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Is the Piano your hobby or livlihood?

Discussion in 'The Piano' started by fluterific00, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Jennifer

    Jennifer New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Piano is not my career, nor my hobby, it is my medication that I have to take in order to thrive in the real world :D
     
  2. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    avguste: I noticed you teach on skype. How has that worked for you? I've been interested in getting started with that, but have not really looked into skype enough to figure out how it works. Also, do you get students from all over, like even far away countries?
    Any help would be great.
    At times, I feel somewhat bound to the piano when I am working, but it is the very thing I wind down with even if I've worked on it, or taught it all day. Maybe there's a sense of accomplishment from the stresses of teaching and a sigh of relief that I don't have to struggle as the beginning students do. I think in my new job, it will be lovely to let the fingers do the talking all day instead of trying to come up with the right words to teach it.
    :) Thought there is a certain satisfaction in teaching, as well.
     
  3. avguste

    avguste Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Skype teaching is not common.
    To be honest, as of now, I dont have any Skype students. Very busy with teaching in the school, concerts and recordings, so havent really advertised
    Skype yet.
    Generally speaking, Skype is not for everyone. It is generally for advanced and professional type level pianists.
    I do have plans on further advertising Skype in North America and France, but it will take time

    What do you teach?Where do you teach?
     
  4. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    I teach piano/accompany the choir at a Pentecostal Bible college (the religion ideas are hard to get used to). I have 6 students there. I teach some private (not staff) lessons at the State University in town. I also teach at my home. I also accompany the Suzuki program at the University. I also have a new position I will start in the fall as accompanist for a junior high and high school that are really close together, so it is walking distance. I'm looking forward to the new position, but will have to unfortunately end my teaching at the college. I haven't decided about Suzuki yet. I have to see where the schedule takes me.
    I'm very excited that I'll get the benefits with this job as well as pay. This includes retirement, life insurance, dental and medical. In other words, my first really professional job.
    I should look into skype teaching anyway. Could be another outlet. I have it downloaded just so I could see what it was like.

    Thanks!
     
  5. fluterific00

    fluterific00 Member

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    Also, I meant to ask on that last post, but forgot.

    I have a student interested in Jazz. I was wondering if you could give me the early composers that had the most influence on jazz. And, I know this is a classical forum, but maybe someone could give me tips on teaching jazz. I'm classically trained, so I will have to learn a lot of it as I go.

    The reason for this post is that I still think he needs to play the classical stuff, but I thought I could gear it towards jazz to make it interesting for him.

    Thanks
     
  6. s_winitsky

    s_winitsky Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    You know a good place to start might be to find easier arrangements of jazz melodies (with a bit of a classical influence.)

    I know George Shearing for example has written many nice arrangements with a classical influence. There are also many others and if you like a can PM you my favorites. I have a few books that use all the standard jazz voicings and embellishments that are also really easy to play and I think good for sight reading practice for example.


    Strictly speaking a big part of jazz instruction is learning to play without notes and adapting you're playing style to the environment. That is, as a jazz pianist you might expect to play with or without a bass player, with or without a soloist and or other rhythmic instruments. I know some jazz pianists don't start out playing jazz by reading music but some of course do. I suspect most classically trained pianists would feel comfortable starting with a score in hand.

    Also playing without a score is not something we learn over night I think (not that I am the expert here.) Its really a different way of looking at practicing and playing the piano (which requires a lot of discipline.)


     
  7. Radar

    Radar New Member

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    At this point in my life music is a hobby for me. I have played a few professional jobs, Subbing at churches, playing in an Army Reserve band for 15 years, Playing with a big band (didn't pay much when you have to split it 18 ways), and playing an occasional dinner music, cocktail party type gig, etc. I've never tried to actually make a living at it. I do have a government job that will allow me to retire in 5 years at the age of 55 and at that time I will be looking to supplement my retirement income with a regular Church music job.
     
  8. BrokenFingers

    BrokenFingers New Member

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    I suppose piano is my livelihood, I say that because I want it to be when I get older. I'm 14 :wink:
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, all of that and more. Though, excellent career I'm not so sure about, unless you are extremely good.

    But, may I ask, what's with the signature ? You want to promote something ? Not quite the place for that here.
     
  10. Kristinaolga

    Kristinaolga New Member

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    I have had a lifelong love-affair with music, was a soloist in my school-choir and played enthusiastically the Recorder,
    made-up my own little tunes on my Recorder and I have collected a few thousand classical records over the years.

    Every morning I make sure I have a chance to listen to a record whilst having my breakfast and it is very inspiring.

    I always wanted to learn to play the Piano, but first there was no space, then there was no money
    and later I did not come across an instrument that appealed to me.

    But a few years ago I heard by chance a Square-Piano being played at a sale-exhibition and it was love at first tone.
    That was it for me, I had found my instrument.

    I then started to learn how to play the Square-Piano from scratch and I started learning seriously how to read music and how to tune my instrument.
    It has become to be my favourite hobby and I love every minute of it.
     
