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#458133 - 11/30/07 03:21 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Ragnhild Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 1117
Loc: Norway
originally posted by Sophial;
 Quote:
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.[/b]
I think this is more or less what I've tried to express myself (except that I did not now it was very American... ;\) )

I would like to just accept that great talent is a God-given thing that I am not supposed to understand, just to acclaim.

Teachers and parents of these very talented children have a very difficult task to balance between critics and praise, pushing and holding back. Talent is no guarantee of success and I can do nothing but admire those who managed to become professional solo musicians.

Ragnhild
_________________________
Trying to play the piano:
http://www.box.net/public/dbr23ll03e

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#458134 - 11/30/07 03:36 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by sophial:
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 [/b]
Good points. Yes, we all do live in the physical world where we come up to both the limits of physics and our general innately human physiological and psychological capabilities. The sky is not the limit.

As to those putting in long and arduous hours and getting marginal returns, or slipping early and asymptoticly into less than stellar plateaus: As the studies across a wide spectrum of human endeavor and Monica have pointed out, it is not the hours an sich that count but the deliberateness of the practice, the constant and relentless focus on working on the things you CANNOT do instead of repeating what you CAN do. It is about having an expert teacher and experienced coach make sure you know the difference, take meaningful steps and support you in constantly and steadily converting that what you CANNOT do into that what you now CAN do. Not only hard work is required but deliberate, guided practice.

For example, I don't deny that W.A. Mozart was "talented" but if Leopold had been a tavern owner or even a card-carrying music enthusiast instead of both an experienced musical pedagogue with his own published method and at the same time a pushy, junior-beauty-pageant, his-childhood-be-damned kind of parent, I doubt we would be enjoying Mozart's music today.

That is why the soft love, cuddle them silly, you can do no wrong kind of teacher may produce graduates who have "used their own talents in their own special way", but it won't make them great pianists. Nor will it give them the kind of life lessons they will need to work hard and smart enough to later be recognized as having "great talent" in another, more financially secure field of work.

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#458135 - 11/30/07 05:06 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:
But, as we get older the wiring is set and it becomes increasingly difficult to learn and develop the new. [/b]
According to my own experience, learning is a lot easier now for me than it was when I was younger. As observed with several years of studies aged 31-35 and as I am currently, aged 47, observing as I learn languages, my music scores and theory, plus whatever learning my job requires.

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#458136 - 11/30/07 05:17 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano&Violin:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Bennett:
But, as we get older the wiring is set and it becomes increasingly difficult to learn and develop the new. [/b]
According to my own experience, learning is a lot easier now for me than it was when I was younger. As observed with several years of studies aged 31-35 and as I am currently, aged 47, observing as I learn languages, my music scores and theory, plus whatever learning my job requires. [/b]
This 46 year old would echo your experiences. I have also found that learning can be improved by having access to all the associations and experiences we can bring to the process in our maturity compared to our youth.

While it is true that there is a physical brain development and pruning process that takes place in the puberty and post puberty years that reportedly makes learning languages and memorizing large pieces thereafter more difficult, current advances in neuroscience indicate that we remain very pliant and teachable as we age -- as long as we continue to learn or practice. The old adage "use it or lose it" appears to be scientifically accurate.

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#458137 - 11/30/07 08:11 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by sophial:
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. [/b]
Everything I know about the distribution of intelligence leads me to agree with you here, sophia... but then this literature on expertise just has me scratching my head.

Maybe it all comes down to the definition of "expert" vs. "elite." I'd certainly be comfortable with a position that says anybody can become an "expert" at something with 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, defined as "accomplished practitioner" or "professional level," but that additional factors (innate talent, right body, etc.) are required to hit that rarefied "elite" level.

p.s. I completely agree that there's absolutely nothing we can conclude from the Hungarian chess family example, and I hope I adequately stressed the nonscientific nature of that anecdote in my post.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#458138 - 11/30/07 11:32 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3485
Loc: US
Hi Monica
I think the problem with much of the expertise literature is that it is not dealing with randomly selected populations. If we think of it as how to best nurture and develop existing talent in people who are motivated to improve-- it makes sense. People who start out with some aptitude and interest, who are highly motivated to improve, and who stick with it (remember there is a strong attrition process as those not doing well drop out) will improve, and often greatly improve, to some level of expertise after many hours of focused concentrated practice (not just repetition, but focused on skill building).I have no argument with that and think the evidence is quite good for it.

