A student just missed out on an opportunity which she had desperately wanted, but was unsuccessful in her audition.
She is smart, talented, and plays with flair, so why in this case was she not successful?
She had put her head down for six weeks leading up to the audition, sometimes having 2 lessons a week, and practising madly in between lessons.
So why did she not succeed?
Unfortunately talent and last minute preparation did not make up for months of inactivity.
I have noted over the years that my most talented students are often eclipsed by the ones who have more gumption – that is, the ones who slog away for years, regularly practising and building ability and skill.
And increasingly, we see this myth (that last minute application is enough) perpetuated on TV. Many of the reality ‘talent’ shows seem to feed the myth that all you need is your 15 minutes of fame, which will then lead to a record deal.
Those who experience the most success on these shows tend to be the musicians who have been honing their craft for years, who may have already been gigging for decades, but at least, who have applied themselves to their studies and their instruments of choice.
Personality (and often a sob story) will get the audience voting, but once these untrained musicians are put into an arena setting, the technical inconsistencies and weaknesses become evident, as the talent is not supported with the training necessary.
So what is the way forward for my student?
I hope that I will be able to convince her to begin to commit to the “boring” exercises such as scales and studies.
I hope that we will be able to incorporate some apps, along with some old-fashioned reading notes off the page, to get her more consistently preparing her own work and learning music at home.
I hope that this may be a life lesson for her, and that she will make it a reason to develop her talent and thus be able to achieve at a much higher level in future.