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Sebs #3165034 10/19/21 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Pablo, don't believe the videos of people who supposedly show their progress over 1 year and are playing virtuoso pieces at the end. They are all fakes except maybe some of the prodidgy kids. All the adult ones are 100% fake. It's very easy for a pro to look like a beginner.

Right! And I dont see why many pianist have that obsession about time it took for them to get where they're at. They act like "Oh Im so good, I got here in 1 year" and no one cares how long it took to get there. Whether its a prodigy playing or someone that took 30 years I would enjoy hearing them both.



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I started learning on my own for a while playing very few pieces at a time. After I got a teacher, I started playing out of Classical and Jazz & Blues books arranged for easy piano. These are stripped down versions of original pieces with a simplified melody line and some chords for accompaniment. The pieces can be 2-3 pages so would take a week to learn 1 piece. When you're ready to play the full version of a piece, you look for it online. In the beginning you'd play the simplified version of the Chopin Ballade. After playing for a few months, you can download the full version of the Ballade with intro and all the notes as composed by Chopin.

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Originally Posted by ebonyk
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Briguy65
I think lots of pianists that start playing seem to do quite well playing more difficult songs with a lot of practice.
Not true. Most gain limited technical facility. It's also probably harder to develop a really solid ear than if developed young. It is very rare to see good technical facility among adult students.
Where are you getting this information from??
Haven't you heard countless concert pianists talk about how technical facility must be learned when young? I have seen multiple teachers and none of them has had an adult student who has acquired good technical facility. Quite a few of them have told me if they're not sure it's possible.

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Originally Posted by pablobear
Originally Posted by lilypad
I'm not qualified to give any sort of advice. But I can say that I envy how your hands appear in the video. Very relaxed and as if they're 'petting' the keys as I notice in concert pianist videos, vs. 'clawing' at the keys as I often observe in some self-taught beginners. If this technique came from your teacher, my opinion is they have done a good job. As far as fame on YouTube, I've seen some of the stuff that goes 'viral' out there, but if that's your dream, go for it.


I'd say

80% of it comes from videos on youtube, applying principles/logic from video games to piano, watching other great pianists on YT or in person, (my russian teacher technique in person blows my mind, I've copied some of her principles like keeping a parallels or straight arm)


15% from the art of piano by Neuhaus, and some other great books or just stuff I've read on the internet Senar.ru is great although it doesn't talk much about tecbnique.


then the other 5% is in lessons of me asking specific questions on stuff I have issues in lessons.

Lessons suck dick, I barely learn anything I need much more time. Legit most of them just get sidetracked by questions, and I get good answers and it's helpful. But, I need DAILY lessons, because I become a different player every day I wake up lol!!

My best lesson ever was a 2 hour lesson with my Russian Master teacher, I got to ask a lot of questions and we worked through the Leila Fletcher book a bit. But, the questions I was able to ask really just taught me so much about music. I asked her a lot of fun questions about pianists and other stuff, and she played all kinds of excerpts from stuff and we discussed it like Liszt B Minor, Chopin, etc...

In that one 2 hour lesson, I'd say I learned more compared to all of my 30 minute weekly lessons with this TA at my college, and then my 8 lessons I got for christmas from a different teacher.

That being said, the lessons still help. But, I think the format of them is not conducive for actually teaching someone how to play properly, if I didn't have the internet I would be awful.
One of the best thing your Russian Master teacher has taught you is how to play on the tips of your fingers. The only comment I would make is that you're not always consistent in doing so. My new teacher received her BA at the Russian Conservatory and a Doctorate from Julliard and the first thing she noticed about me was that I wasn't spending enough time on my fingertips and she's been drilling this into me in the past month and not until last night did I fully appreciate what she was trying to teach me. Apparently this is taught early on in Russian schools but she laments when she observes American students this is never emphasized even all the way up to the point of conservatory training. Too many American students play with collapsed distal interphalangeal joints or fingers in not enough of a curled position. We need to keep them curved and stable. We play with our fingers she says and we have to play on our fingertips if we are going to truly master the piano. She keeps showing me videos of Argerich and told me if anyone wants to debate this watch how she plays. I've been forcing myself to adapt a more curled finger position and working off the fingertips and WHAT a revelation. I've been re-practicing most of my older more technically challenging pieces and I can see immediately the technical advantages the pianist receives when playing fast passages in particular completely from the tips of the fingers. Of course softer, melodic lyrical passages can be played with flatter fingers for more control over ppp or pp phrases but for the most part tips of the fingers is king and I plan to completely rethink and reeducate myself with the help of my teacher on how to play like this. Good luck on your journey!