It gets interpreted though by many people as meaning that if you select people randomly you can create Gary Kasparov, Vladimir Horowitz or Mozart by subjecting them to 10k hours of training. I just don't think there is good evidence to that effect and it flies in the face of what we see in the world.

If you did this with enough people, there would be some in the group with a high enough level of talent to emerge from the process having achieved elite status (especially because the process would winnow down the group),but it's the synergy of the innate talent subjected to great training that produces it, not just the training IMHO.
Training is no doubt necessary but not sufficient to achieve elite status.

Ragnhild,
no, I don't think Americans have a monopoly on this idea ;\) . I agree with you that talent is only one component of success in a professional career as a musician-- much hinges on temperament, luck, timing, good connections, drive and even these days-- how good looking one is!

Sophia

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#458139 - 11/30/07 12:17 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
A person is going to do what he is going to do. Given all the influences on our lives we are a combination of our inner world and our outer world experiences. Our inner most world contributes a great deal to a persons ability to have musical successes. Musical is part desire to be musical, having something of importance to communicate about, being on the journey, having good resources for the informational parts of music, training, attention to detail, task orientation, motivation, aspiration, inspiration, all kinds of qualities make up the profile of a "musician" with potential. Being able to explore and develop our musical selves is the path we are on electively.

When there is opposition, obstacles, unfinished work, our music suffers.

The constant judgment of how am I doing? Concern for the time it is taking is the ego asking for ratings. We need to be able to give reality checks to ourselves, we know when we're doing well, likewise, we know when we're in a slump. The acceptance needs to come from ourselves. The opposition, obstacle, unfinished work is often ourselves doing battle with ourselves.

The more open minded we can be about our music, with awareness and reality, the more work we will be able to accomplish. When self-criticism and expectations enter in, it's a losing battle. We can't help ourselves if we are looking for "failure" all the time, and concentrating on the "problems" we think we are facing.

That is like walking down a street in your neighborhood trying not to step on the cracks - you've got your head down, looking for cracks, avoiding the cracks which makes for some strange walking gaits. Consumed by looking for cracks, you miss the trees in bloom, the kids playing, the sunny day, the walking freely with purpose.

So look for the things going well, recognize them, say gratitude for improvements, and be nice to you in all thoughts.

Why is it so hard to do that?

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#458140 - 11/30/07 07:51 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3485
Loc: US
You are a wise woman, Betty!

Sophia

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#458141 - 12/01/07 05:58 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
 Quote:
Originally posted by sophial:
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 [/b]
With runners it's a completely different situation, the physical sate of their bodies are going to effect it much more than it does so with piano, ultimately, it will mean they've reached their 'fastest lap'. I guess you could define talent with athletes therefore; simply as their physical bodies.
With piano-playing, great technique isn't dependant on physical ability as much (though of course it does to some considerable extent) as it does with running. There would be no reason why one couldn't attain the technique of Kissin, if it wasn't for the hard work (please note I've said in an earlier post that I mean for example, 11 hours of work to mean 11 hours of hard work, otherwise it's just 11 hours of playing) involved, and therefore that hard work maybe could be defined as Kissin's talent.
His musicality, however, is a different factor, but actually, the same process could be applied.
You say of lots of kids slaved away at something when they were younger, saying that is proof of [lack of] talent, but it doesn't so, it means they might, in fact, didn't practise effectively enough. Simple putting the hours in is not enough.
Chess is a different field though, mental ability, resulting in a good enough organized mind to see ahead, is going to play a major factor, but with piano playing, it isn't neccesary to be a genius. Some intellect is going to be required obviously, and probably the more more so the faster the progress, but if there is prgoress at all then there's potentially no end to it.
"Just work hard enough and nothing can stop you", isn't followed as much as it should, as for the reasons I said before, that hard work has to be complete concentrataion, of maximum efficency; deliberate practise.


 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
p.s. I completely agree that there's absolutely nothing we can conclude from the Hungarian chess family example, and I hope I adequately stressed the nonscientific nature of that anecdote in my post. [/b]
On the contrary; a family who wants to challenge the belief that women were not good at chess, so they want their THREE daughters to become chess champions and so then obviously it would be clear that women were good at chess. They teach their kids from an early age, make sure their practise is carried out constructively, and all three become champions? Without this practise they would never have reached such a stage, and talent doesn't come into it so much; all of them have suceeded. One could argue that all three had talent, but isn't that already pushing the thought that talent is a rare thing? Maybe that talen they each had is the difference between their standards now.
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#458142 - 12/01/07 06:18 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
soccer_daemon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/07
Posts: 128
The unfortunate reality of talent vs hard-work is
that the more talented ones usually get better
attention and usually get to study with and learn
from the best teachers! The less talented ones
usually won't even get in the line.

