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#1271340 - 09/19/09 11:06 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Monica K.]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Nobody has to date been able to (a) devise a musical IQ test that taps into aptitude (independent of learned performance) and (b) show that these aptitude scores predict musical expertise (controlling for practice), the way that IQ tests have been developed and shown to predict intellectual outcomes.

I will confess to feeling sympathetic to the logical argument that there should be some normally distributed underlying individual difference aptitude for music analogous to the 'g' of general intelligence. But we don't have the data at the current time to support it... as opposed to the data in favor of the importance of deliberate practice, of which there is a huge amount.

A few thoughts here (mainly for Monica, I think):
[1]You appear to be assuming that performance ability is where it's all at. There is much more to being a musician than technical facility. It's not just an athletic skill but an artistic one. The fact that deliberate and sustained practice leads to technical facility shouldn't surprise anyone. What I'm wondering is about that extra which goes to make an outstanding musician (who may in fact not even be able to play an instrument well but still may have considerable ability in areas such as composition).
[2]Are there really no tests of musical aptitude which don't rely on learned performance? Are there no such tests of pitch discrimination, rhythmic perception, musical memory etc? Or are you just saying that there are no tests like these which prove a correlation between such abilities and achievement as a musician?
[3]I wonder how the "hard work only" camp would explain the musical savant? And if in this case it can be explained in terms of some inbuilt gift, then why not in anyone else?

These are rather random questions, but I thought we were going too far down the technical ability=musical ability path.
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#1271421 - 09/20/09 04:32 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: currawong]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: currawong


[3]I wonder how the "hard work only" camp would explain the musical savant? And if in this case it can be explained in terms of some inbuilt gift, then why not in anyone else?



I still don't see where the "hard work only camp" is. I haven't seen anyone defending this idea.

Music is like love, it is not a private club for a select few, it is for everybody. Every human being has this capacity.

There are countless reasons, countless factors that can keep a person from developing their potential, in love as in music, starting from the first days of their life. The famous 10000 hours of practice are not what will unbind a frustrated potential. It is a much more profound human experience, that might dure 5 minutes.

A case of adultery: the mistress says, he's an Adonis, a wild animal, his Apollo-like body is insatiable. And the wife's jaw drops with disbelief, it isn't her poor slob of a TV watching, lawn cutting husband, with whom she's been bored for years. 10000 hours in the matrimonial bed together would never have brought to life this big, this enormous, this gigantic ... how can we say ... potential.

Anyone remember Babbit?

The genious gene, or the virtuoso gene, will never be found, or the gene of aptitude for the violin instead of the piano, because, like the lover gene, they simply don't exist. Genetics is a new field; the study of the brain as well. All of the studies that orient towards a precise identification of behavior in the genetic pool will be laughable in a few years.

Trying to understand human behavior as individual behavior, viewing a human being as an individual alone in the universe, with a certain dose of potential, is absurd. Human beings are social animals. Playing music is a social activity, a kind of communication, a confirmation of the essentially social existence of the human individual.

A music teacher only wants to work with kids who are ready. OK. An advanced teacher only wants to work with students who are ready to advance rapidly. Ok as well. It is not their problem to unlock the potential of "every Tom, Dick and Harry".

But that doesn't mean that this potential doesn't exist.

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#1271423 - 09/20/09 04:41 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: currawong]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: currawong


What I'm wondering is about that extra which goes to make an outstanding musician



That works in the opposite sense as well.

Outstanding musicians can become mediocre. It is a frequent occurence.


Edited by landorrano (09/20/09 04:42 AM)

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#1271428 - 09/20/09 05:40 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: landorrano]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: landorrano
I still don't see where the "hard work only camp" is. I haven't seen anyone defending this idea.
Philip Lu did, back a page or two. And this quote from Monica seemed to suggest her leaning that way:
Originally Posted By: Monica
If 'musical talent' independent of practice exists, we ought to be able to measure it. The Ericsson article talked about efforts to come up with motor coordination and hand independence measures that ought to predict piano ability, but those measures didn't work.

