March 6, 2009

When you meet someone for the first time, and they find out you play music, they’ll often tell you about some musician friend of theirs – “oh they’re really good, very talented”.


That’s ok when you’re talking about a kid, but I always think it’s almost insulting to a really good musician to refer to them as talented, because it ignores the enormous amount of hard work they’ve put in to get so good.

Really. Talent is the thing that allows someone to knock a tune out of an instrument they’ve never played before, it’s of very little help when playing Liszt. So don’t do that, ok?

Here’s an article from the Freakonomics column in the New York Times that backs me up.


One Response to “Talent”

  1. Jeremy Says:

    Hey Stoat!

    I totally agree with you about the “talent” issue – the word almost negates the hours upon hours of practice, gigging, study, etc. that got the musician in question to where they are today. The fact that most people gloss over the serious musicians’ incredible time commitment by referring to it as “talent” is somewhat depressing…



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