I watched a 12-year-old boy who has been taking lessons for a year play a Chopin Valse. I couldn't believe my eyes or ears, but I was 20 ft behind the piano, so I know that it was real! I thought, "This kid has a gift." His playing was clear and precise and the expression he gave the piece seemed beyond his years. It was slower than professional versions I've heard, but not by much.

But, when I considered his training, I wondered - if you combine an excellent teacher with hours of practice a day, would you get the same results? Or does the student have to possess talent, too? If so, how much? I would love to attend one of his teacher's recitals to see if all of his students are so accomplished. I have attended a concert of his, and he is a very good performer himself.

So, how would you break up the percentages between teaching, talent, and time to achieve such results? For example, would you need 90% talent, 5% training/teaching, and 5% time? Or does the teaching matter more? And how important is it that the student practices for 2-3 hours each day? I wonder because I'd love to have dedicated students like that and experiment to see what I could do with them. I have one student who is motivated to learn classical music, so I've been having fun with her. She only practices 30 minutes a day, but I want her to reach her full potential, given the factors we have in play (relatively minimal practice time and teaching expertise). I also have my own kids that I've thought of pushing harder to see if they can achieve more . . . any thoughts on what it takes to get extraordinary results?

But, when I considered his training, I wondered - if you combine an excellent teacher with hours of practice a day, would you get the same results? Or does the student have to possess talent, too? If so, how much? I would love to attend one of his teacher's recitals to see if all of his students are so accomplished. I have attended a concert of his, and he is a very good performer himself.

So, how would you break up the percentages between teaching, talent, and time to achieve such results? For example, would you need 90% talent, 5% training/teaching, and 5% time? Or does the teaching matter more? And how important is it that the student practices for 2-3 hours each day? I wonder because I'd love to have dedicated students like that and experiment to see what I could do with them. I have one student who is motivated to learn classical music, so I've been having fun with her. She only practices 30 minutes a day, but I want her to reach her full potential, given the factors we have in play (relatively minimal practice time and teaching expertise). I also have my own kids that I've thought of pushing harder to see if they can achieve more . . . any thoughts on what it takes to get extraordinary results?