No Talent? : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

Do you think that to be a successful pianist, you need to possess a certain degree of talent, or are the skills required just made the old-fashioned way, from hard work, discipline and enthusiasm? Sometimes I get discouraged whenever I hear stories of other players who learnt pieces in half the time it took for me to learn it! It took me almost 1 month to learn to play a song like Fantasie Impromptu, my cousin (same level) memorized it in a week! Sometimes, I feel I don't have the 'talent' to be good like them.

This may sound like a silly question, but I'll say it anyway : If you were given a choice between 2 students :- 1st has talent but no interest and the 2nd is rather slow i.e. no talent but is hardworking and interested, who would you choose to teach? (Of course, you might get a student with both talent and interest, but lets say you could only choose one!)

-- Amelia (, April 09, 2003


Well, Amelia, As a teacher myself, it hurts me more to see a kid with lots of talent not practice. It sounds like you have the want but not the skill. This is not a problem. It does not matter how fast or slow you learn the piece. I would bet that your cousin didn't play the piece as well as you did because you were putting more work in on it. Part of you problem might be lack of technique. Try working on Hannon, Cerzny scales and arpeggios. In the Russian Piano School all students are taught how to play scales, broken chords, arpeggios, and every other technical regime before they are given real music to play. This goes from around age 5 to 15. At age 15 they are evaluated, and if they can play the technical side of the piano, all of the melodic and other such things come naturally. Most other pianiast do it backwards, we are taught to feel the music before we learn how to play all the rythems and notes. I hope this helps

-- Chris Pillsbury (, April 09, 2003.

Amelia, Without one minute's hesitation I would want to teach the student who works. I would also prefer to listen to the person who has worked. Talent (a gift) is wasted unless the person who possesses it also does the work.

If there are ever certain things that you find to be difficult, be grateful because at least you know some places to to focus your attention. The person for whom everything is easy really has a difficult time figuring out what and how to study. An experienced listener can usually hear what has been glossed-over by those who haven't done much work because the piece was "easy."

-- alan (, April 10, 2003.

I can emphase with you completely... Although i'm now a teacher, i too have struggled to learn what for most people takes 1/2 the time. What I think about is that though i've struggled to learn the music i really do enjoy it, and feel more accomplished when i'm finished.

-- Shannon Whaples (, April 13, 2003.

I would choose the student who is ward working and interested on learning! I think in order to be a succesfull pianist you need to have both, talent and interest. However, if I were to choose I would stick to the one who is interested in learning,. Those are the students that are more discipline and that will give u more satisfaction as a teacher.

Also, dont feel bad about not learning as fast as your cousin,,,,that does not mean you are less talented. You might even be more musical than her!

-- gabriela fernandez (, April 20, 2003.

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