I will confess to feeling sympathetic to the logical argument that there should be some normally distributed underlying individual difference aptitude for music analogous to the 'g' of general intelligence. But we don't have the data at the current time to support it... as opposed to the data in favor of the importance of deliberate practice, of which there is a huge amount.
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Du holde Kunst...

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#1271431 - 09/20/09 06:30 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: currawong]
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
And Monica also wrote:
"Innate talent" (if it even exists) plays only a negligible role (if it plays a role at all).
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#1271453 - 09/20/09 08:38 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Mary-Rose]
Wombat66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 262
Loc: Cornwall UK
A very good thread that I've chimed in late to, just to say that Monica K writes fantastic posts, sensibly thought out, logically argued and backed up with data and references. Puts most of the rest of us to shame, and I thoroughly agree with her.
Anyone can learn to read Chinese (just ask one of the 1 billion or so literate chinese), speak French, drive a car, fly a plane, play golf and play the piano.
Differences will be found (I guess in a gaussian distrubution pattern) in the rate of progress in piano playing ,and the amount of effort that an individual has to expend to overcome difficulties.
I assume - but have no data to support this- that the final proficiency beyond which any individual is capable of reaching given all other equal factors (ie that put down to innate talent) is also in a gaussian distribution pattern.
The original poster asks "how far can a late starter get?". I take this to be where is the peak of the Gaussian curve descibed above and I suspect a realistic goal for any pianist is beyond grade 8 ABRSM provided they have suitable environmental circumstances such as lack of physical disability, motivation, time to practice, good teacher and of course a reasonable piano to practice on.
Not sure where God, Darwinism, Protestantism and the innate stupidity of Americans fits into this - but any other calls apart form "Beyond grade 8 ABRSM"?

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#1271458 - 09/20/09 08:55 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Wombat66]
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
Originally Posted By: Wombat66
A very good thread that I've chimed in late to, just to say that Monica K writes fantastic posts, sensibly thought out, logically argued and backed up with data and references. Puts most of the rest of us to shame, and I thoroughly agree with her.


So, Wombat, you genuinely believe
"Innate talent" (if it even exists) plays only a negligible role (if it plays a role at all).

???
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http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#1271461 - 09/20/09 09:02 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: pianovirus]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1454
Originally Posted By: pianovirus
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
I agree everthing is possible. But using Thomas Yu as your example may not be a good idea. Thomas Yu or Christopher Shih is a superman. These two are not only smart at their regular school, but also very good in piano. They are basically not a NORMAL human being.


RS, I don't think it's ever advisable to state certain people are "supermen", "not a NORMAL human being" etc - neither in piano nor any other area of human life. The reason is that this excuse is leading oneself immediately to accept mediocrity and not to strive for realizing one's full potential. Thus, this attitude is just building up a mental barrier for yourself without helping you in any way.

Of course, there's a difference between thinking that you may reach a certain goal, as opposed to thinking that you definitely will. The latter is a sure way to disappointment and frustration, whereas the former is a positive way of thinking which does not involve any self-imposed barriers.



Just my personal opinion, of course smile


What are you smoking today that made you feel so good? Just curious...


Edited by RonaldSteinway (09/20/09 09:03 AM)

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#1271469 - 09/20/09 09:33 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Wombat66]
-Frycek Online   confused
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: Wombat66
Anyone can learn to read Chinese (just ask one of the 1 billion or so literate chinese), speak French, drive a car, fly a plane, play golf and play the piano.


So, of course, every one of us is a potential Confucious, Voltaire, Dale Earnhart, Claire Chennault, Tiger Woods or Lang Lang?

Somehow I doubt it.

