Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 3 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#458103 - 11/29/07 09:46 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17773
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by SideShow:
Some small percentages you give for talent

[/b]
...because, as Piano&Violin noted, that's what the scientific research indicates. If you have the chance, look up that article on expertise cited on the first page of this thread. Then read Benjamin Bloom's book, "Developing Talent in Young People," and then for the coup de grace read the 900-page "Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance." These sources show convincingly that (quoting from the Ericsson article), "experts are always made, not born. These conclusions are based on rigorous research that looked at exceptional performance using scientific methods that are verifiable and reproducible...the journey to truly superior performance is neither for the faint of heart nor for the impatient. The development of genuine expertise requires struggle, sacrifices, and honest, often painful self-assessment. There are no shortcuts. It will take you at least a decade to achieve expertise, and you will need to invest that time wisely, by engaging in 'deliberate' practice--practice that focuses on tasks beyond your current level of competence and comfort" (Ericsson et al., 2007, p. 116).

Elsewhere in the article they say "The only innate differences that turn out to be significant--and they matter primarily in sports--are height and body size."
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
Ad 800 (Pearl River)
Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#458104 - 11/29/07 10:02 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Piano&Violin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/06
Posts: 356
Loc: Frankfurt, Germany
Monica, I understand these two books you mention are very interesting.

Would they be worth while reading for a person who's focus is on piano learning, i.e. would they possibly help destroy prejudice which might hold development and progress back, or might they be considered a little time consuming and too much of a "time eater"?

Top
#458105 - 11/29/07 10:11 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Brian Bennett Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 128
Loc: Salt Lake City, Utah
Without coming off too harsh,

This is a recanting of the obvious with references. Of course hard work is required to get to the top of any discipline/art/expertise. As unjust as it might seem, some even with hard work and fortitude will just never get it. So many things have to come into play to make master.

Talent
Environment to foster the talent into skill
Financial means
A personality capable of the acute focus/obsession to stick to it.

I am not talking about a competent artist, but those considered at the top of heap. With a medium level of intelligence and a lot of hard work, almost anyone can get to a level of competence.

As many will agree, you must start developing the talent at an age before the hardwiring sets in. Those of us on the older side know how hard it is to learn once you get past a certain number of years. You still can learn, but it sure takes a lot longer.

Here is a thought to ponder. Is the notion of tone deafness real? From my teaching experience, I have found that it is a myth. I have yet to find a nut I couldn't crack yet. Some just take a lot longer.

Flame suit on.
_________________________
Schimmel 213 NWS, Yamaha MOTIF XS8, Roland RDX700, Roland Jupiter 6, Akai S3000XL sampler (just for fun)

Top
#458106 - 11/29/07 10:12 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17773
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Piano&Violin, the Handbook is dense reading and written for researchers in the field. I wouldn't take the time to go through it all myself. The Bloom book might be more readable but is more out of date (published in 1985). I'd suggest asking your library to get through interlibrary loans if they don't already have them and then just skim them for the relevant parts.

Actually, my main advice would be to buy the Levitin book, "This is your brain on music," and read his chapter on expertise. It's up to date and very entertainingly written, and the rest of the book is also quite enjoyable.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#458107 - 11/29/07 10:13 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
SideShow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/07
Posts: 150
Loc: Belgium
I'm with you, experts are made, without doubt.
Still, I think talent is very important.

