There are so many videos of child prodigies out there: kids who can play an instrument incredibly well, or sing like angels. Inevitably, these youngsters are called “gifted” and left at that. While they certainly are gifted, it is not necessarily with some magical talent to play an instrument immediately after exiting the womb. My argument is that they are gifted with several things:
- Curiosity about their chosen medium, be it dance, art, or music.
- Encouragement in this activity. If they were prevented from engaging in their activity, they would never develop this talent.
- Drive to improve their skills. Nobody can force another person to learn. Just ask my high school history teachers.
- Time to practice. This is arguably one of the most important aspects of talent development. That kid who plays the guitar like it’s a part of him probably sleeps with it at night and has to have it torn from his hands on the way out the door to go to school.
Which brings me to the title of this piece. It’s the old joke:
Tourist: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
New Yorker: Practice, Man. Practice.