Today I had the honor of listening to 8 year old child prodigy….Caleb Spjute at the piano. I sat with my eyes wide open and a big smile on my face as this ‘little man’ played. You need to realize that he didn’t play some easy piano piece that you might expect an eight year old to play. And no….. he is NOT a student of the Suzuki method, because I asked. Caleb played a beautiful arrangement of “Praise to the Man”.
As I spoke with his proud Grandpa before the meeting started, I was told that the arrangement Caleb was playing had just won an award for the best new piano arrangement for I believe the year 2010. So this arrangement was done by a well accomplished pianist. Knowing that….. I was prepared to be amazed as he started playing…. but I wasn’t prepared by how much I’d be amazed! He did such an amazing job! And though he had the music in front of him on the piano…. he didn’t really refer to it much. The speaker that got up to the pulpit at the conclusion of his number said, “I was trying to see how long his fingers were…. that was amazing1” We happened to be sitting right behind his family and he stuck his cute LITTLE hand in the air after he said that. And his fingers were NOT very long! Truly amazing how such little hands could play such a difficult piece!
I would consider myself to be a pianist. I really call myself a closet pianist. I was one of those kids who hated to practice and just wanted to play. After so long my Mother finally gave up on me, or should I say my piano teacher said she wouldn’t teach me any longer if I wasn’t going to practice. So hence….. the learning and discipline part of my piano career came to a quick end. Though I taught myself a little after that and I loved to play the piano a lot…. I never really perfected the skill. Hence, why I’m a closet pianist! I can certainly play music that is more difficult than say a 3rd year primer would be….. but this little guy was playing a piece that would have been very difficult for me to play!
What is it about natural talent that is driven at such a young age to be good at something? It happens in many areas of life. Some people are just blessed at a very young age to know what they should pursue! I guess life wouldn’t be such a challenge for the rest of us if we all had that blessing! Now….. being naturally blessed with that gift does not mean that you don’t have to work to perfect it! Caleb studies piano with a music Professor at the University of Utah! I would say that was taking things pretty seriously at his age!
To excel in any area of life, whether we are naturally gifted or not takes persistence, patience, determination and a will to be the best we can be. I believe that the love for that pursuit helps to maintain the desire to be great at it. What a blessing it was to watch this young prodigy at work today! I told him I could see a budding Kurt Bester inside him! Delightful experience!
Who are some of the other child prodigy’s you can think of and in what area was their expertise?
I am Grateful! How are you?