Think about it, who on earth would want to spend
ten times or more effort+time in coaching the less
talented and without even guarantee s/he will
achieve as much. There is simply no free charity
out there in this very competitive market.

It's almost very analogous to the argument of why
the rich get richer and the poor stay poor!

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#458143 - 12/01/07 06:48 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5366
Loc: Europe
After participating in this thread, I just realised that I dissagree with the title pretty much, although I do realise what the title means.

I can't see anything about "talent VS[/b] hard work". Both are needed, both do exist at some point and it would be foolish to dissagree, since there are scientific researches (VARK system for example), that show what learning prefernces a person has. It doesn't mean anything but preferences but I would draw a small personal conclusion that other people are better at writing, other at drawing, other at music, etc... (and other at sports, which is also some kind of intelligence). http://www.vark-learn.com/english/index.asp

Just an idea! but I support total dedication and hard work, as well, personally. Just can't deny that there could be preferences. I also don't like the idea that these tendencies are pre made into us gene/nature/god wise. Prefer to think that our parents/school/society put them...
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#458144 - 12/01/07 11:01 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3485
Loc: US
 Quote:
Originally posted by hopinmad:

[/b]
With runners it's a completely different situation, the physical sate of their bodies are going to effect it much more than it does so with piano, ultimately, it will mean they've reached their 'fastest lap'. I guess you could define talent with athletes therefore; simply as their physical bodies.
With piano-playing, great technique isn't dependant on physical ability as much (though of course it does to some considerable extent) as it does with running.

Sophia replies:
Great technique is very much a physical ability as well as mental one (just as running is very much dependent on mental focus as well as physical ability). But in either case abilities like this are distributed according to a bell-shaped curve. Which is why training alone in the absence of physical gifts will not get one to the Olympics , but the absence of training will likewise keep one from getting there.

hopinmad:
There would be no reason why one couldn't attain the technique of Kissin, if it wasn't for the hard work

Sophia:
So why aren't there tons of Kissins out there?

hopinmad:
(please note I've said in an earlier post that I mean for example, 11 hours of work to mean 11 hours of hard work, otherwise it's just 11 hours of playing) involved, and therefore that hard work maybe could be defined as Kissin's talent.

Sophia:
The capacity for hard work is indeed probably part of some versions of talent-- but if that's all it took there would be a lot more people at that level.

hopinmad: His musicality, however, is a different factor, but actually, the same process could be applied.
You say of lots of kids slaved away at something when they were younger, saying that is proof of [lack of] talent,

Sophia: No, I didn't say that was proof of lack of talent. I used that as an example of willingness to work hard and put in hours of concentrated hard work.

hopinmad: but it doesn't so, it means they might, in fact, didn't practise effectively enough. Simple putting the hours in is not enough.

Sophia:Agreed.

hopinmad: Chess is a different field though, mental ability, resulting in a good enough organized mind to see ahead, is going to play a major factor, but with piano playing, it isn't neccesary to be a genius.

Sophia:
why should piano playing be any different than other activities requiring physical and mental skills such as running and chess? The skills might be different (fine motor control and coordination for example, or ability to shade and nuance playing and understand the deeper levels of a composition) but greater ability counts.

hopinmad: Some intellect is going to be required obviously, and probably the more more so the faster the progress, but if there is prgoress at all then there's potentially no end to it.

Sophia: uh, that's a lovely thought but.... in the end reality asserts itself.

hopinmad: "Just work hard enough and nothing can stop you", isn't followed as much as it should, as for the reasons I said before, that hard work has to be complete concentrataion, of maximum efficency; deliberate practise.

