Monday, November 24, 2014

Thoughts on Talent

            When I was in higschool, I played the clarinet. I played it rather well, too. By my final year I was considered the second best clarinettist in the school band(s) – the person who was better than me practised very hard to get that way.

            The thing was, I never practised outside of rehearsals. I played using my innate talent and, since I did well enough for my liking (and for my marks in class), I felt practising was a waste of my time.

            However, there was one band rehearsal I’ll never forget. We were getting close to our concert and, as such, we were already quite familiar with the music. As we played through one particular piece, I suddenly stopped and stared at my sheet music as if I’d never seen it before.

            There was a note on the page that I had no idea what the fingering for it was supposed to be. I’d played this piece many times before and, every time, I had played this section flawlessly. Until now.

            I wracked my brain, trying to figure out how to play this note that I’d played so many times before and, at long last, had to look up the proper fingering.

            There’s a big difference between having talent and having skill. Talent is amazing and can get you far, but what happens when you reach the end of that talent? Or on that one occasion that your talent gives out and you realize that you don’t know how to do something you've done dozens of times before?

            That’s where skill comes in. When you have to work at learning something, the abilities you learn stay with you far better than if you pick them up easily with your talent.

            Having talent is great, but it can only take you so far. When it comes down to it, it’s hard work and practice that shapes a talent into a solid skill.

Click here to find the charity anthology containing a couple of my short stories.

To see my chainmaille, click here.

If there's any subject you'd like to see me ramble on about, feel free to leave a comment asking me to do so.

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