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#580743 - 10/07/06 09:20 PM Am I being realistic?
deadmen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 10
Loc: california
Im a senior in high school and for last year I was set on going to berklee to study guitar(I have already been accepted).....well some things happened that i wont go into detail about but basically I fell in love with the piano and decided to put my energy and time into it.Well basically is there enough time for me to get up to par to study at university level..about a year....i am ready to really give everything to it, I usually have about 9 hours a day i can practice on week days and weekends I will just practice all day....I took theory classes a while ago using a piano,pretty much every thing i had on guitar transfered to the piano pretty well so im not completely new.. im just looking for some motivation or a reality check...thanks for replys

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#580744 - 10/07/06 10:12 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
it's going to be tough for you. you have to see if you can get audition pieces done within one year. if you just started playing piano, i'm not sure you'd have enough time to accomplish that.

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#580745 - 10/07/06 10:48 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3914
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
(1)It's surprising, at times, how much technique transfers over from one instrument to another.

(2)Don't practice so much you injure your hands. I think pianists may be more prone to this than other instrumentalists, but I've heard of acoustic string instrument players (e.g., David Grisman) being sidelined for a while with overuse problems.

(3)You might talk to the Berklee people about this.
_________________________
There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#580746 - 10/07/06 11:30 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
deadmen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 10
Loc: california
I already developed carpal tunnel a while ago from playing guitar too much but i got some accupuncture and do a stretching routine after every hour of playing so that got fixed up...also what should i be focusing on ......i have ALOTT of time to practice just dont know what to....

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#580747 - 10/08/06 12:47 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
virtuoso418 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 645
berklee? or Berkeley in California?

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#580748 - 10/08/06 01:19 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1478
Piano at Berklee or somewhere else?

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#580749 - 10/08/06 02:48 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
deadmen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 10
Loc: california
Probably not at Berklee....I would like to gain some more expeirience before spending that kind of money,,,,could anyone recommend some decent schools that arent ridicoulously expensive???and that might actually accept me

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#580750 - 10/08/06 02:50 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Everyone likes to be optimistic and sugar coat things so as not to break any youngling's heart on here but allow me to be the sole voice of dissent then and tell you that NO are you not being anywhere near realistic although I suppose anything is possible. But from my own experience, I just don't see it being possible for you to become a advanced pianist in 1 years time.

However, give some more information, 1 years time do you mean that you plan to study as PIANO PERFORMANCE MAJOR in FALL OF 2007? Because that would PROBABLY mean (I'm assuming) that you would have to audition sometime in spring or at latest summer of 2007 which would mean you have far less than a year's time but rather only months. So tell us more about the situation, also depending upon the school and its standards in the music dept I think it might be possible to learn some pieces for an audition in a years time such as a Bach invention, a Mozart sonata movement, a chopin nocturne, etc all of these have relatively easy pieces that I just mentioned and can be learned by beginners but it depends like I said what the standard is of the music program you are attempting to apply to, obviously if it's a music conservatory you stand no chance whatsoever but if it's a normal liberal arts school or whatnot you may stand some chance I don't know for sure.
_________________________
"He who turns himself into a beast, gets rid of the pain of being a man."

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#580751 - 10/08/06 02:55 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
And if you are REALLY REALLY sure abuot this and have your heart set on it and truly think you can devote that ridiculous amount of time to practicing that you claim you can, then get immediately to your scales, all major and minor possibly get a piano teacher, get HANON or similar finger dexterity exercise book, and assuming you know how to read sheet music start working on some Clementi sonatinas, Bach invention in C major, Bach prelude in C major from wwell tempered clavier book 1, things of this nature, and in the time you're NOT practicing start reading piano theory books about technique and start asking as many questions as possible on pianoworld and posting multitudes of topics and make sure you practice everything super slow at first.
_________________________
"He who turns himself into a beast, gets rid of the pain of being a man."

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#580752 - 10/08/06 04:13 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
deadmen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 10
Loc: california
My plan is to study at a relatively "lower" school for a year or so and transfer to a more prestigous school if I feel im good enough.....as for practicing I have no problem with disiplined practice for very long periods and I have already learned all my music theory from 4 years in my high school jazz band(which Is really helping).I really would like to learn ONLY Chopin as he is the reason for my craziness and swithing from guitar...

