Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tonal Tuesdays - Potential vs Talent

I have a friend who has often said that saying someone has potential is not a compliment.  Potential is not a skill nor a harbinger of success.  Potential is simply unrealized ability.  It is like unmined diamonds or gold.

There are many people out there who could be great at singing.  They have the physical qualities such as a pleasing speaking voice, a pleasant countenance and good posture yet they refuse to sing.

I had a young gal in my music class who had spina bifida and she loved to sing.  She was confined to a wheel chair but there was never a question in her mind that she would belong to the choir.  She had to make special arrangements to be at practices and concerts but her love of singing made those efforts negligible in her mind.  She WANTED to sing and was then willing to make extraordinary efforts to accommodate that.

Our venues had to be vetted to be certain that the wheel chair would fit and that we could reach the performance area with the wheel chair.  If it was a stage without ramp or elevator, then we sang from the floor.  We went the extra mile because she had gone to so much work to make being in the choir possible we weren't going to let some structural obstacles get in the way.

Our young student had loads of potential and put action and passion into honing her talents to sing.  That is the secret isn't it.  Take what you have, work with someone who is better than you at what you want to do and practise, practise, practise.

Now, I know that no matter how much I practised (heaven help the practice-ee) I would never make a surgeon.  My heart isn't in it.

Our family loves hockey.  We have a favourite saying when a team that seems to have many players with good skills does not play well.  We will say that the team doesn't seem to have the "want".  You have watched sports where the underdog comes out on top.  It isn't the breaks, or lack of ability on the other team but the fact that the winning team WANTS to win more than the seemingly more talented team.

Does that mean that you just need to have a positive attitude to be great in a chosen field.  Absolutely not. But that positiveness will give you that extra boost to learn and work on what you need to know to be great.

Sing along with your favourite artist.  Sing in the shower and enjoy the acoustics.  Sign up for a community choir like the Embro Thistle Singers and learn all you can about how you sing and how you can help make great music.  If it is your passion you will learn what you need to know to be the best you can be.  Step away from potential and into talent.  It takes consistent effort but when you love what you do, it is more fun than work.  Go ahead and do it.  How will you know if you don't give it a try.


Colleen said...

That is so very true. You do have to want it.

Romona said...

Hi Kitty, Colleen sent me your link to show me your new blog. I hope you get lots of activity on it. I'm not a singer, not even in Sunday school when I was a kid ;o~ but choirs are important. My husband said when he was growing up the church choir would get the whole place going. Wishing you all the best with your new blog and more posts than you ever expected, Romona

Embro Thistle Singers said...

Thanks for your comment Romona. I really appreciate your visit. We need listeners as well as singers so keep that listening coming. I hope you will be able to stay in touch and I look forward to your comments from an audience point of view. Kitty