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#1085396 - 04/12/08 03:57 PM Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3550
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
In her very fine book "Grand Obsession" author Perri Knize says (in reference to a rather humble assignment her new teacher has given her):

"I want a grander, more ambitious goal, one that better fits my fantasy of possessing an innate, neglected talent that will surge to prominence, overcome all odds, and my handicap of a late start, and surprise everyone by achieving greatness". (Chapter 3, Piano Lessons)

I'll admit that it's very tempting to have this fantasy. I've "toyed" with it. ;\) But the reality of the everyday struggle just to maintain one's current level of skill and hopefully improve ever-so-slightly in tiny increments from time to time has long since blasted to pieces any irrational hopes that I might be a one-in-a-million "adult prodigy". \:D

How do you feel about this quote. Does it describe one of your deepest, most secret fantasies about your natural born talents as a pianist?

Or are you more realistic (at least most of the time)?

Or are you really that one-in-a-million "adult prodigy"?

Regards, JF

Edited for spelling. Topic title changed to better reflect subject matter.
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1085397 - 04/12/08 05:00 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Well, except for this wee little fantasy about Beethoven's Hammerklavier, I'm pretty realistic in my aims, which are to play with real control, with power, sensitivity and musicality. To be able to at least attempt any piece I want. To succeed with the majority of the ones I try. And, of course, to totally wow my family and friends.

There just aren't, you know, any judges or paying customers involved. \:\)
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#1085398 - 04/12/08 06:08 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Euphonatrix Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 518
Loc: Hessen, Germany
I love the idea of "adult prodigy" ...
_________________________
"The creative process is nothing but a series of crises."
(Isaac B. Singer)


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#1085399 - 04/12/08 06:12 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13759
Loc: Iowa City, IA
It's funny. Only adults seem to want to be prodigies. The kids I know who have prodigious talents seem happy to take things one step at a time.

(Just an observation, but one that I think is significant.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1085400 - 04/12/08 06:27 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
liszt's pinky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 64
As long as I can sit down at my piano and play good enough to give myself that incredible "I am moved by this music" feeling--I'm content.

The rest is gravy.

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#1085401 - 04/12/08 06:32 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Euphonatrix Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 518
Loc: Hessen, Germany
I don't know if that happy attitude applies to all kids with prodigious talents - but you are certainly right about adults.
Maybe it's because we have gotten so used to BEING accomplished in so many fields (our professions, driving, table manners, writing, reading ...) that we have forgotten how we got there - by years and years of learning and practice and being content and happy to take one step at a time.
_________________________
"The creative process is nothing but a series of crises."
(Isaac B. Singer)


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#1085402 - 04/12/08 06:44 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Well, I am that elusive "adult prodigy".

That is my blessing. My curse is I am stuck in an body that has no innate coordination, ears that cannot tell up from down, eyes that refuse to focus, hands that ache from years of use doing stuff counter-productive to the piano (dare I say paino?), and, finally, the inability to count to 4.

But, if I keep it inside my head, I am a genius. It's that darn "real world" crap that keeps me from greatness. If only you could hear what I dream....
_________________________
"There is nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself." Johann Sebastian Bach/Gyro

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#1085403 - 04/12/08 08:00 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
agraffe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 132
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Hi JohnFrank,

The quotation certainly speaks to my secret longings, and in fact there is a divide between what I am now able to play and what I wish I could play. I carry my Chopin album to my piano lessons, and I have a couple of "long-term projects" from among its pages, but I really need more remedial work--Bürgmuller and Hanon--at this stage in my playing.

When I try to play the harder stuff, I am inevitably frustrated. I am no genius. And concentration seems hard to come by; perhaps if only.... My current piano teacher was very sensitive in promoting the Bürgmuller, when I had Chopin aspirations. I've had other teachers who were not so considerate of my longings, seeing only my limitations. I think it helps to have Chopin on "the back burner" of my repertoire. It nourishes a dream, perhaps a foolish dream, but perhaps one less foolish than a delusion of prodigious proportions.
_________________________
鋼琴

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#1085404 - 04/13/08 12:27 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Zwischenzug Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 77
i would be lying if i said i didn't have a desire to leave an affect on the world, whether it be through music or otherwise. And really i think that is the at the heart of that quote.

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#1085405 - 04/13/08 02:30 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
faucon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 285
Loc: Missouri USA
I'm really more realistic most of the time. I'm getting far too late a start to "achieve greatness", even if I otherwise had been born with the talent.

But I've been told that I'm doing well for someone at my level. If I continue to study and practice, I believe that I can learn to play more and more of the music I love---Mozart, Bach, Liszt, Chopin.

I will probably never play the most difficult repertoire, but this isn't a problem. I'll never be a professional pianist, and I'm not trying to be. But if I can play music I love, expressively and well, that will be reward enough for my studies.

