It's the old nature vs. nurture argument -- which will get your farther, practice or talent?
Certainly I've seen examples of both. It would seem that certain players have so much talent that they can go for long stretches without practice, then jump straight in and learn a concerto in a week, or nearly sight-read the concert - and still sound great. One might argue that this only happens in people who have banked a lot of practice at an early age, but I've even seen it in young students. I've had several who somehow were able to wait until a week before the recital, then suddenly turn on the steam and pull off a great performance, despite otherwise lackluster practice.
However, I've also seen students that did not necessarily exhibit "natural talent" go on to cultivate their abilities and far surpass others who seemed at first to be more naturally "talented." Consistent and focused practice can yield amazing results over time. It's also a much better way to build a good foundation for playing. Kind of like cramming for a test - the information doesn't always stick.
However, the talented person who also practices - watch out!
I'm also interested in the question of whether some people are simply more naturally inclined to practice - is that a form of talent?
What do you think, is talent or practice more crucial? Can a great deal of practice overcome a lack of "talent"? Is there even such a thing as "talent," or is it all about cultivating ability? (That's the Suzuki mindset!) Or is talent actually pretty important, to be able to ever really get good at music? Please participate in the vote and then tell us your thoughts. Feel free to tell us if you've seen studies or articles about this topic, or to share personal experiences.
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