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Old 22nd December 2018, 11:09 AM   #41
TruthJonsen
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I guess I am in the "innate talent is important" camp. In engineering school, I used to tutor drafting students in the days before CAD systems. Objects were drawn by hand as three views: Top, Front and Right side. There were very common exercises/tests where you were given only two of the three and had to complete the third. I don't recall practicing this; I just see the missing view in my head. However, many students just could not get it and probably changed majors to one that I would be unable to get, like learning a new language.

I also find it easy to learn and perform music by ear. Over the decades, I have tried several times to learn to read music and it always ended in disaster.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 01:04 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by TruthJonsen View Post
I also find it easy to learn and perform music by ear. Over the decades, I have tried several times to learn to read music and it always ended in disaster.
I'm just the opposite. I was trained in college in "Sightsinging and Eartraining" and, while I managed to pass the courses, I was never able to easily master either one. I can work out anything I hear, but I have to do it note by note and chord by chord, in spite of plenty of practice. You have that talent, just as my mother did. I do not.

And, unlike you, reading music came as naturally to me as reading words, from my first days on fluteophone in the fifth grade. As a trombone player, I have to sometimes read in tenor or alto clef, a ability difficult for many young players to master. It was the one area where I excelled in my college music performance studies.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 05:32 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
Sorry, but not everyone has enough talent to run a mile in 4:11, no matter how well they practice. Heart volume and maximum heart rate are pretty much fixed (although the maximum heart rate declines with age).
Are they fixed at adulthood, or at birth? Those are very different statements. Training at a young age isn't what I would consider to be "talent", yet it may be what differentiates someone who is able to run a 4:11 mile from someone who isn't.
This is way outside my areas of expertise, but it is my understanding that maximum heart rate is pretty much determined by genetics and age while heart volume responds to training (in adulthood) within a range that is also pretty much genetic; that is, your heart volume absent disease and absent training is mostly genetic, and your heart volume absent disease following the increase brought on by serious training is also thought to be mostly genetic. There are things that are thought to be elastic depending on what happens in childhood, but I don't think these two things are on that list.

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
As I said in the post that you are responding to I certainly agree that there are physiological and even genetic differences that impact upon performance in running (and other sports). What's not clear is how strong that impact is.
This has been a subject of considerable study. The conclusions vary depending on what kind of performances we're discussing, but there seems to be a general consensus that training/practice is usually more important than genetics/physiology in the sense that a trained person with little talent will usually be better than an unpracticed person with considerable latent talent, but there's no substitute for genetics/physiology/talent when comparing the most highly trained individuals.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
That practice almost always makes (if not perfect, then at least) better is a fact, not an ideology. That you can excel at playing the piano without practice, however, is an ideology. Nobody has claimed that biology or genetics doesn't play a role; the size of your hands, the length of your fingers, for instance, do. If you are short and chubby, you won't stand much of a chance as a ballet dancer. But you won't be better off in that field if you're tall and slim but insist that you don't need to practice because ballet skills come naturally.
I think there are at least two common mistakes:
  • I'm so talented I don't really need to work at it.
  • You can be as good as anyone if you work at it.
The first mistake is usually internal: a talented person wastes his/her talent through poor training/effort/discipline.

The second mistake can be external: some authority figure creates unrealistic expections that make you feel bad when, no matter how hard you try, you can't live up to them.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 06:01 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by TruthJonsen View Post
I guess I am in the "innate talent is important" camp. In engineering school, I used to tutor drafting students in the days before CAD systems. Objects were drawn by hand as three views: Top, Front and Right side. There were very common exercises/tests where you were given only two of the three and had to complete the third. I don't recall practicing this; I just see the missing view in my head. However, many students just could not get it and probably changed majors to one that I would be unable to get, like learning a new language.



I also find it easy to learn and perform music by ear. Over the decades, I have tried several times to learn to read music and it always ended in disaster.
Here, also. I saw it worse because I had to grade and assist lower class classmen. My wife also has that conceptualization problem. I never have-in fact the first 3-view I ever saw was an almost instant 3d in my mind.
I also can find weirdness and anticipate problems with analytic models (within the structural realm, at least) by eye most of the time-but as an engineer, I always verify.
Making connections between reality and the analytic results is something some folks never get to know, regardless of practice

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Old 22nd December 2018, 06:04 PM   #45
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But despite hours of practice, and near perfect pitch, I will never be more than the best mediocre rhythm guitarist in Parker County...

