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#485386 - 11/30/07 01:18 PM Training beats Talent
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I have believed this for many years, and I believe very strongly that the same is true not just for academic subjects but for musical talent and training as well.

It's right in line with everything I've seen over the years. The "growth mind-set" is something I've seen in every good student I've ever worked with. (It's also something I see in myself. I've had a far more successful musical career than many people of greater talent, simply because I work hard.)

And now, there's some research on the subject:

The Secret to Raising Smart Kids
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#485387 - 11/30/07 01:38 PM Re: Training beats Talent
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1166
Loc: Singapore
Yes, I believe in that as well. I have the talent for music but for many years in the area of playing the piano, it went uncultured and did help but just a little. After moving here, I got a new teacher and she saw my talent, took it and helped it grow at the same time pushed me to my limits, sometimes over the edge to see what I was capable off.

It was'nt so much of the talent but more of the extremely intensive training that I've had since I started piano under her. If i never moved here I guess i would have somehow reached this stage but not that soon and my pieces that I play would'nt be as refined and clean.
_________________________
Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata

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#485388 - 11/30/07 01:46 PM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Anecdotal research from what I can tell. Yes, enduring (or even having a talent to endure) boring mundane work WILL get you somewhere in a system where boring mundane work is rewarded. That's the only message I get from this 'research' and yes, plenty of it goes on in music.
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#485389 - 11/30/07 01:56 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Anecdotal research from what I can tell. [/b]
Actually, not. I'm very familiar with Carol Dweck's work, and she is respected in the field as a careful methodologist. In many of her studies, mastery vs. entity (what she calls helpless here) orientation is a measured variable, and thus those studies are limited in their ability to infer causality. However, she has also done studies where they have experimentally manipulated orientation, and randomly assigned participants to condition, and these studies support the correlational research. But it's careful empirical research and not at all "anecdotal." (She's writing the current article for a lay audience, so she sprinkles it with a lot of examples just to make her point, but it's based on empirical work.)

Kreisler, I tried hard to champion the "hard work" side in the talent vs. hard work thread, but the talent side appears to have won out. I guess I'm still convinced that hard work is by far the more important ingredient.
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#485390 - 11/30/07 02:01 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Betty Patnude Offline
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Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Kreisler,

Thank you for the link to "The Secret of Raising Smart Kids".

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#485391 - 11/30/07 02:22 PM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I checked out some of Carol Dweck's writings. Here is a quote from an interview:
 Quote:
Finally, teachers can help students focus on and value learning. Too many students are hung up on grades and on proving their worth through grades. Grades are important, but learning is more important.
Tell that to the schools I've taught in. Learning was kicked out as league tables came in.

You and I, Monica, are on either side of a great divide. I have watched for decades as each new 'paradigm', 'theory', 'model', was foisted on classroom teachers - each one leaving practitioners more and more disempowered in its wake. Have you ever heard of Paul Hirst? He was the biggest thinker in the setting up of our post-war education system. I have sat in a seminar where he totally recanted his theories. Theories that have blighted millions of children's lives. 'My new theory...' he began.
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#485392 - 11/30/07 02:23 PM Re: Training beats Talent
theJourney Offline
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Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
there you go again, Kreisler!

Many thanks for this excellent article reference.

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#485393 - 11/30/07 02:32 PM Re: Training beats Talent
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Tell that to the schools I've taught in. Learning was kicked out as league tables came in.

You and I, Monica, are on either side of a great divide. I have watched for decades as each new 'paradigm', 'theory', 'model', was foisted on classroom teachers - each one leaving practitioners more and more disempowered in its wake. Have you ever heard of Paul Hirst? He was the biggest thinker in the setting up of our post-war education system. I have sat in a seminar where he totally recanted his theories. Theories that have blighted millions of children's lives. 'My new theory...' he began. [/QB]
No one would argue that public education has been mis-managed, particularly in parallel and irresponsible 180 degree swings witnessed in the UK, The Netherlands, the United States and countless other "advanced" nations. However, that does not seem to me to be a valid reason to reject research results.

In marketing, some of the most difficult segmentation exercises are on consumer attitudes. In the social sciences I can understand the difficulty of attaching conclusions based on "mind sets", much less designing solid educational policies on these. Nevertheless, I found the article compelling and very usable in terms of designing National educational programs, corporate human resource management policies and support for aspiring performing pianists.

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#485394 - 11/30/07 02:40 PM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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Well I've read page two - The better results for 'those who feel effort is more important' goes without saying in, as I have said, a system that rewards effort over imagination.
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#485395 - 11/30/07 02:42 PM Re: Training beats Talent
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8889
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
I tried hard to champion the "hard work" side in the talent vs. hard work thread, but the talent side appears to have won out. I guess I'm still convinced that hard work is by far the more important ingredient.
I never said "hard work" wasn't important, just that I felt the "talent side" was being given short shift.

