Practice vs. Talent in Piano Playing

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Carlos Luigi R. Ramos July 18, 2012 Eng 10 WFU4 Practice vs. Talent in Piano Playing
The phrase practice makes perfect is such a cliché nowadays. One can hear it everywhere and every time in his everyday life. But, does it really make all things perfect? Is practice a necessity to be good at a certain thing? How about talent? We obviously all know that talent is essential, moreover, innate talent exists. Does this mean that if one has no talent, then he or she will be no good? Which weighs more between the two? These are just some of the questions almost everyone might be craving to know especially if he or she wants to be excellent in his or her field.

This study aims to respond on the questions stated above but would focus more on the effect of these on piano playing. To achieve this goal, previous studies will be brought forth and will be analyzed.

But first, we must define what these two terms are. Talent, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as special often athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude and, as general intelligence or mental power, while practice is defined as a systematic exercise for proficiency. Talent is also defined as natural endowment or ability of a superior quality (The Free Dictionary).

According to Florida State University Professor K. Anders Ericson and his colleagues, deliberate practice is the key for one to get to the world-class level. Deliberate practice is the activity designed, typically by a teacher, for the sole purpose of effectively improving specific aspects of an individual's performance (Ericson 1993). They have studied how world class violinists, chess players, athletes and the like engage in deliberate practice to boost their skills. To do this, with the help of the Academy’s professors, they divided the violinists to three groups: the stars, the merely...
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