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Re: OT: 10,000 hours

first read about this in Scientific American in 2006.  

I think in some cases kids absorb music thru their parent's playing, listening etc.  So, even though they might not be practicing, they're doing 'the hours' vicariously - absorbing the melodies, riddims etc.  I think that's why the kids of musicians seem to have such a huge head start. 

Gladwell also talks in the book about the importance of folks being in the right place at the right time... and having nurturing environments when young & meeting great mentors - Bill Gates, Bill Joy etc.  Watching my daughter and Joe Pug's progress, I have no doubt that this is a critical part of the equation.  

There are freaks like the kid I saw play Beethoven at a piano that was over his head.  He was like 3.  But for 99.99999% of us, there's nothing like practice and discipline - that is, learning things that are very hard and not easy to learn.  Challenging yourself. You can practice for a trillion hours, but if you don't try to do really challenging stuff, you don't improve - that's why there are 22 year old kids who can play a circle around me, young chess players who can obliterate the old sages.  

"It's not that I'm smarter than everybody, I just work on problems longer." Albert Einstein

All of Gladwell's books are great mind blowers.

Okay... back to work!!!

On Jul 17, 2009, at 12:29 AM, Art Simon wrote:

I just read Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers", and it makes a
convincing argument that there really is no such thing as a prodigy,
and it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to become great,
whether you are talking about music or computer programming. The
author cites the examples of the Beatles and Mozart. I was having a
hard time trying to come up with musical counter examples, maybe Tod
Dockstader? Even "anti-musicians" like Alvin Lucier and Brian Eno
certainly put in the time developing their chops. I'm pretty convinced
that there really is something to this, and that practice is the most
important part of developing as a musician or a composer.

I'm curious if anyone else has heard this hypothesis and might have an opinion.
Art Simon
myspace [dot] com/artsimon