On the other thread I suggested 50-50. Might that bring us a bit closer? ;\)
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#485396 - 11/30/07 03:05 PM Re: Training beats Talent
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
Could it be that innate talent(s) steer one towards whatever avocation that makes the unavoidable required work more fulfilling and less like "work?"
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#485397 - 11/30/07 03:07 PM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Or steers you AWAY altogether?
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#485398 - 11/30/07 03:13 PM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
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Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
In fact, would anyone like to guess how many times the word imagination appears in this 5 page net-article?
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#485399 - 11/30/07 03:31 PM Re: Training beats Talent
bitWrangler Offline
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Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
The problem with statements such as what started this thread I think is two fold.

Firstly, the statement itself is so vague as to nearly be meaningless. What is the quantitative measure for "talent"? I think everyone will agree that generally, if you practice something, you will get better. So you have people with different levels of talent that will allow them to improve at different rates. So lets say that you are going to try to measure this. You establish a baseline ability (B), and then you measure "improvement" by practice as the rate in which a person improves (V). So a more "talented" person will likely have a higher B and a higher V. Lets say a "less talented" person starts at B/2 and their ability to improve for a given amount of practice is V/2. It follows that if the lesser talent practices 5x the amount of the more talented person, that it is very possible for them to catch and surpass the "more talented" person. I understand this is a gross simplification, but I don't see where there is any real argument here? There will always be outliers of course. Seems to me that this only really becomes an issue if you speak of "potential".

Secondly, people have made mention of "success", and again, this is a very vague measure. Successfulness doesn't necessarily relate to ability, so exactly what are we measuring here?

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#485400 - 11/30/07 03:53 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Glaswegian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 278
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
Labelling Talent and Improvement as variables and then plugging them in to a simple linear euqation model to calculate who is best simply doesn't wash.

Firstly these things aren't mathematically equation variables and can't be easily meaused, and even if they could the relationship certainly wouldn't be linear.

Genius, talent, intelligence et al. - sometimes an individual just "knows" or just "can" and other individuals just "don't get it" or "can't", and no amount of work/practice will ever change that.

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#485401 - 11/30/07 03:58 PM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Wow! You wait ages for a scientist then two come along at once! Thanks guys (girls?).
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#485402 - 11/30/07 04:50 PM Re: Training beats Talent
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Glaswegian:
Labelling Talent and Improvement as variables and then plugging them in to a simple linear euqation model to calculate who is best simply doesn't wash.

Firstly these things aren't mathematically equation variables and can't be easily meaused, and even if they could the relationship certainly wouldn't be linear.

Genius, talent, intelligence et al. - sometimes an individual just "knows" or just "can" and other individuals just "don't get it" or "can't", and no amount of work/practice will ever change that. [/b]
Actually the equations were to illustrate a point, not to represent reality. Obviously peoples abilities don't improve at a linear rate, but you can find a best fit line over a reasonable period of time to create some general observations. Plus I stated that there are always outliers, those that are "exceptional" and those on the opposite end of the spectrum. Even then you can plot a line that has either an extremely steep slope or extremely flat.

But anyway, my point was simply that as a general rule, hard work _can_ (not necessarily will) equalize performance assuming the "more talented" party is not working at a high enough rate to keep the "less talented" person from surpassing them. And that this seemed pretty evident and obvious.

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#485403 - 11/30/07 04:53 PM Re: Training beats Talent
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Wow! You wait ages for a scientist then two come along at once! Thanks guys (girls?). [/b]
If you're referring to me:

Young persons response: I'm not a scientist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Old fogey response: I'm not a scientist, but I do play one on tv.

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#485404 - 11/30/07 05:06 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Glaswegian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 278
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
"As a general rule, hard work can equalise performance".

This statemenet is simply not true. Hard work most certainly can and does improve ability but in absolutely no way can you try to infer or conclude that if everyone does a different amount of work to compensate for different levels of starting ability that everyone will end up the same. That is clearly nonsense.

I think a more accurate general rule would be that the harder you work the better you will get.

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#485405 - 11/30/07 05:07 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
When one looks at world-class pianists, most people would say they're talented. If these piansts and taken one month of lessons, then never played again, they would likely not be up on stage.

I think talent is only 'potential talent,' until it is brought out, developed, nurtured and allowed to grow. How much of this potential is eventually realized is dependent upon training, time, persistence and hard work.

I believe its a term used for people who are on the extreme end of the learning curve spectrum. They are able see what others do not and do what others can not and do both with far greater speed and efficiency than the rest of us. Personally, I think their brains are just wired differently than the average Joe.

Those that recognize they have this gift have a choice. They can either use it to their advantage or choose to waste it. They either recognize they can if they want to, or choose not to want to.

The latter is sad.

I have no doubt that hard work will get you much further than a mediocre effort. All other things being equal, can hard work alone and no talent produce the same results as talent (you're not born with) combined with hard work? Unfortunately, I don't think it can.

I wish I were talented, but I'm not. Hard work will just have to do.