Talking of sports ... I always admired Michael Jordan. That man worked hard and without doubt some other athletes worked as hard as him. Still he was the greatest (of all time, open for discussion \:D )
That is talent, the ability you are born with to do certain things better than someone else.
According to my dictionary: talent = natural capacity to do a certain thing. It's without doubt that this can differ a lot between 2 persons, even of same height and size.
Yet, it needs to be said that the only way to success is hard work
_________________________
Notes are easy, music is hard
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Top
#458108 - 11/29/07 10:19 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3460
Loc: US
Hi Monica
No argument that it takes stuggle, sacrifice and practice even for the innately talented. But note the title of the article "DEVELOPING TALENT in Young People" -- it's developing and nurturing something that is already there. People don't spend 10,000 hours doing something they have no aptitude for-- the process weeds out those who are not making progress. Part of the difficulty with discussions like this is they tend to polarize into "either-or" thinking: nature vs nurture when of course it's both working synergistically. I don't think there are any studies of a sample of people selected at random and subjected to 10,000 hours of piano practice to see what happens-- but I'd hazard a guess. 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, we'll still have a bell-shaped curve, or probably one that is stretched out even further on the top end. Everyone will have moved up and gotten better,and many might even now be in the "expert" range however we define it, but those on the top end of the "talent" distribution will have moved up proportionally even farther than those at the low end. Talent and hard work will interact synergistically to produce greater levels of achievement, and no great surprise there. Hard work might get you a music degree and a job, but without the underlying equipment (think "great pipes" in a singer) it won't get you people flocking from around the globe to hear you sing or to play the piano, a la Martha Argerich. This is not to discourage all of us mere mortals (and I count myself firmly in that group)who have more persistence and work on our sides than sheer talent from doing what we love.

Sophia

Top
#458109 - 11/29/07 10:45 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3460
Loc: US
posted by MonicaK:

Elsewhere in the article they say "The only innate differences that turn out to be significant--and they matter primarily in sports--are height and body size."


I also think sometimes we underestimate the physical side of piano playing-- while not a sport it definitely requires high levels of neuromuscular coordination and control. Body size and height might not be what turns out to be significant in piano playing but I'll bet there are likely some innate brain organization and neuromuscular attributes that provide an advantage in playing music. Again, not to say these things can't be improved and developed but there might be some underlying hard wiring that is part of the "talent" package. Just mho.

Sophia

Top
#458110 - 11/29/07 10:52 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Piano&Violin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/06
Posts: 356
Loc: Frankfurt, Germany
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Bennett:
As many will agree, you must start developing the talent at an age before the hardwiring sets in. Those of us on the older side know how hard it is to learn once you get past a certain number of years. You still can learn, but it sure takes a lot longer. [/b]
Yes and no.

Concerning motor activity, it's absolutely correct that there's a time when it develops and that, ideally, you should start learning piano or whatever other skill at that time. Because, at a later time you must first unlearn the motor skill that's been learnt (though probably unconsciously)and then learn the new skill. And it is likely that this process will take longer the older you get, i.e. because you've got more solid habits to unlearn.

Intellectually, and in general, there's no proof that the learning process will take longer as you get older. It will take some effort to get back into a learning routine if you didn't learn for a number of years - if it were physical exercise you'd call it bring your muscles back into shape - but apart from that there's no reason why it should take longer, except that this is the general belief.

And, of course, at some point during life, there are factors depending on the physics and aging of your body.

Monica,

Thanks for the info on the books!

Top
#458111 - 11/29/07 10:56 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5246
Loc: Europe
SideShow:

Physical differences yes. I have "huge" hands and can reach C to G on my left hand. Don't think THAT many people can do it... So playing chords and octaves comes... natural. But playing something like the flight of the bumbblebee is rather hard for me, while my older teachers daughter, only 11 had no trouble playing it!

I don't think that anyone can deny physical differences, but again, I'll take anyday a kid who studies but has small hands, and appears to have little talent, to a talented kid with big "pianistic" hands that does not study. \:\)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

Top
#458112 - 11/29/07 11:07 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17773
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano&Violin:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Bennett:
Those of us on the older side know how hard it is to learn once you get past a certain number of years. You still can learn, but it sure takes a lot longer. [/b]
Yes and no.


