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The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano

Posted By: Nicole94707

The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/16/10 11:06 PM

Ten years of daily practice.

That is what studies have found that it takes to "master" just about anything (of course, to master is a relative term.)




Posted By: BenPiano

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/16/10 11:15 PM

1 down, 9 to go. grin
Posted By: eweiss

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/16/10 11:33 PM

Well, I always say it takes 10 years for most to really learn how to drive. Which means there's still a lot of newbies on the road. smile
Posted By: ll

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/16/10 11:51 PM

"10,000 hours," I think, was the actual claim.

And this has come up a lot around here.

Baloney, really.
Posted By: ll

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/16/10 11:51 PM

(And yes, I spelled it that way purposefully.)
Posted By: TrapperJohn

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/16/10 11:53 PM

Simple truth? I don't think so - not much, but especially piano study, is that simple.

For example, how many hours per day over those 10 years?

At what intensity and with what motivation and enthusiasm?

Are there different levels of sub and super mastery, and at what time period?

If it's one hour per day then it logically follows that if you practice 2 hours per day you will achieve mastery in 5 years, correct?

And on and on...

JF
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 12:32 AM

Good luck, see you in 10 years!
Posted By: rocket88

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 12:37 AM

Originally Posted by John Frank
Simple truth? I don't think so - not much, but especially piano study, is that simple.

For example, how many hours per day over those 10 years?

At what intensity and with what motivation and enthusiasm?

Are there different levels of sub and super mastery, and at what time period?

If it's one hour per day then it logically follows that if you practice 2 hours per day you will achieve mastery in 5 years, correct?

And on and on...

JF


And on and on... exactly. thumb
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 12:42 AM

Originally Posted by John Frank
If it's one hour per day then it logically follows that if you practice 2 hours per day you will achieve mastery in 5 years, correct?


1 down, 4 to go. grin

smokin
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 12:46 AM

I got a book called "Secrets of Learning Piano Fast" where in only 10 minutes a day you too can master any song you want. Just for 3 easy payments of $19.99 plus shipping and handling! Call now!

Posted By: jcabraham

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 01:09 AM

Originally Posted by ll
"10,000 hours," I think, was the actual claim.

And this has come up a lot around here.

Baloney, really.


The original research is actually quite convincing. The problem is that the media seized on the number without the caveat. The conclusion of the original studies was, basically, that masters of a specialty like piano playing required at least 10k hours of *deliberate* practice, carefully defined. "Native ability", whatever that may be, did not correlate with subsequent mastery.
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 03:35 AM

I don't believe a word of it. There are far too many variables when it comes to playing the piano that can't be summed up in a simple number.

Mastery is another loaded term. Just ask any of the 'masters' how many hours it took them - many will say mastery is as elusive as it was on day-one. wink

Glen
Posted By: mr_super-hunky

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 03:37 AM

The REAL truth is *quality* practice time, not quantity.

10,000 hours of Mary had a little lamb every day will produce a master of nothing.......except performing Mary had a little lamb of course!
Posted By: AllShookUp

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 03:56 AM

Quote
Ten years of daily practice.

That is what studies have found that it takes to "master" just about anything (of course, to master is a relative term.)


Completely false. I had women figured out by the time I was 9 and a half. If only I had a piano then... and learned to tell the truth.
Posted By: Ken.

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 06:57 AM

I think 10,000 hours is a good benchmark. I will probably have done about that much in a few years on my primary instrument (approx 28 years at 1 hour/day) and I would be surprised if my playing gets much better from here on out given the rate of progress over the years.
Posted By: TrapperJohn

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 11:41 AM

Originally Posted by Patrick Thomas
... I had women figured out by the time I was 9 and a half...


