Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old?

Posted by: Piano World

Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/14/10 01:16 PM

She plays beautifully in a way you would expect from someone older.
But... at the end she flashes a "light up the room" smile that reminds you she's a happy 8 year old smile



Performed at Steinway Hall & store in Connecticut. There is no applause at the end because it was a recording session. Please visit www.umipiano.com for more information and Umi's upcoming performances.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/14/10 02:05 PM

Talent like this is always a joy to watch.

She has quite the performances coming up which is seen on her website.
Posted by: carey

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/14/10 02:55 PM

Beautiful, poised, amazingly talented child. I certainly hope that she won't be exploited......
Posted by: wdot

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/14/10 04:04 PM

That's a little scary. She's really playing the music. I noticed that she really can't play octaves yet, so she just "single-noted" a few of them.

Unbelievable talent.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/14/10 04:25 PM

My jaw is still on the floor. I have seen some of her videos before. If she doesn't burn out, this is the kind who can legitimately compete for the Cliburn at age seventeen.
Posted by: LimeFriday

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/14/10 05:11 PM

She seemed to be enjoying every moment of that performance. Amazing. She was really feeling the music... not just playing it. Her smile at the end was priceless.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/15/10 02:01 PM

Oh, I just loved the part near the end where she was getting so excited and bouncing up and down on the bench.

I showed it my son, and his only comment was "Mom, you need to practice more."
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/15/10 02:09 PM

I know that I'll almost get flamed here for my post, but anyhow:

I won't get into comparing and maybe, hopefully Umi is completely different, but in this age and time youtube is literally filled with young performers, in every instrument, from drums, to doodle, to piano, to guitar, to anything.

I don't care about her age. Experience has shown that the 'promising' part doesn't appear too often. Can we get a promise that she will advance in the same speed as she did in the first 8 years of her life? If so we will be getting the next Gillels, Richter and Horowitz combined! :-/

The OP says it all I think: "She plays beautifully in a way you would expect from someone older." It's not only the beauty of her performance, but also her age. And her age will only assend! Sadly!

Here's to hoping that she won't end up like most (quotation needed :D) children prodigies do, due to over exposure and lack of a 'normal' life (whatever that means).

____________________

In her defense, should she ever need it, this is one of the few very young pianists who's performances, without looking at the video DID mean something to me. And this is how I judge music: Without looking at the video! smile
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/15/10 04:43 PM

Of the half dozen or so "prodigies" I've known, all but one have careers in music. Only one has a university position, the rest teach privately. All perform now and then, but none do anything with a high profile.
Posted by: Brandon_W_T

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/15/10 05:27 PM

My little brother is almost 8 and the only thing he can do on a piano is bang the keys as incredibly hard as he can.

I do always wonder though, how these young good pianist practice? How do they have enough time for school, and even friends? Heck my little brother doesn't even have time to talk to us. Yes he probably isn't nearly as disciplined, but I wouldn't take his friends, all his time, and a little tv away from him. Sure I love piano, but I wouldn't give up a childhood for it.

Just wondering.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/15/10 05:29 PM

When I was in high school, I remember the professor I studied with had a seven year old prodigy in her studio. I marveled at the work ethic, and at the output.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/15/10 06:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Of the half dozen or so "prodigies" I've known, all but one have careers in music. Only one has a university position, the rest teach privately. All perform now and then, but none do anything with a high profile.
Of all the people I've met during my studies as a musician (general), I think that most (>70%?) are making a living as musicians. None were hailed as prodigies! wink

EDIT: Of course 'high profile' is always overated (as I found out myself, when I discovered that there are other composers except Ligeti and Boulez in my early 20s (and my total lack of knowledge and missing of the Internet).)
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/15/10 08:01 PM

It makes me worry.

Is this a true prodigy who eagerly practices because she is driven from within to create beautiful music, or is this a child of parents who demand every moment be structured and productive and every endeavor drilled in until it becomes superior leaving no time for childhood exploration? Is the smile at the end one of happiness or is it relief because "I pleased Mama and Papa"? What will happen when this child grows into a young woman and starts to make her own choices?
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah
Posted by: ABC Vermonter

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 09:18 AM

She is sweet and talented. No doubt about it. I think how far she would go depends on how much she loves music when she grows bigger.

