Why is talent and hard work so easily dismissed?

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Why is talent and hard work so easily dismissed?
41
Mon, 06-20-2011 - 1:03pm

I've been frustrated before and I'll be frustrated again but I don't know that I'll ever understand. Another school talent show has come and gone. I actually appreciate DS's school talent show because unlike DD's elementary, DS's show is almost entirely filled with kids actually taking lessons and working on skills. You'd assume that the majority of audience were there to support their own child and so could appreciate the work going in but they were still a terrible audience.

For example, the 9-year-old who played her own piano accompianment as she sung a Disney song got polite applause despite the fact that she was really very good (I was incredibly impressed with her piano skills and her singing was clear and on key.) The girl who mumbled through a canned

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006

That is so frustrating. dh is always pointing out that it's the amateurs that make the audiences for the pros...for example, only someone who actually plays an instrument can begin to understand the sheer near impossibility of what the great musicians do...as a violinist, I'm not a great judge of gamelan music, although my background in music lets me see that it's not easy. But I don't "speak" the idiom. And I've devoted many many many focused hours to gain the understanding that I have. So for your audience of pop culture kids, there's no difference between the dance routine and the Taylor Swift song, except that the TS song is a hundred times more exciting!

I'm not sure how much sense that makes...just trying to say I do not think the audience understands what they're hearing/seeing...but they do recognize and like things that are familiar to them.

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998

No, I understand you. I just don't know how you make it to adulthood without any understanding the difference (and it was mostly and adult audience.). I have never played football. I don't enjoy watching it. However, I've been in this country long enough to understand the basics, appreciate the fact that these guys work really hard and can understand the difference between a well organized and executed game and a family reunion match down at the park.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2011
I'll bet the hooting and hollering parents are the same ones who, at school awards ceremonies, after being asked to hold applause for the end for the whole class (so that all the grades can be gotten through as quickly as possible since there are a lot of kids) scream and whistle when their kid's name is called. Lack of manners.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-1999

The audience response is sad and immature. I also find that here but usually not with mostly adult audiences.

Last week at the library Summer reading program kick off party, there was a karaoke machine. It was a very casual scene, nothing as formal as a talent show. Whenever there was a popular song, all of the kids cheered even if the "performers" couldn't even read the words. Then a group of 6 Daisy scouts (just finished K) got up to the mic and sang a Girl Scout song, they did an awesome job, you could hear & understand the words and tune. It was funny b/c the elementary kids (2-5 grade) hardly clapped, but the middle school volunteers and the moms (it was during the day mostly moms in the audience) made up for the lack of response by the younger kids.

Cathie, mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs
Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 06-20-2011 - 10:10pm

My colleague recently took a video of a girl playing violin at his son's school graduation.

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
I do believe it's the same thing. I don't expect people to be able to pull apart a concerto or differetiate between professional violinists. To put more value on a karaoke performance where half the words are missed or on a dance where it was clear they didn't have it all worked out by how many times the kids stopped during the number JUST because it was a pop song is just willfull ignorance.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Tue, 06-21-2011 - 11:25am

Your post made me smile in recognition. I once went to a recital by the Dutch pianist Regina Albrink...quite possibly the best piano performance I've ever seen, and I've seen a fair number of "big names" even though I usually live somewhere in the sticks. There were only about thirty people in the audience (it was at a private college with about 2000 students and they all apparently had more important stuff to do)...and one of them (a non student) came up to dh afterward and said, "So....is she good?" Okaaayyyyyyy....

Deborah

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Yes, it sounds like you're talking of something more basic than appreciating subtleties of intonation and musical phrasing. Rather you're talking about the musical equivalent of football passes that consistently land 20 yards short and 10 yards wide. I would guess that in a mostly-kid audience some of the enthusiasm for badly-performed pop numbers would come from the recognition factor ("Hey, I know this song!") but that doesn't explain it in an adult audience, or for that matter does it account for the lack of enthusiasm for the Disney number. Perhaps there's an intrinsic bias against performances that are clearly adult-coached, in favour of performances by kids are clearly just doing it on their own? Or maybe they figure the latter group probably isn't getting a lot of support at home and could use it from the audience? Maybe there's a lot of value put on the courageousness of performing something relatively unprepared? I don't really know.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003

I hear you loud and clear. Last year my son participated in a school talent show in which the winners were decided by student vote, though a teacher was there to provide Simon Cowell-style commentary. He played a soprano sax rendition of "Somewhere" that had the teacher in tears, but got very few votes from the students, who went for the poorly sung or lip-synched pop drivel. He was upset at the time, but has since learned to pick and choose the contests he enters.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999

That's my other pet peeve.

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