studying piano in college? : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

hi, im a junior in high school and have been playing the piano for about eight years. I'm considered "advanced" (whatever that means), but i know i'm not really that good. I can read music well, but despite what my teacher says, I sound pretty bad. i don't get to practice nearly as much as i want to, what with school and all, but there's nothing i love more than sitting at the piano and playing my heart out. i was interested in maybe studying piano in college, and i just wanted to know if you have to be an awesome pianist to do that, or can you be a mediocre one. i really am passionate about piano, but im afraid i lack talent (or maybe i just don't practice enough?) . can i still become a good pianist? and what about learning jazz styles, when ive been taught a very traditional classical method? what level of skill were yall music majors at when you started studying in college?

-- Elena Blagg (, October 16, 2004


Hi, Elena: First! Do you want to study "piano" in college, or study "music"? There is a difference. Piano would be more or less a continuation of taking private lessons, but on a more advanced level. It is great that you can sight-read, and that will be a help in either case. If you actually major in music, you will be required to study the theory of music, sight-sing, take musical dictation, and many other aspects of a complete musical education. If you are a good sight reader, you will probably be able to earn some money by accompanying singers and other instrumentalist---it's a great way to make some extra income. You could get some jazz books now, and try to teach yourself some of the basics of that style. I knew nothing about jazz when I started college and we really did none of it at my school. However, since becoming a private teacher, I have used jazz with my students, and most youngsters love it. I even had one student go to North Texas State University (where I attended graduate classes), and major in jazz piano. So there are many possibilities for you. You can go online to several colleges, and read their outline of curriculum for music majors. This will help you know what is expected.

If you have the Passion for music, that's about 75% of the equation. The rest is practice, practice, practice! Good Luck Ruth Farkas

-- Ruth Farkas (, October 21, 2004.

Howdy! I currently wish I was studying piano at a great music school, but I gave it up for engineering at Texas A&M. I'm a freshmen, just might transfer to continue my studying of piano.

If you truely love it, do not give it up. I say this because desire will out do talent any day. If you want it bad enough, you can do it.

When I was in elementary school and early middle school, I had the chance to study under a head of keyboard at a top music University in the nation. Let me say, it is VERY demanding! It will require practice time daily and other contributions inluding theory. You will learn a wide range of music ... blues, jazz, rag, etc.

Please e-mail me if you want to chat or ask a question, I'd love to fill you in.

-- Nicholas Hruskocy (, December 07, 2004.

I think all you need is a little confidence boost! It sounds as though you certainly do posses talent, and the appreciation that you show for music illustrates a passion in playing that can only be achieved through a great love of music. Majoring in piano at college means you will have much more time to devote to practise and study in music. It takes more than talent to become very accomplished with any musical instrument. You need to practise! This being said, most music majors become awesome AFTER they go to college. The level of skill required for entrance depends on the institution you wish to study at. My understanding is that it varies from around grade 8 to grade 11 (Royal Conservatory standards). As for studying jazz, there are many institutions that offer jazz studies; and a classical background will only serve to enrich any form of music you decide to pursue.

-- Zoe (, December 07, 2004.

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