The Strange World Of Child Prodigies And Wunderkinds

It is easy to feel humbled in the presence of a Wunderkind, or what is more broadly referred to as a Child Prodigy.

They appear most enigmatically, astounding everyone around them with jaw dropping displays of prowess well in advance of their years; more often than not, even well beyond the capabilities of professionals who have spent most of their life getting to the top of their class.

Many in fact, have little or no exposure to any source that might serve to explain how they may have come to their special gift. Some Child Prodigies display their amazing capabilities well before they have even mastered walking and talking, much less a far more complex maturity of body and mind.

“A child prodigy is someone who, at an early age, masters one or more skills far beyond their level of maturity. One criterion for classifying prodigies is: a prodigy is a child, typically younger than 18 years old, who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding field of endeavour.”  — Wikipedia

Child Prodigies have appeared all over the world and across the ages in many categories of skilled human endeavor. In ancient times, they were even feared and considered possessed by spirits, or even the Devil. Certainly there was no explanation, short of the supernatural, before researchers began to better understand that a small percentage of people were specially gifted and usually with a particular skill, rather than being generally extraordinary.

For the purpose of this post, we wanted to introduce one amazing little girl whose musical gift is possibly a throwback to Mozart, incidentally her favorite piano composer as well. Her name is Emily Bear and she is probably the only 6-year-old who has ever given a piano recital at the White House.

Her story is indicative of many other children who display this mysterious ability to skip the usual process the rest of us have to suffer through, in order to become proficient at any skill of our choice. Oddly, it’s as if they don’t even have a choice but to excel. It simply comes to them naturally and effortlessly to the great amazement of everyone, but themselves.

For a list of other child prodigies in various skill categories, visit Wikipedia’s: List of Child Prodigies


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