go down this road?

If you want a successful career as a concert pianist you need to be able to play at this standard.

http://youtu.be/10JYBqZ9YH0


Edited by adultpianist (10/14/13 01:05 PM)

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#2166055 - 10/14/13 01:00 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: adultpianist]
Any1291 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/13
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: adultpianist

We would have to hear you play to comment so perhaps you could go to a piano teacher, play for him or her and ask their opinion


I can offer you a phone recording?

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#2166059 - 10/14/13 01:09 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: adultpianist]
Any1291 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/13
Posts: 7
Also you say you make mistakes? Concert pianists do not make mistakes so perhaps is it a bit too early to go down this road?

If you want a successful career as a concert pianist you need to be able to play at this standard.

http://youtu.be/10JYBqZ9YH0

__

I can play La Campanella to a fast tempo without mistakes probably 1/10 times. The most difficult thing from that video is not the actual playing but the duration, one of my weaknesses, probably due to lack of practice is that my fingers tire very easily.

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#2166062 - 10/14/13 01:13 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: adultpianist]
jdw Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 957
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
Concert pianists do not make mistakes so perhaps is it a bit too early to go down this road?


This is a myth--concert pianists certainly do make mistakes, they're human like anyone else. But, their level of training is such that most people won't notice the mistakes, and they become highly skilled at recovering from mistakes. They also make much better mistakes than amateurs (e.g., they're unlikely to slip into a totally wrong key and have a train wreck!).

This isn't directly related to the OP's question, but the myth has started to bug me--hey, maybe it can become another pet peeve smile!

Back on topic, playing for a knowledgeable professional is good advice.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#2166065 - 10/14/13 01:16 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Any1291
I've got to a high standard without ever being taught anything (I learnt most my pieces by ear).... pieces like La Campanella, Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement, Revolutionary Etude, Ballade in G minor. I make mistakes but I could probably eliminate them if I had enough practice every day. At the moment I probably get in around an hour every other day where I used to practice two hours a day.


Most of the members here are hobbyists and cannot play these piece "to a high standard". I would suggest you post this question in the teacher's forum and get some feedback there as well.

I would say that you need to have a reality check. Seek out a few good classically trained teachers with university degrees in piano perforamnce, and play for them and see what they say your potentials are. You can find them on the National Music Teachers Association (MTNA) http://www.mtna.org/parent-and-student-resources/choosing-a-music-teacher/.

Obviously, piano is very much a performance oriented skill, and it is impossible to know what anyone could do without an actual recording or live performance. It is best to show a professional your abilities. This is easier than you think because many teachers will provide a free first lesson where you talk about goals and will listen a little bit to your playing like an interview/audition.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2166075 - 10/14/13 01:27 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Any1291 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/13
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
Originally Posted By: Any1291
I've got to a high standard without ever being taught anything (I learnt most my pieces by ear).... pieces like La Campanella, Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement, Revolutionary Etude, Ballade in G minor. I make mistakes but I could probably eliminate them if I had enough practice every day. At the moment I probably get in around an hour every other day where I used to practice two hours a day.


Most of the members here are hobbyists and cannot play these piece "to a high standard". I would suggest you post this question in the teacher's forum and get some feedback there as well.

I would say that you need to have a reality check. Seek out a few good classically trained teachers with university degrees in piano perforamnce, and play for them and see what they say your potentials are. You can find them on the National Music Teachers Association (MTNA) http://www.mtna.org/parent-and-student-resources/choosing-a-music-teacher/.

Obviously, piano is very much a performance oriented skill, and it is impossible to know what anyone could do without an actual recording or live performance. It is best to show a professional your abilities. This is easier than you think because many teachers will provide a free first lesson where you talk about goals and will listen a little bit to your playing like an interview/audition.


Thanks, really useful, I'll check it out. I played to an orchestra violinist once who encouraged me to pursue it but I guess it's not the same. Thanks for the advice.

