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What is the limit on what you can learn if you start late?

Posted: 03 Sep 2009, 10:58
by k4kuz0
Hey! I'm pretty new here so i apologize if i have posted this in the wrong section :(

My question is tangible from a few other questions i've been looking up before: Most virtuosos start playing the piano very young, at LEAST below the age of 7 i believe, and i have repeatedly seen posts of people asking "can you still become a concert pianist if you start at a late age" where the most common response is pretty much a euphemism for... No.

Well my question arises from that, I am currently 16 years old, and i started playing the piano when i was 14, after 2 years i have learned mostly by myself (if you count researching how to read sheet music and things on the internet as 'yourself'). I wonder how far i can take myself in terms of 'skill' or 'virtuosity'. My music teacher remarked on my fast paced learning, and how i have progressed very quickly despite the setback of my age, but i can help but feel disconcerted by the clear set back that my starting age is. How far CAN i go before my learning will appear to, i don't know, stop? This question arose from my love of classical music, and in particular, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff.

I'm currently at a Grade 6(ish) level, i think that based on what i know of the grading and the difficulty of the pieces therein.

Thank you :)

Re: What is the limit on what you can learn if you start late?

Posted: 03 Sep 2009, 17:38
by Gill the Piano
You are limited only by your determination and willingness to learn - both of which you appear to have in bucketloads - and your innate ability. If you've gone to G6 level in 2 years, you must have that too. So you impose your own limits. But I would add that a GOOD teacher is absolutely imperative. It is also imperative that you LISTEN to that teacher and do as s/he suggests.
Which can be hard when you're 16...or any age, come to that! :wink:
Just go for it! I'm sure Markymark - who is a real teacher/pianist will have some excellent advice for you too. :piano; :D

Re: What is the limit on what you can learn if you start late?

Posted: 04 Sep 2009, 16:48
by emmac
Most people would consider themselves doing pretty well to get to grade 2 or 3 after two years, so you obviously have considerable natural talent as well as impressive motivation. I would think you can keep improving as long as you keep practising - no reason why you shouldn't get to grade 8 standard, but as for true virtuosity, that's another matter - many people (like me) can never acquire that no matter how much they practise. My fingers and brain aren't up to it, but yours may be, and youth is still on your side.