At times, people say to me that they wish they had as much musical talent as I have in my little finger. I know the correct answer to that is “Thank you,” but I tend to jump to explaining a few things to them.
1. Talent is usually defined as a natural ability of superior quality. If anything, I know that I have skills that I needed to acquire, as many things in playing music did not come naturally to me.
2. If I could progress as far as I have in music, the possibilities for you, too, are endless.
Often, this is met with an eye-roll. I believe this happens because so many do not realize what goes into the daily practice and the learning (and MAINTAINING) of technique in music performance. If one has a teacher that understands some things are much easier than others for some musicians versus others, it is a little easier; however, many musicians I know have had at least one teacher who was naturally gifted, and s/he could not understand why the student couldn’t just mimic the proper way to play. For those of us who had to figure that out ourselves, there is an extended period of time of tearing down the problematic parts of our playing, followed by the tedious trial and error to find what works in rebuilding our sound or technique.
In the end, though, it’s worth it. Practicing allows us to learn and hone a new skill that we can use thereafter. Musically speaking, it is easier to express oneself when one has the technical foundation to have the flexibility in tone color, finger dexterity, and dynamic expression.
Why stop there? The problem with the perception of the people wishing for talent is that they are looking at the wrong thing. It’s not about what you were born with. It’s about what you are willing to work on, to learn, to think differently. What are you willing to try? What are you willing to change in your perception of yourself and the world?Speaking of yourself and the world…and harmony (which is forever a theme in the writings and work of
Speaking of yourself and the world…and harmony (which is forever a theme in the writings and work of Harmony Hall for All, musically-related or not), I would like to ask you to think about what you can do to help people, whether they have suffered terrible losses in the Oklahoma or Kansas tornadoes, or if they are people in your city or town who have a hard time getting by. We are living in a time in which there is plenty of food and help and resources to go around for all. We only need to relearn how to connect with others to find out the best then we can do to help them. If you wish to give money, do your homework at the Charity Navigator to find the resource that is most helpful.