Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Thu May 04, 2017 4:49 am

johnd wrote:
Wed May 03, 2017 6:18 pm
I am 77 years old. I have a better chance of making love to 10,000 women they I do logging 10,000 hours of practicing the guitar.
Either way I am going to enjoy it and have fun!!!!!
The guitar might be the better mistress.
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Thu May 04, 2017 5:01 am

ashepps wrote:
Wed May 03, 2017 5:51 pm
Eberhart,

Thank you!

I just copied your planned list, what a great idea for me. I am as well getting up there in age, but just out of the guitar scene for a long, long time and really was not that good. This should definitely help you (and me).

I was not organized, now I feel that you have helped me put a new "spin" on my playing and practicing etc. I have been just "spinning my wheels" the last 3 years getting nothing accomplished.

Hope it works for the both of us.

Alan
I was hoping that my "method" was of some use to others. I really spun my wheels a lot when I first studied guitar in my previous life, (I quit 30 years ago and resumed some 2 years ago.) My teacher pointed out, at the end, that I had worked on ever harder pieces, yet little to show for it - meaning that I had no repertoire, other than the latest and greatest, but yet imperfect piece. Of course I had advanced in technique. But without music that doesn't amount to much. I was not going to make that mistake again and still wonder why my teacher had not interrupt my poor learning pattern earlier on.
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Thu May 04, 2017 6:12 am

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Wed May 03, 2017 4:15 pm
...I keep a binder. But your idea of organizing it in electronic files is a good idea. The binder is getting too big....
Rick, that's the problem with our system. Whether binder or electronic, there is a tendency for the list of pieces getting too ambitiously long. :(
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Thu May 04, 2017 5:34 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:23 pm
...

Currently I am dealing with a little trigger finger issue so I think after the exam I will take a little break. I actually think playing is good for my fingers and my problem is just old age, complications of type II Diabetes, and texting too much. So I'll stop for now.
.
Breaks may be important, even if the 10,000 hr. goal recedes some. I find that getting back after a short break really makes the music more vibrant. I hear things that I missed and musical feeling gets deeper. So, breaks (short) might actually be quite helpful to musical development. So there is a side benefit of forced breaks due to pain.

My carpal joints (particularly the trapeziometacarpal are not going to recover) and I try to control pain with a topical anti-inflammatory. It really doesn't do much and sooner than later a break from playing is forced on me. Unfortunately, just household chores (let alone puttering in the shop - yes also texting) are actually much worse on the joints than playing guitar. Grrr!

Students in their senior years have to make more adaptation for disability. An obvious one might be to get away from the footstool to better manage sciatica. Attention / concentration might be more difficult if using drugs for pain or sleeping poorly. Multiple short sessions might work better than a long one in that case. (I know concentrating in the evening is much more difficult for me and it is too late in the day to resort to coffee.) Then there is failing hearing which calls for good hearing aids (read expensive) properly calibrated for music practice.

Talk about failing eyesight: I found it helpful to have eyeglasses (close range progressive lenses) dedicated to music practice. I also copy my sheet music and take it into Photoshop to crop, enlarge, improve spacing of the lines, etc. for better readability. It may help further to print out the music on larger sheets of paper (e.g. A3.)

Arthritis might be a huge problem for playing with pain from neck, shoulders, hands, lower back. However this problem (likely genetic) plays out for an individual, there is nothing much to be done except seek pain killers which may become counterproductive to concentration. Nonetheless, playing (if not over-done) may do a lot to retain mobility in the joints of the hands. Give and take!

I hope you find your break refreshing, Rick. I'm taking a few days off myself.
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours?

Post by Rick Beauregard » Thu May 04, 2017 8:25 pm

I met Andres Segovia when he was 83. I shook his impressive right hand and we had a brief conversation. A few days later I watched him perform for the third time. He was the epitome for me of the ageless maestro. Of course his facility was not what it was in his 30's. He needed help to make it to his piano stool center stage. But the mere fact the he was still touring worldwide every year, practicing 6 hours a day, giving weeklong master classes (that's where I met him as an auditor, USC 1981) and playing at all, let alone like the virtuoso he was, had a great impression on me. Just as seeing a 75 year old complete a marathon with a better time then me in my 40's. I thought: I'd like to be able to do that some day. Well not THAT, but you know what I mean. I was inspired.