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Old 22nd December 2018, 06:07 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Which side do you think I would fall on?



How much time did you spend trying to learn music?
No, I'm not going to personalize my conjecture. I'm talking demographics, a single point on a bell curve is meaningless.

my music: I bought a real wooden, made in France Clarinet. New corks, pads and reeds, and a modification to the finger rest for my stiff hands, and a book for beginners. I skipped over the sharps and flats, I wanted one note for each finger. Simplify, for a dummy. Four years later I could play Auld Lang Syne. From memory. Not from the sheet music in the book. No, not 10,000 hours. But no claim of being ready for Carnegie Hall either. And I had flunked Fluteaphone in Jr. High.

My one sister, had hundreds of hours. Her piano teach went on vacation after giving her a piece to practice for the next two weeks. Teach accused her of not practicing, she hadn't learned it. Teach quit. Sis has a Masters in Ecologic Science. Her husband, MSc in Computer Science, got to thinking about how she thinks. He thinks in words (programming is all words? hexadecimal letters? ) He asked me if I think in words or pics, and tricked me into an answer with a question about a flat plane, My answer was "I see a map". So I see in pics. But I got curious and took an online test, answer was I thunk in concepts.

Other sis plays the guitar, and sings like Barbara Streisand or Ethel Merman. A real belter, like Mom was. Shes a nurse. And a Democrat, all mushy feelings. Word? Pics? How about emotions?
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Old 22nd December 2018, 09:42 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
What 3point14 said. It turns out that "talent" is largely a myth. Anyone can get good at anything if they are motivated to practice enough. What happens is that people mistake motivation to practice for natural talent.
Or is that people like to ignore differences is physical condition?

A physical basis for aptitude, or ineptness is a real thing.
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Old 22nd December 2018, 10:20 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
This is way outside my areas of expertise, but it is my understanding that maximum heart rate is pretty much determined by genetics and age while heart volume responds to training (in adulthood) within a range that is also pretty much genetic; that is, your heart volume absent disease and absent training is mostly genetic, and your heart volume absent disease following the increase brought on by serious training is also thought to be mostly genetic.
No, sorry, that is not how cardiovascular homeostasis works. Have you not heard of athletes who have heart rates in the 40s?

Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
This has been a subject of considerable study. The conclusions vary depending on what kind of performances we're discussing, but there seems to be a general consensus that training/practice is usually more important than genetics/physiology in the sense that a trained person with little talent will usually be better than an unpracticed person with considerable latent talent, but there's no substitute for genetics/physiology/talent when comparing the most highly trained individuals.
That depends on a number of variables. Clearly one born with superior genetics has a better base to build upon.


Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
I think there are at least two common mistakes:
  • I'm so talented I don't really need to work at it.
  • You can be as good as anyone if you work at it.
The first mistake is usually internal: a talented person wastes his/her talent through poor training/effort/discipline.

The second mistake can be external: some authority figure creates unrealistic expections that make you feel bad when, no matter how hard you try, you can't live up to them.
I'm not sure who these 'no need to train' people are that you are referring to but I cannot imagine any top notch sports performer who doesn't practice hours every day.

As for "You can be as good as anyone if you work at it," I'm not ready to write that off. Maybe one cannot practice and become as good as LeBron James or Michael Jordan.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 01:49 AM   #49
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When I was a teenager, my all-consuming passion was classical music, and I trained at a piano most of my day after school. My parents paid for a piano teacher, and later, when I earned my own money, I paid for a teacher teaching at the Royal Danish Academy of Music.

However, after 8 years, it was very embarrassing that I could still only play pieces from the music books for young children, and when I moved out to my own home, and away from the piano, I decided that I did not have talent for playing anything else than the grammophone, and I never bought my own piano.

I am very sceptical of claims that you are able to train anything to expert level without talent. Or maybe something like negative talent exists: you are to train anything you want to expert level except a few things for which you have no talent?
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Old 23rd December 2018, 07:08 AM   #50
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Skeptic Ginger apparently failed to see the word "maximum" in "maximum heart rate":

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
This is way outside my areas of expertise, but it is my understanding that maximum heart rate is pretty much determined by genetics and age while heart volume responds to training (in adulthood) within a range that is also pretty much genetic; that is, your heart volume absent disease and absent training is mostly genetic, and your heart volume absent disease following the increase brought on by serious training is also thought to be mostly genetic.
No, sorry, that is not how cardiovascular homeostasis works. Have you not heard of athletes who have heart rates in the 40s?
Someone whose maximum heart rate is in the 40s is near death.

