Discussion:
What goes into becomming an virtuoso?
(too old to reply)
David Gaines
2004-01-04 14:02:07 UTC
Permalink
There are some very young virtuoso level classical performers out there,
some as young as 15 or 16, possibly younger. Since they have not been on
the planet that long, I'm wondering what goes into getting to that level in
such a short time. Are these people playing 12 hours a day from the time
they are 5? Just curious.

Dave
Edward Bridge
2004-01-04 15:04:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Gaines
There are some very young virtuoso level classical performers out there,
some as young as 15 or 16, possibly younger. Since they have not been on
the planet that long, I'm wondering what goes into getting to that level in
such a short time. Are these people playing 12 hours a day from the time
they are 5? Just curious.
Dave
I think John Williams dad only let him play for an hr. or 2 a day while
in school . 12 hr.s is not the answer but I think loving parents who are
musicians may be. This has been on my mind a lot.

I dislike the word " Virtuoso" but I know what your talking about and I
would like to ask a few question that's goes with your question .

J. Williams , Romero kids , Yamashita kids and many others had parents
that played .

How did the parents go about this?
How many virtuoso young players had near virtuoso parents who they still
care for/love ? What's their story

Do you know virtuoso young players stop playing at the age of 20 and hate
their parents? What's their story?

Ed Bridge
www.bridgeclassicalguitars.com
Peter Inglis - TWG
2004-01-05 08:18:40 UTC
Permalink
NURTURE ......

Nurtured by Love

In this book Suzuki presents the philosophy and principles of his teaching
methods for developing the natural abilities of every child. In my
experience the principles are largely valid for adult education and
self-education as well.

Excerpts

"Talent is no accident of birth. A Newborn child adjusts to his environment
in order to survive, and various abilities are acquired in the process."
etc........... from http://www.migman.com/twg/books/nblove.htm

and

"NATURE"............

The Pianist's Talent by Harold Taylor
"I think many performers have had the feeling... that the music is playing
itself and that they are the agents through which the music passes. ...
Harold Taylor has convincingly shown... that... this feeling is the result
of being in a certain state of muscular co-ordination.."

from http://www.migman.com/twg/books/PT.htm

--
Regards

Peter Inglis - email - ***@migman.com
"Guitar Playing and how it works" - A new terminology and approach to the
guitar based on principles of the Alexander Technique and dance.
Read about it here - http://www.migman.com/twg/2nd-edn/contents.htm
Post by Edward Bridge
Post by David Gaines
There are some very young virtuoso level classical performers out there,
some as young as 15 or 16, possibly younger. Since they have not been on
the planet that long, I'm wondering what goes into getting to that level
in
Post by David Gaines
such a short time. Are these people playing 12 hours a day from the time
they are 5? Just curious.
Dave
I think John Williams dad only let him play for an hr. or 2 a day while
in school . 12 hr.s is not the answer but I think loving parents who are
musicians may be. This has been on my mind a lot.
I dislike the word " Virtuoso" but I know what your talking about and I
would like to ask a few question that's goes with your question .
J. Williams , Romero kids , Yamashita kids and many others had parents
that played .
How did the parents go about this?
How many virtuoso young players had near virtuoso parents who they still
care for/love ? What's their story
Do you know virtuoso young players stop playing at the age of 20 and hate
their parents? What's their story?
Ed Bridge
www.bridgeclassicalguitars.com
Scott Daughtrey
2004-01-04 15:13:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Gaines
There are some very young virtuoso level classical performers out there,
some as young as 15 or 16, possibly younger. Since they have not been on
the planet that long, I'm wondering what goes into getting to that level in
such a short time. Are these people playing 12 hours a day from the time
they are 5? Just curious.
One thought Dave: the appearance of great progress can be made in a few short
years. I've seen students go from absolute beginner to playing at what would
appear to be a virtuosic level, for the age, in two years. But this is
misleading - it represents only a limited view. The further elements that
ultimately lead to a great musician, true musical maturity, takes many years
regardless of ability.

A small analogy: if you were in average to poor physical condition and decided
to apply yourself to running the mile everyday you'd find that the gains after
a month or two would start to progress very quickly. You might improve your
mile speed from 7 min to 6 min in two weeks, however it may take another month
to get down to 5:45. And it might take another two months to get to 5:30. The
greater the ability, the more work required to break subsequent barriers.
Again if we look at the highly developed, for example the Olympic athletes
competing in the mile, it may take six months to shave a tenth of a second of
time off the time if it's even possible.