Sophia: The only thing we can control is how much and how well we work. We can't go back and trade in our genetics or our very early learning experiences. So let's focus on high quality hard work and see how far it gets us. But it's also important to have some realistic expectations too. On a population basis, only a few people will make it to the top. However, it's difficult to predict for any individual where she/he will end up given the right kind of focused work-- which is why this should not be interpreted as discouraging people from working as hard and well as they can and seeing how far they can progress.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
p.s. I completely agree that there's absolutely nothing we can conclude from the Hungarian chess family example, and I hope I adequately stressed the nonscientific nature of that anecdote in my post. [/b]
On the contrary; a family who wants to challenge the belief that women were not good at chess, so they want their THREE daughters to become chess champions and so then obviously it would be clear that women were good at chess. They teach their kids from an early age, make sure their practise is carried out constructively, and all three become champions? Without this practise they would never have reached such a stage,

Sophia: agree

and talent doesn't come into it so much; all of them have suceeded. One could argue that all three had talent, but isn't that already pushing the thought that talent is a rare thing?

Sophia: It is not so hard to understand if you remember that these three girls were NOT CHOSEN AT RANDOM. They share their parents genes and their upbringing. So right off the bat there is a higher chance they might share "talent" endowments much more than three girls picked at random out of the phone book.

hopinmad: Maybe that talen they each had is the difference between their standards now.

[/QB][/QUOTE]

Again, it's BOTH. And I do think that what we know from research tells us that experience and hard work changes biology, especially in the early years. We can control how much and how efficiently we practice-- and then see how far it takes us.

best wishes,

Sophia

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#458145 - 12/01/07 05:17 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
Sophia:
Great technique is very much a physical ability as well as mental one (just as running is very much dependent on mental focus as well as physical ability). But in either case abilities like this are distributed according to a bell-shaped curve. Which is why training alone in the absence of physical gifts will not get one to the Olympics , but the absence of training will likewise keep one from getting there.

Hopinmad replies:
It isn't so much a factor as it is in running; not so much in fact that the majority of people will not reach a physical limit to what they can cope with.

Sophia:
So why aren't there tons of Kissins out there?

Hopinmad replies:
Because of the hard work involved! Loads of people put in the hours but it is a great minority that uses them properly!

Sophia:
The capacity for hard work is indeed probably part of some versions of talent-- but if that's all it took there would be a lot more people at that level.

Hopinmad replies:
I suppose this is similar to the previous reply, but I'll stress again the contrary, because for that to be "all it takes" is actually a great mountain to climb, and it isn't as easy as for a "lot more people" to be able to do that.

Sophia:
No, I didn't say that was proof of lack of talent. I used that as an example of willingness to work hard and put in hours of concentrated hard work.

Hopinmad replies:
"Slaving away" isn't exactly "willingness" to put in the hard work is it?
As I say again, putting the hours in isn't enough because that's just long, not hard, work/

Sophia:
why should piano playing be any different than other activities requiring physical and mental skills such as running and chess? The skills might be different (fine motor control and coordination for example, or ability to shade and nuance playing and understand the deeper levels of a composition) but greater ability counts.

Hopinmad replies:
To run miles is obviously going to take more physical ablility than it will to play any piece, that cannot be argued with, and understanding deeper levels of composition or ability to shade and nuance playing is an attaiable skill, much more so than to bear in mind all possible outcomes of several moves ahead. Please don't make this out as if I'm saying playing the piano is easy!

Sophia:
uh, that's a lovely thought but.... in the end reality asserts itself.

Hopinmad replies:
I've never actually heard of anyone who has put in the hours and not been rewarded, obviously I would not, but I cannot argue it therefore.


May I add, as I don't think I've done into a reply to one of your posts, that this is the way someone without talent would see it, isn't it?
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#458146 - 12/01/07 09:53 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3485
Loc: US
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, hopinmad. I think playing the piano is quite physical as well as mental, even if it's not aerobic! ;\) Progress is certainly going to occur if that focused hard work is put in ... the end result though is hard to predict in any individual case, which is why it's important to see where hard work and focused practice take all of us. Hopefully as far as we can go...

Best,
Sophia

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#458147 - 12/02/07 07:28 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Interesting tidbits rummaging about in Mozart's letters:

Remarking on Stein's daughter:

"...She may succeed, for she has great talent for music. But she will not make progress by this method (sitting wrongly, wild movements, not playing in time, playing heavy handedly)"

On an exchange with Dutch-born pianist Georg Frederich Richter:

"...when I played to him he stared all the time at my fingers and kept on saying 'Good God! How hard I work and sweat -- and win no applause -- and to you, my friend, it is child's play'. Yes, I replied, I too had to work hard, so as not to have to work hard any longer."

