Occasionally I will have someone ask me if I have any prodigies. This is a question that, without fail, makes me hesitate. Have I? Did some little Mozart slip right through my hands and I missed the clue, and now their talent is lost?
My dictionary says: prodigy– a young one, endowed with exceptional qualities or abilities. OK, well I have had lots of talented kids. I can help them to learn and love music, but do not be misled. Even with all the pieces in place, there is no magic.
Desire? Is that the missing link? Well sure that is important, but the real answer is hard work and lots of it. It takes hours and hours and hours to be brilliant at pretty much anything, and it is not always fun. If you have the desire and are willing to put in the work, what gets left behind?
We live in a fast paced society with many demands and opportunities. As a teacher, I depend on parents to partner with me. Encourage your child to practice, but keep your expectations realistic. Insist they practice their pieces within 24 hours of the lesson so they remember what was taught. If every week is a struggle and they are constantly unhappy about playing, talk to the teacher. If the pieces seem too easy and are played perfectly in the first two days, let the teacher know that too.
Is your child a prodigy? I do not have that answer. However, if they lose the desire to play because they are unhappy, this will be the limiter. Keep your expectations reasonable. Create a balance in your household that works re: practicing. Communicate with the teacher. Prodigy or not, this is how you develop a lifelong love for music.
This is how “Music Lasts a Lifetime.”