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#485406 - 11/30/07 05:24 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Eternal Offline
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Registered: 08/21/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Posts: 80,372
"If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn't call it genius." - Michelangelo

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#485407 - 11/30/07 05:33 PM Re: Training beats Talent
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Glaswegian:
"As a general rule, hard work can equalise performance".

This statemenet is simply not true. Hard work most certainly can and does improve ability but in absolutely no way can you try to infer or conclude that if everyone does a different amount of work to compensate for different levels of starting ability that everyone will end up the same. That is clearly nonsense.

I think a more accurate general rule would be that the harder you work the better you will get. [/b]
How is that "clearly nonsense"? A general rule never implies "everyone". It simply means that if you take some reasonable sampling of individuals, that you would expect to see the results stated following some statistical distribution (e.g. a bell curve). Of course this can vary significantly by population chosen and ability being measured (5'8" folks will generally never be able to dunk a basketball as well as a population of 6'8" folks no matter how hard they practice/train, however their ability to make free throws will show different results)

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#485408 - 11/30/07 05:47 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Glaswegian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 278
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
It is clearly nonsense because in general, people will improve if they work hard, but in general people will ABSOLUTELY NOT converge to a similar level of ability.

As a Statistics graduate, I know all about sample populations and bell curves. Indeed, if I carefully select the right sample I can "prove" that storks bring babies!!

You unpick your own argument by refering to these very bell curves. If you have a group fo people with a similar level of ability and then they all put in the same level of hard work, you would expect to see differing levels of ability at the other end i.e. a bell curve, or normal distribution of results.

The same result would occur if you had a group of varying levels of ability and they put in varying levels of hard work. With a large enough sample size, you would again expect to see a normal distribution of ability at the end of the experiment.

Your "general rule" would result is a very long flat line section in the centre where most people's ability to perform has equalised.

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#485409 - 11/30/07 06:06 PM Re: Training beats Talent
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Glaswegian:
It is clearly nonsense because in general, people will improve if they work hard, but in general people will ABSOLUTELY NOT converge to a similar level of ability.[/b]
Never said that there would be convergence, you're twisting my original point. It was about ones ability to overcome a lack of "talent" by hard work, and how this can allow someone of lesser talent to overcome/match someone of greater talent if the person of lesser talent works at a rate that is sufficiently more than the person of greater talent. AGAIN, there will ALWAYS be exceptions, but it is certainly possible and in a great many number of cases.


As a Statistics graduate, I know all about sample populations and bell curves. Indeed, if I carefully select the right sample I can "prove" that storks bring babies!![/b]

Lies, damn lies ....


You unpick your own argument by refering to these very bell curves. If you have a group fo people with a similar level of ability and then they all put in the same level of hard work, you would expect to see differing levels of ability at the other end i.e. a bell curve, or normal distribution of results.
[/b]

All you've proved is that they have differing levels of what, in this thread, is called talent. Different members of your population improve at a higher rate given the same amount of work resulting in your bell curve.


The same result would occur if you had a group of varying levels of ability and they put in varying levels of hard work. With a large enough sample size, you would again expect to see a normal distribution of ability at the end of the experiment.

Your "general rule" would result is a very long flat line section in the centre where most people's ability to perform has equalised.
[/b]

But we're not discussing random abilities and random levels of work. We're talking specifically about a specific group ("talented") putting in a bound qty of work (less than) another specific group ("less talented") and seeing if and when the ability lines of the two groups intersect (at what pct does the less talented group have to work harder than the more talented to allow for the line to intersect in some reasonable time frame).

But beyond all the mumbo jumbo, yes, it certainly is _possible_ for one of "lesser" talent to surpass those of "greater" talent by simply working harder than those who have greater talent. That's been the point all along and so far I don't think anyone disagrees (other than to bring up outliers). Do we agree on this?

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#485410 - 11/30/07 06:19 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Glaswegian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 278
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
I wasn't trying to twist your original point. I was just interpretating what you wrote and disagreeing with it. The beauty of the written word - the same words mean different things to different people!!

Anyways, it's perfectly possible that someone who regarded as being less talented than another individual can, woth hard work end up a much more able performer. This is true in all walks of life, not just piano.

What I would still disagree with is that you can somehow put this in to an equation and most peole who are less talented and who work harder than more talented people can, as a rule catch up.

The reason I diagree with this general rule is that innate ability, talent or whatever you want to call it is so difficult to quantify in the first place, and there are so many other variables to take in to account that simply more hard work is not enough to bridge such a gap as a general rule.

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#485411 - 11/30/07 06:26 PM Re: Training beats Talent
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Glaswegian:
I wasn't trying to twist your original point. I was just interpretating what you wrote and disagreeing with it. The beauty of the written word - the same words mean different things to different people!!

Anyways, it's perfectly possible that someone who regarded as being less talented than another individual can, woth hard work end up a much more able performer. This is true in all walks of life, not just piano.