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#458148 - 12/02/07 12:23 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
 Quote:
Originally posted by theJourney:
Interesting tidbits rummaging about in Mozart's letters:

Remarking on Stein's daughter:

"...She may succeed, for she has great talent for music. But she will not make progress by this method (sitting wrongly, wild movements, not playing in time, playing heavy handedly)"

On an exchange with Dutch-born pianist Georg Frederich Richter:

"...when I played to him he stared all the time at my fingers and kept on saying 'Good God! How hard I work and sweat -- and win no applause -- and to you, my friend, it is child's play'. Yes, I replied, I too had to work hard, so as not to have to work hard any longer." [/b]
These tidbits are just as appropriate today as they were back then.

John
_________________________
Nothing.

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#458149 - 12/02/07 12:45 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
sophial, I also must admit that I find the sputterings about "yes, but they weren't chosen completely at random, so all bets are off" argument rather specious.

Even in the fictional Pygmalion the flower lady wasn't chosen completely at random from the world's population. The play would have been much less enjoyable if Professor Higgins had had a native from Papau New Guinea suddenly have to drop their head shrinking and drum beating for a bit of miraculous posh-English speaking and ballroom dancing....

Of course, we are talking about individuals within a relevant range of their culture and environment who, for whatever reasons -- whether personal interest, family prodding, or the relentless and uncontrollable pushing by one's predetermining genes -- choose or have chosen for them to study the piano and who by working harder, in a smart and deliberate way, under expert tutelage during a sustained period of time are able to exploit or rather create their 'talent'.

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#458150 - 12/02/07 01:04 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
Sophial, we'll have to indeed!
But if I didn't believe what I said then you see there would be no reason for me to continue playing the piano!
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#458151 - 12/02/07 01:15 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3485
Loc: US
 Quote:
Originally posted by theJourney:
sophial, I also must admit that I find the sputterings about "yes, but they weren't chosen completely at random, so all bets are off" argument rather specious.

Even in the fictional Pygmalion the flower lady wasn't chosen completely at random from the world's population. The play would have been much less enjoyable if Professor Higgins had had a native from Papau New Guinea suddenly have to drop their head shrinking and drum beating for a bit of miraculous posh-English speaking and ballroom dancing....

Of course, we are talking about individuals within a relevant range of their culture and environment who, for whatever reasons -- whether personal interest, family prodding, or the relentless and uncontrollable pushing by one's predetermining genes -- choose or have chosen for them to study the piano and who by working harder, in a smart and deliberate way, under expert tutelage during a sustained period of time are able to exploit or rather create their 'talent'. [/b]
agreed, but to think these three girls' attributes were somehow unrelated and they were picked totally independently from the "talent pool" as if they were strangers (even strangers from the same culture) would be inaccurate.

Sophia

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#458152 - 12/02/07 01:23 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
wouldn't just one girl or 2/3 from the family have been every bit as compelling?

what would you have thought of a successful experiment in their family (assuming they had enough time and resources) to make one girl a chess grand champion, another a piano competition winner and first chair Tuba player while a third is groomed to graduate as a mechanical engineer in a man's world? Simply good "self development genes"? Or is the kneading more important than the dough?

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#458153 - 12/02/07 08:20 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3485
Loc: US
I think you "knead" both ! ;\)

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#458154 - 12/02/07 09:59 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
I've been at this a year practicing on average of 2-3 hours a day everyday and I can see by listening to others and comparing myself to others that I do lack real talent. I was hoping my love of the sound of the piano and hard work would make me a real player, but alas it may not be possible. I told myself I would give it 100% for a couple of years and then re-evaluate and decide if I should continue. One year to go...

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#458155 - 12/02/07 10:42 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
IMHO Training and talent are polar ends of the same issue.

The object of training is to acquire a skill ... which in turn provides a sense of confidence in an activity close to one’s heart.

Once acquired the issue of hard work takes a back seat ... there is no effort in doing something one likes doing ... my specialities are playing golf, sketching, architectural designs, watercolours, playing piano, reading to my grandchildren ... but the thing I dread
most is having to do the washing up ... now that’s what I call really hard work!!

Talent is what people like to attach to someone well practised in an enjoyable skill ... talent should not be misleadingly construed when some young sprog with apparent flair dashes off a Chopin Nocturne ... this is not talent ... merely a rare genetic aural skill which is exploited
(with self-aggrandising applause) ... having obviated the laboured requirement of endless sight-reading ... but ironically has to pay the
price of hard practice to sustain the aural memory.