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#580753 - 10/08/06 09:20 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17828
Loc: Victoria, BC
Anything is possible, I guess, but ...

I think you are being totally unrealistic. If you are planning to be a piano major, do you really think that any school will find a spot for you among the (possibly) hundreds of applicants who have spent their young years practicing and playing the piano, and who have developed not only advanced technique but also familiarity with and the ability to play piano music of all periods?

Furthermore, you may have nine hours a day to practice, but every serious piano student knows that (practically) no one can practice efficiently for that length of time each day. You may have the physical stamina to put in nine hours a day - and risk serious injury doing so - but a lot of that time will be wasted time. I would hazard a guess that you don't really understand what time and effort are required to become a sufficiently good pianist to be accepted as a piano major at the university level.

You would undoubtedly have to display some level of technical achievement but also the ability to play Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern music as well. How do you hope to develop those requisites in less than a year, given that applications would have to be in by the winter of the year before you enter?

I'm with Requiem Aeternum on this one; I don't think you are being at all realistic.

That said: anything is possible, I guess, but ...

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#580754 - 10/08/06 09:41 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
Boxer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 210
Loc: Chicago
 Quote:
Originally posted by deadmen:
I really would like to learn ONLY Chopin as he is the reason for my craziness and swithing from guitar... [/b]
No, you are not being realistic. Don't get false hope from the "anything is possible" comments. From a purely physical perspective you simply won't be good enough after only one year.

Your statement which I quoted above indicates that you are also not realistically mentally ready/committed to this. If you "only" want to learn Chopin, then being a piano major is probably not your calling.

My internet psychoanalytic powers tell me that you are an intense, passionate person who may be just a tad burnt out on guitar because you are overdoing it. You're already good enough on Guitar to matriculate to Berklee. So take a break, indulge your new interest and explore piano/Chopin. But not for 9 hours a day, though. Go make a few friends, go out on a date, live life a bit. Then in the Spring after a nice breather and battery recharge you can reevaluate whether guitar is something you want to continue with.

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#580755 - 10/08/06 09:49 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
pianoanne Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/02/04
Posts: 649
Loc: Pacific NW
 Quote:
Originally posted by deadmen:
I really would like to learn ONLY Chopin as he is the reason for my craziness and swithing from guitar... [/b]
Is this a serious comment? Have you taken a look at any school's audition requirements? No matter how small the school they will require an audition of contrasting styles. You will have to play a work by Bach, and at the minimum it will have to be a 2 part Invention. You will need the first movement of a Classical Sonata (Mozart, Beethoven or Haydn), and finally a Romantic work and there you can play Chopin.

I don't believe you really understand the committment it is to be a piano major in college. I would stick with guitar if I were you and try to find some Chopin Transcriptions to play on the Guitar, and maybe at Berkley you can get piano lessons as an elective. Berkley is a good school, I wouldn't give that up for some unrealistic dream that I perceive you are not all that serious about. (the only playing Chopin comment really sold this opinion for me).

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#580756 - 10/08/06 10:30 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17828
Loc: Victoria, BC
apianonne:

deadmean is not talking about Berkley, but about Berklee. I do wonder, however, if he really knows what he wants or where to get it, given the following (From Berklee's website) :

"Founded in 1945, Berklee College of Music is the world's largest independent music college and the premier institution for the study of contemporary music. The college's 3,800 students and 460 faculty members interact in an environment designed to provide the most complete learning experience possible, including all of the opportunities and challenges presented by a career in the contemporary music industry.

Using Berklee's extensive facilities, located in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, students develop musical competencies in such areas as composition, performance and recording/production , and also learn to make the informed business decisions necessary to career success.

Since the college's inception, one of its primary goals has been to foster international understanding through the medium of contemporary music. Young musicians come to Berklee from every corner of the earth to study music, and as a result, Berklee is a uniquely international college. Of all U.S. colleges and universities, Berklee has the largest percentage of undergraduate students from outside the U.S.—26 percent—representing more than 70 countries.
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#580757 - 10/08/06 10:37 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17828
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by deadmen:
[...] my craziness [...][/b]
I am not intending to be unkind, but this is probably the most rational thing you've said so far. You really need to wake up and take a serious reality check.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#580758 - 10/08/06 12:21 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
roflmao excellent posts Bruce.

