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Thread: Is it too late for me to study classical music on Piano?

  1. #31
    Member Potiphera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PresenTense View Post
    I play electric guitar since I was 12 years old. But I have been listening to Classical Music and Jazz a lot lately. I've been interested in learning how to play piano but I've heard that to play classical music, it is better to start as a kid. They almost say that it is impossible to start learning at 21 (my age) because it is too late. Can anybody that started late play Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto? What do you think about that?


    It all depends on how long it takes you to learn complex pieces. It takes blood , sweat, tears, dedication, practice maybe 4 hours a day, maybe more. I don't know how musical you are but you may be able to play Rachmaninoff's 3rd, but can you play it superbly is the million dollar question here. It would be beyond my dreams. I take it you can read music. Have you done music theory, and to what grade?

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    Senior Member Crystal's Avatar
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    Hmm...Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto is the hardest piano work! I hope you can success, but don't be angry if you fail learning it.

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  4. #33
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    It's never too late to learn -- but probably the reason why they say it's "better" to start younger is because perhaps the young ones can put the time into learning the instrument. like learning in school, you need to start with beginning books, and gradually work your way to pieces with more difficult technical and interpretive concepts. Just like in school, you can learn about neuroscience without knowing what a cell is and working your way through the levels of scientific knowledge.

    age doesn't matter if you just want to learn to play- but the amount of time you are willing and able to put into matters most.
    Rachmaninoff i believe begun musical training later in age.

    And so did many other notable composers due to many reasons (war/financial means etc). So start with the basics, baby stuff, and eventually perhaps years and years later depending on your progress and time you put into it you can master the technical challenges and will be able to read it rach 3 efficiently.

    enjoy and good luck --

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boot Hamilton View Post
    Attachment 96397
    That's hilarious. I thought you were going to say that you were 75 or something.
    I think that's depressing... I mean what kind of people say to someone aged 21 that "you can't do that".

    From OP, I didn't get the expression he wants to be a top level concert pianist, it's just something other posters are pushing to this thread.

    Then of course it's very interesting to think why it's so difficult for someone in 20's to become professional pianist. What causes that? Is it so that player needs to literally grow and develop with instrument?

    Btw I'm in my 50's and learning new programming languages and picking up again with computer music.. It's hard and slow. But I'd never ever ask anyone "can I do it?"

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    It'll be tough to be insanely great but you can still be great. Frantz Alberts started at 17. You can read a bit about him here https://www.key-notes.com/pages/albert-frantz. He plays a great version of Liszt's transcendental etudes and his first CD was a bunch of stuff from Alkan! That's some of the most technically challenging stuff ever.
    I'm only 17 and started about 8 months ago and although I probably won't ever become a famous virtuoso, I am certainly determined to become a great pianists. Even if you only live until 50, you have 20 years to reach your goal and about 10 more years to play everything you've ever wanted over and over. I also assume you'll live longer then that.
    Good luck!

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    It's always easier when you start young but you are still. If you get a good teacher and practice hard I'm sure you can do it. Never give up your dreams. Nothing is impossible in this world. I play guitar and piano. I have been playing guitar since I was 7 and have played classical guitar as well. I also mess around with Piano sometimes its a great instrument. Have fun.

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    Piano: when is "too late"?

    It all depends upon what you want out of it. Neural pathways are developed and pruned in childhood/adolescence/young adulthood; though science suggests that the brain continues to change through life. If you want to play for yourself, family and friends; then why not go for it? Nursing homes are sometimes open to people who want to play for the residents, especially sing-alongs. Carnegie Hall may never happen, but you never know about that either.

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    I somehow had the idea that the opening post/question was by a person who was much older (40? 50?); upon closer inspection, I see that the question was asked by someone who is 21. In that case, ABSOLUTELY, it's not too late, even for Carnegie Hall. 21 is just a pup. The frontal cortex doesn't reach max size until 24 or 25.

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    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PresenTense View Post
    I play electric guitar since I was 12 years old. But I have been listening to Classical Music and Jazz a lot lately. I've been interested in learning how to play piano but I've heard that to play classical music, it is better to start as a kid. They almost say that it is impossible to start learning at 21 (my age) because it is too late. Can anybody that started late play Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto? What do you think about that?
    Not many people can play Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto regardless of when they started on the piano, at least not very well. The real question is, what are your goals? There is a lot of great piano music that is not overwhelmingly difficult to play. Do you like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Debussy and Bartok? Many of them were great keyboard virtuosi in their day and some of their piano music is very tough going, but they all wrote some great piano music that is relatively easy to play. In a few cases it was expressly written for children or students but that doesn't make it any less great. The best piano teachers know all about it and are careful not to force crummy music on their students for "teaching purposes". Working on musically rewarding pieces will help keep you interested and let you progress faster. Good luck and enjoy!

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    It is too late for me. I started an early age, but peaked a long time ago. My technique is still very shaky no matter how much I play.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    It is too late for me. I started an early age, but peaked a long time ago. My technique is still very shaky no matter how much I play.
    I reached a long plateau with my skills once.. No matter what I tried I couldnt take it to the next level.

    A couple of months of break gave me a much needed break. Not to mention it cleared my frustration and old negative thinking patterns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    It is too late for me. I started an early age, but peaked a long time ago. My technique is still very shaky no matter how much I play.
    all my life, my best friends have been some of the best musicians in whatever city I was living in. All my life, I surrounded myself with players who were way better then I am. Even now, I've been performing with people that by all rights, I should never be on a stage with.

    what I'm saying is that there is much more to music than having the best technical chops

    there are pieces that will always be beyond me. That's ok. There are plenty of pieces that are right in my wheelhouse, too.

    I play in front of people all the time. I can tell you that people like pretty music that is well played and they really don't care if it is a difficult piece or not.

    the gift of music is not about how well you play. The true gift is that music enriches your life.

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