What I would still disagree with is that you can somehow put this in to an equation and most peole who are less talented and who work harder than more talented people can, as a rule catch up.

The reason I diagree with this general rule is that innate ability, talent or whatever you want to call it is so difficult to quantify in the first place, and there are so many other variables to take in to account that simply more hard work is not enough to bridge such a gap as a general rule. [/b]
Ah yes, we generally ;\) agree then (even if it's to agree to disagree on some points).

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#485412 - 11/30/07 06:29 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Glaswegian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/05/07
Posts: 278
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
I'll tell you what would be interesting - to gather 2 groups of pianists that fall in to these 2 categories and give it a whirl. That would be fun.

Who knows, I might learn something!!

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#485413 - 11/30/07 06:34 PM Re: Training beats Talent
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Glaswegian:
I'll tell you what would be interesting - to gather 2 groups of pianists that fall in to these 2 categories and give it a whirl. That would be fun.

Who knows, I might learn something!! [/b]
Ahh, but that would lead to endless discourse on how to place them in the proper bins \:D

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#485414 - 11/30/07 06:37 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1489
IMO, the truest statement regarding this topic :

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
-Mozart

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#485415 - 11/30/07 06:41 PM Re: Training beats Talent
hyonchingonchon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 148
Everyone who can work for something has talent.
_________________________
You can take a noob and train him all day but that'll just make him a trained noob...

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#485416 - 11/30/07 06:45 PM Re: Training beats Talent
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus_Maximus:
IMO, the truest statement regarding this topic :

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
-Mozart [/b]
Easy to say when you're a "genius" ;\)

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#485417 - 11/30/07 07:34 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1489
hmmmm....this is one of those topics in which no real solution is present...but can be fun to indulge in.

Personally, I don't believe in "talent". Life is too nuanced and varied for generic, general titles to be applied in these types of arguments. Everything is the result of a combination of elements, not just one. I'm going to invent a scenario that will help support my statement:

A girl who has been playing piano since age seven. She is very good at many things. Lives a well - rounded, life. Get's straight A's. Does sports. Plays piano. Plays very well. Has a very quick memory, and nice sound.  Practices about 1-2 hrs every day. Leaves time her day for piano, studying, spending time with her boyfriend, etc. She is preparing a Mozart sonata for a recital.

A boy, who has been playing piano since age ten. Generally, someone who has had a hard time in school, both academically and socially. Girls tend not to like him, and despite his efforts in school, things are difficult for him.  But he really falls in love with music, and sees it as a sort of refuge from the troubles of life. Becomes a piano-nerd. Has initial trouble in the beginning reading music because he started late and his technique is bad and his sight reading could improve. But so deep is his love for his instrument and for music, that it becomes is life, and other things suffer from it, but he practices 6 hours a day out of sheer love and determiatnion to express himself musically. Goes go concerts, listen es to recordings, so these help develop his imagination and musical sense.

At age 18, many years later, this boy and this girl meet together at an audition. The girl, being very well rounded, and intelligent plays a delicate movement of a Haydn Sonata. Her playing is well balanced with a few slips, because she has been very busy and not had time to practice.  The boy then plays a technically perfect, passionate, brilliant account of Schumann's first sonata. Ideas are original, and the passage work is flawless.
This is because for the past years, music has been more than just another thing he did as an extracurricular activity, but it was why he lived, it was something that he loved so much that drove him to voluntarily practice six hours a day for all his teen years, and he choose his music at the sacrifice above all else.

Who would those in the audience consider more talented?? The boy  If we went back in time 6 years and both kids where given a test of sigh-reading and basic musical skills, given both their situations at that time, who do think would THEN be considered more talented? The girl.

So, everything is really subject to situation and perspective. It's about priorities and ambition. The girl, naturally being more suited toward doing things well in life - as so many people are - would probably be considered more "talented".  But what about passionate desire? If that is what really made the boy play well, than it's very important - but can we really say it's "talent"?

And that brings me back to the Mozart quote. Whatever one loves more than anything else in the world is going to manifest itself strongest in their life, weather it be love for music, another person, a stress-free life, animals,etc. Perhaps this love is not something you can acquire, but if you didn't have it, then you would not be so bothered by not being able to accomplish it. And if you have enough of it, there would be no reason not to accomplish it. As Pogorelich put it, if "You really really want something, you can't help yourself from having it, it just comes."

I know that this post is filled with cliches and my scenario was an extreme one, but I hope if gets across.

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#485418 - 11/30/07 10:32 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Akira said: "I wish I were talented, but I'm not. Hard work will just have to do."

You know I have a different take on how we make progress using any natural talent we have - not just musical talent - combined with "working easy" - NOT "working hard".

Working easy to me is getting ourselves out of the way as obstacles to ourselves, and learning to do "enough" when we play to build what we are learning, retrieve what we know, and polish what we have chosen to memorize or perform or bring to an accomplished state of our satisfaction.