Sadly the bogey of sight-reading stifles confidence ... and talent has to be substituted at the piano by hard work.

Why can’t the reading of music be as easy as reading a book?

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#458156 - 12/02/07 11:25 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2642
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark...:
I've been at this a year practicing on average of 2-3 hours a day everyday and I can see by listening to others and comparing myself to others that I do lack real talent. [/b]
"If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans." (From Desiderata.)

You play the piano because you love the sound. So long as you enjoy the sound you make, you should not worry about the "talent" of others or its assumed absence in yourself. Unless of course you plan a career as a concert pianist...
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#458157 - 12/03/07 10:00 AM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Mark,

Don't quit before the miracle!

Two to three hours of practice is dedication and very commendable.

Are you self-studying or preparing lessons for a piano teacher to collaborate with you.

There is so much in the archives here at PWF that you might consider searching on any keyword that you are wanting more information about, such as "practice". There are so many books available these day on practice ideas. Very, very valuable.

Google: PracticeSpot

Being proficient at the piano is going to take as long as it takes. Time and effort invested is what it takes. And....You are doing that!

Betty

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#458158 - 12/03/07 01:31 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
 Quote:
Originally posted by Betty Patnude:
Mark,

Don't quit before the miracle!

Two to three hours of practice is dedication and very commendable.

Are you self-studying or preparing lessons for a piano teacher to collaborate with you.

There is so much in the archives here at PWF that you might consider searching on any keyword that you are wanting more information about, such as "practice". There are so many books available these day on practice ideas. Very, very valuable.

Google: PracticeSpot

Being proficient at the piano is going to take as long as it takes. Time and effort invested is what it takes. And....You are doing that!

Betty [/b]
Yes Betty I'm using a teacher. She is great too.

But my problem, that I speak of isn't about her or my practice, but my lack of natural talent. Specifically in the areas of rhythm, timing and musicality...

I knew I had this problem going in and was hoping I could beat it with solid hard work and education. And although I have made some progress, I still seems to lack that special something. When I started this I decided to dedicated 2 years of solid practice and see what happens. I don't expect to play like a pro, just when I do play my level pieces that they at least sound good. This thread topic kind of hit it on the head, talent vs hard work.

Mark...

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#458159 - 12/04/07 12:40 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
TheMadMan86 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 341
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
"everyone knows that rock beats scissors, but then scissors beat paper, and paper beats rock, Kif we have a cunumdrum"
Zap Branigan

so
Rock=hard work
scissors= talent
paper=luck?? i guess

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#458160 - 12/04/07 12:45 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
paper=imagination
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#458161 - 12/04/07 03:10 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
phonehome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 921
Talent without hard work gets you nothing.

I talked to Stanislav Ioudenitch this weekend and this was basically what he was trying to get across to me. I have a technical talent and emotional soul/musical feeling that very very few people possess, and so far in my life I have squandered it. I'm extremely angry with myself for letting down all of my teachers/friends/family that have believed in me.

Much of the stuff he said to me is what I would consider to be personal and I don't feel right disclosing it, but I've never been so motivated and simultaneously ****ed at myself in my entire life. After hearing me play for 15 minutes, he completely picked me apart as a person and told me exactly what I needed to do to put myself atop the music world. It's time to practice.

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#458162 - 12/04/07 04:46 PM Re: musical talent vs hard work..
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2779
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
 Quote:
Originally posted by phonehome:
Talent without hard work gets you nothing.

I talked to Stanislav Ioudenitch this weekend and this was basically what he was trying to get across to me. I have a technical talent and emotional soul/musical feeling that very very few people possess, and so far in my life I have squandered it. I'm extremely angry with myself for letting down all of my teachers/friends/family that have believed in me.

Much of the stuff he said to me is what I would consider to be personal and I don't feel right disclosing it, but I've never been so motivated and simultaneously ****ed at myself in my entire life. After hearing me play for 15 minutes, he completely picked me apart as a person and told me exactly what I needed to do to put myself atop the music world. It's time to practice. [/b]
Colin take note, this is a positive response to constructive criticism. Phonehome congratulations to you for finding a teacher who would be honest with you and for taking the criticism for exactly what it was meant to be, a motivational kick in the pants. Come back and tell us how your marathon practice session went.

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