As for athletes whose resting heart rate is in the 40s, I trained with some of them. You wouldn't recognize most of their names, but you might have heard of Mary Slaney, whom I happened to meet at Amazon Park and ran with a few times as she was training for her last Olympics.

If I recall correctly, Lasse Virén was said to have a resting heart rate near 30 when he was in peak condition.

As I said in one of my previous posts, my own resting heart rate never dropped below 50. I knew a woman my own age who had athletic talent but never trained hard and never raced particularly well. When my resting heart rate was 50, hers was 48. Genetics is the likely reason that my resting heart rate dropped to 50 only when I was highly trained, while hers was lower than 50 with hardly any exercise at all.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 08:16 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
Skeptic Ginger apparently failed to see the word "maximum" in "maximum heart rate":


Someone whose maximum heart rate is in the 40s is near death.

As for athletes whose resting heart rate is in the 40s, I trained with some of them. You wouldn't recognize most of their names, but you might have heard of Mary Slaney, whom I happened to meet at Amazon Park and ran with a few times as she was training for her last Olympics.

If I recall correctly, Lasse Virén was said to have a resting heart rate near 30 when he was in peak condition.

As I said in one of my previous posts, my own resting heart rate never dropped below 50. I knew a woman my own age who had athletic talent but never trained hard and never raced particularly well. When my resting heart rate was 50, hers was 48. Genetics is the likely reason that my resting heart rate dropped to 50 only when I was highly trained, while hers was lower than 50 with hardly any exercise at all.
Mine is 42 - 48 (56 now, but I've just walked a couple of miles). And whilst I do walk five miles a day, every day, I couldn't run 100 yards to save my life. There's no latent athletic talent there either, it's just a quirk of genetics.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 09:05 AM   #52
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I think there are varying degrees of talent, and people tend to like what they're good at, and engage in more rigorous and extensive deliberate practice at things they can sense they have a natural aptitude for. It's hard to motivate someone, or self-motivate oneself to engage in endless hours of practice at something they know they do not have an aptitude for.

Once you're comparing people who are in the top 10% (or whatever) of natural aptitude (and the people who are going to be practicing the same thing for hours a day for years will tend to be in that group), it's all about grueling practice, when you're comparing end results. Their "born talented" level will be similar enough to not really matter compared to the gains that come from practice.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 09:12 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Or maybe something like negative talent exists: you are to train anything you want to expert level except a few things for which you have no talent?
Absolutely. In music there's tone deafness and beat deafness, for example. Like you, I am "anti-talented" at piano (for me it's something about having my two hands expected to be doing different things - same reason I could never be excellent at guitar and finger picking.)

Some people are natural dancers, some can't be taught to be even ok at it.

In academics, there's dyslexia and dyscalculia.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 02:01 PM   #54
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And there is the Autism spectrum of people with unusual talents and lacks there of.

And left handedness vs right.

No, there are untrainable things, 10,000 hours bedamned.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 02:15 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
And left handedness vs right.

No, there are untrainable things, 10,000 hours bedamned.
My grandmother had her right arm almost severed in a sports accident when she was in her early 20s and had to use her left arm exclusively for over a year. She effectively learned to be fully ambidextrous.

They way I see it, genetics specifies the limit of achievements. A genetically gifted person might, after years of work, achieve level 97 in X, whilst a 'normal' person might only ever manage to attain level 90. That's probably all the difference we're talking about. When talking sports, of course, that makes all the difference, e.g. being in the Olympic team or not, but in overall terms anybody who practices X for 10,000 hours will be incredibly good at X by the end of it.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 02:38 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
Skeptic Ginger apparently failed to see the word "maximum" in "maximum heart rate":


Someone whose maximum heart rate is in the 40s is near death.

As for athletes whose resting heart rate is in the 40s, I trained with some of them. You wouldn't recognize most of their names, but you might have heard of Mary Slaney, whom I happened to meet at Amazon Park and ran with a few times as she was training for her last Olympics.

If I recall correctly, Lasse Virén was said to have a resting heart rate near 30 when he was in peak condition.