Deadmen you DO realize that for a college audition for piano performance you are required to play at the LEAST 4 different composers from 4 different eras and sometimes 5? That will mean you must play one BAROQUE work (i.e. Bach), one CLASSICAL work (i.e. Mozart or Beethoven), one ROMANTIC work (i.e. Chopin) and one MODERN work (i.e. Prokofiev, Barber, etc).
_________________________
"He who turns himself into a beast, gets rid of the pain of being a man."

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#580759 - 10/08/06 12:32 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21257
Loc: Oakland
Start at Berklee in guitar, take all the piano courses you can, and see if you can transfer programs, if you still want to.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#580760 - 10/08/06 01:02 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
Codetta Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 134
Loc: Chino Hills, CA
I have to enter my opinion here, too. No, Requiem, you are not the only voice of dissent. I agree with you.

I went to a highly thought-of university and got my bachelor and masters degrees in piano performance. That being said: even though I was MORE THAN qualified (after having studied piano for 12 years - since the age of 6) I still had to work my tail off! And I came in there knowing all the major and minor scales plus the required repertoire from all 4 periods of music.

Deadman: just know that you will NOT be allowed to learn and focus only on Chopin. I hope you weren't serious when you said that. There's no school worth it's salt that would let you do that. If you're so enthralled with Chopin then by all means, find a qualified teacher and go for it.

Competition at music schools in this day and age is highly competitive - almost unrealistic at times. I talked a few weeks ago with a friend of mine who is highly involved with the music dept. at USC and the requirements for being accepted there are going to be upgraded - A LOT! This is just a sign of the times.

I like your enthusiasm but I think you need to have a reality check. Why not go to some student recitals at the local universities and see what is demanded? Then take a long, hard look at what you REALLY need to do.

(you can ALWAYS study Chopin without a degree)
_________________________
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Berthold Auerbach

Private Piano Teacher
Member: Music Teachers' Association of California
Evaluator: Certificate of Merit
Organist/Pianist: Christ Lutheran Church, West Covina

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#580761 - 10/08/06 01:23 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1478
I just realized you have not yet told us what your level of playing is at the piano. Can you sight read music? Have you ever played a Beethoven sonata or a Bach prelude and Fugue? Do you know all of your scales and etudes?

I noticed you said "university level", which implies not a conservatoroy, but an acutal music dept. of a college. The problem with these types of questions - and they come up a lot here - is we are just sitting on the other side of the computer screen, we don't know your personality or your playing. From what it sounds like, I would say you have no chance of getting into a great CONSERVATORY this year, or probably the next few years. But if you do work hard, and depending on the level of your playing right now, which none of us actually know, I would dare say that it is quite possible that by next year, if you really work, you could prepare an audition program for a university music dept...and thus would complete your dream of studying piano at the university level.

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#580762 - 10/08/06 06:13 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
laney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 120
Loc: earth
If you have lots of natural talent, organizational skills and the motivation, then you can switch to piano.

My recommendation would be to find a piano professor at any college (even a community college) near you. Take a few lessons and see how it goes. Any local prof could give you advice on schools.

You couldn't exclusively play Chopin as an undergrad, but you could probably become a Chopin specialist in grad school. It wouldn't be easy, but it's possible.

I had to pick between 2 instruments, and it was not easy. I could have majored in either, but ultimately I had to pick the one I couldn't live without. I still play the other for fun, though. There are many paths for you. Good luck finding the right one!

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#580763 - 10/08/06 06:58 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 1105
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Sure you can do it. I had a couple of classmates who were double majoring in music and pre-med and they were both Ab Fab...