Ha! You only knew what they wanted you to know...and they were either dazzling you with deception or baffling you with bulls**t ...maybe by 99 1/2...maybe... smile

JF
Posted By: Ejay

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 12:07 PM

You mean , of course, that you had figured out that you would never understand them.. lol
Posted By: etcetra

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 12:31 PM

Well, I read that Kenny Garrett have practiced over 50,000 hours in his lifetime.. and I think someone once said it took him 15 years to be able to play the Chopin etude Op10 #2 well. It may be true that with 10,000 hours of practice you will be competent, but if you want to be a "master" like the people we look up to, chances are they put in a lot more than 10,000.

I know people who have probably practiced more than 10,000 and still suck, mostly due to the fact they were just playing for that time instead of doing actual practicing. Effective practicing requires the kind of discipline you would need for boot camp, and knowing how to practice is probably more important than putting 10,000 hours on an instrument.
Posted By: jcabraham

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 07:29 PM

Originally Posted by Inlanding
I don't believe a word of it. There are far too many variables when it comes to playing the piano that can't be summed up in a simple number.

Mastery is another loaded term. Just ask any of the 'masters' how many hours it took them - many will say mastery is as elusive as it was on day-one. wink

Glen


This is not some froot-loopy made up self-help. The original research was done by Anders Ericsson, and published in peer-reviewed journals. Take a look at the papers and then decide.
Posted By: jcabraham

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 07:31 PM

Originally Posted by jcabraham
Originally Posted by Inlanding
I don't believe a word of it. There are far too many variables when it comes to playing the piano that can't be summed up in a simple number.

Mastery is another loaded term. Just ask any of the 'masters' how many hours it took them - many will say mastery is as elusive as it was on day-one. wink

Glen


This is not some froot-loopy made up self-help. The original research was done by Anders Ericsson, and published in peer-reviewed journals. Take a look at the papers and then decide.


Here's a link to get you started: http://www.psy.fsu.edu/faculty/ericsson/ericsson.exp.perf.html
Posted By: jotur

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 07:44 PM

And, as someone pointed out, the conclusion was that it wasn't mastered without at least 10,000 hours of focused practice, regardless of "innate talent". But that amount of practice does not guarantee mastery.

10,000 hours is a minimum necessary, not a sufficient guarantee.

Cathy
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/17/10 11:06 PM

Originally Posted by jcabraham
Originally Posted by Inlanding
I don't believe a word of it. There are far too many variables when it comes to playing the piano that can't be summed up in a simple number.

Mastery is another loaded term. Just ask any of the 'masters' how many hours it took them - many will say mastery is as elusive as it was on day-one. wink

Glen


This is not some froot-loopy made up self-help. The original research was done by Anders Ericsson, and published in peer-reviewed journals. Take a look at the papers and then decide.


Thanks for forwarding a peer-reviewed article, referencing all sorts of other studies and articles ascribing what experts in one field say about what the experts in other fields are doing and how they might have arrived there. I very much appreciate reading and digesting articles like that. That well written article makes the OP's claim anything but a simple truth.

However, there isn't much in there addressing the mastery of piano musicianship specifically (skill, etc, not just knowledge), so the mystery of it still hangs out there - it addresses expertise and generalizing to other endeavors.

To quote the article:
The same acquired representations appear to be essential for experts' ability to monitor and evaluate their own performance (Ericsson, 1996; Glaser, 1996) so they can keep improving their own performance by designing their own training and assimilating new knowledge.

Also, I never claimed or intimated gaining expertise is some fruit-loopy made up self-help concept. I assert mastery (a different term) is much more complicated (perhaps more of a process) when it comes to music performance and that 10,000 hours as a means to an end is an oversimplification, that's all.
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 02:04 AM

10,000 hours wins!! The 10,000 hours rule has been "scientifically studied" and seems to be the "latest fad" in human performance science. sleep

With that said, just 1 hour per day for 10 years is only 3650 hours - not enough to achieve master status. In a 10 year period, one would have to practice for about 2.74 hours per day to get the 10,000 hours. smile

Some of you are either there already, or well on your way! I am way behind. frown
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 05:10 AM

I don't think this kid put his 10,000 hours in yet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9BXa22qWTc&playnext_from=TL&videos=EuyiA1B1gCU

Nor this kid, not even close:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUx4t4W4eVY


The "Simple Truth" ain't so simple.
Posted By: ll

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 05:18 AM

Wizard, I was about to post the same exact links earlier!

