Talent without creativity

Here’s a mystifying thing, having a talent without any desire to be creative.

I had a friend who had an amazing ability to remember a melody that he had heard once and sing it back perfectly. I don’t have this ability, and often have to struggle to learn even parts of a melody that I love, singing and playing the phrase over and over until it’s in there. This guy could hear it once, a tune he’d never heard, and sing it back. Plus he has a good voice.

I mentioned this ability to a professional singer I met, and he said “oh yeah, I can do that.”

Which led me to think, if I could do that, I would be a much, much better guitar player, a better piano player, a better ukulele player. I’d be a better singer too.

But this guy had no desire to do anything special or creative with his talent. Which is mystifying to me, since creativity is one of the great joys of life.

This man’s wife had a beautiful singing voice too, and a good sense of pitch. But she was very self-effacing the one time I pointed this out to her. She would never dream of picking up an instrument, singing a song as she accompanied herself. Neither would her husband. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

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