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Adult Pipers Related to Adult piping or pipers, this is the place.

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Old 02-19-2014, 08:27 AM   #31
piper down VA
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Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

I started 5 years ago, now 58. Ive been a musician all my life, so I was ahead on the reading part. I practice minimum 1 hour a day on the pipes, then maybe 2 hours on the chanter. I have been playing jigs, reals and strathspeys for about 3 years. I have played in 2 grade 4 bands. I am betting I am too old for Grade 2, but I do play some 4 part tunes that could compete with a much younger person. I had an instructor the first year only. It would have helped to have more, but I moved away. It may take me longer to get the fingering down on a fast tune, but I think I practice right, and learn pretty fast. (For and old guy)!
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:56 PM   #32
dorothy
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Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

Every adult learner needs to read "Never too Late" by John Holt. He learned to play the cello in middle age. As an educator, he analyzed his challenges and journaled them.

Guys and gals, there's hope for anyone. I was 47 when I took up the pipes. I've been at it for 24 years now. Do the math! I'm still playing and the learning curve hasn't leveled out yet.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:06 AM   #33
sheldon hamblin
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Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

I'm pretty much in agreement, in that it is never too late. However, the effort it takes as we get older seems to increase. My question is, what is the highest competitive level an adult learner has reached? I started at 45, now at 58 I am in grade 2 but struggling.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:44 AM   #34
bob864
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Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

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Originally Posted by sheldon hamblin View Post
I'm pretty much in agreement, in that it is never too late. However, the effort it takes as we get older seems to increase. My question is, what is the highest competitive level an adult learner has reached? I started at 45, now at 58 I am in grade 2 but struggling.
I know someone who started as an adult who reached EUSPBA professional level. I'm sure it's not very common.

A few years ago I looked at the numbers of EUSPBA competitors by grade. Half of all competitors were g4, and half of the rest were 3. There aren't many competitors who get to the top levels, no matter when they start.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:51 AM   #35
Adam Sanderson
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Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

Let's not forget that the founder of this forum was an adult learner who reached Grade 2 within around 7 years of starting. If it wasn't for Bob's tragically curtailed life, he would have no doubt gone further up the grades.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:28 PM   #36
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Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

There aren't any easy tunes anyway. If you want to play them well.

I would say, never mind what the average piper can or cannot do at a certain age. No one is average. The average is an abstract statistical concept. We are all special cases, and the best judges of what we ourselves can do, because, deep down, we know what we are made of.

If you look at the top level pipers and feel the need to ask yourself "can I get there?" Well then you can't get there. Because while supreme confidence is no guarantee of success, it is a prerequisite. If you are asking then you don't have the confidence that lets you move mountains. That's what you need to get there. You need that self assurance to sacrifice everything else and practice 10 hours a day and make a rare special case of yourself - as all top level pipers are rare special cases.

There is no need to ask that question. Just aim for perfection, that's all we have to do. It's not hard to take aim. Don't consign yourself to second best from the get-go, because that's your descend into mediocrity.

Be mindful that the goal isn't to collect trophies, but to play beautifully. Make your audience whoop and tap their feet. You need to aim for perfection for that - the thing is either perfectly in tune or it is not in tune; the taorluath either sounds like one or it doesnt - then see how far our talent, and the time we have, lead us, and enjoy the journey.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:48 AM   #37
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Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

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Originally Posted by SquintingPatrick View Post
If you look at the top level pipers and feel the need to ask yourself "can I get there?" Well then you can't get there. Because while supreme confidence is no guarantee of success, it is a prerequisite.

The world of famous musicians is filled with those who are not only insecure, but honestly believe they are inadequate. Jim Morrison was so insecure when the Doors started performing that he sang with his back to the audience! He never really got past that, and it's probably what killed him.

The only prerequisite for getting better is believing you can get better. It doesn't matter how high you think you might ultimately be able to climb, all that matters is that you believe you can take the next step. If you always believe you can take the next step, then you will never stop making progress. Insert turtle/hare parable here
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:33 AM   #38
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Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

Bob, I think that insecurity stemmed from how he felt he was doing measured against how he should be doing. That meant he had high standards. All good musicians think that way, I believe. And that's what drives some to practice long hours - to close that gap.

I should amend my comments to say that the prerequisite is not to question whether you can improve beyond a certain point, even if that point is the highest one.

I think, in essence, that is the same as what you mentioned.
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:01 AM   #39
Kirby Allen
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Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

http://nytimes.com/2014/01/26/opinio...s-success.html

There are three things cited in he article as requirements for a successful venture: a superiority complex, a sense of insecurity, and impulse control. Regardless of your background or age or musical experience it's reasonable to say the same can be applied to piping. I'm sure many pipers who began later in life are now successful and well-bred pipers, Bob Dunsire our shining example as Adam pointed out.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:12 AM   #40
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Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

If only I had impulse control!
Now I know what's stopping me. But two out of three aint bad.
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