...Intellectually, and in general, there's no proof that the learning process will take longer as you get older. It will take some effort to get back into a learning routine if you didn't learn for a number of years - if it were physical exercise you'd call it bring your muscles back into shape - but apart from that there's no reason why it should take longer, except that this is the general belief.
[/b]
Here's a relevant quote from the Ericsson article: "Research has shown that musicians over 60 years old who continue deliberate practice for about ten hours a week can match the speed and technical skills of 20-year-old expert musicians when tested on their ability to play a piece of unfamiliar music."
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#458113 - 11/29/07 11:11 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17773
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by sophial:
Hi Monica
No argument that it takes stuggle, sacrifice and practice even for the innately talented. But note the title of the article "DEVELOPING TALENT in Young People" -- it's developing and nurturing something that is there. People don't spend 10,000 hours doing something they have no aptitude for-- the process weeds out those who are not making progress. Part of the difficulty with discussions like this is they tend to polarize into "either-or" thinking: nature vs nurture when of course it's both working synergistically. I don't think there are any studies of a sample of people selected at random and subjected to 10,000 hours of piano practice to see what happens-- but I'd hazard a guess. 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, we'll still have a bell-shaped curve, or probably one that is stretched out even further on the top end. [/b]
Great post, Sophia... I agree (almost) completely with you. You are absolutely right that we need the study you described to draw any firm conclusions. But when I do your thought experiment in my head, I predict a different outcome: I don't think we'd have a normal curve any more, for the reason you mentioned earlier, namely that people with less aptitude won't stick it out. So I envision a positively skewed and much narrower distribution, with most people after 10,000 hours looking a great deal alike, and only a few individuals in the low end, with even fewer outliers in the upper end... the Argeriches and Horowitzes etc.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#458114 - 11/29/07 11:17 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Piano&Violin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/06
Posts: 356
Loc: Frankfurt, Germany
Thanks, Monica, it's always great to have the "professional backup"! Though, I do have a collegue who used to teach piano who said that adults learn the piano faster than kids as the rule, probably because of their dedication, time they can practice and intellectual ability to understand complex things faster, at least compared to a young kid.

Sophia, I am sure that piano or any other instrument is no different in that some people would hate it and do not more than necessary and others love it and to as much as they can, and in addition that, even with equal conditions and dedication you find one is great and the other one rather poor.

In addition to the visible learning process there are so many other factors involved. Such as seeing someone play the piano as far as you can remember - there's something a kid learns already from that, or being concerned with parents who don't get along, the child himself suffering from poor health and a million other things. There's really no black and white where you can put people!

Top
#458115 - 11/29/07 11:25 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5246
Loc: Europe
Let's just keep in mind that talent does exist in some form, or some %, and it will help. I don't really doubt that. I am not arguing that we all are "tabula rasa", but that it is not really important. \:\)

Sophia, great post. \:\)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

Top
#458116 - 11/29/07 11:35 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3460
Loc: US
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
 Quote:
Originally posted by sophial:
Hi Monica
No argument that it takes stuggle, sacrifice and practice even for the innately talented. But note the title of the article "DEVELOPING TALENT in Young People" -- it's developing and nurturing something that is there. People don't spend 10,000 hours doing something they have no aptitude for-- the process weeds out those who are not making progress. Part of the difficulty with discussions like this is they tend to polarize into "either-or" thinking: nature vs nurture when of course it's both working synergistically. I don't think there are any studies of a sample of people selected at random and subjected to 10,000 hours of piano practice to see what happens-- but I'd hazard a guess. 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, we'll still have a bell-shaped curve, or probably one that is stretched out even further on the top end. [/b]
Great post, Sophia... I agree (almost) completely with you. You are absolutely right that we need the study you described to draw any firm conclusions. But when I do your thought experiment in my head, I predict a different outcome: I don't think we'd have a normal curve any more, for the reason you mentioned earlier, namely that people with less aptitude won't stick it out. So I envision a positively skewed and much narrower distribution, with most people after 10,000 hours looking a great deal alike, and only a few individuals in the low end, with even fewer outliers in the upper end... the Argeriches and Horowitzes etc. [/b]
Hi Monica,
well in my "thought experiment" I forced them all to continue even if they wanted to quit! \:D
But you've in a sense strengthened my point which is that if the people without aptitude drop out, then we are not looking at the effects of hard work alone on a randomly selected population but of hard work COMBINED with aptitude in a self-selected group and how those factors interact. I agree, more people will look better and there will still be that upper tail trailing off into the stratosphere of elite pianists--- which is kind of what we see if we look at conservatories, music schools, etc.

