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#1039401 - 01/07/07 10:09 PM How long does it take to master the piano?
Donatus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/07
Posts: 7
Loc: Shawnee, KS
I know this question might have already been answered but im new to the forum and i didn't wanna go through 50,000 pages trying to find the answer but i really wanna know

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#1039402 - 01/07/07 10:21 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Mountain Ash Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 423
Loc: Canberra, Australia
That depends on how much you practice. ;\)
_________________________
I'm reading this book.

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#1039403 - 01/07/07 10:21 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Grane Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 430
Loc: Greater Miami
First, what's the definition of Master? Is it playing all the notes? Is it making music? Is it playing level 10 pieces (the professional repertoire)? Is is playing by ear?

Second, assuming you are striving for playing the difficult pieces, it depends on your age, how musical you are, how hard you work, how well you are taught/having a good teacher, how you use your brain and not just rote practice...

Third, assuming you do all of the above and start under age 12, you can be pretty good in a few years. If you start seriously after 18 or so, it will take longer (for most). Very, very few professionals made it starting in their late teens.

So, how old are you? How many hours a day will you work? How musical are you?

Grane
_________________________
2005 Steinway B

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#1039404 - 01/07/07 10:24 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
it's going to take a long time if you start from ground 0. it also depends on individual, since some have more talent than others or some work harder than others and etc.... basically, there's no definite answer on this.

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#1039405 - 01/07/07 10:26 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
BB Player Offline


Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2508
Loc: Not in Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Donatus:
I know this question might have already been answered but im new to the forum and i didn't wanna go through 50,000 pages trying to find the answer but i really wanna know [/b]
Two weeks.
_________________________
Greg

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#1039406 - 01/07/07 10:33 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Copper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1043
Loc: Virginia
 Quote:
Originally posted by C7 Player:
Two weeks. [/b]
Three or four for some people, if you have other commitments it can slow things down.
_________________________


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#1039407 - 01/07/07 10:34 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3404
Loc: US
never....
which is why it's so addictive.


Sophia

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#1039408 - 01/07/07 10:39 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
\:D \:D \:D

Man, I am seriously[/b] behind schedule!

Welcome to the forum, Donatus, and please excuse our wise-cracking.

People who have studied expertise find, as a general rule, it takes about 8-10 years to become an expert in anything.

Of course, that's just a general rule and there are a gazillion exceptions, and your rate of progress will depend on how much time and effort you're willing to expend on piano.

Note that's the amount of time required to become "expert" at something. If you practice regularly and efficiently, you can be sounding very good in much less time...

Your question was phrased, though, with respect to how long it would take you to "master" the piano. I don't know the answer to that because I don't know what you mean by "mastering" the piano. On another thread in the pianist corner Sam posted a link to a video of Cziffra playing "Flight of the Bumblebee." I would say HE has mastered the piano, and I would also say that the odds of either you or I playing like that are nonexistent. The term "mastered" also connotes some sort of finality, i.e., that you've learned it all, and I guess I feel that very few people ever get to the stage where they can be considered as having learned it all.

All in all, it might be best if you reframe your question as "how long does it take to sound pretty good?", and the answer is reassuringly "not very long at all." \:\)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1039409 - 01/08/07 03:27 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
mdsdurango Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 1755
Loc: Durango Colorado
"All in all, it might be best if you reframe your question as "how long does it take to sound pretty good?", and the answer is reassuringly "not very long at all."

At least to others listening. My friends all tell me I am very good. To me - I am really not very good at all.

Have you ever seen that chart of the history of the worlds population? It's a long horizontal line inching slowly upwards then curving dramatically up at the end. So too is it with mastery. Very few ever find their way to the top of the vertical line yet there are many of varying accomplishment along the horizontal line.
There is probably a name for such a chart but I sure do not know it. I am a master at nothing.
No, I take that back - I am a master procrastinator. Still, I do practice every day. It's the one thing I do not put off.

Mike
_________________________
WHAT???????
Yamaha S6, U5C, P120
http://michaelstith.com

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#1039410 - 01/08/07 03:39 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Kawaigirl1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 989
Loc: Toronto
I'd say...a Life Time.....
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flickr

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#1039411 - 01/08/07 04:21 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by mdsdurango:
Have you ever seen that chart of the history of the worlds population? It's a long horizontal line inching slowly upwards then curving dramatically up at the end. So too is it with mastery. Very few ever find their way to the top of the vertical line yet there are many of varying accomplishment along the horizontal line.
There is probably a name for such a chart but I sure do not know it. [/b]
It's your classic exponential function, Mike. \:\)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1039412 - 01/08/07 05:56 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
mdsdurango Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 1755
Loc: Durango Colorado
Thank you Monica,
Some how I just knew you would know.
Does it work for "mastery"? It makes sense to me but I must admit to knowing near nothing about graphs.