Last edited by Jethro; 10/19/21 12:05 PM.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by ebonyk
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Briguy65
I think lots of pianists that start playing seem to do quite well playing more difficult songs with a lot of practice.
Not true. Most gain limited technical facility. It's also probably harder to develop a really solid ear than if developed young. It is very rare to see good technical facility among adult students.
Where are you getting this information from??
Haven't you heard countless concert pianists talk about how technical facility must be learned when young? I have seen multiple teachers and none of them has had an adult student who has acquired good technical facility. Quite a few of them have told me if they're not sure it's possible.


I have listened to a number of interviews with concert pianists and I do not remember one that said good technical facility can only be acquired while young


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by ebonyk
Originally Posted by ranjit
Not true. Most gain limited technical facility. It's also probably harder to develop a really solid ear than if developed young. It is very rare to see good technical facility among adult students.
Where are you getting this information from??
Haven't you heard countless concert pianists talk about how technical facility must be learned when young? I have seen multiple teachers and none of them has had an adult student who has acquired good technical facility. Quite a few of them have told me if they're not sure it's possible.


I have listened to a number of interviews with concert pianists and I do not remember one that said good technical facility can only be acquired while young
Can you point to a single example of someone who started as an adult who has really good technical facility? None of the professional players I have interacted with could come up with a single name. Off the top of my head, I believe Ashkenazy said proper technique must be acquired by the age of 14 or 16. Anyway, it's surprising you haven't come across this opinion if you are being sincere, given how ubiquitous it is.

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Of course I’m being sincere and since you state that it is an ubiquitous opinion, there should be a lot of references to it. I have not seen any snd I would think the context involving this comment is important.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by ebonyk
Originally Posted by ranjit
Not true. Most gain limited technical facility. It's also probably harder to develop a really solid ear than if developed young. It is very rare to see good technical facility among adult students.
Where are you getting this information from??
Haven't you heard countless concert pianists talk about how technical facility must be learned when young? I have seen multiple teachers and none of them has had an adult student who has acquired good technical facility. Quite a few of them have told me if they're not sure it's possible.


I have listened to a number of interviews with concert pianists and I do not remember one that said good technical facility can only be acquired while young


"Too much cannot be siad about that advantage of an early drill. The impressions made during youth seem to be the most lasting. I am certain that the pieces that I learned before I was ten years of age reamin more persistently in my memoerty than the compositions I studied after I was thirty. The child who is destiend for a musical carreer should recieve as much musical instruction in early life as is compatiable, with the child's health and receptivity. To postpone the owrk too long is just as dangerous to the child's career as it is dangerous to overload the pupil with more work than they can handle. Children can learn far more rapidly than adults, not merely becuase of the fact that the work becomes more and more complicated as the student advances, but also because the child mind is so vastly more receptive. The childs power of absorption in music study btn. the ages of 8-12 is simply enormous, it is less btn. 12-20 still less between 20-30 and often lamentably small btn. thirty and fort. It mighe be represented byy some such of a diagram''


The diagram goes like this


ages 8-12 = greatest receptivity and greatest accomplishment
ages 12-120 less accopmlishment
20-30 still less
30-40 limited receptivity, limited results








This is a direct quote from Hoffman's book on piano playing... Which I agree with for the most part, the only thing about it though it doesn't mention is this...