When we're younger we often progress a little quicker, but there are many
reasons for this, not the least being that there is usually someone to pick up
the slack (parents often make sure the child has the daily time to practice;
in the case of adults it can be difficult to ensure you have that time every
single day). It aso bears pointing out that children and teens also seem to
have clearer minds. It's easy to find things like bills, commitments and other
responsibilities and even self-doubt or expectations creeping in to our minds
and infecting our practice time. When we are young we often play with a clear
and open mind just because we love to play. This may be the very best way to
learn! And since much work can also be done in the mind when the instrument
isn't in their hands, the freer mind and imagination of youth may also play a
significant role.

Just a few thoughts, not answers.

Scott
Lutemann
2004-01-04 17:12:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott Daughtrey
You might improve your
mile speed from 7 min to 6 min in two weeks, however it may take another month
to get down to 5:45. And it might take another two months to get to 5:30. The
To offer a better running analogy, I think most people on this list are
wondering why they can't improve their speed from 7 min to 6 min no matter how
long they work on it. I know a very talented concert player who admits that he
cannot play a tremolo and yet I've seen a 60 year old beginner learn it in
couple of months. Is this luck or knowledge? MO would say luck, and I would
say knowledge.
*****************************************************
Kent Murdick
Free Guitar Instruction CD/Video: Go to http://stringdancer.com/
and search for Murdick
http://members.aol.com/lutemann/guitar.html
Edward Bridge
2004-01-04 17:44:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott Daughtrey
You might improve your
mile speed from 7 min to 6 min in two weeks, however it may take another month
to get down to 5:45. And it might take another two months to get to 5:30.
Or is it in the DNA? In running it's in your *DNA and hard work .My dad
was a good runner, I'm still running sub 17's for 5 k ( God I wanted to lie
there) and my sons are better then the most of their class.

Which brings me back to the parents of players who are good at a early age
.

Ed Bridge
www.bridgeclassicalguitars.com


* This is a fact
David Kilpatrick
2004-01-04 20:48:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lutemann
Post by Scott Daughtrey
You might improve your
mile speed from 7 min to 6 min in two weeks, however it may take another month
to get down to 5:45. And it might take another two months to get to 5:30. The
To offer a better running analogy, I think most people on this list are
wondering why they can't improve their speed from 7 min to 6 min no matter how
long they work on it. I know a very talented concert player who admits that he
cannot play a tremolo and yet I've seen a 60 year old beginner learn it in
couple of months. Is this luck or knowledge? MO would say luck, and I would
say knowledge.
Funny that you don't suggest physiology. The shape of my hands lets me do
some things very easily and others with considerable difficulty. I've met
players whose hands could have been purpose built to execute a three-finger
tremolo! Not mine, especially in the length difference between m and a. Not
insuperable, but not worth the effort. Great for clawhammer banjo though.

DK
Lutemann
2004-01-04 23:30:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kilpatrick
I've met
players whose hands could have been purpose built to execute a three-finger
tremolo! Not mine, especially in the length difference between m and a. Not
This is a possibility. It's too bad I couldn't see your hand. What I need to
do is work on a couple of hundred hands with what I have discovered recently.
*****************************************************
Kent Murdick
Free Guitar Instruction CD/Video: Go to http://stringdancer.com/
and search for Murdick
http://members.aol.com/lutemann/guitar.html
Richard Yates
2004-01-05 15:01:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lutemann
Post by David Kilpatrick
I've met
players whose hands could have been purpose built to execute a three-finger
tremolo! Not mine, especially in the length difference between m and a. Not
This is a possibility. It's too bad I couldn't see your hand. What I need to
do is work on a couple of hundred hands with what I have discovered recently.
http://www.yatesguitar.com/misc/Hands/Hands2.html

Additions to this page are welcome. Send me digital photos or just put your
hand down on a scanner.