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#1085406 - 04/13/08 12:46 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
IrishMak Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 1614
Loc: New Hampshire, USA
Yeah, well, I think when I first started, I thought *just perhaps* I would find that tiny spark of genius deep inside and be able to play anything, anytime without the grinding effort. Silly me! I am far from an adult prodigy, or even an adult proficient. I will probably never be more than an adult hack. But, what I have learned since starting, is that all I need expect is that I will continue to progress, even if it is at an infinitesmal rate, and that I always enjoy my time at the keyboard. I am still coming to grips with that, but it's easier every day.
_________________________
-Mak

1889 Mason & Hamlin screwstringer upright
Kawai MP-4 digital

---------------------------
When life hands you lemons, throw them back and add some of your own. Stupid life.

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#1085407 - 04/13/08 01:56 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I remember reading that quote and not being able to relate to it. :p Maybe I'm just an underachieving slacker, but I have no aspirations of reaching "greatness" or even the advanced stage. I watch YouTube videos of pianists playing terribly difficult classical pieces, and I admire them enormously, but the knowledge that I am unlikely to ever reach that proficiency bothers me not in the least.

All I want is to be able to play the music that I like and want to be able to play. Fortuitously this turns out to be new age music, much of which is already within my reach. While I hope and expect that I will continue to make progress slowly and steadily, I can play enough right now that I like that I am blissfully content with where I'm at. \:\)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1085408 - 04/13/08 02:07 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
I keep my aims as simple as possible. One would have a setback from time to time; I find the need to adjust the hands a bit any where I sit at the piano. These factors came out at yesterday's piano party; it left me inspired to continue.

I wasn't aware relaxation of the neck and back muscles have a factor in playing the piano! I am glad this was pointed out as I found my hands were stiff when I played. Better to learn the right way and avoid injury. \:\(

- Mark
_________________________
...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

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#1085409 - 04/15/08 10:44 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3550
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Euphonatrix:
I love the idea of "adult prodigy" ... [/b]
Yes, so did I - until I discovered I wasn't one!

JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1085410 - 04/15/08 10:47 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3550
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by piano_deb:
I'm pretty realistic in my aims, which are to play with real control, with power, sensitivity and musicality. To be able to at least attempt any piece I want. To succeed with the majority of the ones I try. And, of course, to totally wow my family and friends.

There just aren't, you know, any judges or paying customers involved. \:\) [/b]
I think that pretty much nails my own outlook - words of wisdom to live (and play piano) by!

JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1085411 - 04/15/08 10:49 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3550
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by agraffe:
Hi JohnFrank,

The quotation certainly speaks to my secret longings . . .
[/b]
Yours, mine (formerly) and many others.

JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

Top
#1085412 - 04/15/08 10:51 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3550
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by IrishMak:
But, what I have learned since starting, is that all I need expect is that I will continue to progress, even if it is at an infinitesmal rate, and that I always enjoy my time at the keyboard. I am still coming to grips with that, but it's easier every day. [/b]
More words of much wisdom.

JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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#1085413 - 04/15/08 11:16 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
You changed the title of this thread, you sneaky dog. \:D

Here I was thinking this was going to be another one of those great posts about combining sex with piano... ;\)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1085414 - 04/15/08 11:31 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
miaeih Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 267
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
Here I was thinking this was going to be another one of those great posts about combining sex with piano... ;\) [/b]
Ever seen The Red Violin?

...

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#1085415 - 04/15/08 11:35 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3550
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
You changed the title of this thread, you sneaky dog. \:D [/b]
:) Guily as charged! I did edit the OP to explain (the proverbial fine print). Responses were slowing down, so I thought I would spice things up a bit - it's a thread that deserves a longer life span.

Sneaky Dog? That's the best compliment I've received here at PW yet! \:D

 Quote:
Here I was thinking this was going to be another one of those great posts about combining sex with piano... ;\) [/b]
:D I'm glad you thought that was a "great" post, although I wasn't sure if the moderator would. I'm trying to clean up my act, but it's difficult at my age (old habits die hard). I wonder though if anyone has tried that yet?

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

Top
#1085416 - 04/15/08 11:49 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Always Wanted to Play Piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 674
Loc: Chicago
Yeah, that's me. I admit to myself (and others) that my piano aspirations are probably overly ambitious, and yet, I cling to them nevertheless. It's not so much a decision I make or have made... it's not like I have intentionally set high goals for myself, and I'm now measuring success against these standards. It's just a recognition of what is inside me. At this moment, I want to play pieces I myself have always enjoyed, and some of those are very demanding.

On the other hand, if you told me today that 4 years from now, I could play like Monica (I'm listening to her version of Einaudi's Limbo this very moment, coincidentally enough), I would be totally ecstatic with that. This despite her claims to not being a very proficient player.

One person's lack of proficiency is another's virtuososity, I reckon.
_________________________

Casio Ap-200
Almost midway thru Alfred's All-In-One Book Two
Blogging my family's piano learning experiences: http://aw2pp.blogspot.com/

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#1085417 - 04/15/08 11:56 AM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
\:o Thank you, AWPP! You are very kind.

