Have I started too old?

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Throughout my life, I have been to drawn to the piano. But until I was 16 I only played in scattered moments. I didn't have a piano, so I would only play if my friends had one or if I saw one in a random building. But I knew that I had a talent for the piano because playing songs by ear came real natural, and I figured out chords and their progressions on my own, just by playing.

Not until 16 did I realize that I had been wasting time and NEEDED to learn to play all the classical songs I was in love with. So I started taking lessons then to read music and learn theory.

I'm 17 now, have been playing for almost a year now. I study theory text books and watch piano videos constantly. I have been practicing on average 3 hours a day. And I'm majoring in music at college this year. I can already play tunes like Clair De Lune, Moonlight Sonata, and Chopin's Raindrop Prelude No 15 extremely accurate and with feeling.

BUT, did I start too old to make anything out of piano playing? I want so much for music on the piano to be in my future. But when I read of all the other sucessful pianists, they started at age 5 or even 4!!! I keep kicking myself for not studying earlier, but I can't change the past.

How much did I miss out on with waiting this long to start? Do you know of any successful pianists who started out in their teens? I heard paderaski (spelling) didn't start studying seriously until he was 24. But, he was an absolute genius.

I just need assurance that maybe it's not too late for me. I can't think of doing anything in my future carreer that doesn't involve piano music and theory. Classical music has become my life.

-- Zeldah Hanson (slw@cape.com), July 19, 2001


Zeldah The answer to your question is no, you are not too old to "make anything out of the piano" The reason is because the field of music, particularly piano music is very broad, including concert performers, teachers, composers, and other professionals who make their livings through piano. Given your current level of dedication, what you can accomplish in a year, others may take fifteen. Try to remember that no matter how hard you practice, music will always contain some unmastered challenge. So enjoy the learning process.

-- Kyle (Keyboardkyle@hotmail.com), July 19, 2001.

Zeldah.......I too started lessons late in life. I was in high school and once I got to college, half of my time was spent recovering from a serious car accident. I applaud your persistence and want to say don't EVER give up. I am looking into masters programs now. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life. I may never be a world class performer but already I have a successful teaching career. There are so many facets of music and I know you will find one that fits your desires and abilities.

-- Kristen (LivinForHm@aol.com), July 21, 2001.

Thank you for those answers. They were incredibly sweet. Made me feel alot better =0)

-- Zeldah Hanson (slw@cape.com), July 21, 2001.

Dear Zeldah,

At 17 you have all the time in the world! 've started at 41! Today, almost ten years later, I teach piano, and enjoy music more than ever before.

All the best to you. Hang on!

-- Singomre (emzu@3web.net), August 08, 2001.

First of all,I'm very happy to have found this web page today. I've always enjoyed music but apart from singing in school never achieved much.Trying various sad old instruments to no avail then ten years ago I bought an old...again el. organ. then a decent technics digital, Im still battling but cant express my joy at playing oh so badly.... I'm not an envious person,but I wish I had your youth,so you have the whole field of music to discover and enjoy go get it. by the bye I'm 78 next month.... HI HI HI.T.C

-- ted connery (tedconnery@bigpond.com.au), April 23, 2002.

You will be fine. 17 is a very young age to begin music, and you will have many different paths to follow in your life. You will be surprised, and your music will be a rejoicing and comfort and friend for your whole life.

Ps. I love you Ted.

-- Mary Jo (mjlewis@magiccablepc.com), April 25, 2002.

I too am "starting" to take piano seriously. And I'm 25. I majored in music for two years, and changed my major. But this year I am going to spend preparing for a second bachelors in piano performance. A hand injury made me realize how important piano is to me and I wan't to play even more than ever now. If you have faith in yourself, you can be whatever you wan't.

-- (arianapiano@yahoo.com), November 19, 2002.

Are you kidding me, I am 72 years old and I have been playing for 5 years. My Repertoire is as follows: Chopin's Fantaise Impromptu, Beethoven's 2nd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 20th, 21st, 25th, 26th, and 27th Sonatas, A transcription of Beethoven's 5th Sonata, La Campanella, all 51 of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, 20 of Bach's Fugues, 21 of his inventions, 10 of Chopin's Waltzes, 15 Mozart Sonatas, 93 total preludes of Bach, Chopin, Liszt, and other composers, 30 pieces of other Miscellaneous Composers. I am retired so I practice 10 hours a day. However, next year I am considering becoming a Concert Pianist. In conclusion, you can be infinitely better if you become a pianist.

-- Eustace Robertson (Jagreg@Hoow.com), May 07, 2003.

my current piano teacher richard e clark didn't start studying the piano until he was seventeen, i have be taking piano lessons for two months now and i can already play fur elisa, appassionata, sonata facile, prelude and fugue in c major, sonatina in f major, the entertainer, and am now learning a transcription of beethovens fifth. He is an extrodinary piano player and a wonderful teacher. I also don't have a piano and i have already progressed this much in two months. Keep with it cause if u have the ability it will come, it doesn't matter how old you are.

-- dylan haines (dhaines_fb_13@hotmail.com), August 26, 2004.

Hey email me Zeldah and tell me how it's going. I'm nineteen. Just under a year and a half ago I didn't know what to do with my life and then guess what? God led me to becoming a piano teacher. I've been taking lessons since then and already have a few beginner students. I watch everything I can about piano, and practice approx. on average four hours a day. I'm doing theory like mad, and love classical and baroque music esp. Beethoven and Bach. We have alot in common and are even about the same age. Drop me a line.

-- Ann (la_ginn@yahoo.ca), January 20, 2005.

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