Proclaiming talent doesn't exist is like saying bears don't exist. If you haven't seen one it just means you haven't been in the woods long enough.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1271475 - 09/20/09 09:44 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Wombat66]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Wombat66
A very good thread that I've chimed in late to, just to say that Monica K writes fantastic posts, sensibly thought out, logically argued and backed up with data and references. Puts most of the rest of us to shame, and I thoroughly agree with her.

Perhaps Monica has an innate talent for cogent verbal self-expression.

Originally Posted By: Wombat66
Anyone can learn to read Chinese (just ask one of the 1 billion or so literate chinese), speak French, drive a car, fly a plane, play golf and play the piano.

I reckon that precious few of those one billion or so people had a different native language and learned Chinese in adulthood. The fact remains that even if every adult could learn any of those tasks, they can't learn to do them equally well even with comparable background, motivation and amount of practice.

Originally Posted By: Wombat66
Not sure where God, Darwinism, Protestantism and the innate stupidity of Americans fits into this ....

No one has postulated anything about "the innate stupidity of Americans" until now, so perhaps you can elucidate us.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1271485 - 09/20/09 10:07 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: sotto voce]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
"Anyone can learn to read Chinese (just ask one of the 1 billion or so literate chinese), speak French..."

This is kinda, how you say, not smart. It's one thing to learn Chinese as a toddler, which is what all those teeming masses you allude to did, another thing entirely as an adult. I know plenty of adults, including my not very bright brother, who would have one very difficult time learning any foreign language, never mind Chinese.

Language is not a good analog anyway. It takes brains, and determination to learn one as an adult, but linguistic "talent" is not an essential element. Of course if you have it, it's all to the good.

I find this thread tiresome. It's like trying to argue with fundamentalists, or George Bush admirers. A losing proposition.

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#1271492 - 09/20/09 10:51 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: cardguy]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
If you've posted more than 10 times in this thread, your "realistc goals" have been reduced due to lack of time. laugh


Edited by pianoloverus (09/20/09 10:51 AM)

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#1271518 - 09/20/09 11:50 AM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: cardguy]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: cardguy
[...] It's like trying to argue with fundamentalists, or George Bush admirers. A losing proposition.


Could we leave the politics out please? This thread is bad enough already.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1271532 - 09/20/09 12:02 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: currawong]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: currawong


Philip Lu did, back a page or two. And this quote from Monica seemed to suggest her leaning that way



Philip Lu does not raise the flag of the "hard work only camp". He simply says, "Even if there is talent in seeing I do not believe that chance could create a trait in the past 2000-5000 years or so since more complex musical instruments have been around." Then "IMO the environment plays the great role in determining whether a child will be successful or not".

I think that he is not foolish. In fact he shows a better grasp of genetics and evolutionary theory than anyone else who has touched on these subjects in this thread, despite the cynical responses to his post, for there is a very mechanical view that permeates all of this discussion of innate talent, and that leaves you with two choices, the religious and the Stalinist:

God has given a gift to some human beings, they are inhabited by an angel.

Or

Some have a genetic trait, a "basic physical apparatus", the same as eye colour or height or skin colour, necessarily reproductable.

These two interpretations are just two sides of the same coin, and are equally absurd.

Monica in no way supports by what she says the non-existant "hard-work oly camp". She doesn't say anything more than that "we don't have the data at the current time" to prove the existence or demonstrate the origin of "aptitude for music".

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#1271536 - 09/20/09 12:07 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: landorrano]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Meh.
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1271542 - 09/20/09 12:16 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Horowitzian]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: cardguy
[...] It's like trying to argue with fundamentalists, or George Bush admirers. A losing proposition.

Could we leave the politics out please? This thread is bad enough already.

But can we talk about religion? smile

While I knew cardguy's statement would be unwelcome to some, it gave me pause to realize how much talent is like spiritual faith: intangible, hard to corroborate with objective evidence, and yet our credence in it—or not—is a fixture of our individual belief systems.

