📣THE infamous 10,000-Hour-Rule is a MYTH! There, I said it!
No more hours of rigorous daily piano practice in solitude! Hooray! 🥳 🙌 🤔
Well, not so fast. 😅 Hear me out.
If you are not familiar with this 10,000-Hour-Rule, popularized by one of Malcolm Gladwell’s blockbuster books, “Outliers,” the rule goes like this: it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills, like playing a musical instrument, chess, or golf, or becoming like Bill Gates.
This rule is a myth because it makes way too oversimplified and generalized for what really goes into mastering the craft of playing the piano.
Say you wanted to get better at shooting a basketball. Do you think you can achieve this by spending hours on your own, throwing 🏀 into a net without any strategy? Or without any guidance from an expert giving you tips on form and technique?
The answer to this question is obvious.
One of several flaws of the 10,000 Hour Rule is that the notion only focuses on the quantity of time practicing, not the quality.
😎 The best way to improve or achieve mastery for specific skills like playing the piano is through focused, well-intended, and meaningful practice (I am just going to call it “purposeful practice”).
There is a massive distinction between 💪purposeful practice–targeting a specific goal & 🤞aimless practice–hoping for good luck.
You will never improve your skills with mechanical repetition (aimless practice)–such a waste of time! No wonder you feel unmotivated about practicing and get bored 🥱 while practicing!
But by planning your practice wisely and adjusting strategies at every trial with guidance from your experienced coach or teacher, your practice becomes more effective. You start seeing positive results in your playing: precision, mobility, agility, endurance, expressions, and the list goes on. How fun, encouraging, and motivating is that!
Thus you start to feel the difference when you are about to perform or performing on the stage!
OF COURSE, you must put hours into practice! Ha 😆, that’s the catch. So, in a way, the 10,000-Hour-Rule is NOT entirely a lie. You must spend hours and hours crafting your artistry, and there is NO excuse for avoiding the hard work.
purposeful practice is the 🔑 to success, and you need an experienced teacher or coach to guide you every step of the way! (Watching tutorials on YouTube gives you only an introduction to your curiosity.)
BTW, if you are curious about a purposeful practice that I create for my clients–to motivate them to improve and build their confidence, send me a message 😀
📸 left: my solo piano concert in Tokyo in 2016
📸 right: teaching my student, M, in Brooklyn, NY