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#580764 - 10/08/06 08:14 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
deadmen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 10
Loc: california
Thanks guys......Ill really try to evaluate my situation...but i really think im dead set on piano...guitar doesnt really do it for me anymore and it really never did I just was always good at it and gave alot of time to it always forcing myself to practice with no direction,with piano I have a clear vision of what I like and would want to acheive ...as for my Chopin comment , I am willing to learn any thing but chopin is just what I really want to focus on.....Would the requirements still be as high if I were to go to school to receive a double major??like studying Psychology or something else and Piano......because from what I have seen,even incredible virtuoso guitarists and pianists with degrees from the top schools have trouble paying the bills

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#580765 - 10/08/06 08:15 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
deadmen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 10
Loc: california
Thanks guys......Ill really try to evaluate my situation...but i really think im dead set on piano...guitar doesnt really do it for me anymore and it really never did I just was always good at it and gave alot of time to it always forcing myself to practice with no direction,with piano I have a clear vision of what I like and would want to acheive ...as for my Chopin comment , I am willing to learn any thing but chopin is just what I really want to focus on.....Would the requirements still be as high if I were to go to school to receive a double major??like studying Psychology or something else and Piano......because from what I have seen,even incredible virtuoso guitarists and pianists with degrees from the top schools have trouble paying the bills and having another degree besides music seems more realistic

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#580766 - 10/08/06 08:35 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
p.s. for your info I too switched from guitar to piano though a bit after highschool and am now in my 4th year or so of playing piano and I don't even have the skills to get into most piano major programs yet so imagine where you'll be after only 1 year, then again my first 2 years or so I didn't train nearly as hard as you claim to be ready to though I did have the headstart of having played sax all my life in school bands (so I knew theory and how to read music) and guitar throughout highschool. I DO think it's possible to learn some of the easiest pieces from each category in one year, after all isn't there some guy on here now that's been playing for only a year and practicing insane amounts of hours per day and is already attempting the revolutionary etude and liszt pieces and whatnot. Then again I was playing moonlight 3 after only half a year of playing piano too and yet "playing" isn't exactly the right word to call it, more like ATTEMPTING, here I am almost 4 years later I still can't play the damn thing the way I want so go figure,
BUT like I said, I think it's possible to learn the easiest pieces from each category in a year.
For example, many beginners including myself have learned such things as fur elise before the first year of study was over, and Bach inventions etc, and many music programs will let you in if you are able to play such pieces decently.
So for example say you learn a Bach invention for the Baroque, a easier movement of Mozart sonata for the classical ( k. 545 1st mov or rondo alla turka etc..) then a easy Chopin nocturne for the romantic (opus 9 no 2 in Eb for example), all of these pieces are possible to be learned within the first year of study, and thus if you are able to play them decently perhaps you would stand a chance at SOME schools. Then, once you're actually in, being in the whole environment of seeing other players and teachers and learning from them perhaps/hopefully your technique and skills will improve much faster than they would someone else.
However I would possibly recommend you get a teacher ASAP but one with which you setup an IMMEDIATE understanding of what your goals are, because if you don't most likely the teacher will groom you strictly on fundamentals to the point where you may not learn many pieces at all in your first year or two, but if you find one that agrees to help you pass an audition perhaps he/she can focus his teaching in such a fashion as to expedite the process and help you learn those audition requirements ASAP.

However, as a disclaimer all of this is really hopeful and optimistic and the chances of learning even those easy beginner pieces all in a year's time to a adequate performance level are not that great but 1. you can try anyway or 2. you can start learning now and jus go to school for guitar for at least your first year or first semester and then easily switch over when you're ready by simply requesting a new audition (this is possible.)
_________________________
"He who turns himself into a beast, gets rid of the pain of being a man."

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#580767 - 10/08/06 10:41 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
Eleven Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/21/06
Posts: 8
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Mkay. Well, to tell the truth, you sound a lot like me. I have something called Asperger's Syndrome, which involves, in short, little to no social ability and obsessive interests. Sounds to me like you were quite obsessed with guitar, and suddenly you feel the same degree of obsession for piano practically overnight. You need to calm down, breathe, and get your priorities straight. Which are you going to choose--something you've been doing your whole life or something you've been doing for 4 years--child's play compared to most of us considering a major in music. I've been there. I have played piano since I was five years old, but one day, at age fifteen, I decided screw piano, I wanted to dance ballet. So for a year I was fascinated with ballet. It was my life. (Thanks to Asperger's, probably.) I lived, breathed, spoke, dreamt about ballet. A year or so ago, I finally realised that I had forgotten what had been important to me for over a decade--playing the piano. So now I'm back at the piano, winning competition after competition, playing pieces that beforehand I had not even dared to dream about playing. My thirst for piano is rekindled, and I'm happy.