The thing that I do not quite understand is about her teacher. The piano repertoire is vast. Why she played this piece when she was only 8? I just wish that she has a wiser teacher.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 09:25 AM

Quote:
My little brother is almost 8 and the only thing he can do on a piano is bang the keys as incredibly hard as he can.


grin

Well, at age eight, my son had already been playing for .... oh, that's right, he hadn't yet started.
Posted by: stores

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 09:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Quote:
My little brother is almost 8 and the only thing he can do on a piano is bang the keys as incredibly hard as he can.


grin

Well, at age eight, my son had already been playing for .... oh, that's right, he hadn't yet started.


I'm just curious...do you play as well? Is your son a member here also?
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 09:42 AM

Yes, I play. I was pretty well trained as a teen, and then went through a not uncommon withdrawal until later in life. I never lost my skills, and my technique is now as good or better than it was in the dim dark past. But I do not practice enough, or at least not continuously enough, to tackle big new works. Maybe when my kids are all through with school ....

My son has posted here before (as Book_Worm), but frankly he's not much interested in PW. That's fine with me. As far as forums go, I think he would rather post on a Call of Duty or World of Warcraft site. smile
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 01:43 PM

Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
[...]
The thing that I do not quite understand is about her teacher. The piano repertoire is vast. Why she played this piece when she was only 8? I just wish that she has a wiser teacher.


Are you suggesting that this piece requires the sensibilities of a more mature performer? Given this child's technical and interpretive skills, what would you have recommended in place of the Liszt?

Regards,
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 02:39 PM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
It makes me worry.

Is this a true prodigy who eagerly practices because she is driven from within to create beautiful music, or is this a child of parents who demand every moment be structured and productive and every endeavor drilled in until it becomes superior leaving no time for childhood exploration? Is the smile at the end one of happiness or is it relief because "I pleased Mama and Papa"? What will happen when this child grows into a young woman and starts to make her own choices?


Deborah,

Do a youtube search for "Uni Garrett" and watch her on Ellen's show. It doesn't completely resolve the totally valid concerns you raise, but I think the interview helps allay them quite a bit.

-Jason
Posted by: stores

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 07:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Yes, I play. I was pretty well trained as a teen, and then went through a not uncommon withdrawal until later in life. I never lost my skills, and my technique is now as good or better than it was in the dim dark past. But I do not practice enough, or at least not continuously enough, to tackle big new works. Maybe when my kids are all through with school ....

My son has posted here before (as Book_Worm), but frankly he's not much interested in PW. That's fine with me. As far as forums go, I think he would rather post on a Call of Duty or World of Warcraft site. smile


Ah, I see. I was just curious, since I've always thought it a wee bit odd that so many of your posts are about him, etc.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 08:55 PM

This is a thread about Umi Garrett, so I don't want to hijack it. But I will say that my son is probably the reason that I even discovered PW. His early progress was rapid enough that I thought he would benefit from a piano upgrade (from my 1971 Howard label Kawai) and that's how and why I found Piano World. This forum helped me in my search for a piano, and after I found my new piano I stayed because the pianists and teachers here have helped me learn much more about playing, teaching and learning. Lastly, my experiences as a piano dad may be of some relevance for others who are embarking on the long journey of providing a musical education for their children. You may still find my posts a bit odd, but that's my explanation.
Posted by: ABC Vermonter

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 09:22 PM

If you watch the video from about 2:10 to 2:35, she was using quite a lot of arm and body strength to bring out the dynamic/music the way she liked. Her entire body moved up and down and off the bench a few times. If she keeps doing something like this and choosing pieces like this, would this lead to injury? I have no medical degree, so I cannot be sure. Maybe I just think too much.

Do I have a suggestion for an alternative piece? I am no musician either, so please take my suggestion lightly. I think some of the fugues from WTC could be good. My son, who is 12 now, has been working on some of the fugues for the past year. He learned a lot from playing fugues. It forces him to be more focused and listen particularly carefully to the sound he produces.
Posted by: heidiv

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 09:46 PM

Wow! Brilliant playing.

