Nature or Nurture?

Some musicians are, or were, what are called "child prodigies." That is, they were able to perform at a very high level in childhood.

A child prodigy is always found to have been raised in the right environment to:

  1. Not disturb their natural coordination
  2. Make the right connections between imagination and body in order to perform music well.

This happens often before they can speak, read or write. Mozart is a good example. They need - never - become conscious of the steps in the process, in fact it can cause problems if they do. It did so for Yehudi Menuhin for example and he describes this process in his books.

"The integration of thought and action which the virtuoso takes for granted... is seldom achieved by lesser talents, even after long years of study and practice." - from ' The Pianist's Talent ' by Harold Taylor

Anybody who had to consciously construct their skill sets have a pretty good map of the whole process. Yehudi Menuhin is a good example of somebody who was a child prodigy, and then had to re-construct his whole playing process from scratch as an adult - see: Yehudi Menuhin - 'Life Class'.

So, there are different paths to mastery in any skill.

My book "Guitar Playing and how it works" provides a road map to achieving high levels of musical performance at any age. Nurture your own talent!

Guitar Playing and how it Works by Peter Inglis
Guitar Playing and how it Works