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#2166087 - 10/14/13 01:36 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Any1291
I can play La Campanella to a fast tempo without mistakes probably 1/10 times. The most difficult thing from that video is not the actual playing but the duration, one of my weaknesses, probably due to lack of practice is that my fingers tire very easily.


There are a lot of red flags in this statement, but I don't want to make guesses. First of all a fast tempo is not the be all in playing a musical instrument. The fact is, many with no training like to impress by playing something very technical and fast but it is the musicianship that matter far more. How you sound is far more important than how few mistakes you made or how fast you could play. Unless you make massive numbers of mistake that results in the break down of performance, no professional will ever judge you by counting your mistakes. Many first prize winners at piano competitions make more mistakes than the other competitors. Again, it is the musicianship that counts the most.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2166095 - 10/14/13 01:47 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3519
Loc: Northern England.
if you`re playing by ear and enjoying it, if you now go to a teacher to br formally taught, it may not be so good. He`ll want to unravel bad technique and install the necessary discipline in order for you to play music correctly, as written.

If I were you, I`d do it for as long as you can stand it. It will be worth it for future, and you`ll still have your own energy to play in whayever way you want. Nobody will take that away, but it nay be channelled somewhat.

Have fun!
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2166135 - 10/14/13 02:39 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Any1291 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/13
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
Originally Posted By: Any1291
I can play La Campanella to a fast tempo without mistakes probably 1/10 times. The most difficult thing from that video is not the actual playing but the duration, one of my weaknesses, probably due to lack of practice is that my fingers tire very easily.


There are a lot of red flags in this statement, but I don't want to make guesses. First of all a fast tempo is not the be all in playing a musical instrument. The fact is, many with no training like to impress by playing something very technical and fast but it is the musicianship that matter far more. How you sound is far more important than how few mistakes you made or how fast you could play. Unless you make massive numbers of mistake that results in the break down of performance, no professional will ever judge you by counting your mistakes. Many first prize winners at piano competitions make more mistakes than the other competitors. Again, it is the musicianship that counts the most.


When I play I always put the sound over speed, I was just making that statement so you know I don't play these pieces sluggishly which anyone can do.

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#2166149 - 10/14/13 03:12 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
Originally Posted By: Any1291
I can play La Campanella to a fast tempo without mistakes probably 1/10 times. The most difficult thing from that video is not the actual playing but the duration, one of my weaknesses, probably due to lack of practice is that my fingers tire very easily.


There are a lot of red flags in this statement, but I don't want to make guesses. First of all a fast tempo is not the be all in playing a musical instrument. The fact is, many with no training like to impress by playing something very technical and fast but it is the musicianship that matter far more. How you sound is far more important than how few mistakes you made or how fast you could play. Unless you make massive numbers of mistake that results in the break down of performance, no professional will ever judge you by counting your mistakes. Many first prize winners at piano competitions make more mistakes than the other competitors. Again, it is the musicianship that counts the most.



I would argue the most important red flag is the assumption that "fingers tire easily." OP, why do you think that small children can play advanced works for 30 minutes and beyond oftentimes without their fingers "getting tired"? Obviously they're not stronger or better equipped than you. The difference is they're using they're whole body - wrists, forearms, shoulders, torso, hips, etc. - as well as the force of gravity to be able to play as long as they could possibly want with no tiring whatsoever. This is probably your biggest limitation, currently, OP. You should invest in a good teacher to help fix your inefficient technique as well as give you experienced, one-on-one advice as to possible career options if you really are interested in the industry. None of us know you or can give you even close to as useful advice.

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#2166156 - 10/14/13 03:22 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Bobpickle]
Any1291 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/13
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
Originally Posted By: Any1291
I can play La Campanella to a fast tempo without mistakes probably 1/10 times. The most difficult thing from that video is not the actual playing but the duration, one of my weaknesses, probably due to lack of practice is that my fingers tire very easily.


