Surely I'm not the only one to think that Nodame is playing in the wrong genre, right? I mean, with her amazing technical skills, her ability to play by ear and her ability to improvise, she's just <made> for Jazz. I mean, if I recall correctly, she even admits she likes jazz or jazzy like music in one episode! Furthermore, her idiosyncratic style of playing, deviating from the 'norm', would fit right in and she would have everything to become a jazz legend, in short order. Why doesn't anyone in the anime encourage her to try jazz out? Elitism?
I also wondered about that. She could also have gone into pop and rock—there's a great need for good piano players in those fields as well. Heck, he could even have given composing a whirl. She appears have a knack for children's songs, so why not go with that? Someone has to make those compositions for children's shows and there's nothing wrong with that occupation. But no, they downplay her desires and keep telling her that she should play "seriously". Elitism, indeed.
Nodame picks up *anything* easily if she hears it. In the manga, she just watches anime dubbed into French to learn French!
I don't think the mangaka knows much about classical music. If the manga wanted Nodame to still be a classical musician, but give her a good outlet for her improvisation, they could have stuck her in period-informed Baroque. Historically, Baroque sheet music is very bare bones and encourages the musician to add embellishments and improvisations. I actually came into period informed Baroque from Jazz because they share a common philosophy. But then again, Nodame would probably be playing a harpsichord, which would be counter to the romanticism the mangaka wanted to invoke by making her a pianist.
Kinda referenced when characters note that she would have been perfect in the 18th century, composing and performing at the same time, and having room for improvisation.
Her original goal wasn't to pursue a music career anyways, it was to simply go through university and become a kindergarten teacher. Somewhere along the line she met Chiaki, who really is the only reason why she began seriously trying, and since Chiaki was into classical, she kinda had her option limited to what he does.