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I am 16 years old and have been playing piano since I was very little. I have had teachers on and off, but to some non-pianists, my abilities at the piano are amazing. For reference, I can play all three movements of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, parts of La Campanella, and other difficult pieces. Despite others telling me I am a great pianist, I lack technical skills and am not confident in my pianistic abilities. I have an overactive pinky and struggle to play basic Bach Preludes and Fugues. I worry that due to my lack of proper training I cannot truly fix my technique. I aspire to be a composer; I want to be technically capable of playing what I write and writing what I play.

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  • Please clarify "all" of the Moonlight Sonata. That is, all of the first movement vs. all three movements.
    – Aaron
    Apr 30, 2023 at 20:58
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    There are many question/answers here along the lines of "is it too late." See: Am I too old? Is it too late? Starting, Resuming, or Mastering an instrument, as well as all the results to the search "is it too late." Apr 30, 2023 at 21:53
  • @AndyBonner This question differs in that it comes from someone already playing advanced music. The question you link to includes a catalog of "is it too late" questions, and I believe this one to be unique.
    – Aaron
    May 1, 2023 at 0:46
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    I thought this question was going to from someone who is 36 or 48 or something. 16 isn't too late for anything. Except maybe olympic gymnastics or being an Eagle Scout. May 1, 2023 at 2:43
  • If you can play those well, you must have technical skills. And knowing what's missing, also have the wherewithall to rectify them.
    – Tim
    May 1, 2023 at 7:11

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Yes, technical foundations can be fixed even after reaching an otherwise advanced stage. It requires working with a teacher who can help identify problems and guide one toward solutions.

My feeling and experience is that the best approach is to "start over" and have the teacher treat you as though you have no experience at all, playing exercises or pieces they would give to absolute beginners. However, you and they should also require that you play them at the highest musical level you're capable of; meaning, you must treat even the simplest exercise as though it was a masterwork, attending to not just notes and rhythm and technique, but phrasing, articulation, dynamics ... which is to say, interpretation.

Also, consider browsing through similar questions posted on this site. A catalog can be found in Am I too old? Is it too late? Starting, Resuming, or Mastering an instrument

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