There are a lot of red flags in this statement, but I don't want to make guesses. First of all a fast tempo is not the be all in playing a musical instrument. The fact is, many with no training like to impress by playing something very technical and fast but it is the musicianship that matter far more. How you sound is far more important than how few mistakes you made or how fast you could play. Unless you make massive numbers of mistake that results in the break down of performance, no professional will ever judge you by counting your mistakes. Many first prize winners at piano competitions make more mistakes than the other competitors. Again, it is the musicianship that counts the most.



I would argue the most important red flag is the assumption that "fingers tire easily." OP, why do you think that small children can play advanced works for 30 minutes and beyond oftentimes without their fingers "getting tired"? Obviously they're not stronger or better equipped than you. The difference is they're using they're whole body - wrists, forearms, shoulders, torso, hips, etc. - as well as the force of gravity to be able to play as long as they could possibly want with no tiring whatsoever. This is probably your biggest limitation, currently, OP. You should invest in a good teacher to help fix your inefficient technique as well as give you experienced, one-on-one advice as to possible career options if you really are interested in the industry. None of us know you or can give you even close to as useful advice.


The advice you are giving is more useful than you think, despite the lack of information you have. I have a question on your comment however; do you think it is possible to play advanced pieces without tiring? I cannot imagine a pianist playing a piece like Revolutionary Etude without tiring, I thought it was the norm.

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#2166234 - 10/14/13 05:50 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1006
Loc: Southern California
A possible next step might be to enter some amateur competitions. Before taking that step, find a very good teacher that is familiar with competitions. The winner often gets a live concert gig as part of the prize package. For amateurs it might be a smaller venue, but it is still a paying concert gig, and they are not easy to come by. I won't comment on the odds of any one person winning a competition. That's why finding a teacher to make an evaluation is an important intermediate step.

An issue for a person that can't sight read is ensemble work, accompanying a singer or choir, or concertos with a full orchestra. Practice for groups often involves calling out a measure number and everyone starting at that measure. Few would tolerate someone that couldn't do at least that much.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#2166246 - 10/14/13 06:10 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
Originally Posted By: Any1291
Originally Posted By: Bobpickle
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
Originally Posted By: Any1291
I can play La Campanella to a fast tempo without mistakes probably 1/10 times. The most difficult thing from that video is not the actual playing but the duration, one of my weaknesses, probably due to lack of practice is that my fingers tire very easily.


There are a lot of red flags in this statement, but I don't want to make guesses. First of all a fast tempo is not the be all in playing a musical instrument. The fact is, many with no training like to impress by playing something very technical and fast but it is the musicianship that matter far more. How you sound is far more important than how few mistakes you made or how fast you could play. Unless you make massive numbers of mistake that results in the break down of performance, no professional will ever judge you by counting your mistakes. Many first prize winners at piano competitions make more mistakes than the other competitors. Again, it is the musicianship that counts the most.



I would argue the most important red flag is the assumption that "fingers tire easily." OP, why do you think that small children can play advanced works for 30 minutes and beyond oftentimes without their fingers "getting tired"? Obviously they're not stronger or better equipped than you. The difference is they're using they're whole body - wrists, forearms, shoulders, torso, hips, etc. - as well as the force of gravity to be able to play as long as they could possibly want with no tiring whatsoever. This is probably your biggest limitation, currently, OP. You should invest in a good teacher to help fix your inefficient technique as well as give you experienced, one-on-one advice as to possible career options if you really are interested in the industry. None of us know you or can give you even close to as useful advice.


The advice you are giving is more useful than you think, despite the lack of information you have. I have a question on your comment however; do you think it is possible to play advanced pieces without tiring? I cannot imagine a pianist playing a piece like Revolutionary Etude without tiring, I thought it was the norm.


To be perfectly honest, we are not professionals. We are not tutors who tutor to that level. It is very very hard to get into the music business. I know a girl who studied music at university and after getting her degree she quit and now works in an office. Ok she studied percuussion but even if you are good at percussion you can get into an orchestra and make a career out of it. The Londdon Philharmonic orchestra has percussionists so if you audition and pass and get in then good but this girl felt she was not good enough despite having a university degree. I think some of it might have been her fear and if she tried she might have surprised herself, but she was not willing to try and although she plays in orchestras for fun, it is not her career. Added to which good musicians make music their life and travel all over the world and are in great demand.