And that does explain why such a debate can be both futile and exasperating. If you believe in the existence and importance of something (or its nonexistence or unimportance) with all the certainty that faith permits, you are highly unlikely to be dissuaded by anyone else's faith. A personal epiphany—or incontrovertible scientific proof!—would be required.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1271544 - 09/20/09 12:20 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: sotto voce]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Excellent point! thumb
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Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1271546 - 09/20/09 12:30 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Horowitzian]
Damon Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 5913
Loc: St. Louis area
WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD! laugh
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Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

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#1271547 - 09/20/09 12:30 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: landorrano]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: landorrano
I think that [Philip Lu] is not foolish. In fact he shows a better grasp of genetics and evolutionary theory than anyone else who has touched on these subjects in this thread, despite the cynical responses to his post, for there is a very mechanical view that permeates all of this discussion of innate talent, and that leaves you with two choices, the religious and the Stalinist:

God has given a gift to some human beings, they are inhabited by an angel.

Or

Some have a genetic trait, a "basic physical apparatus", the same as eye colour or height or skin colour, necessarily reproductable.

These two interpretations are just two sides of the same coin, and are equally absurd....

I don't find either one absurd.

Your comment about cynical responses to Philip Lu's post calls into question your own contributions here, notably the aggro directed at argerichfan, cardguy and me.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1271550 - 09/20/09 12:33 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: sotto voce]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
What we don't know isn't the problem. It's what we're sure of that just ain't so.

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#1271554 - 09/20/09 12:41 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: -Frycek]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
Haha wow, Voltaire and Lang Lang in the same list.
_________________________
Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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#1271555 - 09/20/09 12:42 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: landorrano]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: landorrano
What we don't know isn't the problem. It's what we're sure of that just ain't so.


FAIL
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1271557 - 09/20/09 12:44 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: landorrano]
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
Originally Posted By: landorrano


Monica in no way supports by what she says the non-existant "hard-work oly camp". She doesn't say anything more than that "we don't have the data at the current time" to prove the existence or demonstrate the origin of "aptitude for music".



Actually Monica made this very firm statement:
"Innate talent" (if it even exists) plays only a negligible role (if it plays a role at all).


So she obviously doesn't feel a need for empirical evidence to make up her mind.
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#1271560 - 09/20/09 12:49 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Victor25]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3405
Loc: US
At the risk of beating this in to the ground, I’ll repeat what I said before: in the end, nothing is purely genetic, biological or environmental-- how much of one's potential gets expressed is always some synergistic combination of all these factors. I don’t think anyone here (at least I know I’m not) is arguing that the environment or the amount of work someone puts into learning music is not extremely important but I’m also arguing that the underlying endowment or aptitude factor is also not irrelevant. I agree that there is very unlikely to be a “violin playing” or “piano playing” gene—not because there is not a physiological substrate to our physical and cognitive functions but that there are so many of them involved in these complex activities that likely a large number of individual difference factors come into play (literally!). They probably all interact with each other and depend on various environmental factors to allow them to be expressed.

Ok, here's another thought experiment: Let’s say that it is ALL environment, hard work and effort and there is NO innate aptitude difference among individuals in learning a highly skilled activity like the piano. (I’m not talking about any kind of musical activity like singing a simple song where the bar is set so low that virtually everyone can do it (e.g. “Happy Birthday”), but professional level piano playing. If that is the case, then what we ought to see is that everyone who puts in the same amount of effort should progress at the same rate, and should reach approximately the same level of proficiency, and in the real world we don’t see that. Of course, it’s an impossible experiment to run perfectly because we can’t precisely control how much effort, focus and time people put in, or assign people to certain training regimens. But what we see in the population at large is a distribution of achievement, with some people progressing much faster than others and reaching much higher levels even when they have had similar access to good musical training (think kids entering conservatories) and a very large number of people dropping out for a variety of reasons, one of which is lack of progress beyond a certain point.