Limbo is actually very easy, probably the easiest piece of Einaudi's I've played yet. You will be playing it WELL before 4 years. You could probably play it after just a few months. That's one of the things I like so much about Einaudi's music... much of it is not technically demanding but it is all beautiful.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1085418 - 04/15/08 12:35 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Matt H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/07
Posts: 170
Loc: Indiana
I never had this fantasy about piano, maybe because I have had enough musical experiences before taking up piano to know that I have no hidden musical talent. Actually, discovering that I could learn to play even without having a special gift was very encouraging. To be a capable and fulfilled amateur is my goal, which I don't find at all limiting.

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#1085419 - 04/15/08 12:55 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
Adult prodigy. Yup, one day I will be as good of a pianist as the 6-year-old Aimi Kobayashi. \:D

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#1085420 - 04/15/08 01:12 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Music Major Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/06
Posts: 301
Loc: Tampa, FL
These threads are sometimes a nice reminder that it is all about the journey.

Regarding the very recent past and the immediate present... Am I doing the best that I can do today?
_________________________
Kevin


Yamaha S90 --------------- SS-69 Grand
The most important thing in music is what is not in the notes.

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#1085421 - 04/16/08 03:26 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Zormpas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Monterey, Ca
Fantasy? Sure, I have a lot of them. I'd love to sit down and play the "Warsaw Concerto" like the virtuoso that I am (not!). Then, I'd like to slide over to a pipe organ and play Bach like E. Power Biggs. And then go dance like Rachel Brice.

None of these are likely to happen in my lifetime - but I have fun anyways!
_________________________
-Zorba
"The Veiled Male"
http://www.doubleveil.net
1918 Hobart M. Cable "H"
"No-one would knowingly provide Franz Liszt with a mediocre piano." -E. M. Good

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#1085422 - 04/16/08 05:07 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
Greg Howlett Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 79
Loc: Monroe, GA
 Quote:
But the reality of the everyday struggle just to maintain one's current level of skill and hopefully improve ever-so-slightly in tiny increments from time to time has long since blasted to pieces any irrational hopes that I might be a one-in-a-million "adult prodigy".
I hope there is a happy medium between this bleak picture and irrational hope.

I can honestly say that I have never been learning piano faster in my life than I am right now (I am 35). I think that the more you know, the faster you learn--there is an exponential thing going on there. So, I see no reason not to believe that you can grow this year and grow faster the following year than you did this year.

Of course, there are factors involved such decreased dexterity working against you. But on the other hand, I know 70 and 80 year pianists that have technique that kills mine.

Of course you have to want to learn bad enough to work hard. Many people would think that I am nuts or overcommitted. I spend probably 1.5 hours a day playing, about 45 minutes working on ear training, more time editing or writing music, and a lot of time listening to music. You cannot work that hard and not see results!
_________________________
Free downloads, arrangements, piano lessons and tips for pianists at http://www.greghowlett.com/freechristianpianomusic.aspx

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#1085423 - 04/16/08 08:18 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
John Frank wrote:
 Quote:
quote:
 Quote:

Originally posted by piano_deb:
I'm pretty realistic in my aims, which are to play with real control, with power, sensitivity and musicality. To be able to at least attempt any piece I want. To succeed with the majority of the ones I try. And, of course, to totally wow my family and friends.

There just aren't, you know, any judges or paying customers involved. \:\)
I think that pretty much nails my own outlook - words of wisdom to live (and play piano) by!
Thanks, John Frank. As often as I find wisdom in what you post, I'm taking that as a real compliment!
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#1085424 - 04/17/08 02:56 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1817
Loc: Connecticut
 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnFrank:

"I want a grander, more ambitious goal, one that better fits my fantasy of possessing an innate, neglected talent that will surge to prominence, overcome all odds, and my handicap of a late start, and surprise everyone by achieving greatness". (Chapter 3, Piano Lessons)[/b]
I'm surprised she doesn't include having Zac Efron teach her to play the piano in her prepubescent-like fantasy.


Mel
_________________________
My Recordings

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn

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#1085425 - 04/17/08 06:31 PM Re: Is this your Adult Beginner fantasy?
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3550
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by dannylux:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnFrank:

"I want a grander, more ambitious goal, one that better fits my fantasy of possessing an innate, neglected talent that will surge to prominence, overcome all odds, and my handicap of a late start, and surprise everyone by achieving greatness". (Chapter 3, Piano Lessons)[/b]
I'm surprised she doesn't include having Zac Efron teach her to play the piano in her prepubescent-like fantasy.


Mel [/b]
Mel - "prepubescent-like fantasy"? I'm not so very sure that it's a fantasy that's best characterized with reference to that age/developemental stage (which carries a slight negative connotation). Perhaps it's more like a secret, temporary, unrealistic "hope" that is soon "dashed" by real-world circumstance, and can occur to even the most hardened, cynical, grizzled, world-weary geezer - like me! ;\)

Regards, JF
_________________________
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.

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