My cousin used to play in the Sydney Symphony orchestra as a violinist and gave it up when she got married and had a family as she found it impossible to tour with the orchestra. Now she teaches violin so she still is in the business. Really you need to talk to some professionals. We cannot help you very much except point you in the right direction.

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#2166272 - 10/14/13 07:16 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Any1291
... if I could still get to concert level at this stage I would be really happy. So I'm asking:
a) whether you think it's possible (I know it might be difficult to say without any more information than you have here).
b) if so, what should my next step be?


A couple of additional thoughts. First, without this becoming a long and complicated response, there are many different kinds of concert pianists. There are the David Nevue and Brian Crane who has little to no training (self-taught), and in Nevue's case, he cannot read or write music. They both compose and give concerts. Since a lot of these pianists started much later than you, it is without a doubt possible.

However, if you want to become a classical concert pianist, then formal training including a conservatory degree is without exception part of the path. At 21 you are late compared to other typical conservatory candidates, but you still won't stick out like a sore thumb like a 35-year-old would. There is a piano teacher in these forums who entered the conservatory at 46, I believe.

In any case, if you want to pursue classical music performance and teaching professionally, you need to make that clear and find a teacher with the explicit goal of preparing you for conservatory entry. You will need great commitment for this path. It may not lead to a concert career but a teaching career is very respectable. Also, since you have an excellent ear, being a professional accompanist could be another possibility to exploit that talent. There are many possibilities here but first steps would be to find the teacher, and second would be to figure out how to prepare for conservatory. Before all that, have you ever considered practicing 30 to 40 hours a week before? Would you object to studying music theory, harmony, and history. Make sure you are clear on the reality of the life of a concert pianist versus the idea of one.

Btw, getting tired after a short period on the piano is definitely not normal, but no need to worry about it. Your teacher would fix that.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2166294 - 10/14/13 08:14 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
Originally Posted By: Any1291
... if I could still get to concert level at this stage I would be really happy. So I'm asking:
a) whether you think it's possible (I know it might be difficult to say without any more information than you have here).
b) if so, what should my next step be?


A couple of additional thoughts. First, without this becoming a long and complicated response, there are many different kinds of concert pianists. There are the David Nevue and Brian Crane who has little to no training (self-taught), and in Nevue's case, he cannot read or write music. They both compose and give concerts. Since a lot of these pianists started much later than you, it is without a doubt possible.

However, if you want to become a classical concert pianist, then formal training including a conservatory degree is without exception part of the path. At 21 you are late compared to other typical conservatory candidates, but you still won't stick out like a sore thumb like a 35-year-old would. There is a piano teacher in these forums who entered the conservatory at 46, I believe.

In any case, if you want to pursue classical music performance and teaching professionally, you need to make that clear and find a teacher with the explicit goal of preparing you for conservatory entry. You will need great commitment for this path. It may not lead to a concert career but a teaching career is very respectable. Also, since you have an excellent ear, being a professional accompanist could be another possibility to exploit that talent. There are many possibilities here but first steps would be to find the teacher, and second would be to figure out how to prepare for conservatory. Before all that, have you ever considered practicing 30 to 40 hours a week before? Would you object to studying music theory, harmony, and history. Make sure you are clear on the reality of the life of a concert pianist versus the idea of one.

Btw, getting tired after a short period on the piano is definitely not normal, but no need to worry about it. Your teacher would fix that.


Have a look at this and then decide if you still want to become hopefully a clssical concert pianist. This is a typical concert piaists schedule

http://helenegrimaud.com/concerts/all

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#2166480 - 10/15/13 03:40 AM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Any1291
do you think it is possible to play advanced pieces without tiring? I cannot imagine a pianist playing a piece like Revolutionary Etude without tiring, I thought it was the norm.