As I said in one of my previous posts, my own resting heart rate never dropped below 50. I knew a woman my own age who had athletic talent but never trained hard and never raced particularly well. When my resting heart rate was 50, hers was 48. Genetics is the likely reason that my resting heart rate dropped to 50 only when I was highly trained, while hers was lower than 50 with hardly any exercise at all.
What is your point? You said heart rate was limited by genetics while heart volume wasn't. It's absurd, both are affected by exercise and training or lack there of.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 04:30 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
What is your point?
I think the points I have been making in this thread have been reasonably clear to informed readers who have made an honest effort to understand what I have been saying. In particular, I think Roboramma gets it.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You said heart rate was limited by genetics while heart volume wasn't. It's absurd, both are affected by exercise and training or lack there of.
Once again, you are (dishonestly?) accusing me of saying "heart rate" is genetic when I have been quite careful to say maximum heart rate is believed to be determined by genetics, while resting heart rate and heart volume clearly vary within limits that are affected by exercise but are believed to vary within a range that is primarily determined by genetics.

If you will take the trouble to inform yourself concerning these matters, and read what I actually wrote instead of mischaracterizing what I have written, you will find that I have not been saying anything that is at all controversial.

As I have said explicitly, there are two common mistakes: (1) thinking talent will carry you; (2) thinking practice/training/effort is all that matters. The genetic basis of maximum heart rate provides a counterexample to the second of those fallacies.

Imagine someone whose talent was exactly the same as mine except their genetically determined maximum heart rate in their early 20s was the more typical 200 beats per minute instead of my measured 220 beats per minute. Because this hypothetical person was otherwise exactly the same as me, his resting heart rate (following years of intensive training) was 50. At a race pace that requires both of our hearts to beat at 180 beats per minute, I'm running at a little over 75% effort—an intense level of exercise to be sure, but a degree of effort I was able to sustain for quite some time. My hypothetical competitor who was my equal in all other respects was running at 87% of his maximum circulatory capacity. Which of us can sustain that pace longer, and finishes ahead of the other?

As I have said several times in this thread, practice/training/discipline is more important than talent. As I have said several times in this thread, that doesn't mean talent is unimportant—when two competitors with equivalent training/practice compete, talent is often decisive.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 04:49 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by W.D.Clinger View Post
...

Once again, you are (dishonestly?) accusing me of saying "heart rate" is genetic when I have been quite careful to say maximum heart rate is believed to be determined by genetics, while resting heart rate and heart volume clearly vary within limits that are affected by exercise but are believed to vary within a range that is primarily determined by genetics.[snip].
Allow me to tediously restate the obvious:

You said maximum heart rate was limited by genetics while heart volume, et al wasn't. It's absurd, both are affected by exercise and training or lack there of.

Your concept of what is nature and what is nurture when it comes to the cardiovascular system is flawed. You started out with an incorrect assertion and went on to double down with a semantic life raft that wasn't buoyant either.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 05:14 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
He discusses perfect pitch in the book and brings up an experiment in which children were trained to develop it at a young age. A very high percentage of them (I'll have to double check to see how high, it may have been 100%) did so.
I learned it.

Originally Posted by Hevneren View Post
But perfect pitch can be a problem sometimes. I knew a singer with perfect pitch who was unable to transpose a song if needed. That made it a different song in her ears! Intervals was apparently a weaker concept to her than the absolute pitches.
Yes, that's part of what perfect pitch does. Each key has its own feel, so that when you're playing in the "wrong" key, it sounds off.
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Old 23rd December 2018, 05:15 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You said maximum heart rate was limited by genetics while heart volume, et al wasn't. It's absurd, both are affected by exercise and training or lack there of.
The top four hits from a Google search on maximum heart rate is genetically determined say:

Quote:
Quote:
Does HRmax increase with training?

Training has little or no impact on your maximum heart rate. The impact, if there is any, will reduce your HRmax, not increase it.

https://support.polar.com/us-en/supp...rt_Rate__HRmax
Quote:
Does exercise change my maximum heart rate?

No, your HRmax is not related to your physical fitness. An exercised heart pumps more blood each beat, but not faster than untrained hearts.

https://www.ntnu.edu/cerg/hrmax
Quote:
Your maximum heart rate is genetically determined and while it does typically decline with age in sedentary folks, active athletes such as runners usually enjoy much less of a decline if at all.

http://www.meet-your-running-goals.c...eart-rate.html

Three of the top four hits from a Google search on maximum heart rate is not genetically determined are among the four shown above. The one new hit among the top four for that search says

Quote:
Most researchers believe this genetically determined point is your body’s way of protecting itself.

https://heartzones.com/what-is-maximum-heart-rate/
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Old 24th December 2018, 10:35 AM   #61
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When I was young, I was told I had a talent for music. I studied music from the time I was six until I was about seventeen, when I gave it up out of frustration. I loved music, still do, but I simply don't have the ability to play it on more than a rank amateur level.

