How can I tell if my child has musical talent?

1.) Definition of "talent"
Merriam-Webster defines talent as "the abilities, powers, and gifts bestowed upon man (natural endowments), thought of as divine trait". For example, Mozart evidenced amazing talent at the age of six; his ability to plan and compose sophisticated pieces was quite miraculous, and he was exhibited all over Europe as a child prodigy! This kind of musical talent is given to precious few. Special talent (innate ability) such as this is, in all probability, an inherited trait. To what extent, however, is not known.

2.) Talent is hard to assess and measure, even between piano teacher themselves has different opinions
For children with no previous musical training, talent is almost impossible to assess. Indeed, few authorities can agree on what talent is, every piano teacher has their own opinions. The average child may not evidence a natural ability for the piano up to this point. You may exclaim, "That is for sure, our child is no Mozart!" Let me encourage you further, most children studying the piano show little musical ability prior to beginning lessons. For the most part, they are learning to play the piano as an extension of the learning process, as an avocation, not a profession. Therefore, "unusual" signs of talent such as perfect pitch (the ability to identify tones heard with exactness), and the ability to play by ear with no previous musical training are rarities which are not at all prerequisites for piano lessons.
Musical talent is often deceptive. No one can draw hasty conclusions about who is and who is not musically gifted. Senses of pitch and rhythm are usually skills developed over a period of time. Slow learners may become late bloomers; children who "can't carry a tune" may develop vocal skills later; a beginner who is having rhythm problems because of hand coordination may become much more adapt with practice. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to talent.

3.) Talented students might delay in progress because they think they are talented!
Sometimes talent can even work against its possessor. Frequently a very talented child finds music so easy that he puts forth less and less effort and may develop sloppy habits. Without application, talent may go to waste.


4.) Even the famous Thomas Alva Edis
on said: "Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration."

Take heart, dear parent. Talent is usually 90% application and 10% inspiration. If I am going to teach only "God-given talents" only, I would have few (if any) students! If your child is interested in music generally, and in the piano specifically, he can learn to play with or without possessing any special, innate ability.

5.) Conclusion: Is musical talent important? I do not think so because I value the desire and motivation more than talent

Popular posts from this blog

Prepare for Annual Recital

Preschool Piano