It's not uncommon for concert pianists to play through all of Chopin's opus 10 and opus 12 etudes in a row (some of the most technically demanding works in the entire repertoire - learning just one well is an impressive feat) or nowadays even be capable of playing through all 32 of Beethoven's sonatas consecutively from memory if one chose to do so. The point is that there is no need or reason to feel tired, weak, or in pain when playing. These are all basic indicators that you're doing something wrong and should either re-evaluate things and/or seek help so that you don't injure yourself and potentially prevent yourself from every being able to play again.

While such problems are obviously best solved in one-on-one environments (i.e. piano lessons with good teachers), these are two popular and well-reviewed resources regarding building a foundational knowledge of a healthful piano technique:
  • Thomas Mark: What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body
  • Barbara Lister-Sink: Freeing The Caged Bird

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#2166482 - 10/15/13 04:03 AM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 970
Loc: Italy
A career in music can mean many things, not necessarily being a classical concert pianist - for which it may be a bit late, given your lack of formal training and the fact that it's an awfully competitive field. But if you are very good at playing by ear, why not find ways to make that your job? Maybe get into pop, folk, jazz, improvisation... play with other people, accompany singers, you name it. Just a thought.
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2166554 - 10/15/13 08:47 AM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11685
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Any1291


The advice you are giving is more useful than you think, despite the lack of information you have. I have a question on your comment however; do you think it is possible to play advanced pieces without tiring? I cannot imagine a pianist playing a piece like Revolutionary Etude without tiring, I thought it was the norm.
Of course they can play it without tiring! I think perhaps what tires first would be the mind, or you just need to chug some juice for quick energy in the course of a full recital - but certainly not after playing a piece. The fingers, hands, wrists, or arms should not get tired. If they do, it's a sign of a technique that is limiting you.

This is the kind of thing that a good teacher will be able to point out and correct. Yes, that does mean you will have to go back to basics for a while to relearn proper technique, but if your ultimate goal is to play better, doesn't it make sense to do that? If the greatest classical pianists needed teachers to learn how to do what they do, why would you be different?


Edited by Morodiene (10/15/13 08:51 AM)
_________________________
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MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
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#2166571 - 10/15/13 09:42 AM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Morodiene]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
Didn't Liberace play only by ear? He was a very successful pianist in his own right.

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#2166573 - 10/15/13 09:45 AM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: adultpianist]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
Liberace was bestowed with many awards during his lifetime including: Instrumentalist of the Year, Best Dressed Entertainer, Entertainer of the Year, two Emmy Awards, six gold albums, and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In The Guinness Book of World Records, he has been listed as the world's highest paid musician and pianist. Liberace was an extremely talented and versatile man. He not only played the piano, but sang, danced and joked during his performances. In fact, one of Liberace's biggest accomplishments was his ability to turn a recital into a show full of music, glitter and personality.

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#2166600 - 10/15/13 10:21 AM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
Was liberace trained in classical? Did he play classical? That seems the way only true way to go if you want to be considered a great pianist, no?
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#2166611 - 10/15/13 10:40 AM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
Liberace didn't only play by ear. He was classically trained since childhood.

Liberace was a child prodigy, playing by ear when he was 4 years old. His family enrolled him in piano lessons since he was 5.

By the age of 7, Liberace was studying under Ms. Florence Bettray-Kelly, who was a top classical pianist.

Ms. Bettray-Kelly was herself a pupil of the legendary Moriz Rosenthal, who studied directly under Franz Liszt, and friend of Johannes Brahms, Anton Rubenstein, Johann Strauss, etc.

So Liberace's training lineage can be traced directly to Liszt. Liberace studied with Ms. Bettray-Kelly for 10 years, until he was 17. He then entered classical piano competitions and (fittingly) played the Liszt 2nd Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In his early-20s, Liberace started to play more pop music, but all of his early training was classical.
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Working on RCM Grade 8

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#2166619 - 10/15/13 10:47 AM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
findingnemo2010 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/09
Posts: 1491
That figures. There's my answer. Man I wish I started that young.
_________________________
music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain

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#2166626 - 10/15/13 11:20 AM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Any1291 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/13
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: 4evrBeginR
Originally Posted By: Any1291
... if I could still get to concert level at this stage I would be really happy. So I'm asking:
a) whether you think it's possible (I know it might be difficult to say without any more information than you have here).
b) if so, what should my next step be?