People learn things differently, because neurology varies from person to person. Some people have an aptitude for certain types of learning that other people don't have to the same degree. "Talent", to me, refers to this aptitude, the ability to learn certain things at a faster rate. I learned music somewhat more quickly compared to my peers.

The problem was, I did not play well. I have a neurological dysfunction related to my Autistic Spectrum Disorder which results in faulty proprioception and fine motor control -- the "clumsy nerd" stereotype. No matter how much I practiced, I was always hitting that wall, I would never develop the "muscle memory" skills needed to play at the level everyone around me insisted I could, because of my "talent".

I think another aspect of "talent" that is often overlooked is... I'm not sure of the right word. Others have mentioned motivation, but I think that's only a part of it. Obsession may be closer to what I'm looking for. Those who develop a high level of skill in a particular field also seem to typically display a certain... monomania about it. An intense drive and focus, passion, or something along those lines, that keeps them plugging away at it, often to the detriment of other aspects of their lives in extreme cases.

So "talent", I think, can be summed up as some combination of an enhanced ability to learn in that particular field, superior relevant physical capabilities, and a hyperfocused interest in the particular field.

Which means that, barring some sort of physical or mental disability or other limitation, anyone can at least become competent at a skill, and often good at it, while only a few will ever become great.
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Old 28th December 2018, 03:27 AM   #62
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I would be intrigued to know, in reference to those stating "I tried, I practiced and I couldn't do it", or words to that effect, if they think they were indulging in "Deliberate practice", which can be really, really boring, especially at the beginning.
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Old 28th December 2018, 10:06 PM   #63
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I think most people are sort of missing the point, which isn't the question of whether or not there is such a thing as innate talent, whether or not there are differences between people, but simply how effective the right kind of training can be.

The issue is not that anyone can become world class, and the other doesn't seem to suggest that. What he does suggest is that deliberate practice can get anyone to a very high level of expertise and even if you aren't interested in reaching that high level any amount of deliberate practice will be more effective than other types of training at improving skill levels. He would also suggest that attaining high levels of expertise requires very extensive periods of deliberate practice, which is very different from (and much more difficult than) simply spending time practicing.

For instance, he discusses the supposed "10,000 hour rule", and points out that it was an average among high level performers (some had less some more, but the average for those at a higher level of expertise was always higher than those at a lower level of expertise), and for instance among violin students studied they had not yet reached world class performance levels when that average was reached (I think it was at age 20, at age 18 the highest level students had put in about 7,300 hours), the world class violinists had generally put in around 20,000 hours of deliberate practice (on average) before reaching that level.

Further he mentions studies of people who continue to practice their skills but don't continue to improve over time, because they are not engaging in deliberate practice but rather simply using previously developed skills automatically. This requires less mental focus, and can be fun rather than taxing, but doesn't tend to lead to improvement.

He would argue that there is no limit to improvement through deliberate practice. It's not that you train for 10,000 hours and reach your potential. It's that every hour of training, if done with focus on finding your mistakes and correcting them, and continuing to look for new avenues for improvement when reaching plateaus, will help to maintain improvement. This, though, can be limited by physical degradation in sports for instance. I would suspect that one would experience diminishing returns over time, but that's not a given, and his model is more along the lines of sequences of gains punctuated by plateaus. He suggests that most people think they've reached the limits of their potential when they've simply hit a plateau. Whether that's true or not, it is true that it can be difficult to tell the difference between those things and thus it makes sense to treat lack of progress as a plateau that can be overcome rather than an inherent limit, at least while attempting to make progress for a while.
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Old 28th December 2018, 10:26 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
What he does suggest is that deliberate practice can get anyone to a very high level of expertise
I just don't buy that. In music, tone deafness and rhythm/beat deafness (congenital amusias) are real and apparently insurmountable.

eta:
And then there are fine and gross motor skills issues that will trip people up with certain instruments. Etc and so on.
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Old 28th December 2018, 10:41 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I just don't buy that. In music, tone deafness and rhythm/beat deafness (congenital amusias) are real and apparently insurmountable.
Would you accept "almost anyone"? He discusses tone deafness. Apparently it's extremely rare.