  11. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It is far more than a hobby (which for me is historical wargaming [WWII and American Civil War]), but not my livlihood. I fell in love with "classical" music while in 7th grade upon hearing portions of Bach's Mass in B-Minor (portions of the Credo). From then on it has been a passion and integral to my life (with the exception of a hiatus that was sadly way too long). I really appreciate this web community for the opportunities it offers in so many ways.

    Changing the subject:
    @Kristinaolga, I belive that a square piano will not have the full range of a modern piano. Is that correct? If so, it could present significant limitations.
     
  12. Kristinaolga

    Kristinaolga New Member

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    Yes, musical-mc, it is true, my Square-Piano has 5½ octaves but that causes no limitations, but rather an inspiration to “navigate around it, if necessary”.
    The bass-tones are very deep and growling and sound absolutely wonderful, and the high-tones sing very beautifully,
    and when I lift the dampers with the pedal the mixture of tones are amazing as they flow through the air and slowly fade away...
    Many of my favourite composers wrote their compositions on this type of instrument, even “modern” ones like Elgar and Sibelius.

    My real challenges were practicalities like finding a teacher who loves and understands these instruments.
    I had a few teachers, but they had 10 little hammers on their hands and wanted to instruct me in “hammering”,
    but I did not think it was good for my Square-Piano or me.

    Unfortunately I did not succeed in finding a teacher and had to research myself how to learn playing on the Square-Piano,
    read music, tune the instrument etc.

    Another challenge was to make the environment right for the Square-Piano, it is constructed of wood only
    and it does not like Central-Heating as this would split the sound-board; in fact, it does not like any heating in the winter at all,
    and it always needs a thermostatically controlled humidifier to be on, and this humidifier has to be cleaned and decalcified on a very regular basis.
    The Square Piano also likes the window to be open slightly throughout the year and it likes to be tuned on a regular basis, whenever the weather changes.

    But all that does not bother me at all. I am very happy that I found this Square Piano because it helped me tremendously going through a very bad patch in my life
    and having me-time and focus on something new and exciting.

    For example, one of my favourite pieces in music always was “Greensleeves” and I have heard many versions of it
    (Vaughan Williams, Holst, many instrumental versions, many singers etc) and I always thought I would play it differently.
    Finally I had a way to express how I wanted "Greensleeves" to be played and it has been great fun ever since
    and as I have said, it is my favourite hobby.
     
  13. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Sounds very demanding. Are you sure it's vaccinations are up to date? :wink:

    That is good news.

    Well, you have certainly wet my appetite. Maybe someday you will provide a recorded sample for us to hear. Although, what I would expect to hear would be quite equivalent to the sound of a spinet piano.

    Regards
     
  14. Kristinaolga

    Kristinaolga New Member

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    Hello, musical-md, thanks for you kind words.

    Your remark about the up-to-date vaccinations of my Square Piano made me smile
    because I must admit, it is my pet-piano and I care for it very much. :D

    Maybe soon I attempt to upload my “Greensleeves” on this site but I have never done this before,
    so I have to study how to do it and this may take a little while.

    Kind regards from Kristinaolga.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I will be interested to hear your take on Greensleeves. The version by Vaughan Williams I hope ?
    You also mentioned Sibelius, Elgar, and Holst. Would you record music from them too ? Piano pieces by Elgar and Holst are quite rare.
     
  16. Kristinaolga

    Kristinaolga New Member

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    Hello, techneut,

    Thanks for the encouragement, it is very much appreciated.

    I am currently learning Elgar’s “Nimrod”, but I have to work on it a little longer.

    My “Greensleeves” is not very elaborate and not the Vaughan Williams version,
    I wanted to keep it in its early Lute-version and took a very simple source,
    which I repeated in a higher octave and at the end I put on a “little cheerfulness”
    which I heard in an early Bagpipe-version, to “come out of the melancholy” so to speak.

    I am only a beginner with my Forte-Piano and I must say I like to be a bit creative with my pieces,
    so sometimes I create my own little versions.

    Thanks for the encouragement, from Kristinaolga.
     
  17. StephenC

    StephenC New Member

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    That is a great story of you love to piano music. Well for me, it is a hobby. A lifelong hobby. Whenever I play our piano, it somehow relaxes me and it's very soothing to my ears to listen to it. Well not just my piano playing, but almost all piano musics.
     
  18. amelialw

    amelialw New Member

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    for me it's always been half and half... :) It was my hobby from the age of 2&a half till 18 :p then it developed into a passion and livelihood. There have been points which I've taught piano too. Now music is more of a hobby because I can't live without it and am going into a full- blown music teacher career for 4 years soon but once I'm done and out of it.......
     
  19. misspam

    misspam New Member

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    Hi,

    I had a very hard time deciding on a major when I went to college. I loved piano and music but didn't see how it could earn my living, so I ended up with a math degree and many extra credits in music. It only took a year after college before I found a job teaching for a piano school and piano has been my job ever since, over 20 years. I always tell teens to go after their passion. I sing, accompany and teach. I love my life and am very happy! Unfortunately I have forgotten much of the math I had learned.
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Heh, I can relate to that. It is amazing how quickly and thoroughly all of it seems to evaporate when you don't ever use it anymore. I am baffled by all but the most basic school stuff. Ah well, music is much more interesting anyway :D
     

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