We have plasticity from ages 0-25 at a strong level, it decreases as you get older, but if you are under 25 years old. In my opinion, if you put in enough hours during this time (probably I would say 4000 hours of scales is a rough estimate), you should be able to have the same technique as the kid who started at 5. You will possibly be less musical, because you practiced 4000 hours of scales in a short amount of time, but, musicality can be developed at any age. Whereas technique cannot. If you are a pianist who is starting late and has aspirations to play at the highest level, techincal exercises MUST be focused on very hard. This is what I've been doing and working on, and I'm happy with my progress going this route. Some days I literally practice scales for hours, and ecah and everyday I wake up. I feel my body grow into the piano more and more, at a rapid rate. I attribute this because I still have good plasticity for a few more years... But, when I'm 25 and my brain fully develops wow, thats closer than I expect... BUt, anyways when it's fully developed, I feel like this rapid rate of improvement will decrease.


My gods are: Cortot, Horowitz, and Sofronitsky,

Started piano during COVID, hopefully I can play Rachmaninoff, Rubinstein, and Scriabin compositions one day...
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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by ebonyk
[quote=ranjit]
Not true. Most gain limited technical facility. It's also probably harder to develop a really solid ear than if developed young. It is very rare to see good technical facility among adult students.
Where are you getting this information from??
Haven't you heard countless concert pianists talk about how technical facility must be learned when young? I have seen multiple teachers and none of them has had an adult student who has acquired good technical facility. Quite a few of them have told me if they're not sure it's possible.

I have listened to a number of interviews with concert pianists and I do not remember one that said good technical facility can only be acquired while young

@ranjit I thought you often claimed to have the skills of advanced pianist as an adult self taught learner? Please don't take that wrong, I'm not trying to be rude but I recall you mentioned being an adult learner with the abilities of advanced pianist so I feel like that your statement goes against what you have said before so I was surprised by it. I could be completely off here as well, I was just curious and not trying to argue.

Ill also have to go learn what "ubiquitous" means now too laugh

Last edited by Sebs; 10/19/21 02:11 PM.
Sebs #3165153 10/19/21 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Sebs
I thought you often claimed to have the skills of advanced pianist as an adult self taught learner? Please don't take that wrong, I'm not trying to be rude but I recall you mentioned being an adult learner with the abilities of advanced pianist so I feel like that your statement goes against what you have said before so I was surprised by it.
Well, even my teacher has said that I lack several things a well-educated child would have. I don't have good technical facility, it's not quite there yet. Fingers crossed, I haven't seen an actual example of someone who's actually made it but I personally think it may be possible. I can play some hard stuff, but it's not at the level of polish you would expect at a high level, ergo I can't play at a high level.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Sebs
I thought you often claimed to have the skills of advanced pianist as an adult self taught learner? Please don't take that wrong, I'm not trying to be rude but I recall you mentioned being an adult learner with the abilities of advanced pianist so I feel like that your statement goes against what you have said before so I was surprised by it.
Well, even my teacher has said that I lack several things a well-educated child would have. I don't have good technical facility, it's not quite there yet. Fingers crossed, I haven't seen an actual example of someone who's actually made it but I personally think it may be possible. I can play some hard stuff, but it's not at the level of polish you would expect at a high level, ergo I can't play at a high level.

Got it. I didn’t know what level you were referring to when saying technical facility as I was unsure what that meant. I think I see what you mean now.

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By the next PW online recital in Nov., we'll hear performers who started at a young age and as an adult like myself and the kind of pieces they're going to upload online. Any piece that is on YouTube would be viewed by members of the PW forum so your video would have a few hits by default.

For starters, the beginner recital in October encourage you to work on relatively easy to intermediate level pieces and show the audience here what you're capable of.

Many older folks who are at or near the retirement age play music as a hobby and don't really care about learning the most difficult pieces.

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I should perhaps correct my statement regarding seeing lots of people play well starting later. I should say they seem to "master" a song through following tutorials and what not, to at least make a song look decent. I'm not saying they look professional or anything, but they can impress me with that one song. After that, though, it gets a bit dicey when everything else you play is just a part of a piece.

On another note -- I re-read th OP's first post. His repertoire consists of mostly songs written in either C major or A minor. I suppose you could transpose everything to an easier key I'm from the school of playing things in the original key. If I recall correctly, Minute Waltz is written with 5 flats.