Please don't make the same mistake I did...I wasted a year of my life on a phase, and I regret it deeply.
_________________________
crystallized light

The Project, completed 2006

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#580768 - 10/08/06 11:40 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
deadmen Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 10
Loc: california
I wouldnt see the ballet as a waste of your life...you learned something new and probably enjoyed it and you will probably take it up again at some point in your life.....anyways could someone get me started on how to really effectively practice???I bought Hanon and have fininshed up to the third exercise....should most of my time be dedicated to technique or repertoire or sight reading or something else?Basically in my situation what would you be doing

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#580769 - 10/08/06 11:56 PM Re: Am I being realistic?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17828
Loc: Victoria, BC
[...]
 Quote:
anyways could someone get me started on how to really effectively practice???I bought Hanon and have fininshed up to the third exercise....should most of my time be dedicated to technique or repertoire or sight reading or something else?Basically in my situation what would you be doing [/b]
In your situation I would be seeking out a good teacher. You will waste a lot of time and possibly learn poor skills - you might very likely even learn some bad habits you might have to eventuallly break - if you don't have a good teacher.

If it's worth going for, it's worth going about it the right way. Get a good teacher; don't listen to those of us who may try to give you good advice, in spite of our best intentions. We can't see how you're learning; we can't see how you are playing; we can't see how you are progressing; we can't evaluate your needs and how to meet them. Only a good teacher can do that.
From what you have said, you don't have a lot of time to waste; invest whatever funds and focus you may have on getting a good teacher and learning properly from him/her.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#580770 - 10/09/06 01:10 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
Lee_Gato Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 60
Hi deadmen,

I'm assuming you've been accepted as a Guitar major at Berklee, focusing on jazz and commercial music. Now it sounds like you want to start studying classical piano.

In all honesty, it will be an incredible amount of work to pull together enough repetoire to pass a college-level audition even in a couple of years. It would be impossible to gain acceptance to a conservatory, but possible a BA program at a state school. But even then, you will be at an incredible disadvantage compared to your peers.

I had a couple of college classmates (very talented and musical people) who switched to piano from other instruments and they both struggled mightily. One eventually dropped out, and the other finally graduated with a BA in piano perf after about 6 or 7 years. I think the piano faculty felt sorry for him.

I do know this: there are at least a few successful jazz pianists who I can think of who switched to piano from other instruments late in life. Marc Copland had a successful career as a sax player and then decided to switch to piano. George Colligan was a trumpet major at Peabody and then took up jazz piano after he got his degree. Both these guys are (near) top-flight jazz pianists, maybe not in the class of a Brad Mehldau, but no worse than a couple of rungs lower. I must add that both these guys are incredibly gifted and they beat some fairly serious odds to get where they are today.

However; as a far as classical pianists go, I cannot think of anyone of any sort of noterity who started piano after the age of 18-19.

Kind regards and best wishes,

Lee

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#580771 - 10/09/06 02:56 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
Van Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 1215
Loc: S. California
Cal sucks, go Stanford! lol, just fooling with ya, congratulations...I think the guitar kept me sane throughout college and law school, I don't think you're being realistic if you're hoping for a piano scholarship (just think of all the other kids who have trained from 3 years up on classical repetoire and you get the idea)...but don't give up on the piano, get a keyboard for your dorm room and noodle around in your spare time, it'll keep you sane and probably improve your guitar to boot, if nothing else you can always use it to tune your strings \:D
_________________________

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#580772 - 10/09/06 02:57 AM Re: Am I being realistic?
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
Hello deadmen,

I should carry on with Jazz and if Chopin is your only composer and you can read and play his music at all, I suggest you take a few lessons to get outside proof to yourself of your talent.

I would never dismiss enthusiasm as it is 90% of the importance of any art form.

Alan

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Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
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Halloween Fantasy
by Axtremus
9 minutes 59 seconds ago
Visited Yamaha's Flagship Store Today
by biasa199
12 minutes 56 seconds ago
Tag!
by Axtremus
13 minutes 28 seconds ago
Things are not working out for me
by Teodor
21 minutes 6 seconds ago
UVI has a sale on 5 grand piano sounds
by Morodiene
35 minutes 1 second ago
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