Here's what he says in the book:
Quote:
Some people are indeed born tone-deaf. The medical condition is known as "congenital amusia", but here is the twist: it is exceedingly rare. It is so rare that the discovery of a woman with this condition rated an article in a major scientific journal. She had no obvious brain damage or defects, had normal hearing and intelligence, and yet she could not tell the difference between a simple melody she had already heard and new one she had never heard before. Interestingly enough she also had trouble distinguishing different musical rhythms. This woman, no matter how hard she tried, would never be able to carry a tune.
I will note that he doesn't give a figure for how rare the condition is, so if anyone knows I'd be interested.

Anyway, he goes on to say:
Quote:
But that is not the case for most people. The major obstacle that people who believe they can't sing must overcome is that belief itself. Various researchers have studied this issue, and there is no evidence that large numbers of people are born without the innate ability to sing. Indeed, there are some cultures, such as the Anang Ibibio of Nigeria, where everyone is expected to sing, everyone is taught to sing, and everyone can sing. In our culture, the reason that most nonsingers cannot sing is simply that they never practiced in a way that led them to develop the ability to sing.
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Old 29th December 2018, 02:36 AM   #66
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Quote:
she could not tell the difference between a simple melody she had already heard and new one she had never heard before
That degree of it is extremely rare, but lesser forms, which functionally also qualify as "musically disabled," are a lot more common. It might be as high as one in 20 or as low as one in 100 or so who have it "clinically" (aka, identified using a "conservative criterion".) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28224991

It's really a spectrum (or more accurately, a series of spectrums) of disability to natural ability there. A lot of people (one in 15 at least, I'd say, based on personal experience) have a mild form, where it only pops up with certain notes...like small mental "blind spots" in hearing. And there are lots of people who can't think of more than one note at a time - they can't sing a harmony if they're also hearing a melody loudly, or visa verse. Or with beat deafness, they do have an "internal metronome", but it's very faulty (and virtually everyone's is a little faulty if measured with enough precision - they tend to speed up.)

Quote:
In our culture, the reason that most nonsingers cannot sing is simply that they never practiced in a way that led them to develop the ability to sing.
9/10 times, yes, overall, but with voice, there's a lot of variation in the natural, born sound/"quality" of the instrument, too. Even an expert violinist is only going to be able to make a certain, comparatively low quality of music with a comparatively broken violin, you know?

Relatively few people are born able to sing like Whitney Houston with sufficient training (one in 50? or one in 300, or more?) Most are born able to sing sufficiently for most choirs with training.
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Old 29th December 2018, 04:24 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
It's really a spectrum (or more accurately, a series of spectrums) of disability to natural ability there. A lot of people (one in 15 at least, I'd say, based on personal experience) have a mild form, where it only pops up with certain notes...like small mental "blind spots" in hearing. And there are lots of people who can't think of more than one note at a time - they can't sing a harmony if they're also hearing a melody loudly, or visa verse. Or with beat deafness, they do have an "internal metronome", but it's very faulty (and virtually everyone's is a little faulty if measured with enough precision - they tend to speed up.)
There's a question of how much of the difference between people is due to differences in their childhood development and how much is "innate". I know that when I was doing capoeira I couldn't clap along to the beat of the song and sing at the same time, but I also know that I payed much less attention to music for my entire life leading up to that point than virtually everyone I know. Most people, for instance, could name a favourite band or favourite song but I'd be hard pressed to name any band.


Quote:
9/10 times, yes, overall, but with voice, there's a lot of variation in the natural, born sound/"quality" of the instrument, too. Even an expert violinist is only going to be able to make a certain, comparatively low quality of music with a comparatively broken violin, you know?

Relatively few people are born able to sing like Whitney Houston with sufficient training (one in 50? or one in 300, or more?) Most are born able to sing sufficiently for most choirs with training.
I think all of that is reasonable, but at this point it's beyond what we know. Practice, over a long course of time, can have very dramatic affects on ability. But it's pretty hard to compare all of the practice that one individual has done to another. Did one person practice more, or just more efficiently? If we can't completely account for that factor how do we know to what extent other factors play a role?

