I was introduced and re-introduced to some prodigious child musicians of our time this morning. I began to think of how society idolizes the supernatural, or seemingly so. How interesting it must be to have a gift from birth, to be born with a destiny! It all sounds glorious, doesn’t it?
There are natural gifts of lesser importance, such as absolute pitch, and then there are composers who don’t have enough time to write down all of the beautiful melodies endlessly channeling through their brains. To the rest of the world, life just isn’t fair. As struggling artists, many of us wish that we were born with such a guaranteed lifestyle, guaranteed fame, guaranteed money. Thousands of students learning the principles of music in order to do something with it pray for even one brilliant idea in the course of their lifetimes.
Yes, it all does seems a bit unfair. But ultimately, that sort of attitude defeats the purpose of life. Everyone wants life to be easier, but what would really be in it for you if you didn’t have to put in effort and training to get to the point you are at? Musical gifts are extremely valuable, but people given these abilities have just as much a chance to incorporate genius and improve upon what they have as the rest of us. And really, it is that work ethic that we should appreciate. So many composers struggle in finding the right notes, but after they believe they have done so, both the masterpiece and the amount of effort required to achieve it can be admired. We all do not have the photographic memory of Shostakovich or the young fingers of Mozart. But we have our own sedulity, and we have all the time we need to reach our full potentials. Creativity doesn’t come without sheer force of will, and it is up to us to search it out.
We can take this time to look back at all the geniuses who were destined to be great, and that is absolutely no problem. But also remember to take into account those who trained hard and enacted full diligence to be up there with them.