Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Talented vs. Gifted

The power of my own childhood musical drive emerges with ever-greater power and clarity the older I get, informing my playing, my listening, and my teaching. 

I don't believe that I was an unusually gifted child: I believe that every child is gifted with the ability to perceive and to feel deeply the bond that is affirmed when perception is shared.  I treat every child as one with whom I can share that gift.  Sometimes it is not easy to figure out how to get to the essence of the matter, but persistence pays off.

The notion of talent has nothing to do with this.  I teach some marvelously gifted young people who are short on talent as measured along traditional music school lines: they lack manual dexterity, their ability to sing is inhibited.  But the power of what they hear and their confidence that I can hear as they hear frees them to surpass themselves in musical depth.

In the press to produce competitive offspring too many parents are concerned about talent and in the process are ignoring gift, the part that requires interpersonal nourishing.