If Your Child Is A Piano Prodigy
If your child is a piano prodigy, it will be obvious to any piano teacher. They are as rare as a four leaf clover, and raised like an orchid. Right now, I have an eight year old prodigy. Your jaw will drop to see the ease with which he delivers piece after piece, with rarely a stumble.
Other parents are jealous, and kids admire him, but to him, it is all nothing special. Many parents wonder if their child will be that one in a million, greatest pianist in the world, or have some rare facility at the piano. To you, it may be a miracle, but to the child, if you force it, it is a curse.
Do You Really Want A Child Professional?
With not so lofty an aim, will your child simply be a good pianist? Do they have what it takes to be a professional? Or will they be a gifted amateur who plays for themselves, that happiest of all outcomes?
But parents like to fantasize that their child will play the piano well. That is an acceptable, attainable goal. Not Horowitz at Carnegie Hall, but a good player. It will take no more than a few encounters for the teacher to discover what the child’s potential abilities are.
The Secret of Talent
Piano talent usually expresses itself as an ability to take the myriad of problems in a piano piece and somehow simply piece them together and make music out of it, rather than a series of stumbles and fumbles.
Prodigies don't care about mistakes, they are too far into the music. Watch the kid below. The child in the video below simply puts it all together, not perfectly, but with dazzling assurance.
For some, this is impossible, for others, it is almost instantly attainable. Talented kids know what to leave out, what they can do and not do, and tailor the piece to their abilities. They know what perfection is, but are not caught up in it because they want to play. This means that a talented child “makes music,” that is, simply plays the song with a sense of ease, and does not appear to struggle too much with any of it.
Age And Temperament
The danger zones for recognizing talent are age and temperament. At younger ages, it is almost impossible to see if the child will be able to piece the bits together. Yes, genius stands out, but the average younger child has so many physical and mental issues that it is best to assume talent and proceed accordingly.
I have many late bloomer kids, who seem to sit there for years and then suddenly figure it out and start playing in their own way, if they are allowed such room by their teacher and parents.
The Late Bloomer
It’s the piano teacher’s job to occupy the late bloomer with palatable activity until they unlock the keys to their own advancement. There are more late bloomer kids out there than any other type. In any case, if your child has real talent, the teacher will know it very quickly, for, unfortunately, it is very, very rare.
The best case is that, no matter how much talent your child shows, you as a parent find a piano teacher patient enough to nurture the late-blooming pianist hiding inside just about everyone.
If your kid is the next Vladimir Horowitz, it will be a force of nature you won’t be able to stop. If they're a normal kid, let them find the piano in their own way, in their own time.
(This title comes in two versions: Printed $19.95, and eBook $9.95)