Piano and Violin-- absolutely, this is not an either/or, nature vs nurture issue-- which is why I'm arguing that both talent and hard work are important and synergistic.

Sophia

Top
#458117 - 11/29/07 11:43 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Brian Bennett Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 128
Loc: Salt Lake City, Utah
Retention of muscle memory and skill level is different from developmental learning. And yes if you continue to use it you won't lose it. But, as we get older the wiring is set and it becomes increasingly difficult to learn and develop the new.

There is evidence to this end that most here are familiar with. It is especially important for the the first 10 years. As an example, a child can have a significant portion of there brain removed, say the area involved with speach, and the remaining lobes will adapt and relearn. This just doesn't happen with an adult. Short term to long term memory transcription is also well documented to diminish with age. Now is "talent" a genetic/congenital trait or is it learned in the early early years? Can any child become a protege' given early internvention? That to me is the real question.
_________________________
Schimmel 213 NWS, Yamaha MOTIF XS8, Roland RDX700, Roland Jupiter 6, Akai S3000XL sampler (just for fun)

Top
#458118 - 11/29/07 11:45 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
argerichfan Online   sick
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8858
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Moving back- a number of posts came in before I could quote Monica:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
Elsewhere in the article they say "The only innate differences that turn out to be significant--and they matter primarily in sports--are height and body size."
But this still doesn't explain why two students -similar background and age, same teacher, same Chopin Etude- produced such radically different results.

I'm not talking hypothetically. I was there; I had the same teacher. One student innately grasped the technical and musical challenges of the etude and brought it up to speed in a matter of weeks.

The other student, try as she might, never could approach the proper tempo without the etude completely falling apart in a circus of botched notes and rhythmic insecurity. (She seemed able to play it accurately and musically at a slow tempo.)

Most disconcerting was that this gal worked a lot harder on that etude than the student who was able to publicly perform it three weeks later.
_________________________
Jason

Top
#458119 - 11/29/07 02:13 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
"you can't just take any old bloke off the street, make him work 11 hours a day and produce another Martha Argerich."

Couldn't you??

With 11 hours of exposure to the piano, and music in general, I am sure the old bloke would progress, so long as it was 11 hours of hard work, and there would be no end to the progress.

I say, like you, "an old ( as in 'any' yes?) bloke", but of course some would be impossible to adapt, but a person of considerable, even only some in fact, intellect could make this progress.


The really tricky bit would be to practise for 11 hours a day for years. That would be the difficult part, not the presence of talent.


Of course, it can't be proved right and it can't be proved wrong can it?


Also I may add as I did last time: that this is how someone without talent would see it, is it not?
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

Top
#458120 - 11/29/07 02:19 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5246
Loc: Europe
Hem,

The ability to learn deteriorates the older we get...
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

Top
#458121 - 11/29/07 02:22 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17773
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Bennett:
Now is "talent" a genetic/congenital trait or is it learned in the early early years? Can any child become a protege' given early internvention? That to me is the real question. [/b]
And it's probably an unanswerable one, at least with any kind of scientific rigor.

The Ericsson article opens, though, with an anecdote about a Hungarian couple who wanted to challenge the belief that women weren't good at chess. So they took their three daughters from an early age and home-schooled them with an emphasis on chess. By 2000 all three daughters were ranked in top 10 female players in the world, and one of them broke Bobby Fischer's world record for being the youngest person to reach the level of grand master and is currently one of the world's top players of either gender.

That's not scientific evidence, but it's sure suggestive. ;\)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#458122 - 11/29/07 02:27 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2728
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
 Quote:
Originally posted by Reaper978:
 Quote:
I would say rather that playing the piano at a top level requires the guidance of an expert teacher to provide tough, often painful feedback complemented by effective and deliberate practice.
I think that is nonsense. One doesn't need their emotions and self-esteem dragged through the mud and stomped on at every lesson to become a great musician. To be forcefully pressed into a mold, perhaps, but that is your choice.
[/QB]
The concern with self esteem and emotions is an outgrowth of the politically correct mentality. Reality doesn't care how you feel so the question becomes who would you rather hear it from, the world at large by their complete disinterest in you or a teacher who has your best interests at heart and the courage to be honest with you. I believe one of the marks of a great pianist is the willingnness to hear all (but not necessarily act on) criticism or the strength to ignore it completely. People who constructively criticise others are doing them a favor because it's much easier to simply say nothing and turn your back. I understand that some take glee in delivering harsh criticism, most of us are smart enough to recognize that and ignore it. However even the harshest criticism usually contains some degree of truth and it's the ability to dispassionately distill the substance from the style in which it's delivered that sets the truly successful (in all endeavors) from those who would rather lick their wounds.