I hope I play as well as her when I grow up. grin
Posted by: LimeFriday

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/16/10 11:30 PM

Unlike many of the other youtube 'prodigies' this little one seems to truly enjoy performing and making music. She seems to know how she wants this piece to sound... and seems to delight in performing for her audience.

Even if she doesn't make music her career when she grows up... she seems to enjoy what she's doing now. Though I wasn't a prodigy at 8 - I played and practiced every spare moment I had... getting up at 4 in the morning so I had time before school to play for as long as I could. No one pushed me... no one drove me to practice harder... I just loved it. I was performing by age 9... and earning money from performing by age 10. I stress that I was no prodigy... just a little kid who loved music.

And I'm still playing 30 or so years later. No concert pianist... and I don't have a career in music... but music is still my life. And I love playing just as much as I did when I was 8.

Not all of these kids are pushed and driven by maniacal parents determined to force their children to succeed. Some kids just love what they are doing.
Posted by: wr

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/17/10 04:31 AM

Originally Posted By: gooddog
It makes me worry.

Is this a true prodigy who eagerly practices because she is driven from within to create beautiful music, or is this a child of parents who demand every moment be structured and productive and every endeavor drilled in until it becomes superior leaving no time for childhood exploration? Is the smile at the end one of happiness or is it relief because "I pleased Mama and Papa"? What will happen when this child grows into a young woman and starts to make her own choices?




Regardless of whether the child enjoys it or not, I think there is something creepy and icky about putting a kid on public display at such a young age, before they are old enough to really understand what is going on, or make informed decisions for themselves about it. Yes, I know, this sort of thing has been going on for a very long time, but then, a lot of prodigies have run into huge difficulties because of it, too.

There's probably no set recipe for raising gifted kids in the most healthy way. However, announcing to the world that you have one and inviting everyone to gawk at your cute little freak of nature surely isn't the best choice of how to do it, at least not to my way of thinking.
Posted by: ABC Vermonter

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 11:08 AM

BruceD,

I think this is a better alternative to a gifted child:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8kpDVvOyHs&feature=related
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 11:19 AM

Originally Posted By: wr

Regardless of whether the child enjoys it or not, I think there is something creepy and icky about putting a kid on public display at such a young age, before they are old enough to really understand what is going on, or make informed decisions for themselves about it. Yes, I know, this sort of thing has been going on for a very long time, but then, a lot of prodigies have run into huge difficulties because of it, too.

There's probably no set recipe for raising gifted kids in the most healthy way. However, announcing to the world that you have one and inviting everyone to gawk at your cute little freak of nature surely isn't the best choice of how to do it, at least not to my way of thinking.


I think it's good that they'll have a great advantage when they're grown up, because kids like this are obviously talented, and their parents realize that, therefore they push them when they're young. Those are the most important years. If you're not developed then, it's going to be really, really difficult.

So I see nothing wrong with it. Especially since if the kid didn't enjoy it/wasn't musical, they obviously wouldn't do it.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 03:40 PM

Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
BruceD,

I think this is a better alternative to a gifted child:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8kpDVvOyHs&feature=related


I don't know Ms. Garrett's musical history, what she has learned or how she has learned, so I can't say whether or not the Liszt was a good or a bad choice for this child from a pedagogical standpoint. I can only take it for what it's worth, out of any context of her course of studies. It may well be that she has studied a fair amount of Bach, and that that is what has helped her develop her technique.

I would think that one with a technique such as she already has may well have studied and played a number of composers; who knows why the Liszt was chosen for this recording session over any others? There may also have been a number of reasons why this particular one has popped up.

Here's her program for this Friday in San Diego :
J.S.Bach: Italian Concerto
Mendelssohn: Spinning song
Chopin: Waltz no.5 op.42
Chopin : Fantasy Impromptu
Debussy: Children's Corner No. 6 "Golliwogg's Cakewalk"
Liszt: Gnomenreigen
Villa-Lobos: O Polichinelo

She has also performed the Mozart Piano Concerto No 23 twice this year and is scheduled to play it twice more by the summer.

