Last week I had a conversation with a piano teacher who teaches traditional methods. She was really lovely and had popped her details into my website. When I called, she let me know she was a teacher and was very curious about the approach I was teaching. We had a good chat and in the course of the conversation she mentioned she had a very talented student who she had some concerns about as he was resisting reading music.

I hate that word.

Talented.

Is the implication that the remainder of her students are not talented? I know this is definitely not what she meant. It did make me wonder, in using that word, is that what we are saying when we refer to someone who is demonstrating the results of what is usually very hard work, effort and dedication.

To my knowledge there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the genes we are born with have any connection to a particular ‘talent’ or ‘natural gift’ in any area.

In my experience and from what I have witnessed over the past 30 years of being extremely interested in how we learn music best, the variation in ability and aptitude that we witness is due to other aspects of student’s life experience. Factors such as parental support, self-motivation, time and effort spent developing the actual skill of piano playing and other activities students have been involved in, over the course of their lifetime, that assist in building connections in their brains.

It is fascinating to me that I can start a class of five students and sometimes have a variety of motor skill, concentration levels, ability to follow instructions, and degrees of understanding amongst the participants. Because we cover such a wide range of musical skillsets such as composing, improvising, arranging, accompaniment, reading and integrated theory, inevitably there is ALWAYS someone who is good at something! Again, in my opinion this is not due to any kind of ‘natural gift’ but rather their previous experiences that have created the necessary neural pathways to perform the particular task well.

This is very exciting! It puts the power directly in their hands. They have the POTENTIAL to develop as much and beautifully as they like as long as they are willing to put in the necessary time and effort.

Is it time for you to discover your musical future? If so, email me at joanne@rhythmandtunes.com.au with your best contact number and I’ll give you a call to discuss some possibilities for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.