A couple of additional thoughts. First, without this becoming a long and complicated response, there are many different kinds of concert pianists. There are the David Nevue and Brian Crane who has little to no training (self-taught), and in Nevue's case, he cannot read or write music. They both compose and give concerts. Since a lot of these pianists started much later than you, it is without a doubt possible.

However, if you want to become a classical concert pianist, then formal training including a conservatory degree is without exception part of the path. At 21 you are late compared to other typical conservatory candidates, but you still won't stick out like a sore thumb like a 35-year-old would. There is a piano teacher in these forums who entered the conservatory at 46, I believe.

In any case, if you want to pursue classical music performance and teaching professionally, you need to make that clear and find a teacher with the explicit goal of preparing you for conservatory entry. You will need great commitment for this path. It may not lead to a concert career but a teaching career is very respectable. Also, since you have an excellent ear, being a professional accompanist could be another possibility to exploit that talent. There are many possibilities here but first steps would be to find the teacher, and second would be to figure out how to prepare for conservatory. Before all that, have you ever considered practicing 30 to 40 hours a week before? Would you object to studying music theory, harmony, and history. Make sure you are clear on the reality of the life of a concert pianist versus the idea of one.

Btw, getting tired after a short period on the piano is definitely not normal, but no need to worry about it. Your teacher would fix that.


Thanks for that guidance, really helpful. I'm almost in a position to practice that much every week and will give it a shot with the teacher to see what he/she thinks. I'll let you all know the outcome.

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#2166632 - 10/15/13 11:34 AM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
Hope it is a positive outcome

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#2166722 - 10/15/13 04:24 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3491
Find a good teacher. You play some hard pieces but concert level is also about many other things: how well does it sound (rather than how fast you can play it), how you present yourself, how quick you are in mastering new pieces, how you perform under stress, how do you cope with inevetable mistakes during a performance, etc

And getting asked for concerts probably is even harder, I suppose you need the right connections on top of all above. I guess you can't really 'buy' this. Current economy and low interest in classical music make your chances even slimmer.
_________________________

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#2166797 - 10/15/13 06:56 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: Any1291
People always comment on how gifted I am and how I am unique etc, so I do think that I can get somewhere in the industry. Just so you know the standard, I can play pieces like La Campanella, Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement, Revolutionary Etude, Ballade in G minor. I make mistakes ...


Who are the people that make those comments?

If they are not musicians, and are not specifically knowledgeable about Classical piano music, they may think you are gifted simply because you are playing the piano, when if fact you are not playing those pieces as they should be played.

The harsh reality is that people unfamiliar with piano music often think that playing just about anything, at any level of competency, is "good".

I have had people say I am a "magician" because to them playing the piano is mysterious and unreachable. The occasion where that was said was in a church, and I was playing simple old-fashioned Christian hymns.

Like others have said, play in front of a piano teacher, and I would add play for one who teaches at or near that level of music, not the little old lady down the street.

Perhaps you are a gifted musician...but let an expert in the music make that call, not the Hoi polloi.

ps...I wish you the best in your musical endeavor.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2166847 - 10/15/13 08:36 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Any1291
Just so you know the standard, I can play pieces like La Campanella, Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement, Revolutionary Etude, Ballade in G minor.

This is the biggest red flag for me.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2166880 - 10/15/13 10:01 PM Re: Need some advice - how far can I go? [Re: Any1291]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2492
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Find a teacher. Play some auditions. See what happens.

See a guidance counselor. See a psychologist. Speak to someone of your faith tradition.

Get a massage. Give something away.
Have something delicious to eat. Get some exercise and sleep well.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.

You're alive; the possibilities are endless.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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