With keenness of mind, decision making, management skills (time and task) it is achievable.

Make your musical activities pleasurable and you will make faster progress.

Just be and do at the piano. Be who you are as a musician at this present moment - this is you. At future moments, with "enough" you will be a better musician, and with diligence and perseverance, your efforts (let's replace that word!) INVESTMENT! (aha!) will pay off.

We are often victims of how we say things to ourselves, and our brain is quite literal in interpreting what we are saying.

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#485419 - 11/30/07 10:34 PM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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What a mess. I thought bitwrangle's 'Firstly, the statement itself is so vague as to nearly be meaningless.' said it all. Then there's a big food fight! White coats splattered with ketchup. Help I'm writing like btb!
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#485420 - 11/30/07 10:43 PM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Akira:


I think talent is only 'potential talent,' until it is brought out, developed, nurtured and allowed to grow. How much of this potential is eventually realized is dependent upon training, time, persistence and hard work.


I wish I were talented, but I'm not. Hard work will just have to do. [/b]
How do you know till your's is 'brought out' (the original Greek meaning of the word education)?

Isn't it strange, the assumption that only two qualities - hard work or talent - get you there. I can think of at least two other more important ones.
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#485421 - 11/30/07 11:21 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Ferdinand Offline
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Loc: California
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz
Isn't it strange, the assumption that only two qualities - hard work or talent - get you there. I can think of at least two other more important ones.
One that I can think of is competent guidance.

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#485422 - 11/30/07 11:52 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Mick James Offline
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Registered: 10/03/07
Posts: 9
I've only read the Key Concepts so far, but the first and third points are pretty much exact reflections of my childhood. I was constantly praised by my parents and teachers for having talent or intelligence, and didn't have to work that hard alot of the time. Then, things would become overwhelming when I couldn't work them out with my "natural talent" or "intelligence."

Thank you very much for posting this =)
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#485423 - 12/01/07 12:04 AM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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I can't resist an anecdote. When I was in high school everything came easy. I only ever attended 2 or 3 days week and still got high grades. I remember once having several weeks off for no particular reason. When I got to my first maths class they'd started a new topic and I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND! I sat there thinking - my god, this is the feeling so many others have EVERY maths class, how sad it must be for them. It was a real revelation.
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#485424 - 12/01/07 01:02 AM Re: Training beats Talent
1RC Offline
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I agree completely with the article. The bottom line is that the growth-mindset is useful because it's motivating, which leads to effort and we can all agree that effort = improvement.

I don't care to bother myself with quantifying anything, speculating about 'truth' or anything that's beyond control. If I'm born with 17 units of talent or 2 why would I care? All that matters is to improve.

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#485425 - 12/01/07 02:54 AM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by 1RC:
I don't care to bother myself with quantifying anything, speculating about 'truth' or anything that's beyond control. If I'm born with 17 units of talent or 2 why would I care? All that matters is to improve. [/b]
The point is the article purports to be social science. If there is no quantifying or 'truth' then where is the science bit?
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#485426 - 12/01/07 10:35 AM Re: Training beats Talent
sophial Offline
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Loc: US
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:

Kreisler, I tried hard to champion the "hard work" side in the talent vs. hard work thread, but the talent side appears to have won out. I guess I'm still convinced that hard work is by far the more important ingredient. [/b]
Hi Monica,
well hopefully neither "side" is winning because it's the interaction of the two (aptitude AND hard work) that is probably the most important ingredient.

I'd even guess that hard work is probably the essential ingredient for developing into a competent player but the X factor of talent is needed to get to the very highest levels.

I've been reading about lives of famous pianists and it's hard not to think there is something intrinsically different about people like Freire (makes debut at age 4!!!) and de Larrocha (a relative late bloomer, making debut at age 5!) no matter how many hours their little hands may have logged at that point in their lives. And did they study and work incredibly hard to get where they are today? I'm sure.

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#485427 - 12/01/07 03:12 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17777
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by sophial:
well hopefully neither "side" is winning because it's the interaction of the two (aptitude AND hard work) that is probably the most important ingredient.

I'd even guess that hard work is probably the essential ingredient for developing into a competent player but the X factor of talent is needed to get to the very highest levels.
[/b]
Thank you, Sophia, for managing to capture in a few short sentences the essence (and dare I say resolution?) of the issue. I agree with you completely!
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#485428 - 12/01/07 03:34 PM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica K.:
 Quote:
Originally posted by sophial:
well hopefully neither "side" is winning because it's the interaction of the two (aptitude AND hard work) that is probably the most important ingredient.

I'd even guess that hard work is probably the essential ingredient for developing into a competent player but the X factor of talent is needed to get to the very highest levels.
[/b]
Thank you, Sophia, for managing to capture in a few short sentences the essence (and dare I say resolution?) of the issue. I agree with you completely! [/b]
So, Sophia says you don't need talent and that's that?! And that's a discourse?
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#485429 - 12/01/07 03:44 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Bassio Offline
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Registered: 08/24/03
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Thanks for the link Kreisler.

