Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicClassical · 2 months ago

Am I somewhat talented on the piano?

Alright, I'm definitely not trying to sound cocky at all, I'm just hoping someone with musical background and knowledge can provide some answers for me. Here's some context. No, I am not a virtuoso or a prodigy, since I cannot compose music like some extremely young children are, or pick up a piece in an hour or so. Here's my story: (Also I am 13)

When I was seven, I got my first few lessons. These lasted about a year. Then, we moved away, and a year later, I got lessons again, this time from another teacher. I'm still playing to this day with this teacher. I can play easier versions of Beethoven, Mozart and Joplin. I may not play the real versions, but I can master these easy versions in a day or so, so much so that my piano teacher called me 'talented', but I really doubt myself. I work on about 4 pieces at a time, since if they are the easy version, I can play them almost perfectly (I have a pretty good ear, so that helps) in about 1, 2 or 3 days. I've been invited to play at my local concert hall, out of 36 students. I was out of 5 chosen people. I'm also more advanced than my friend who's been playing for 3 years longer than I have. 

I really do doubt my abilities, and I know I'm probably not that talented, but I really want some input that isn't from my parents, who would naturally say that I'm good. Thank you.


Also with the piano, I have a high-quality keyboard with weighted keys, and recently my piano teacher said that I need to get a real piano since he thinks I'm ready. He's impressed by the fact that I can sight-read both treble and bass clef, I think. But am I really ready for a real piano? I mean, I'm only thirteen and I've only been playing for 6 years. There's tons of other people better than me.

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    ***LONG POST feel free to ignore or digest over a long period of time***

    Let's say I'm a cook. If I asked you "How does my hamburger taste?"

    Would you be able to answer that?

    What if I told you that some people like it, but there definitely better cooks out there.

    Could you tell me how does my hamburger taste?

    No, your're still not able to answer it. Similarly, we can't answer your question for you just based on your own description. Not trying to be a jerk, but you deserve factual and honest information, and there's no way we can give you that about your skill as a pianist based on a description alone. 


    That said, things below in **-----** are for you to reflect on, maybe have a talk with the teacher too about what it means to be a musician.

    ***What does it mean to 'master' a piece?***

    For instance, once a college professor described mastery to me like this:

    1) Being able to play the piece virtually flawlessly, with no unnecessary tension, getting all the right rhythms, articulations and proper balance of voices. 

    2) Having a solid understanding of the theory, harmony, and form of the piece, as well as the background and contextual information of the piece. Who wrote it, why did they write it?

    3) Having a deep and solid understanding of what the piece means to you. Knowing how it makes you feel. Knowing in your mind PRECISELY how you want every note to sound, how every phrase should sound, and how long fermatas should be, etc.

    4) Being able to play the piece entirely in your head (called 'audition'). 

    ***Why are you playing the piano? What should motivate me?***

    The 'greatest' kind of satisfaction comes from yourself enjoying to play the piano. Some people are mastery-motivated (motivated to do something because they enjoy it, enjoy learning it and the journey). 

    Other people are performance-motivated (motivated to do something because you get praise for doing well - but discouraged if you don't get praise).


    Ideally, you want to be mastery-motivated in everything that you do. Those people are overall more successful people (not just musicians) . So why am I not answering your question?

    You don't need our praise. If you are enjoying playing the piano, then play it! Keep learning it! Your life should be about doing things you like!!! So if you like playing the piano, then you'll always be a student, practicing and learning as long as you practice/play. I hope you get to play in front of people more so they can appreciate you, but just remember that how you feel is important too! Self doubt hits every musician, you're one of millions who say "I'm not good enough." Ignore that. Think positively. If you're about to say "I'm not good enough", say "I will practice more" instead. Research shows positive thinking affects your behavior in the long run for the better.

    Are there better people than you? Yes. Many of whom are younger than you. That doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't play. Again, the whole reason is if you like doing it! :) 


    So your teacher's job, as your teacher, is to teach you (lol).

    He wants for you to keep growing.

    Real pianos are a step-up, and help you to keep growing. (Not saying you can't continue to grow without it, but the real piano would help). They are lots of money however! Keep an eye out for local places that are getting rid of pianos, I've seen pianos occasionally on the market being GIVEN away to anyone that wants it due to lack of storage. (Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace). Real pianos do need to be tuned every so often which costs $.

    Keep practicing and reflecting! Good luck!!!

  • 1 month ago

    I am a multi-degreed classical musician, since 1973, and have taught fulltime in the schools of NYS for over 30 years. I am a fine flutist and pianist.  My husband is a pianist with solo Lincoln Center credits. Both DH (also conductor/teacher) and I also were adjudicators for many music assessments and competitions for decades - and besides playing solo and chamber music concerts our whole lives, we also still teach privately in our own studios.  You sound like an average normal kid.  Your teacher - and we have no idea how qualified or effective they are - is encouraging you, and you want our opinions.  How?  Telepathy?  Post a YouTube or other recording of yourself, where we can BOTH see and hear you, ideally.    You admit that you play SIMPLIFIED versions - but we can still assess skills even on those. As far as theory/technical knowledge - let's consider SCALES.  Can you play at least some/most of the 15 major scales,  both hands together, Hanon/traditional correct fingerings, 4 octaves up and down, and a reasonable tempo - maybe eighths notes at 108 bpm?  How about arpeggios, hands together?  This is a minimum benchmark for one aspect of your study and accomplishment. Being able to sightread in both clefs is just - expected.   Have you played anything NOT simplified - maybe a Bach 2-part Invention?  Have you participated in any school-based assessment or Solo and Ensemble Festivals in your state?  Can you play with others - perhaps a simple accompaniment for an instrumentalist or singer?  These are the only communicable things you can tell us for us to GUESS how well you play.  Basically,just about  every day of my life, I am hearing students play, and they depend upon me to give them an accurate assessment  - not being mean to them, and not gushing over every little thing they do. (Years ago, I got a new student whose friends were already my students - the 4 of them walked over together for lessons, and hung out on my porch.  I asked her at the first lesson, if they had told her what my teaching was like. She said "Yes - they should you are gonna take me apart, and put me back together EVEN BETTER than I ever was!")

    So post something - and in a GOOD way, let us "take you apart" - gently, but truthfully.  Yes, a REAL piano, if of good quality, will be better than digital - although a GOOD 88-note,digital beats a rotten acoustic piano . . .  again, situational.

  • 1 month ago

    Put a video on youtube and let us hear how good you are.  Without hearing you, I have no idea.

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