piano, Is it a hobby?

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I have a daughter who has enjoyed classical music for many years. It is truly a hobby for her. she has learned to play by ear. She will begin high school as a freshman in a piano magnet program. she had to aution to get in. If not bored we are hoping she stay with the program for the next 4 years since it will be the first time she will have consistent piano lessons. As a single parent, we could never really afford piano lessons, only a few classes. she has composed music since 8 and now attempts to play classical music ie, mozart and other pieces learned by ear. she is just begining to sight read. we are making plans for obtaining college information etc and I advised her "for the next 4 years, enjoy yourself learning to play with instruction." I've advised her that piano doesnt have to be her major if she decides it isnt what she want to do. She is a pretty well rounded honor roll student and have interest in many other subject. she also plays some trumpet and learning the violin (self taught). MY QUESTION: I have read and noticed it's difficult to learn a living playing the piano. Should piano playing remain a hobby? and do you know of any books that can help direct teenagers in making decisions for college.

p.s. I have reviewed your page on the mars millenium website and like what you have to offer in information

-- C fitzhugh (C.fitzu@worldnet.att.net), June 02, 2001


I can't tell anything about your daughter without meeting her and hearing her play. However, it certainly is very hard to earn a living as a performing musician. Actually, "hard" isn't a strong enough word; "impossible" is closer to the truth. I tell young people, "Only become a musician if you cannot be happy doing anything else."

If she's so strongly motivated toward music, she should have the very best teaching, *not just in piano*, but also in other "musicianly" skills: ear-training, sight-singing, keyboard harmony, improvisation, composition, and so on. She should also be exposed to the highest level of students nationally, so that she can judge for herself where she fits into the picture.

I've never heard of a "piano magnet" program. Where is it, and is there any information about it on the Web?

-- James Boyk (boyk@caltech.edu), June 02, 2001.

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