This is a very interesting article.

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#485430 - 12/01/07 03:47 PM Re: Training beats Talent
jazzyprof Offline
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Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2629
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
Sophia says you don't need talent and that's that?! And that's a discourse? [/b]
Sophia didn't say that. This is what she said:
 Quote:
well hopefully neither "side" is winning because it's the interaction of the two (aptitude AND hard work) that is probably the most important ingredient.

I'd even guess that hard work is probably the essential ingredient for developing into a competent player but the X factor of talent is needed to get to the very highest levels.
I don't see how one can argue with that.
_________________________
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#485431 - 12/01/07 03:49 PM Re: Training beats Talent
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8889
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
Originally posted by sophial:
I'd even guess that hard work is probably the essential ingredient for developing into a competent player but the X factor of talent is needed to get to the very highest levels.
So, Sophia says you don't need talent and that's that?! And that's a discourse?
I'm confused. Where did Sophia say you don't need talent?

I'll certainly agree that hard work will result in being a very competent player, as long as the definition of "competent" (by itself) doesn't imply playing the Chopin Etudes effortlessly and musically. That's where the "X" factor kicks in...
_________________________
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#485432 - 12/01/07 03:55 PM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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 Quote:
I'd even guess that hard work is probably the essential ingredient for developing into a competent player but the X factor of talent is needed to get to the very highest levels.
hard work is the essential ingredient (meaning the only ingredient that can't be left out)

talent is only essential for 'very highest levels.'

And Jason, WHY do you agree? That should be the object of this particular discourse.

p.s. We may also have different definitions of 'competent'.
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#485433 - 12/01/07 05:36 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
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Something I'm noticing about this discussion:

Many people seem to think it's an either/or and black/white proposition.

Talent OR Hard Work
Having OR Not Having Talent
Working Hard OR Not Working Hard

All of these come in shades of grey. Nobody has All or Zero Talent. Nobody is 100% Lazy or 100% industrious. People come in all different shades of grey and combinations.

Also, keep in mind that the research was a study in attitudes. Some of you are reading it as if there were an operational definition of "talent" and "work" used in the study. Read it again. Quibbling over definitions misses the point entirely. The point of the research was to figure out how people's attitudes affected outcomes. The result - attitude does affect outcome, and perception of intellect is key.
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#485434 - 12/01/07 05:41 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Janus K. Sachs Offline
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Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus_Maximus:
IMO, the truest statement regarding this topic :

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
-Mozart [/b]
This is a very popular saying, but have read that it is just another example of someone putting words into a famous someone's mouth.
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#485435 - 12/01/07 06:45 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Ted2 Offline
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Registered: 05/04/02
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Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
I broadly agree with Kreisler's assessment of these matters, but I would extend what he says to the nature of "success" itself, as well as to the subjective and external perceptions about ourselves.

I have verifiably meagre measurable musical talent. Were I to take tests of such, the sort of thing they probably give for admission to universities and music schools, I would completely fail; of this I am quite certain. Nonetheless I have produced many hundreds of compositions and improvisations over four decades and I am spending more and more time working at it and I am enjoying it with increasing fervour and purpose.

How can this be ? Either genuinely creative facility is more independent of measurable talent than is commonly thought, or I am simply a sort of William McGonagall or Louis Wain of piano music. Obviously I would prefer the former to be true but do not see the issue as life threatening.

Yet I am perceived by most people I know as a disgusting waste of musical talent and a grossly lazy under-achiever. Why don't I "do something" with my "talent". Why don't I become professional ? Why don't I sell CDs ? Why don't I perform ? Why don't I teach ? Why don't I do this, that or the other ? I have had all this since I was a kid. As far as work goes, depite my frequently cavalier opinions, I am slowly realising that, compared to many musicians, even professional ones, I have actually done a hell of a lot of work on my music, and seem to do more as I get older.

So, in addition to the valid issues raised by Kreisler (especially the "either/or" fallacy - that's a real killer of progress. Try substituting "both" - in any activity in life), there seems often to exist a gulf between actual work and talent and perceived work and talent.

This makes the whole subject so complicated I usually don't bother thinking about it. I just carry on and do what I feel I have to do musically, in the only ways I know how, before I peg out. That's all anybody can do, in the end, isn't it ?
_________________________
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#485436 - 12/01/07 09:45 PM Re: Training beats Talent
sophial Offline
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Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3466
Loc: US
 Quote:
Originally posted by keyboardklutz:
 Quote:
I'd even guess that hard work is probably the essential ingredient for developing into a competent player but the X factor of talent is needed to get to the very highest levels.
hard work is the essential ingredient (meaning the only ingredient that can't be left out)

talent is only essential for 'very highest levels.'

And Jason, WHY do you agree? That should be the object of this particular discourse.

p.s. We may also have different definitions of 'competent'. [/b]
I'd better clarify what I meant! I was trying to say that to achieve a reasonable level of competence, hard work in a person of average (not zero) ability will probably get you there. To achieve more than that, especially to get to the highest levels of pianism, the presence of talent becomes more important and is essential at the elite level. Let me reiterate that I think the interaction of innate ability ("talent") and focused hard work are what ultimately produces achievement. Does that help?

Sophia

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#485437 - 12/01/07 11:07 PM Re: Training beats Talent
argerichfan Offline
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Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8889
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by sophial:
I was trying to say that to achieve a reasonable level of competence, hard work in a person of average (not zero) ability will probably get you there. To achieve more than that, especially to get to the highest levels of pianism, the presence of talent becomes more important and is essential at the elite level. Let me reiterate that I think the interaction of innate ability ("talent") and focused hard work are what ultimately produces achievement. Does that help?
Sophia, I don't disagree with you. Currently my concern is with Monica, who -by the tenor of her posts as I read them- feels that hard work is all there is to it, and that the "talent" card only really applies to the parnassus -Einstein's speed of light- of Horowitz or Argerich.

I just don't think it is that simple. Earlier it was pointed out that no one is either totally without talent or totally unable to muster hard work. Fair enough.

But I have seen pianists play much better with talent (and little inclination for hard work), than pianists with no talent (and a large inclination for hard work.) Too many instances for the multiple piano teachers on this board (of which I'm certainly not) to tell me that I'm full of it.

Sorry, I just call 'em as I see 'em. I may be relatively young, but I've been around the block complete with shattered dreams. I almost "made it", so don't give me any cr*p about not working hard enough.
_________________________
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#485438 - 12/02/07 12:46 AM Re: Training beats Talent
sophial Offline
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Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3466
Loc: US
Jason,
There is much merit to what you're saying. I think of hard work as a multiplier of talent but talent as an exponential (power)function. If either one is zero, you probably don't get anywhere. With slight talent, slow but noticeable progress occurs, and with "normal" talent,better progress, but in the presence of a high degree of talent, the progress explodes exponentially (i.e. the difference between raising something to a power of 10 compared to multiplying by 10).

Sophia

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#485439 - 12/02/07 01:46 AM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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Folks, we are stuck in Social Science's fatal flaw, as bitwrangler began to elude to: You may not (I would say CANNOT) be able to convert qualitive to quantitive. Statements like: of average (not zero) ability, highest levels of pianism, meagre measurable musical talent, are likely to be nonsense statements. Posting about AMOUNTS of talent or hard work is a no-brainer.

Thanks Kreisler, for trying to bring us back in line:
 Quote:
The point of the research was to figure out how people's attitudes affected outcomes. The result - attitude does affect outcome, and perception of intellect is key.
But I must disagree. The conclusion is: the perception of a work ethic is the key in an environment which rewards work effort.

Can we PLEASE stay away from quantitive judgements? Please?

p.s. Good morning Jason, sorry about your career stalling. I'm sure concert pianizing was never much of a rose garden anyway. It's what YOU make of music that matters.
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#485440 - 12/02/07 02:44 AM Re: Training beats Talent
John Pels Offline
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Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1260
Loc: Tomball, Texas
All of this lollygagging will produce absolutely no concensus. It makes for wonderful diatribes of academic insignificance. What I seem to see a REAL lack of though is any anecdotal evidence. Any of us that have spent countless hours in the hallowed halls are WELL AWARE of the differences in talent and the relationship between work and talent. There is no way to guarantee an outcome of a pianist of the first magnitude by sheer force of will along with a smathering of talent and long hours. Though conditioning plays a role here, it is painfully obvious to any of us that have spent time working around others doing the same thing, that innate talent plays an incredible role. Sorry folks, if I could have practiced 24 hours a day with great instruction and the talent I was born with, I still couldn't play like Horowitz. Goodness knows I tried...and still do. There is not one pianist that I know that doesn't believe that we are what we are out of the box. You can tinker around the edges, but we will all have certain limitations, getting back to my 1% versus .01 %. So once again I side with Sophia that says it most concisely in her most recent post. The bottom line is that you can't substitute work for "genius". I realize that this flies in the face of the egalitarian PC world that we presently find ourselves in, but that's just the way it is! It doesn't mean that our aspirations shouldn't keep us motivated however.

For that matter any of us that have raised children to adulthood can see that even with an incredible amount of "nurturing" going on "nature" in the form of genetics will supply us with some of our biggest battles as parents.

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#485441 - 12/02/07 05:09 AM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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I am just now reading some Samuil Feinberg transcripts - a genius I had not heard of. He quotes Pushkin's 'Mozart and Salieri' (remember this is FICTION):

 Quote:
Where is the justice when a sacred gift,When immortal genius does not reward
An ardent love, self-sacrifice,
Labour, diligence and prayers,
But shines instead upon a madman,
An idle reveller?...
Feinberg: "But there is one thing Salieri cannot understand: the fact that as a person he is immeasurably inferior to Mozart. Mozart, though, is profoundly gifted - he is kindly and trusting, a man of radiant spirit, open to genuine inspiration.

 Quote:
And yet could he be right,
And am I not a genius? Genius and villany
Are two things incompatible.
is the final conclusion Salieri reaches.
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#485442 - 12/02/07 08:40 AM Re: Training beats Talent
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
 Quote:
Originally posted by sophial:
Jason,
There is much merit to what you're saying. I think of hard work as a multiplier of talent but talent as an exponential (power)function. If either one is zero, you probably don't get anywhere. With slight talent, slow but noticeable progress occurs, and with "normal" talent,better progress, but in the presence of a high degree of talent, the progress explodes exponentially (i.e. the difference between raising something to a power of 10 compared to multiplying by 10).

Sophia [/b]
This is the answer.
_________________________
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#485443 - 12/02/07 10:10 AM Re: Training beats Talent
keyboardklutz Offline
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If you're an accountant.
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#485444 - 12/02/07 11:56 AM Re: Training beats Talent
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
The “talent/training” issue is ... IMHO not an EITHER/OR.

Training should culminate in a skill confidence ... once acquired, the dullness of hard work is alleviated ... liking what you are doing always makes things look easy ... the magic elixir of confidence.

And so, if proper training provides the catalyst skill to drudge-less progress ... it would appear that talent is the product of a furtherence of this progress ... and no more than an individual perception of “a natural aptitude or ability” (Collins) ... of a chappie happy in his work.

However, keyboard music has a major stumbling- block ... unresolved mastery of sight-reading is the secret bogey which blights the surefootedness of most ... if no amount of training can undo this weakness ... the question of talent is therefore not under consideration ... and a genetic aural skill should not misleadingly be seen as a talent ... merely a short-lived way of easing the tribulations of sight-reading.

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#485445 - 12/02/07 11:56 AM Re: Training beats Talent
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
kk:
If you're an accountant.

Not that there anything wrong in that of course. I often put a lot of personal interpretation and artistic feeling into monthly management reports, often in quite a talented fashion apparently ;\)

-Michael B.
_________________________
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#485446 - 12/02/07 12:19 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
First of all we have to have the attention of the student (any age), then we have to have his or her permission to teach something.

Whether it is hard work or talent he has to give this task, is a composite of what he already possesses in his life.

If he does not have enough or either, we have to start building systems for him to orient and use notation, understand the keyboard, and get his body and mind through the "MAZE" that is reading music.

He can't sight read until he knows the game plan of making sense of it all and how it works from his mind and body as the operator of the system.

The issue of hard work vs working easy in building and development would be to choose easy.
It's a mind set. I think the easy arrives through understanding the systems we are working with as a student.

Why do we keep saying hard work? Work is descriptive enough. Work meaning effort. Effort being just enough effort.

When he gets passion about his music, he pursues it with keen interest and takes himself to the highest level he can approach through his decision to work hard and apply all of his known talents to the pursuit. "Wings!"

Betty

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#485447 - 12/02/07 12:54 PM Re: Training beats Talent
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:
kk:
If you're an accountant.

Not that there anything wrong in that of course. I often put a lot of personal interpretation and artistic feeling into monthly management reports, often in quite a talented fashion apparently ;\)

-Michael B. [/b]
We want more graphs and better colours!

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#485448 - 12/02/07 11:44 PM Re: Training beats Talent
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8889
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:
I often put a lot of personal interpretation and artistic feeling into monthly management reports, often in quite a talented fashion apparently
And judging by your musically oriented posts here, there seems to be other talent as well.
_________________________
Jason

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#485449 - 12/03/07 10:02 AM Re: Training beats Talent
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" so
Rock=hard work
scissors= talent
paper=luck?? i guess

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#485450 - 12/05/07 06:41 PM Re: Training beats Talent
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
tJ:
We want more graphs and better colours!

I do indeed have a preference for late-Scriabinesque style Excel worksheets, i.e. highly chromatic ones!

af:
And judging by your musically oriented posts here, there seems to be other talent as well.

Thank you for the kind words, Jason. The efforts to get back into piano-playing again over the past few years were motivated by trying to make the best use of the sprinkling of talent/aptitude that others told me I seemed to have as a child/teenager. If only I had done it sooner... then again, better late than never, eh? \:\)

-Michael B.
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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#485451 - 12/05/07 10:00 PM Re: Training beats Talent
Antonius Hamus Offline
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Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
Inasmuch as intelligence has something to do with this subject, Jensen's '69 article, which I have mentioned here before, remains required reading for most:

http://anantiblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/jensen-1969/

While blind hard work sometimes pays off, it also is sometimes a waste of resources or a life.

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New Topics - Multiple Forums
Rachmaninoff 2 and broken strings
by Anne'sson
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What happpened to the "edit" button?
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AMusA reports?
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Dipabrsm starting as an adult?
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