Liked: Never Mind Talent: Practice, Practice, Practice

Karen Rile, University of Pennsylvania, writes the following about the value of learning how to practice.



In our culture, we have romantic notions of the artist as a formidable, congenital genius. Obsessive focus on talent alone creates a hobbling anxiety of failure. How many of us are discouraged from trying because we were told we are “tone deaf” or “can’t draw a straight line”? So forget about talent. If I had a nickel for every parent who told me her own kid was a “natural” at music, dance, or whatever, but never got anywhere because he didn’t like to practice, I could take everybody out for lunch. Teach your kids to practice. Practice something difficult and complex, where the rewards come slowly over time. And it doesn’t matter if they’re naturals; the lesson’s more profound when they are not.



I have always said that I would rather teach a student who knows how to work and is disciplined than another student who has a lot of talent but is lazy. Read more in the full article.