I wonder if perhaps you may know more about her history than I and therefore have reasons to justify your criticism of her teacher.

Regards,
Posted by: wr

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Originally Posted By: wr

Regardless of whether the child enjoys it or not, I think there is something creepy and icky about putting a kid on public display at such a young age, before they are old enough to really understand what is going on, or make informed decisions for themselves about it. Yes, I know, this sort of thing has been going on for a very long time, but then, a lot of prodigies have run into huge difficulties because of it, too.

There's probably no set recipe for raising gifted kids in the most healthy way. However, announcing to the world that you have one and inviting everyone to gawk at your cute little freak of nature surely isn't the best choice of how to do it, at least not to my way of thinking.


I think it's good that they'll have a great advantage when they're grown up, because kids like this are obviously talented, and their parents realize that, therefore they push them when they're young. Those are the most important years. If you're not developed then, it's going to be really, really difficult.

So I see nothing wrong with it. Especially since if the kid didn't enjoy it/wasn't musical, they obviously wouldn't do it.


There's no way for a talented child to develop other than being put on national television and YouTube? Before they are even ten years old? Gimme a break...
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 06:09 PM

Originally Posted By: AngelinaPogorelich
Especially since if the kid didn't enjoy it/wasn't musical, they obviously wouldn't do it.


I wish it were that easy, but the reality IMO is that sometimes, or should I say quite often?, gifted children are put under a lot of stress and are indeed forced to to what they do...

There is a book on the drama of gifted children.
Gifted children are also bullied by peers.
And they are often outsiders , also as adults...

Umi though seems to be indeed enjoying what she is doing.
Posted by: ABC Vermonter

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 08:42 PM

BruceD,

I know nothing about her history. BTW, a history for an 8 years old must be very rich. smile You know that I am just kidding.

When I see a little league pitcher throws 85 mph, I question the coach's wisdom. By the same token, I question whether the lovely young lady is well served by her teacher.
Posted by: stores

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 08:44 PM

Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
BruceD,

I know nothing about her history. BTW, a history for an 8 years old must be very rich. smile You know that I am just kidding.

When I see a little league pitcher throws 85 mph, I question the coach's wisdom. By the same token, I question whether the lovely young lady is well served by her teacher.



But why? I mean what are your reasons for questioning her teacher? Just curious.
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 08:54 PM

Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
[...]
When I see a little league pitcher throws 85 mph, I question the coach's wisdom. [...]


If a little league pitcher can throw 85 mph, I'd question the pitcher's age. laugh
Posted by: ABC Vermonter

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 09:06 PM

If the questioning has merits, one must question (1) the lovely young lady, (2) her parents, or (3) her teacher. Who would then have more knowledge about the possibility of injury? I would expect that the teacher is the one who knows best about this.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 09:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
[...]
When I see a little league pitcher throws 85 mph, I question the coach's wisdom. [...]


If a little league pitcher can throw 85 mph, I'd question the pitcher's age. laugh


It could be this Umi Garrett (if that is her real name) is a midget posing as an eight-year-old to cash in on her lately discovered pianistic skills. whistle
Posted by: stores

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 05/18/10 09:25 PM

Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
If the questioning has merits, one must question (1) the lovely young lady, (2) her parents, or (3) her teacher. Who would then have more knowledge about the possibility of injury? I would expect that the teacher is the one who knows best about this.




So, injury is behind your reasoning. That's understandable, though, if she's gotten this far (clearly very advanced for her age), then my bet is that she's in good hands.
Posted by: Sandimar

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 06/19/10 10:26 PM


I am not a teacher, but I know something about having a gifted pianist.

I think this child looks happy and enjoys an audience. In regards to a gifted pianist's education, when a child plays at this level they tend to be gifted in academics as well. So maybe a child such as this will be a mathematician or a scientist when they grow up, but the years they spent studying how to do something well will be applicable to other endeavors. I also would not be surprised if the parents said her piano is covered with toys. A child cannot practice this much without using their imagination.