I agree about breaks. I have several each year programmed into my schedule, when family visit or when we go off sailing for a week. Sometimes I bring the guitar and noodle a bit but often not. When I get back I feel I play with more strength and confidence and less effort for a few days. As you, I think, imply [short breaks] the danger for me is to take a break, then another, until it becomes one large 40 year break. This is one of the reasons for the 10,000 hour goal. It's always out there to get me back on track, and I am always glad I did.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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Contreras
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Contreras » Fri May 05, 2017 1:10 am

Nice thread ... and encouraging for those of us in the failing faculty demographic. I do like the idea of enlarging scores.
Of course, like many I am well in excess of 10K hours ... Most of it noodling 😊. Still, a reasonable proportion has been focused over the years, and I am still pleasantly gratified with what I can manage with sustained practice.
Latest piece committed to memory : 'Yamour' (Ford), and before that Julia Florida. And in an acoustic vein, working on Baden Powell's version of 'All the things you are.'
The guitar is not a harsh mistress, and never fails to reward.
Put down the bagpipes ...
... and no one gets hurt.

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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Larry McDonald » Fri May 05, 2017 4:00 pm

Hi,
I believe that the craft of guitar instruction has significantly improved over the last 20 years. The "old" 10,000 hour number may be out-of-date because our learning curves are getting steeper.
Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar Instructor
Royal Conservatory Advanced Theory Instructor

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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Fri May 05, 2017 6:44 pm

Larry McDonald wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 4:00 pm
Hi,
I believe that the craft of guitar instruction has significantly improved over the last 20 years. The "old" 10,000 hour number may be out-of-date because our learning curves are getting steeper.
Lare
Excellent point Lare. Of course what goes with that is a higher bar. Players are better than ever today and more of 'em, don't you think? But I agree, my learning is accelerated by multiple methods, YouTube, great teachers and lots of music out there to listen to. I like where you're going with this!
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Fri May 05, 2017 10:39 pm

Larry McDonald wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 4:00 pm
Hi,
I believe that the craft of guitar instruction has significantly improved over the last 20 years. The "old" 10,000 hour number may be out-of-date because our learning curves are getting steeper.
Lare
If I understand you right, you are saying that teaching standards have become higher, the performance expectations have been raised, as has commensurate investment in time required. I think this would reinforce the need to get at music instructions as early (and thoroughly) as possible. It follows, (and from personal experience,) that for the senior player starting very late, managing those expectations in a realistic manner becomes all the more critical.
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sat May 06, 2017 12:14 am

Eberhard Mueller wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 10:39 pm
Larry McDonald wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 4:00 pm
Hi,
I believe that the craft of guitar instruction has significantly improved over the last 20 years. The "old" 10,000 hour number may be out-of-date because our learning curves are getting steeper.
Lare
If I understand you right, you are saying that teaching standards have become higher, the performance expectations have been raised, as has commensurate investment in time required. I think this would reinforce the need to get at music instructions as early (and thoroughly) as possible. It follows, (and from personal experience,) that for the senior player starting very late, managing those expectations in a realistic manner becomes all the more critical.
I interpreted his statement exactly opposite. The learning curve is steeper, therefore the time to fluency is shorter.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Sat May 06, 2017 4:37 am

Rick Beauregard wrote:
Sat May 06, 2017 12:14 am
...
I interpreted his statement exactly opposite. The learning curve is steeper, therefore the time to fluency is shorter.
Technically, that is correct with time on the y axis - "steep" meaning quicker to learn. Common usage of the expression is usually exactly the opposite. So, I'm not sure!
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Larry McDonald » Sat May 06, 2017 1:57 pm

With regard to technical instruction, we are able to teach the 3 stages (introductory, transitional, self-actuation) more quickly than we have in the past. We understand a bit more about physiology, but more importantly, we understand much more about the combinations of mechanics and the multiple learning processes used to achieve their effortless acquisition.

And yes, the "virtuoso bar" is higher than in the past. Witness scale speed (this is only one criteria, but easily measurable). When I was a student in the 70's, scales above mm=120 (16ths) was the professional standard. When I finished graduate school, mm=132 was the norm. Now my students push mm=144 and higher.

However, I still believe that instruction on musicianship takes the same amount of time.
Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar Instructor
Royal Conservatory Advanced Theory Instructor

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Sat May 06, 2017 7:00 pm

Larry McDonald wrote:
Sat May 06, 2017 1:57 pm
With regard to technical instruction, we are able to teach the 3 stages (introductory, transitional, self-actuation) more quickly than we have in the past. We understand a bit more about physiology, but more importantly, we understand much more about the combinations of mechanics and the multiple learning processes used to achieve their effortless acquisition.

And yes, the "virtuoso bar" is higher than in the past. Witness scale speed (this is only one criteria, but easily measurable). When I was a student in the 70's, scales above mm=120 (16ths) was the professional standard. When I finished graduate school, mm=132 was the norm. Now my students push mm=144 and higher.

However, I still believe that instruction on musicianship takes the same amount of time.
Lare
Lare, thank you, this is interesting insight on modern CG pedagogy improvement and virtuoso bar.

