Are you born with certain “gifts” from a higher power or does everyone start out at the same level?
Neuroscientist Gary Marcus set out to determine the answer to this question in his book, Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning.
Despite age and no time spent playing an instrument, he set out to master the guitar. He wanted to ask:
“Could persistence and a lifelong love of music overcome age and a lack of talent? And, for that matter, how did anyone of any age become musical?”
Maria Popova of Brain Pickings goes on to say that:
“He dives deep into the popular “ten thousand hours” theory of mastery, developed by cognitive psychologist Anders Ericsson, “the world’s leading expert on expertise,” and examines Ericsson’s second, lesser-known prerequisite for expertise — the notion of “deliberate practice,” which describes the constant sense of self-evaluation and a consistent focus on one’s weaknesses rather than playing on one’s strengths. In fact, the practice of targeting specific weaknesses is known as the “zone of proximal development” and offers a framework for everything from education to video games.“
What do you think? Do you think musical talent is inherent or built over time?