The boy just got the results back from his latest Guild audition (American College of Musicians / National Guild of Piano Teachers - if you were classically trained in music, this will ring a bell).
He auditioned at the National level this year, meaning he performed 10 pieces. 7 of them were memorized unique pieces, and 3 of them were one song which he had to play in the original key plus transpose into two other keys (one major, one minor).
In preparing for this, I was working with him on phrasing and paying attention to the smallest details in the sheet music. He's very coachable and picks up on instruction pretty quickly. And he's playing beautifully, especially this last year. I should do a YouTube video of him.
Anyway, when he got to the song being transposed, he didn't need the sheet music at all - even though he could have played from it. The piece was written in C Major, and he had to play it in G Major and A Minor, which he did with no trouble. We'd never worked on this, so I asked if he had been practicing them (as I'd not heard them), and he said no. So for fun, I said play it in D Major, and he did. I said play it in B-flat Minor, and he did. I had to leave the room and hide my expression, because I couldn't stop giggling at what I was hearing.
Gerkebi and/or others may weigh in on how hard this is to do on-the-fly. It's not simple, at all. He's doing it on-demand after right around 5 years of study.
Anyway, the teacher called to say that he had 34 "C" markings, which is like an A+ grade, and 1 "A" marking1, which is like a D grade. Subtract A's from C's, and you have a score of 33, which puts him into the "Top-Talent Circle", or "Superior-Plus".
People brag on their kids all the time, and the boy certainly has lots of occasions to celebrate something beyond mere mediocrity (like straight-A grades in school, etc)...this was something pretty special though.
If you have an opportunity to get your children involved with music in some fashion, I think it's a phenomenal way to demonstrate that hard work produces results, and that talent alone will get you nowhere.
(Apologies for the sappiness. I need more wine.