Never give up!

Jan 26th, 2013 | By | Category: Guestbook/Feedback

Some quotes for thought:

Shinichi Suzuki, Nutured by Love

However little talent one thinks he/she has,
one should at least try

Many young people who doubt their talent may even entertain suicidal thoughts. But instead of being morose, without hope, they should begin by saying, „Talent is not inborn, it has to be created.“ If one knows this, he or she can be buoyed up with hope even though the road is one of hardship and distress. Exertion is always beneficial as long as one is aware that it is goal oriented.

From the time I left Japan it was not my objective to become a performer. Fascinated by music, I wanted to learn the secret of this man-made art. What is art? I wanted to know. Despairing and disillusioned by my lack of performing ability, I was spurred on by hurt pride in my quest for the secret of art. And it cured my despair. Even if I had no talent, and even if my progress was slow, I deter­mined to plod on step by step toward my goal of becoming a whole, well-rounded human being. I did not hurry, but I did not rest either. I endeavored ceaselessly. And it gave me both peace of mind and something to live for.

I learn the foolishness of lamenting lack of talent

My devotion to art helped me to develop and educate my own ability. „I have no talents – what sadness and despair are occasioned by this nonsensical belief! For years, people everywhere have succumbed to this false way of thinking, which is really only an ex­cuse for avoiding work. After long studies over a period of time, I finally learned that man is the product of his environment. Had I known earlier that ability can be developed by training, I would have followed the right path much earlier.

Every child can be educated; it is only a matter of the method of education. Anyone can train himself; it is only a question of us­ing the right kind of effort.“

To surrender to the thought of having no talent
and give up the effort is cowardly

Poor training produces poor ability. People should make every effort, even though it is difficult, to accumulate and build superior ability. This I want to impress on your minds.

Well, then, what is the right and correct effort? I will discuss this later. Here I only want you to remember one thing repetition. After one has learned a thing, it should be thoroughly mastered by repeating it again and again.

Science does not pretend to explain what it does not understand. So people who know anything at all about science should not voice opinions, such as „inborn talent,“ with regard to human ability. What does science really know about human potential at birth? Superstitions about talent training should be discarded. To reason whether one has talent or not is to no avail. Abandon these thoughts, and use your own power to create talent.

Look at the facts:
Clumsiness is a result of wrong training

While I was teaching at the Imperial Music School, one of the girl students told me, „Professor, I am so clumsy, and my fingers won’t move quickly.“

„Clumsy? Who decided that?“ I asked. Then followed this dialogue.

„I think so.“

„Then you misjudged yourself. You make a mistake in calling yourself clumsy. It’s the same as if you applied the brake on a car and then complained that it wouldn’t run properly.“

„But my fingers don’t move fast enough.“

„Did you hurt them or have an injury?“

„No.“

„Just put your left hand on the table. All right. Now try together with me to move the first finger, as if we were playing piano. Whose finger moves faster?. . . There, didn’t it move fast? You see, there’s nothing wrong with your fingers. Your head and fingers are not working together, that’s all. If they don’t work in cooperation, your practice is no good. One can say that your manner of practicing has been very poor indeed.“

„What can I do?“

„When I was your age, I also practiced vigorously in a mistaken, wrong manner. There was no one to tell me. Now, try this: from today on, place your fingers slowly and carefully in the positions you want to reach fast. Repeat over and over again for three days. On the fourth day do it a little faster and continue for two more days. On the sixth day you should be able to do it fast without difficulty.“

She practiced in the way I advised, and at the next lesson her fingers moved with speed and accuracy and there was no complaint.

4 Comments zu “Never give up!”

  1. Monica Vanorini, Argentina sagt:

    The last passage sounds like a description of STEP by STEP and Recital Training.
    slow practice tempo
    medium practice tempo
    performance tempo

    „Now, try this: from today on, place your fingers slowly and carefully in the positions you want to reach fast. Repeat over and over again for three days.

    On the fourth day do it a little faster and continue for two more days.
    On the sixth day you should be able to do it fast without difficulty.

    She practiced in the way I advised, and at the next lesson her fingers moved with speed and accuracy and there was no complaint.“

    I imagine Suzuki must have been really proud of your publications!

  2. Children who are praised only for talent and results WILL begin to doubt themselves.
    This is why I praise hard work and focus.

    Sue
    http://www.musicinpractice.com

  3. Kelli Cole, Idaho Suzuki Group sagt:

    Such a great reminder of why parents and teachers are committed to music education.

    Thank you!
    Kelli
    Idaho Suzuki Group

  4. Charles Laux, Music Education (Strings) bei Kennesaw State University sagt:

    Hi Kerstin,
    I enjoyed the video and link you posted.
    Thank you!!
    Charles

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