Richard Yates
***@yatesguitar.com
David Kilpatrick
2004-01-05 17:31:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Kilpatrick
Post by Lutemann
Post by David Kilpatrick
I've met
players whose hands could have been purpose built to execute a
three-finger
Post by Lutemann
Post by David Kilpatrick
tremolo! Not mine, especially in the length difference between m and a.
Not
Post by Lutemann
This is a possibility. It's too bad I couldn't see your hand. What I
need to
Post by Lutemann
do is work on a couple of hundred hands with what I have discovered
recently.
http://www.yatesguitar.com/misc/Hands/Hands2.html
Additions to this page are welcome. Send me digital photos or just put your
hand down on a scanner.
Fascinating - a couple of hands there are as uneven in length of fingers
as mine, one hand resembles the best fast Irish triplet picker I know
(Tony McManus) in even-length fingers. What is interesting is the
spacing of the fingers, mine naturally divide into two pairs with a big
gap between and I can not hold my hand so i and a touch except at the
first joint - there is almost a finger width gap by the time you get to
the tip. I can do the 'two fingers together in the middle, space on each
side' trick with a lot of effort but not with my fingers flat.

Sending you some scans (my scanner is miles over on the left hand side
of my keboard, so contortions to do this were extreme!)

David

David
Lutemann
2004-01-04 15:25:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Gaines
Since they have not been on
the planet that long, I'm wondering what goes into getting to that level in
such a short time. Are these people playing 12 hours a day from the time
they are 5? Just curious.
Starting young without bad habits and dedication are the main things. Talent is
also a big one, but I think we are going to start seeing many people with
average talent master the repertoire and not spend 20 years doing it. Five
hours a day is too long for a human to sustain good practice habits IMO.
Building to an efficient three hours a day is plenty. People critcize me on
RMCG for always talking about efficiency, but it is the absolute key to
success. Your chances of success on the guitar without a knowledgable
efficiency guide (teacher) are about the same as winning the lottery. But as MO
would say, look at all the people who win the lottery who never studied
probability.
*****************************************************
Kent Murdick
Free Guitar Instruction CD/Video: Go to http://stringdancer.com/
and search for Murdick
http://members.aol.com/lutemann/guitar.html
Childbloom
2004-01-04 18:36:29 UTC
Permalink
Whenenever I have a chance to encounter concert level players, I ask them about
their childhood training. I have spoken with, A. Holzman, M. Abril, S. Assad,
A. Romero, R. Dyens, various LAGQ performers, and many other high-level and
lesser known players about this topic. I have heard others speak about this
topic and share first hand stories of other famous players of which they had
knowlege. Most seem to enjoy thinking back into their early years. The common
thread of all of these professionals is unambiguous parental support and
guidance. For example, one famous player's dad motivated his son with strict
practice regimen and career aspirations of world travel. Another player's
parents were artists and sought qualified teachers. One father even moved the
entire family to a different city so that his pre-teen children could have
better teaching. One dad planned his son's entire career - from his first
teachers, recitals, arrangers and record companies - at age 9 - it came to
pass. There are many stories (of which I have no first hand knowledge) of
players such as Bream, Williams, Yepes, and even the historical figures of
Guliani, Sor that share this common environment. (This gives me a reason to
corner some of the older members of the international guitar community who may
spill some of thes stories over a few beers at the next festival.)

Over the last several decades, I have taught hundreds of young people. If those
student continue playing though the teenage years, it is the rule and not the
exception that they develop significant physical technique with a few hours a
week of practice. However I have seen precious few continue their studies into
the college years and have career aspirations. The reason seems to be that
parents begin to withdraw their support from the musical activity as the
prospect of their child becoming a professional musician becomes more
realistic. Only the most outstanding will come to the fore and receive
continual parental support. This is not an unusual phenomenon - ask the Dean of
Yale School of Music about that. Since the guitar has traditionally been a solo
instrument, a competent but less-than-virtuosic player has little chance of a
career.

I would be curious to know of a player or composer of high caliber who did not
have active parental involvement supporting their interest as a youth. My bet
is that it doesn't exist. Are there any outstanding concert artists of any
instrument who were orphans?

Kevin Taylor
The Childbloom Co.
www.childbloom.com

<< There are some very young virtuoso level classical performers out there,
some as young as 15 or 16, possibly younger. Since they have not been on
the planet that long, I'm wondering what goes into getting to that level in
such a short time. Are these people playing 12 hours a day from the time
they are 5? Just curious. >>
Stanley Yates
2004-01-04 18:53:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Childbloom
I would be curious to know of a player or composer of high caliber who did not
have active parental involvement supporting their interest as a youth. My bet
is that it doesn't exist. Are there any outstanding concert artists of any
instrument who were orphans?
Yes.
Himmelhoch
2004-01-04 19:48:20 UTC