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On the other hand, black keys are more ergonomic to play, usually. One of the first pieces I attempted was the Minute Waltz, because someone showed it to me and I thought it might be possible to pull off. The key signature definitely helped.

Originally Posted by Briguy65
I should perhaps correct my statement regarding seeing lots of people play well starting later. I should say they seem to "master" a song through following tutorials and what not, to at least make a song look decent. I'm not saying they look professional or anything, but they can impress me with that one song.
Yeah exactly. Developing a general solid technique is quite different from being able to play a piece and make it sound decent. I think just playing a piece may be easier as an adult in some cases, because you can sort of command your fingers to do it, lol, and you have the discipline to follow through.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by ebonyk
Originally Posted by ranjit
Originally Posted by Briguy65
I think lots of pianists that start playing seem to do quite well playing more difficult songs with a lot of practice.
Not true. Most gain limited technical facility. It's also probably harder to develop a really solid ear than if developed young. It is very rare to see good technical facility among adult students.
Where are you getting this information from??
Haven't you heard countless concert pianists talk about how technical facility must be learned when young? I have seen multiple teachers and none of them has had an adult student who has acquired good technical facility. Quite a few of them have told me if they're not sure it's possible.
This is news to me. I started playing at age 30 and know many friends/ fellow musicians who started playing as adults. They don't seem to have this deficiency you insist is there, lol.


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Originally Posted by ranjit
On the other hand, black keys are more ergonomic to play, usually. One of the first pieces I attempted was the Minute Waltz, because someone showed it to me and I thought it might be possible to pull off. The key signature definitely helped.

Originally Posted by Briguy65
I should perhaps correct my statement regarding seeing lots of people play well starting later. I should say they seem to "master" a song through following tutorials and what not, to at least make a song look decent. I'm not saying they look professional or anything, but they can impress me with that one song.
Yeah exactly. Developing a general solid technique is quite different from being able to play a piece and make it sound decent. I think just playing a piece may be easier as an adult in some cases, because you can sort of command your fingers to do it, lol, and you have the discipline to follow through.
Ranjit, I think most adults can be taught to play with excellent technique especially with beginner pieces. As you start to move up in more difficult pieces that is where technique starts to falter because the natural movements required to play at a high level are not ingrained and unfortunately these skills can’t be taught because our brains have lost their plasticity to make these complex fine motor movements natural. This is not to say that most adults can’t learn intermediate or even advanced pieces with decent technique. We just won’t be playing at Carnegie Hall and even for those who did start early a lot of that depends on genetics and really good training. But that’s not the point of all of this. We need to enjoy every milestone we make in our journey. This why we take lessons- to get better every day. It doesn’t matter at what point we are on that journey.


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Originally Posted by ranjit
Can you point to a single example of someone who started as an adult who has really good technical facility?
https://wanderingtunes.com/pianists-who-started-late
Also: Johanna Ye started at 23. Harold Bauer was 19 or 20. Dang Thai Son started at 16, not quite an adult. Aram Khachaturian, 19.

Should I go on?


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But clearly wisdom comes only after 30. wink

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Age is a factor when someone decides to pursue a career as a concert pianist. Many perfected technical pieces at a young age. Starting early gives someone the potential to become a pro later in life. The age limit can be stretched into the early 20s.

What professional pianists have in common is the passion for music. There are specific composers and works they would get into like an obsession. There are certain pieces they listened to (live performances or recordings) and they would eventually learn them.

There are circumstances in life that prevent people from discovering & playing music at a young age so becoming a pro is out. I was a slow learner who had trouble picking up a new skill. Coming from a non-musical family I couldn't get help from other family members to learn an instrument. Many adults like myself get into piano as a hobby. It's for stress relief as well as brain exercise to keep the mind sharp. Playing the most technical or challenging pieces is not the goal. We can still play slower pieces that are expressive like slow movements out of concertos or sonatas.

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It’s not for me, or anyone, to put limits on ANY human being. Everyone is different and has their own abilities. My goodness, there’s enough division in the world.


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