You know what they say... great minds and all wink

But seriously. It's a load of crock.
Posted By: BenPiano

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 05:30 AM

1 down, ?? to go! *sigh*

whome
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 06:47 AM

More good stuff, Ben, Wiz, II

These gifted pianists know no time in years or hours, and simply defy any simple truths - Just lean back and enjoy and don't forget to pick your jaw up from the floor. What fun!! Don't you just love the internet?

George Li plays Liszt and most every other composer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7A94KdU8C8

Stephanie Trick plays Fats Waller, then Jelly Roll and any other stride pianist she wants
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET3n09AfY68
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjM7ialHdWk

Ariel - plays jazz, classical, and his own compositions -
Bach here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeCYdMnQA1Y

check out his website: http://www.arielpiano.com/

Glen
Posted By: Wizard of Oz

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 06:56 AM

Originally Posted by ll
Wizard, I was about to post the same exact links earlier!

You know what they say... great minds and all wink



Haha! that's awesome, yeah I like Gadi's style. It's great with technology these days who you can discover.

I really wonder the intention of the OP, she must have known that statement to be false or was she trying to provoke some response. Or who knows, maybe that's what she really thinks.
Posted By: JonnyJ

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 07:40 AM

does hours incurred from past life count?
Posted By: Superstar

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 03:07 PM

Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
The REAL truth is *quality* practice time, not quantity.

10,000 hours of Mary had a little lamb every day will produce a master of nothing.......except performing Mary had a little lamb of course!


Couldn't agree more!!

AK
Posted By: jcabraham

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 03:35 PM

Originally Posted by ll
Wizard, I was about to post the same exact links earlier!

You know what they say... great minds and all wink

But seriously. It's a load of crock.


You guys understand than in any sample there will be outliers, right? All this proves is that you need more education.
Posted By: jcabraham

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 03:38 PM

Originally Posted by AlleyKatt
Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
The REAL truth is *quality* practice time, not quantity.

10,000 hours of Mary had a little lamb every day will produce a master of nothing.......except performing Mary had a little lamb of course!


Couldn't agree more!!

AK


The claim is that 10k hours, give or take, of *deliberate* practice, narrowly defined, is seen in most examples of "mastery", narrowly defined. The claim was not that you could mindlessly plonk at the piano for 10k hours. Sheesh.
Posted By: OnlinePianist.com

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 04:22 PM

Practice does makes perfect, but who wants to be perfect???

and as for the links, at a certain point in your life you understand that some people were just born gifted...

The wisdom is to find your own heavenly present...

Have to go and practice,

OnlinePianist
Posted By: jcabraham

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 06:43 PM

Originally Posted by OnlinePianist.com
Practice does makes perfect, but who wants to be perfect???

and as for the links, at a certain point in your life you understand that some people were just born gifted...

The wisdom is to find your own heavenly present...

Have to go and practice,

OnlinePianist


Now, that's froot-loopy. Good luck with that.
Posted By: CebuKid

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 09:09 PM

Originally Posted by jcabraham
Originally Posted by AlleyKatt
Originally Posted by mr_super-hunky
The REAL truth is *quality* practice time, not quantity.

10,000 hours of Mary had a little lamb every day will produce a master of nothing.......except performing Mary had a little lamb of course!


Couldn't agree more!!

AK


The claim is that 10k hours, give or take, of *deliberate* practice, narrowly defined, is seen in most examples of "mastery", narrowly defined. The claim was not that you could mindlessly plonk at the piano for 10k hours. Sheesh.


Sheeesh is right..lol. I think we're all smart enough to know that 10 years and/or 10,000 hours of deliberate, intelligent, methodical practice is definitely what the O.P. meant. The jist of her statement was that there are no shortcuts.