Colin, in the interest of full disclosure I'll be honest and mention that we've had some private communication. You didn't respond well to my constructive criticism so I've chosen to not comment any more on your work. Here you've addressed a fundamental issue and I'm offering one last bit of advice. Forget your feelings and deal with what is. All emotions are choices we make anyway so if you get angry at something I say simply choose a different response. You could try being appreciative that I had the courage to tell you the truth (as I see it) so that you could then use that opinion (which is all it is) to more fully inform your decisions and actions. In other words if you can take something constructive from what I or anyone else say whether said nicely or not you will be that much farther ahead in the game.

I'll offer a good example. The New England Patriots are undefeated in American football this season. Their coach, a certain curmudgeon named Bill Bellichek is notoriously parsimonius with praise. He motivates his team to "show him" what they can do. If he so much as says somebody "had a pretty good game, but there are still things we need to work on" that's considered high praise. That the team is undefeated indicates that his methods are indeed successful (as does the fact that they've won three championships in the last 5 years).

The fact is praise teaches nothing (unless they tell you why they liked it which almost never happens). Criticism can teach a lot (because people will support their view if asked). The truly strong will ask, "So what didn't you like?" and will evaluate the response to determine if they need to do something different.

Good luck.

Top
#458123 - 11/29/07 02:53 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Great post Steve!

Top
#458124 - 11/29/07 04:23 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
drumour Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 855
Loc: Scotland
Agree - great post, Steve! I also agree ( probably more ?) with Reaper978. In my opinion, teaching at whatever level need contain no criticism at all. Telling someone how to do something better and coaching them in that process does not require any telling them of how bad they were. In fact why waste valuable time on a "critique" when you could just be getting on with fixing things and preparing the student for their next bouts of practising.


John
_________________________
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

Top
#458125 - 11/29/07 04:59 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
 Quote:
Originally posted by drumour:
Agree - great post, Steve! I also agree ( probably more ?) with Reaper978. In my opinion, teaching at whatever level need contain no criticism at all. Telling someone how to do something better and coaching them in that process does not require any telling them of how bad they were. In fact why waste valuable time on a "critique" when you could just be getting on with fixing things and preparing the student for their next bouts of practising. [/b]
I think this is more a question of teaching style, and whether this is compatible with how one responds to the pedagogy used. Some teachers use tough love effectively, others like the soft and cuddly approach. Judging from Reaper978's other posts, Steve's wonderful post (go Steve!), and his current signature, he (Reaper) doesn't take to any type of criticism very well. He's so full of himself and his own subjective truths -- and he has a lot of growing up to do (but then so do we all). But really, without any kind of truly constructive criticism, no matter how kindly phrased, we cannot possibly improve and grow as pianists.
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

Top
#458126 - 11/29/07 05:10 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
i remember that once at lesson, after playing a piece i was working on, my teacher looked at me and said, 'how do you want me to say it, honestly or politely?' so, i said, 'just tell me what it is.' so i got the honest critique i deserved.

the point is that you'd never learn anything if all a teacher could say to you is 'good job' all the time, even if you know you're not that good. a good teacher should tell his/her students the honest opinions or even criticize technical or musical mistakes students made without pouring harshness or sweetener into it at the same time. people learn from their mistakes if they know what they are.

