Talent, Potential and “Trainability”. What exactly DO we look for in a student?

It’s often seems to me like there are three kinds of singers. The first is what the Germans call a “Naturtalent”, a natural talent. We’ve all heard the stories; Caruso sang Rodolfo when he was 19, Angelina Patti made her Met debut with Lucia at 17, Judy Garland also at 17 (who had already made many films) sang that unbelievably mature “Somewhere over the rainbow”, not to mention Michael Jackson and so many more. It’s like they hit the road running, like they were born to sing. It’s all just there. TALENT.

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden_5.7.17_1

The second has great potential but needs either maturity or there are some limiting physical or mental habits in the way, or both. POTENTIAL.

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden_5.7.17_2

The third is the student who perceives him/herself as having minimal talent, which is verified by teachers, judges and mentors. Yet this student loves the art so much, that she is willing to work her butt off and to do what it takes to make a career. TRAINABILITY.

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden_5.7.17_3

I know when I went to school; there were definitely the school ‘stars’ right in the first year. Then there were those who became ‘stars’ in their later semesters, when they were a bit more mature. Then there were those who, it was pretty much acknowledged, were sort of on the back burner; ‘they’d probably go into music education, or arts management’, it was slightly derogatorily said. The irony is; in many cases 10 years later it looked WAY different. The early or late semester ‘stars’ had pretty much treaded water and the back-burner students were having careers in major houses, with agents, great roles and high salaries.

How could this be?

There are many factors involved, as always, but a major one is, of course, a certain attitude towards the work involved.

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden_5.7.17_4

Einstein, on a broader scale, is a good example. It’s said he didn’t speak until his fourth year, was ‘left back’ in school when he was 14 and his teachers were sure he just wasn’t very smart.


It might have even been true, except for the fact that, to paraphrase what he himself said;

“I may not be the smartest or most talented person in the room; I JUST STICK WITH THE PROBLEM LONGER!!!”

And there we have it; talent and potential are subjective and non-measurable. Work ethic, Einsteinian Stick-to-it-iveness, perseverance and “Trainability” are really what make all the difference!


Evan Bortnick                                                       http://www.musa-vocalis.de






About evanb54

I'm a passionate, curious learning junkie--- an X-Opera Singer turned Voice Teacher, Voice Teachers Teacher, NLP Lehrtrainer, Off-Path Coach, Cranio-Sacral worker and a few other even less mainstream things. Everything I've learned or taught revolves around THE VOICE. The Voice as a tool of artistic expression. The Voice as a tool of emotional transparency. The voice as a tool of flexible communication. If you're interested in voice lessons or vocal pedagogy, please visit this site: https://www.musa-vocalis.de/ There's an English and a German version. If you're interested in voice coaching, public speaking, trainer skills or presentation skills, please visit me here: https://www.vocalimpactpotential.de/ ..and feel free to send any questions. Looking forward to hearing from you! More information can be found at my Institute Site: www.musa-vocalis.de The Wiesbaden Academy of the Vocal Muse Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden, Coaching, Voice Pedagogy
This entry was posted in Art, Creativity, Gesang, Gesangslehrer, Gesangspädagogik, Learning, Lehrer, Music, Musik, Pedagogy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s