Anyway, once again the point really isn't that other factors don't play a role, only that they may be less important than is generally supposed.
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Old 29th December 2018, 04:27 AM   #68
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By the way thanks for the link, this in particular is interesting:
Quote:
On the basis of three objective tests and a questionnaire, we show that (a) the prevalence of congenital amusia is only 1.5%, with slightly more females than males, unlike other developmental disorders where males often predominate; (b) self-disclosure is a reliable index of congenital amusia, which suggests that congenital amusia is hereditary, with 46% first-degree relatives similarly affected; (c) the deficit is not attenuated by musical training and (d) it emerges in relative isolation from other cognitive disorder, except for spatial orientation problems. Hence, we suggest that congenital amusia is likely to result from genetic variations that affect musical abilities specifically.
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Old 29th December 2018, 12:20 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
There's a question of how much of the difference between people is due to differences in their childhood development and how much is "innate". I know that when I was doing capoeira I couldn't clap along to the beat of the song and sing at the same time, but I also know that I payed much less attention to music for my entire life leading up to that point than virtually everyone I know. Most people, for instance, could name a favourite band or favourite song but I'd be hard pressed to name any band.
And then there are some 18 month old toddlers who can clap and sing at the same time with almost perfect rhythm. And those with an innate sense of rhythm and tone will probably pay more attention to music from an early age onwards.


Quote:
I think all of that is reasonable, but at this point it's beyond what we know. Practice, over a long course of time, can have very dramatic affects on ability. But it's pretty hard to compare all of the practice that one individual has done to another. Did one person practice more, or just more efficiently? If we can't completely account for that factor how do we know to what extent other factors play a role?
When you're evaluating children with no musical training or formal practice, the "innate" factor really stands out. Of course, even then, the "better" ones probably have been practicing independently, spontaneously, and in a higher quality way out of sheer love of music. It's an impulse.

Alternately, if someone lacks an "ear" for music, they almost can't engage in high-quality, spontaneous, "deliberate" practice, because they have so much trouble hearing where the areas most needing improvement even are.

Quote:
Anyway, once again the point really isn't that other factors don't play a role, only that they may be less important than is generally supposed.
I don't disagree with that at all.
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Old 29th December 2018, 03:35 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Dan, I wasn't talking about the facts involved in this discussion, I was talking about the posters and how they choose sides in various topics. I noticed a pattern, something I have a talent for.

I'm sure you've heard of Temple Grandin, "Do you think in words or pictures"? I figured for me, pictures. But I took a test on line, it said "concepts". Ms Grandin mentioned "patterns" in her TED talk, so bingo. I do see things a little differently from most people. Which is a Talent. An inborn difference. It makes me really good at diagnosis, but lousy at rote learning. I aced chemistry, flunked German due to the rote memory involved in the schtoopid grammar with genders. But I could read it, I had the definitions of the words, the "concepts".

I tried to learn music. But it's all rote memory. I couldn't even remember whether the alphabetic notes went up or down on the grid, I had to make a cheat sheet for that. So I tried to leanr the rules that the rote stuff was based on. Like for the naming of "keys". Like why is "B flat minor" denoted with those particular number and arrangement of hash marks? Why is it called "B flat minor" ? No soap. Rote memory needed. I don't have that talent. But I remember who Avogadro was, and I remember six point oh two to the 23rd. Because I have the concept down.

So I suspect that those who think there is no such thing as "talent", haven't found their own. Perhaps they have a talent for rote memory, but never recognized it as such. They probably "think in words".
I'm a lot like that too. Was the slowest in my 4'th and 5'th grade class learning arithmetic, particularly the tables. OTOH, in the 7th grade I found math, chemistry, and physics fascinating. Once I started thinking about how things were connected or related, everything just seemed to make sense. Little memory seemed to be needed. Understanding the way things were derived and used made them stick. In turn physics, chemistry, etc. were all easy subjects and fun.

I suspect the fact I really hated memorization and others were much better led me to focus on the connections and reasons behind things. I was soon ahead of the rest of my classmates in math and sciences. It sure wasn't because I studied hard. I'm lazy. Always looking for shortcuts, aka simpler ways of doing things. Served me well in my career as an engineer.

A lot of classmates that were really good at memorization started to fall behind in high school. They still got A's but didn't retain long term so math and science got harder for them. Oddly, what they were good at may have become a handicap. Perhaps a different instruction technique that deprecated memorization and shifted learning to a deeper understanding would have benefited them. Perhaps not.
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