Top
#458127 - 11/29/07 05:18 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
 Quote:
Originally posted by signa:
a good teacher should tell his/her students the honest opinions or even criticize technical or musical mistakes students made without pouring harshness or sweetener into it at the same time. people learn from their mistakes if they know what they are. [/b]
Yeah, I personally respond best to this "straight talk" approach too. But others may not.
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

Top
#458128 - 11/29/07 05:37 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3460
Loc: US
posted by hopinmad:
"With 11 hours of exposure to the piano, and music in general, I am sure the old bloke would progress, so long as it was 11 hours of hard work, and there would be no end to the progress."


Well, the progress line would start to level out and hit a limit at the point where that person has maxed out their potential and reached their "personal best" (this is probably more true of technical skills than musical interpretation). Again, the greater the innate potential, probably the longer to reach that point.

Monica, the chess family you describe is an interesting example but really doesn't suggest much more than that if you have parents who are very interested in chess (music) themselves,and likely have some aptitude for it (hence the intense interest) they probably have children who share some of that aptitude and can instill and nurture that interest early. We hear of course about the rare situation in which the kids became chess champions (or the Five Browns). We don't hear about the thousands of families who tried the same thing and their kids are playing recreationally (or worse, never want to see a piano or chess board again in their lives).

Best,
Sophia

Top
#458129 - 11/29/07 06:21 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
Why should it stop; there is nothing to stop it!


Monica's post also implies this.

Especially as all three daugthers reached such standards.
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

Top
#458130 - 11/29/07 06:55 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3460
Loc: US
for the same reason that runners don't continue to improve indefinitely-- or else we'd have people running one minute miles (or less). Think of it as an asymptotic function --as you close in on your physical and mental processing limit the rate of progress will probably slow. This may be more applicable to technical prowess (i.e. speed, virtuosity) as one hits one's physical and coordination limits than to musical interpretation which is probably more open ended and subjective.

I've been around many families who lived for chess teams, clubs, tournaments, etc. It's very much the same thing: There were kids who worked LONG hours, slaved away at it and did ok and others who worked just as hard (or sometimes less so) but had an extreme aptitude for "seeing the board" and left the other kids in the dust. (and when these kids are willing to put in the long hours and work very hard, look out-- that's how chess champions come about).

The fantasy that we are all able to be elite players if we work hard enough is a cherished one ( very American-- just work hard enough and nothing can stop you) but it's naive. Sorry, don't mean to sound harsh; maybe it's my version of the "tell it to me straight approach" discussed above.

Sophia

Top
#458131 - 11/29/07 07:19 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nikolas:
How will you differentiate talent from what the family provides? Take Bach (not Johann), for example, and stack him to a family with NO music inside. Would his "talent" be enough to make him what he was?

Take Beethoven and stack him of piano lessons, or the early pressure that his father put on him. Would his talent show and make him what he is?
[/QB]
Of course then there's Handel - - -
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

Top
#458132 - 11/29/07 08:36 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I agree with a lot of what's been said here. Signa summed it up nicely with the critique. What good does it if all you get the praise and not what needs to get done. All of my teachers gave me the critique. and this pushed me to do better each lesson.

I heard someone say a very long time ago that anyone can be taught to press the keys on the piano, but it takes talent, passion, and dedication to make the music come out.

In thinking back about my career choice, I have some regrets about not persuing a music career, but in others I don't. Having chosen a technical career has afforded me some nice benefits as John Pels pointed out. I have a nice piano, my own home, and a decent salary with fully-paid medical benefits. If were a freelance teacher or musician, these things would be harder to achieve especially the medical benefits, which cost so much today.

John
_________________________
Nothing.

Top
Page 3 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
137 registered (A Guy, accordeur, *windowlicker*, 36251, 43 invisible), 1226 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76007 Members
42 Forums
157167 Topics
2308303 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Stravinsky - Valse pour les enfants
by Peter071
08/30/14 06:05 PM
Recommend me a slab keyboard with full grand touch.
by TwoSnowflakes
08/30/14 05:24 PM
What's the value of my piano?
by Athos
08/30/14 04:51 PM
Portable keyboard stand for Kawai ES7
by gbitw
08/30/14 04:24 PM
Recital Piece to go with Fur Elise
by eccp19
08/30/14 03:22 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission