Talent

108, 2017

Effort Outweighs Natural Ability

By |August 1, 2017|Talent, Teaching, Teaching Philosophy, Work Ethic|

The second key element of my teaching philosophy is simple.

2. Commitment, effort, and diligent practice, in combination with quality guidance, far outweigh intrinsic “talent.”

Many parents feel it isn’t worth investing in their children’s music education unless they show signs of special talent. However, I like to think of it this way: Imagine each child as an empty glass. Natural ability might allow a child to begin with a tiny bit of water already in the glass. Each hour of effective practice and each pearl of on-target feedback pours more water into the glass. Ultimately, the natural ability makes little difference. […]

2005, 2015

On the Spot: Czerny and the Role of Improvisation in Classical Piano Education

By |May 20, 2015|Improvisation, Memorization, Music School, Practicing, Preparing to Perform, Talent, Teaching|

Thank you so much for your patience as I finished up a busy semester! As my first post back, I thought I’d share one of the things I was up to while I was gone. Below you’ll find my music history research paper. It’s kind of long for a blog post, so I’ve included an abstract too. Enjoy!

Abstract:
Throughout his career as a piano instructor, Carl Czerny emphasized teaching improvisation, an art that may have contributed to the harmonic understanding, technical development, and musical memory of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century pianists. Improvising publicly was common practice during Czerny’s life. His treatise on […]

2203, 2015

Notes or Music?

By |March 22, 2015|Performing, Talent, Teaching|

Since I’m super busy and I was unable over break to write enough blog posts for the entire semester, I’ve decided to take the opportunity to post something different today. Someone shared this video with me as a good reminder that every single note we play should have character. It’s also really funny. Enjoy!

View on Youtube at this link.

So let’s not just play notes, let’s make music. Please share your responses in the comments section!

Photo Credits: “Finger face with a question” by Tsahi Levent-Levi. CC BY 2.0 Text added to original.| Derivative of “Music sculpture” by Ruth Ellison. CC BY-NC-ND […]

2610, 2014

Practice or Talent: Which is More Important?

By |October 26, 2014|Melody's Story, Practicing, Talent|

What My Teaching Experience Shows

When considering the study of music, a question often comes up. How important is natural talent? I have had the opportunity of teaching some incredibly talented kids. One thing I’ve learned from my teaching experience is that the diligent students who sometimes struggle and don’t seem to have much natural ability pretty quickly pass the talented students who are less disciplined about their practice. When it comes to becoming an excellent musician, practice far outweighs talent.

What My Personal Experience Shows

I wouldn’t call myself someone with much natural ability. I love music, and I work hard. That’s […]