On the other hand, I thought her movements were too much. But I understand too much is better than not enough, but she is eight and in time her movements will look part of her.

There are teachers that give their students pieces that they cannot properly execute. (I am not saying this is so for this particular student.) Teachers do it with their best students to impress the audience, but they also do it because the audience is familiar with that piece. Most people’s exposure to classical music is confined to classic Looney Tunes, and they do not know if a piece is played correctly or not.

I think I read somewhere this girl needed money for her piano education, so perhaps that is why they went public. However when a cute child plays at a high level they get noticed and opportunities arise. A parent has to use their discretion in regards to media and print. I think less is better, but that is up to the parents.
Posted by: Richter

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 06/19/10 10:42 PM

Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
If you watch the video from about 2:10 to 2:35, she was using quite a lot of arm and body strength to bring out the dynamic/music the way she liked. Her entire body moved up and down and off the bench a few times. If she keeps doing something like this and choosing pieces like this, would this lead to injury? I have no medical degree, so I cannot be sure. Maybe I just think too much.

Do I have a suggestion for an alternative piece? I am no musician either, so please take my suggestion lightly. I think some of the fugues from WTC could be good. My son, who is 12 now, has been working on some of the fugues for the past year. He learned a lot from playing fugues. It forces him to be more focused and listen particularly carefully to the sound he produces.


Using your arm and body in this way are very correct. She won't have any problems with injuries. Children are born with a very relaxed and natural coordination and this is why there is such an output of child "prodigies" -- since piano playing is so linear. This is also why it's much harder to improve technical skills when you start learning piano at a later age!
Posted by: NocturneLover

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 09/06/10 08:14 AM

I keep running into videos of Umi Garrett playing on Youtube, and the more I hear, the more she seems even more spectacular.

Umi has got to be the best or one of the best child prodigies on Youtube if not the world. The fact that the owner of Piano World started this thread attests to this.

Lol, I went on her website and saw this: "She plays Liszt better than some pianists 20 years older."
Posted by: izaldu

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 09/06/10 08:34 AM

I guess it depends on the child and the way he/she is amnaged. But think of a few child prodigies and see where they ended up. And by child prodigy i mean someone in the limelight from such a young age.

Maybe she is an exception. But i cannot but find it obscene to have a kid this age perform in big halls. That s just my view. I am not saying it can t be done well but i just can't see how.
Posted by: anajess

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 09/06/10 12:50 PM

Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter

The thing that I do not quite understand is about her teacher. The piano repertoire is vast. Why she played this piece when she was only 8? I just wish that she has a wiser teacher.


Maybe because she liked the piece.
Posted by: ABC Vermonter

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 09/06/10 05:14 PM

I think the following article is doing a much better job than what I am able to offer (the author is the chair of the piano department at NEC:

http://www.artsjournal.com/pianomorphosis/2010/03/repertoire-inflation.html
Posted by: stores

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 09/06/10 06:09 PM

I could not agree more with the following two paragraphs taken from the article posted above by ABC Vermonter:


"It's especially concerning to find that a young master of all of Chopin's Opus-25 Etudes had no contact with any music by Mozart or Haydn, or that the very first sonata by Beethoven that a bright pianist learned was the composer's Opus 111."
"If work is postponed on the basics of music -- on what is simple, though difficult to realize, on the fundamental building blocks of more complicated music -- then the things that really need to "work" in a piece, in a technique, in art, may never be settled or even considered. It's not so much that these castles are built on sand, but that their fancy turrets may not signify much of anything. What makes music matter is overlooked."
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Umi Garrett - 8 Years Old? - 09/06/10 07:47 PM

With all genuinely due respect, I totally disagree with putting these children on public display. As a musicophile I would never go to a child prodigy concert. It is simply not interesting enough. From a woman's perspective, I would celebrate this chold's talent and ensure she receives the best education I can afford, but I would never allow her to do concert tours. She needs dolls, fairy tale books and as much magic and as less stress as is possible. Her obvious talent non-withstanding ..