Tonight, I am listening to Art Tatum. I am also YouTubing those who have attempted to replicate his masterful performances. In all of my studies of piano history and repertoire, I repeatedly come back to the same virtuosos who transformed the instrument into something greater, and changed the future of piano performance. There are a great many piano players who have distinguished themselves as icons and legends over the past three centuries. There are just a few who have far surpassed even the highest skill levels ever demonstrated and shattered the expectations left to them from the prodigies who came before. And then way above that, you have Art Tatum.

I just sit and listen in total awe and wonder of this musical genius. It's easy to get discouraged when you hear someone like Tatum who just seems so eternally unrivaled. But you also have to realize that his accomplishments are proof of what can be gained. What could you accomplish if for one year, all expenses were paid, and you could pursue music for thirteen hours a day? Would you? I often ponder the idea of sacrifice in that respect.