Mike
_________________________
WHAT???????
Yamaha S6, U5C, P120
http://michaelstith.com

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#1039413 - 01/08/07 06:00 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
briiian13 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/18/06
Posts: 147
Loc: Orange County
although it is desirable to get to a certain skilled level or mastery,
for me it is not the end i am concerned with more so I am with the process itself.
i enjoy playing and practicing piano period.
_________________________
http://www.xanga.com/briancho13

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#1039414 - 01/08/07 06:21 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
BB Player Offline


Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2508
Loc: Not in Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica Kern:
It's your classic exponential function, Mike. \:\)
Hold on just a goldurned minute, I'm the mathematician round these here parts.

It's your classic exponential function, Mike.

Glad we got that settled \:D
_________________________
Greg

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#1039415 - 01/08/07 06:33 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Van Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 1215
Loc: S. California
Bad analogy actually, the real population graphs has a plateau and die-off phase at the end.

Better graph would be the bell shaped distribution with standard deviations.
_________________________

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#1039416 - 01/08/07 06:43 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
 Quote:
Originally posted by C7 Player:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Donatus:
I know this question might have already been answered but im new to the forum and i didn't wanna go through 50,000 pages trying to find the answer but i really wanna know [/b]
Two weeks. [/b]
yeah, 2 weeks for old people ;\) for me,....ehh give me 5 days \:D

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#1039417 - 01/08/07 06:51 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3225
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Monica, I'd never heard that it takes 8-10 years to become an expert, that's really interesting. On the one hand, it sounds about right, but on the other hand I'm thinking it's dangerous to put things in terms of years, because it makes such a difference how one spends one time. Oh, and I'd like to know how those researchers defined expertise too. \:\)

In any case, it's especially interesting to think about it from my own experiences with piano (7plus years) and Japanese as a second language (about 13 years now.)

I remember one point a few years ago where I was feeling especially discouraged in my piano progress. Maybe I had been playing for just about 3 years, and I thought I should be much better than I was. I was comparing my piano progress to my Japanese progress and thinking that I was so much further along in Japanese at the 3-year point. But then I remembered that with regard to foreign languages, people often talk about hours of study (rather than years or just time from beginning study.) When I first studied Japanese, I did two summer intensives and 4 regular college semesters, so I was able to work through 4 years of courses in 2 years. So I realized that the first two years of my piano study could in no way compare to the first two years of my Japanese study, because of how many actual hours were spent for each.

At the same time, I've read that people say that there's only so much you can progress at the piano (and probably at other things.) If one person practices only 1 hour a day, and another practices 2 hours a day, (all other things being equal, which we know they usually aren't!) then the 2-hour person will progress faster. But after a certain point (4 hours? I can't remember) then there's not much difference in progress (so you could practice 4 hours or 8) and you still need to spend the time day-to-day, over time. I think this is because somethings need to sort of settle in, and we need time to process what we're learning. So obviously, you can accelerate your progress, up to a point, but ultimately there are no short cuts.

Sorry for the rambling! Getting back to Donatus's original question, as everyone has said, you need to define what you mean by master. I personally would say, based on my own definition of mastery, that we can never master the piano. But I think we can always get progressively better (thank goodness!)

If you practice consistently, and use effective practive methods (and those are very big IFs) then in a year you should be playing pieces that are recongizable and musically enjoyable. In two years, you might be able to play music you think is worth sharing. In three years, you may find yourself playing something you've always wanted to play. In four years, you'll realize you can't play at all and will be disgusted at your lack of progress. In five years, you'll think you're pretty good, and wonder why people aren't moved to tears when you play for them. In six years, you realize how far you've come, and how far you have yet to go. In seven years, you'll realize that you're not that bad, and not that good either, but you won't care because you'll be playing music that you love and it will fill your days with joy.

Oh, wait. That's me I'm talking about! :p
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1039418 - 01/08/07 07:08 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Reaper978 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 1325
I'd expect that if you worked very hard and have the right motivation, you could master the instrument in 15-30 years. An important point has been brought up, "what is a master?" To me, a master is someone who can play any of the classical repertoire, has an enormous repertoire, has an unstoppable technique, can sight-read magnificently, and can do just about everything conceivable on the instrument with little to no difficulty, improvise, compose, play by ear, play by sight-reading, etc. This is mastery. And it is possible. But this is merely a boy of 17 speaking, with about two years of piano experience. Still, I have progressed magnificently in such a short amount of time, if I do say so myself. I've had plenty of days where I've spent over 4 or 5 hours on the keyboard.

