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DT: come reap
Posted on 2003.22.07 at 19:40
How I feel about it all: researching
Soundtrack: Cashman & West - American City Suite
Okay, two questions.

The first is for someone who's grown up in the British school system, as Harry did his first few school years: Is it possible for someone to go through school to age eleven and not learn anything about reading sheet music, including knowing what it looks like?

The second is for anyone who plays the piano: How long would it take for a very gifted (we're talking untapped prodigy, age sixteen) to learn to play the piano well enough to perform a complex piece of music?

Thanks in advance for any info.

Comments:


Tina
wickedcherub at 2003-07-22 16:51 (UTC) ()
I think it's highly possible. Especially when you're locked up in a cupboard when you're not at school.

And I think that it wouldn't take long at all to learn how to play a complex piece of music, if the kid only practices that *one* piece, you know? My brother's in 2nd Grade piano, and he's not even musically inclined, yet he managed to learn a 7th grade piece in a few months.
Leyenn
leyenn at 2003-07-22 17:11 (UTC) ()
The first is for someone who's grown up in the British school system, as Harry did his first few school years: Is it possible for someone to go through school to age eleven and not learn anything about reading sheet music, including knowing what it looks like?

I got through not only to age eleven, but three years of music lessons from eleven to fourteen and still can't read sheet music. And I went to a grammar school! I'm not sure about not knowing what it looks like, though - a lot of kids, at least when I went through primary school, learn the recorder and have the notes written out under the sheet (like I had to!), but they'd still know the rough idea of 'oh, that's a sheet of music'. But you know, if music wasn't a compulsory subject (which it's not in some places) and the kid in question was Harry who probably had better things to think about that extra-curricular learning, then I'd say it's more likely than not he wouldn't have a clue.

That was a long and rambling road to a 'yes'. I'll shut up now. ;)
Marie Antoinette's pastry slave
mark356 at 2003-07-22 17:12 (UTC) ()
It depends why the piece is complex and where the person's particular musical talents are. There are some pieces that are complex because of all of the keys they go through and all of the fast notes, but because the notes are so similar, those are easy to play once you have the hang of them. There are other pieces, like Joplin's rags, that are extremely complex rhythmically, and some people could just sit down and play them, but it would probably take me years to play one of them at the same level of proficiency that I play Chopin etudes at. But if someone is particularly comfortable with the type of complex piece, and devotes a lot of energy to either reading that type of piece or one of those specifically, then he or she could probably learn it quite rapidly; if you said two months for an untapped prodigy to learn a complex piece of music he or she was practicing thoroughly every day, I would be amazed but not surprised.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2003-07-22 17:45 (UTC) ()
There are other pieces, like Joplin's rags, that are extremely complex rhythmically, and some people could just sit down and play them, but it would probably take me years to play one of them at the same level of proficiency that I play Chopin etudes at.

Joplin is exactly what I'm looking for, actually. So I guess it depends on the player, right?
the day you left was just my beginning
patchfire at 2003-07-22 17:21 (UTC) ()
d00d. talk to aleph_0, aka my Brit-picker extraordinaire.
Mad Maudlin
ginzai at 2003-07-23 06:10 (UTC) ()
I'm not certain at all about the British school system question, but when it comes to music... I learned to play flute at age 16 and I'm by no means a prodigy. Still, I could play pieces of moderate difficulty within two months. All it really takes is a desire to learn, and I was playing roughly four or five hours a day then.
Heart of Wine
heart_of_wine at 2003-07-23 07:34 (UTC) ()
Regarding piano, if I had to guess, it would take a gifted person starting at 16 about 5 years to get to a point where they could play the more complicated pieces and play them convincingly.

I hope that helps!

Hugs,
Elia
Chaos
slightly_mad at 2003-07-23 12:33 (UTC) ()
I think it's entirely possible not to have seen sheet music mostly because if I hadn't been having piano lessons at the time I wouldn't have seen it. I went to a pretty small school but it's still possible. Once you get to secondary school it's impossible.

As for the piano my friend, when she started secondary school had never had a piano lesson in her life and couldn't play the piano after she'd had lessons for one school year she could've played almost anything. She's brilliant at music and she loves it too so she actually practices so in theory it took her 10 months to be able to play brilliantly.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2003-07-24 05:46 (UTC) ()
Thanks everyone! This fic has been calling me forever, and it's little details like this that haunt me most.

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