As the etymology of the word (pedagogy) implies, teaching is about developing the young. The words "teach" and "learn" are less specific. But where those words originally came from, people's lives were not so long. ...Yet, there is the expression, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks!" That popular saying might imply that the elderly have as much (or more) unlearning to do, than learning. That's rough!

My guess is that not a lot of time is invested, in academia, for study on how to approach adult, and even less likely, late adult/retired students learning classical guitar. Unless taking up CG in late life is a growing phenomenon, (due to the boomer cohort,) there is little incentive to submit this to much study. What would be the payoff? Currently, life expectancy at age 65 for both genders is a tad less than 20 years and less than half of those years may be able bodied/minded. That there is diminishing capacity in the senior years is factor not to be ignored.

Maybe, the inevitability of the double whammy, of a short life-time remaining and diminishing capacity is really what I "hear" to be behind the rhetorical question posited in this fascinating thread. How do we best deal with this fact, virtually an elephant in the room?

I know, I already threw in my virtual 2 cents worth. (To non-Canadians on this forum, be it known that Canada has done away with cents, pennies, coppers about 5 years ago - they are virtual, indeed!)
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sun May 07, 2017 1:05 am

Eberhard Mueller wrote:
Sat May 06, 2017 7:00 pm
Larry McDonald wrote:
Sat May 06, 2017 1:57 pm
With regard to technical instruction, we are able to teach the 3 stages (introductory, transitional, self-actuation) more quickly than we have in the past. We understand a bit more about physiology, but more importantly, we understand much more about the combinations of mechanics and the multiple learning processes used to achieve their effortless acquisition.

And yes, the "virtuoso bar" is higher than in the past. Witness scale speed (this is only one criteria, but easily measurable). When I was a student in the 70's, scales above mm=120 (16ths) was the professional standard. When I finished graduate school, mm=132 was the norm. Now my students push mm=144 and higher.

However, I still believe that instruction on musicianship takes the same amount of time.
Lare
Lare, thank you, this is interesting insight on modern CG pedagogy improvement and virtuoso bar.

As the etymology of the word (pedagogy) implies, teaching is about developing the young. The words "teach" and "learn" are less specific. But where those words originally came from, people's lives were not so long. ...Yet, there is the expression, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks!" That popular saying might imply that the elderly have as much (or more) unlearning to do, than learning. That's rough!

My guess is that not a lot of time is invested, in academia, for study on how to approach adult, and even less likely, late adult/retired students learning classical guitar. Unless taking up CG in late life is a growing phenomenon, (due to the boomer cohort,) there is little incentive to submit this to much study. What would be the payoff? Currently, life expectancy at age 65 for both genders is a tad less than 20 years and less than half of those years may be able bodied/minded. That there is diminishing capacity in the senior years is factor not to be ignored.

Maybe, the inevitability of the double whammy, of a short life-time remaining and diminishing capacity is really what I "hear" to be behind the rhetorical question posited in this fascinating thread. How do we best deal with this fact, virtually an elephant in the room?

I know, I already threw in my virtual 2 cents worth. (To non-Canadians on this forum, be it known that Canada has done away with cents, pennies, coppers about 5 years ago - they are virtual, indeed!)
I agree with Eberhard, your insights are fascinating Lare. As far as the elephant, yes I guess that was in the back of my mind without stating it, being in the room, as it were. My question was more motivated by a realization of not having mastered a skill after putting in roughly 50 years X 2000 hours per year at a job retired from, 10 times what it takes to reach mastery if focused time and effort is placed on the skill. So why not start? Paraphrasing what someone said to me once when observing "but you'll be over 75 by the time you finish [getting the PhD, becoming proficient, writing that book, etc.] my response is: I'll be 75 regardless. May as well enjoy the ride.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)
_/)

ashepps
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Re: Can an Old Guy make it to 10,000 Hours? A rhetorical question

Post by ashepps » Tue May 09, 2017 1:06 am

Rick,

Since you posted this as a retorical question, I wonder how many hours have been lost since your first post on April 27th?

It's a matter of doing as much as you can now. I find we get so caught up in discussion that our practice time has been replaced by reading and responding time among many other distractions.

I really love this forum and is indespensible at times.

The above, of course, is just my opinion and that it is great to be involved.

I do see where I have lost so much time over the past 3 years and to make it clear, not the time here at the forum reading posts and replying etc., but it can be time consuming.

I am 68 and feel that I have really only put in about one year of practice since I got back into guitar 3 years ago. I just have to do things differently and I am trying hard to get my act in gear!

I am going to leave this thread now and get back to some practicing!

Cheers - Alan
Alan Sheppard
1986 630mm Asturias JM-15 Spruce
1955 650mm Framus SL-32R
2015 650mm Yamaha SLG110N

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