That's why there are so few masters. And that is why I will become one, whether it takes me 10 years or 50.

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#1039419 - 01/08/07 07:09 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Lisztener Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 921
To the original question I'll ask this simple question that depends on many variables and is as unanswerable:

How long is a rope?
_________________________


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#1039420 - 01/08/07 07:14 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
BB Player Offline


Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2508
Loc: Not in Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisztener:
To the original question I'll ask this simple question that depends on many variables and is as unanswerable:

How long is a rope? [/b]
How high is up?
_________________________
Greg

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#1039421 - 01/08/07 07:19 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Lisztener Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 921
Exactly! \:D
_________________________


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#1039422 - 01/08/07 07:28 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
playliszt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/06
Posts: 449
Loc: Oh/Fla
Metric or English Units?

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#1039423 - 01/08/07 07:40 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4195
Loc: Arizona.
A rope comes in three lenghths: 12 feet, 24 feet and also 36 feet.

How high is up?.... more than 8 feet or taller than your reach standing.

Piano playing time frames (in general).

0-6 mos = Novice.
6 mos- 1 year = Beginer
1 year- 1 1/2 years = Advanced Beginer
1 1/2 years - 2 years = begining intermediate.
2 years - 2 1/2 years = intermediate
2 1/2 years - 3 years = still an intermediate!
3 years - 4 years = advanced intermediate.

There are so many different levels of "accomplished" piano players that I won't even begin to guess what that takes. Besides, I don't know if someone can ever truly "master" anything at all as that may imply no further learning or improvement is possible.

NOTE: These are all facts, not just some arbitrary crap I made up! :p

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#1039424 - 01/08/07 07:45 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
fingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 799
Loc: Westchester, NY
How long?

As long as it takes to master oneself.

Regards,
fingers
_________________________
Playing piano at age 2, it was thought that I was some sort of idiot-savant. As it turns out, I'm just an idiot.

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#1039425 - 01/08/07 08:19 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Haizel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 102
Loc: NewYork
I have 3 years of lessons experience and I find it hard to pick any of those easy classical pieces without my teacher’s instruction combined with lots of hours of practice which progressing is very slow so I notice the more I practice and play the more I hear how many mistakes I have to be corrected so that means to start all over. Its like a catch 22, so because of my true love for the piano I don’t give up my hope, It helps me a lot when I read other Ab post in this forum. I believe maybe one day I will be able to play well. My teacher thinks I’m hard on myself. I know I’m not hard on myself but I’m realistic and feel I’m inadequate mostly.

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#1039426 - 01/08/07 08:33 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Donatus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/07
Posts: 7
Loc: Shawnee, KS
 Quote:
Originally posted by Grane:
First, what's the definition of Master? Is it playing all the notes? Is it making music? Is it playing level 10 pieces (the professional repertoire)? Is is playing by ear?

Second, assuming you are striving for playing the difficult pieces, it depends on your age, how musical you are, how hard you work, how well you are taught/having a good teacher, how you use your brain and not just rote practice...

Third, assuming you do all of the above and start under age 12, you can be pretty good in a few years. If you start seriously after 18 or so, it will take longer (for most). Very, very few professionals made it starting in their late teens.

So, how old are you? How many hours a day will you work? How musical are you?

Grane [/b]
im 19 so far i practice 4 like 2 hours a day or more i do it 4 only 2 hours on my work days and more than 2 on my days off. How musical am i? idk i listen to music alot and i been trying to make beats since 04

My definition of master basically means to play anything i hear in my head instantly. I wanna be able to play with expression. I believe achieving this will greatly improve the way i make beats and cut time down to like 30 mins at most instead of taking like 4 hours for a crappy song.

Examples: Scott Storch, JR Rotem

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#1039427 - 01/08/07 10:26 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Copper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1043
Loc: Virginia
 Quote:
Originally posted by mr_super-hunky:
A rope comes in three lenghths: 12 feet, 24 feet and also 36 feet.[/b]
Why does this guy make me laugh out loud? It's not that funny.

I never heard an answer to that question before.
_________________________


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#1039428 - 01/08/07 10:30 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
he probably meant that different people have different ability/talent level (i.e. different in 'length') and therefore, it would take longer for someone to learn piano than others, depending on the 'length'... funny enough now?

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#1039429 - 01/08/07 10:49 PM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
ahh! Rope lengthes, practice times, catch 22???!!!?? What kind of forum is this? a piano forum? I think not \:D

Matt

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#1039430 - 01/09/07 12:07 AM Re: How long does it take to master the piano?
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4195
Loc: Arizona.
Signa,

You are a very observant person. ;\)

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