The other problem with the “it’s all hard work and there is no such thing as innate individual differences as applied to music” argument is that it flies in the face of lots of data on the normal (Gaussian) distribution of physical and cognitive abilities in humans, abilities that certainly come into play in learning to play music at a high level of proficiency. Why should music be an exception and be one area where this phenomenon is not seen?

Let’s go to the other extreme. Let’s say it’s ALL innate “talent” and there is no effect of training or environment. If that is the case then we should not see the data on the effects of focused practice, which are quite impressive.

Suppose however that we assume that there is a complex interplay of genetic, biologic and social/environmental factors including training that allow aptitudes or abilities to be expressed and amplified under the right conditions. If there is an underlying continuum on a bell-shaped curve of "talent" or "aptitude" for piano playing, I would bet that after the 10K hours of focused practice, we'll still have a bell-shaped curve, or probably one that is stretched out even further on the top end. Everyone who puts in the focused effort will have moved up and gotten better, and many might even now be in the "expert" range however we define it, with a few (likely those with exceptional aptitudes (notice the plural) AND exceptional ability to work in a focused manner) having achieved “elite” level skills, which I think is similar to what we see happen in the real world.

None of this is to argue that any of us should be discouraged from working as long or as well as we can and to progress as far as possible because we can’t know until we try how far that might take us.

Sophia

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#1271567 - 09/20/09 01:02 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: sophial]
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
Sophia, I agree with you that of course innate skills, sheer hard work and environmental opportunities all go into making us the kind of pianists we are - or aren't.

On your point about virtually everyone being able to sing 'Happy Birthday': I understand what you mean - but surprisingly, a fair proportion of people actually can't sing Happy Birthday, even. I don't know how many of the general population are tone deaf but I have come across enough to realise it is a great many people. Presumably such people wouldn't really be able to hear what they were playing on the piano, either.


Edited by Mary-Rose (09/20/09 01:03 PM)
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#1271581 - 09/20/09 01:26 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: currawong]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: currawong
A few thoughts here (mainly for Monica, I think):
[1]You appear to be assuming that performance ability is where it's all at. There is much more to being a musician than technical facility. It's not just an athletic skill but an artistic one. The fact that deliberate and sustained practice leads to technical facility shouldn't surprise anyone. What I'm wondering is about that extra which goes to make an outstanding musician (who may in fact not even be able to play an instrument well but still may have considerable ability in areas such as composition).


These are all great questions. You are correct that I have been speaking mainly of technical playing skill. The literature talks a little about compositional skill (e.g., some of the studies showing that great composers don't produce their greatest works until they have put in that 10,000 hours). So it seems clear to me that focused practice matters a great deal for creative endeavors. But creativity is even harder to understand than technical skill. I would not want to go out on a limb and state that I thought 10,000 hours of focused practice in composition would be sufficient to make most people an expert composer... whereas I am willing to go out on the limb and say it would be sufficient to make most people expert players in a technical sense.

As for playing artistically, is it not the case that musical expression is something that teachers work on with their students and that can be taught? Musical expression has to be communicated through the skilled motions of the hands and fingers, so it's hard for me to think of an a priori reason why it should be any less susceptible to the 10,000 hour rule than other behaviors.

Originally Posted By: currawong
[2]Are there really no tests of musical aptitude which don't rely on learned performance? Are there no such tests of pitch discrimination, rhythmic perception, musical memory etc? Or are you just saying that there are no tests like these which prove a correlation between such abilities and achievement as a musician?


I don't know. There are some tests of musical ability (e.g. an older one that has been used for some years is the Seashore test). But they have not demonstrated the same kind of psychometric properties and empirical base that we see in other tests like standard IQ tests. This could likely be due to the simple fact that these tests don't attract the same kind of research attention as do cognitive ability tests, and not because of any inherent flaws in the tests themselves.

Originally Posted By: currawong
[3]I wonder how the "hard work only" camp would explain the musical savant? And if in this case it can be explained in terms of some inbuilt gift, then why not in anyone else?


