How to Predict Professional Success in Music and Beyond? Constructing Universal Talent’s Structure for the Best Vocational Choices


The purpose of this paper is to present a universal model for human talent following the example of musical talent. Psychological categories used to describe high achievements' potential - ‘abilities', ‘giftedness', ‘talent', ‘creativity', ‘intelligence' and ‘motivation' - are shown as parts and elements of an organized structure. A more detailed model for musical talent is constructed where familiar psychological categories reveal their sub-components, such as sense of rhythm, pitch and memory for musical ability or productive imagination and architectonic ear for musical giftedness. Musical motivation is associated with expressive ear originating from communication signals of early man. Three musical tests, helping to distinguish psychological resources of music lover versus active music amateur or professional musician, are presented. The testing system for music made possible: 1) to discover a future music lover in a child and thus invite her/him to music school (according to longitudinal study done from 2001 to 2009 with first-and second-graders, these children rarely drop out); 2) to give the opportunity to those with professional music potential to reveal it and choose a career in music; 3) to pinpoint future winners of music competitions before the competition starts; 4) to predict future success or failure of musical prodigies when they are still before their teens. Finally, the author suggests the new structure for our basic talents with motivational, operational and creative ‘blocks' functionally similar to their ‘musical counterparts'. Presumably, that could be the model for each of H.Gardner's ‘multiple intelligences' forming ‘human talents' spectrum'. Isn't it possible to use the newly constructed model as a clue to testing for other talents outside music? That makes a socially relevant goal for future research in vocational psychology.

Author Information
Dina Kirnarskaya, Russian Gnesins'' Academy of Music, Russia

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2013
Stream: Psychology

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