Julienne- You really expressed the intangible that seperates the great artist from everybody else. Good job.
Several years ago, at I think it was the Philadelphia Conference, Susan McDonald gave a lecture on teaching the gifted student. It was a wondereful talk. She seemed to be reading from a prepared text the whole time, and I really felt that that text should be published as an article in one of the harp magazines. One of the main points she made was that the gifted student imposes higher expectations on him/herself. She told about teaching a gifted 12 year old who played each lesson like a finished recital, with absolutely no pedal noise, no buzzing, etc. She told about gifted students who, the night before one stage or another in an important competition, stayed up practicing literally the whole night to ‘get it perfect.’ She told about a gifted student of hers who had won an important competition, calling her the night before an opening recital for an AHS conference and telling her that she had just finished playing the whole recital in her head. The self-expectations of the gifted student are so much higher than they are for the average, even good student.