The "hard work only" camp can't, nor can the "hard work mainly" camp (which is where I would cast my allegiance). But then again, the "genetic only" or "genetic mainly" camp can't explain the abilities of savants, either. laugh There is a lot we don't know about the brain.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1271587 - 09/20/09 01:34 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Mary-Rose]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Mary-Rose

Actually Monica made this very firm statement:
"Innate talent" (if it even exists) plays only a negligible role (if it plays a role at all).


So she obviously doesn't feel a need for empirical evidence to make up her mind.


I did say the former, but your interpretation in the second sentence doesn't follow. I felt I was being sufficiently clear in my previous posts, and I don't think it would add anything to this rapidly becoming ever more awesome thread to repeat them here. So I'll simply state that you are mischaracterizing my views in that last sentence and will direct interested parties to re-read this thread if they have any motivation--which I seriously doubt--to sort it out. wink
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1271595 - 09/20/09 01:53 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: landorrano]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
landorrano,

Months ago I mentioned the childhood experience of a besotted mother whose notion of the correct interpretation of Chopin involved cocktails, cigarettes and a swaying rubatissimo—and her remonstrations to me that I played "without any feeling."

Your response to me was "I am certain your mother was right. You can be certain that your mother was right."

Aside from an obvious and offensive callousness, you showed certainty of something that "just ain't so" (or, at the very least, the veracity of which you would have no way of knowing).

Originally Posted By: landorrano
What we don't know isn't the problem. It's what we're sure of that just ain't so.

I don't think you believe Twain's words. If you feel it's significant somehow to quote Twain's words back to me now, I don't think you understand them.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1271601 - 09/20/09 02:05 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: sotto voce]
Wombat66 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 262
Loc: Cornwall UK
With over 170 posts spread over 18 pages everything that needs to be said has been said. But I might as well say it again (Sam).
Everyone seems to agree “that through hard practice and dedication most of the difficult literature out there is within reach for most people”,.. “most people can play practically anything or make a career out of it to one degree or another”, or ” learn and master respectable pieces or get to a level where they can play difficult music”… or ..”that most people with good teaching and appropriate hard work could be more than adequate cocktail pianists”.
We all seem to feel that this goal is within the reach of 2 standard deviations of mean ability and that for these people “innate talent” (that immeasurable what if) is not the rate limiting step in achieving their goal.
Nobody is saying that we can all play like Lang Lang, and others whose abilities are massively outlying from the 2 standard deviations mentioned.
What I understand everyone over the last 18 pages is saying is that for the vast majority of people, if they choose to become a good pianist, they are not limited from doing so by an innate lack of ability.
They may be limited by other environmental circumstances which could equally be beyond their control. To me this is a positive outcome of the thread since my as yet unreached goal is within my reach.
So yes I do believe that…. "Innate talent" (if it even exists) plays only a negligible role (if it plays a role at all)….in achieving the goal stated by the rest of the board as quoted above.
In agreeing with this it is utter nonsense to assume I believe that “every one of us is a potential Confucious, Voltaire, Dale Earnhart, Claire Chennault, Tiger Woods or Lang Lang?”
By stating a belief that most of us are capable of learning Chinese or flying a plane (is that even legal to do as a child?) it is surely innately stupid to suggest that I am saying that everyone can learn to do it equally well even with comparable background, motivation and amount of practice.
Much of the heated debate has stemmed from people refusing to read each others posts and acknowledging the truths of others posts.
It was not me who introduced reincarnation, politics or God to the thread.
I didn’t mention “evolutionary principles in such an ignorant part of the world” or bring to the boards attention the 25% of high school students who can’t name the first American president and think that Chernobyl is Cher's full name.
I therefore feel no need to enlighten the board anymore than it has enlightened itself.

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#1271602 - 09/20/09 02:12 PM Re: Realistic Goals as adults/late starter [Re: Wombat66]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Meh. Ever more awesome by the moment.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
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