How can youthful talent become world-class talent? Talent Abounds tells the stories of master teachers and their students who raise performance to peak levels in classical music and conducting, jazz, opera, modern dance, chess, mathematics, swimming and diving, and the culinary arts. The book is unique in its scope and depth of exploration of different fields of endeavor and the individuals who have shaped them. Readers hear the voices of famous performers, from Leonard Bernstein to Joshua Bell and Mark Spitz, as they describe their early family experiences and formative years, the progression of teachers and coaches they had, their performance careers, educational philosophy and teaching practices, and their legacies. Important questions are explored throughout: Is exceptional talent an innate quality? Even so, does its fulfillment depend on the intervention of expert teachers? How do social class, gender, and ethnicity influence access to instructional and performance opportunities? Can lessons learned in one particular national and cultural context or in one performance field be extended to other societies and fields? How does public policy shape the recognition and development of talent? The concluding chapter offers insights into how public education can nurture the talent of all individuals.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1 A Constellation of Stars: Gingold, Starker, and Sebok Chapter 2 I'll Take You to the Moon and Beyond: Peak Performance in Swimming and Diving Chapter 3 Jazz in the Halls of Academe: David Baker and Dominic Spera Chapter 4 Opening and Extending a Field: Saxophone and Tuba Virtuosos Chapter 5 A Bevy of Divas Chapter 6 Symphony Conductors: The Legacy of Leonard Bernstein in Two Profiles Chapter 7 Modern Dance Masters Chapter 8 A Cross-Cultural and Cross-National Duo Chapter 9 Prodigious Talents Chapter 10 Mathematics: The Nature of Talent and Its Development Chapter 11 Chess Masters Chapter 12 Chicago's Master Chefs Chapter 13 Bringing It All Together: Lessons Learned Index About the Author
“Robert Arnove’s book is a wonderful examination of gifted people and the variety of circumstances responsible for their greatness. This wide-ranging book helps us understand how people of accomplishment were formed, and how they maintained their positions of prominence. Musicians, Athletes, Mathematicians and Chefs speak to us about their lives, attitudes, and work in an exceptionally personal way. This is a great book of 'how & why' exceptional individuals fulfilled their talents. Talent Abounds is a book for everyone interested in the ‘inner workings’ of people who are prominent in their fields of endeavor. Bob Arnove’s overview of ‘talented achievers’ gives us all a glimpse into the inner world of exceptional human beings.”
—Andre Watts, piano virtuoso
“I loved reading the parts about Mark Spitz and Coach Counsilman as much as reading about Virginia Zeani. We do all need three lives, cara Virginia, you're right: one to LEARN, a second to DO and a third to TEACH. Best of all, Talent Abounds, thanks to Robert Arnove's broad base of interviews, will help me be a better teacher. It is a noble profession indeed!"
—Sylvia McNair, internationally acclaimed soprano
“A most important contribution to the discovery and development of talent. Parents and teachers should not miss this book if they want to ensure that highly talented children reach their true potential. Provocative and fascinating."
—Henry M. Levin, Teachers College, Columbia University
"Talent Abounds offers an important contribution to scholarship in comparative and international education by exploring the contours of achievement and the essential role of teachers who are equipped with sufficient knowledge, effective pedagogical skills, and the ability to inspire students.”
—Monisha Bajaj, Teachers College, in Comparative Education Review
"Robert F. Arnove's Talent Abounds is an exciting book to read from cover to cover, showing all of us that if we honor and utilize our natural gifts, and combine them with hard work and high ideals, all of us may be able to participate in the highest achievement in life ... to make a contribution to others by utilizing our own gifts.
Never written in a preachy way, and totally devoid of New Age hot air, this unique book is an invaluable document that tells us about people from all disciplines and professions who have done more than expected, and reads like an adventure story.
In a cynical time when our media-created heroes and heroines fleet by and are forgotten about before we even find out who they really are, Robert Arnove's book celebrates people who are committed for life to what they feel is their calling, and the book describes their devotion to what they do and how they do it and reinforces the old biblical saying 'By your works ye shall be known.'
Talent Abounds should be required reading for all young people to show that practicing the values we preach can actually lead to extraordinary results if you walk the walk you talk. Turn off your TV sets, buy this book and read it!!!"
—David Amram, composer and jazz musician
"Educators everywhere will appreciate the details in this fascinating book about bright minds who influence other bright minds. Arnove is surely among
“Unburdened by excessive academic language, the main part of the book bears the stamp of remarkably detailed reporting, written in a most engaging, almost journalistic style. The author shows a tremendous aptness of evocative language, which brings to life the world described there and, at times, becomes intensely captivating prose”
–Compare September 2011 Vol. 41 No. 5