My 1st response was tongue-in-cheek and meant to poke a little fun at all these "performance scientists" who set the 10,000 hours rule in stone. Further, this "rule" is meant for average people (like most of us here), and not the child prodigies. smile
Posted By: SoundThumb

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/18/10 10:10 PM

From my reading of the paper, the study showed that the best professional pianists had put in 10,000 hrs of deliberate practice by age 20. The least proficient professionals had put in 5,000 hrs by age 20, and good amateurs had put in about 2,000 hrs by age 20. It didn't say anything about total number of hours to become a professional. I agree that the O.P. was trying to make the point that it takes a lot of dedicated practice, there is no short cut.

For me as an adult beginner with 0 hrs of practice before age 55, does that mean that I can at best become what?
a) An accomplished beginner
b) A struggling intermediate

Oh no! I just lost 30 min of practice reading this post and it can never be recovered.
Posted By: ll

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/19/10 01:14 AM

Originally Posted by jcabraham
Originally Posted by ll
Wizard, I was about to post the same exact links earlier!

You know what they say... great minds and all wink

But seriously. It's a load of crock.


You guys understand than in any sample there will be outliers, right? All this proves is that you need more education.


The problem with statistics like this (whoopty doo, trust me, I've done enough classes and studies in that) is that they don't approach the other variables in terms of the arts.

Maybe it is you who needs to be educated.

The issue lies in the term "master" and what that means. A concert pianist is "more of a master" at the piano than, say, a DMA piano teacher? Because of what, their fame? What about comparing rock/roll piano to classical? Do you think 10k hours are necessary in that to become a master?

It's all nonsense. Studies like this make absolutely no sense in this side of the academic or practical world.
Posted By: rocket88

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/19/10 02:22 AM

Originally Posted by ll

It's all nonsense. Studies like this make absolutely no sense in this side of the academic or practical world.


Thank you.
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/19/10 10:49 AM

Are you guys suggesting that the study is flawed?
Do you feel that the facts they gathered are trumped by your armchair guesses?
Posted By: Nikolas

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/19/10 10:57 AM

When I read the study a few months back, it seemed that the guy was targetting the idea of 'innate talent'. So he claimed that the best students of the bunch had studied 10,000 hours or more, while the mediocre had studied 7-10,000 hours or something to that idea.

I will abide to that idea, as a teacher, and a professional musician and speak nothing of my whatever talent! I can't be a racist against my students who might or not appear 'talented' and certainly I can't pitch for a gig based on my talents!

0?
Posted By: ll

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/19/10 11:24 AM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Are you guys suggesting that the study is flawed?
Do you feel that the facts they gathered are trumped by your armchair guesses?


Armchair guesses?

That's like saying art isn't subjective, but purely objective.

Of course there are certain qualities we approve of wholely and comparatively, but you can't assess these types of things purely based on the mathematical assignments by some study.

Answer my previous question and THEN we'll talk about it. Until then: BALONEY.
Posted By: SoundThumb

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/19/10 03:24 PM

I like this study. It is really a good news/bad news story for those of us that are adult beginners. The bad news is that unless you have completed extensive training and practice before age 20 the cards are stacked against you ever reaching the peak of the profession. But I don't think that is really news for most people who take up piano after age 20. The good news, and where I prefer to focus is that the study finds very little correlation between some sort of innate talent and becoming really good at something. Becoming good takes training, practice, and dedication. It keeps the door open for all of us, it remains within our grasp.
Posted By: knotty

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/19/10 05:21 PM

Why not read Kenny Werner's book and just become a master right away ?

It's really that easy !
Posted By: Plowboy

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/19/10 07:25 PM

I have no illusions about reaching the peak of the profession. I just want to enjoy playing a little piano. After 520 hours of practice, I've reached that goal. Plod, plod, plod...
Posted By: Donn Xavier

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/20/10 02:35 AM

The general rule that we (piano teachers) use is simply this:

It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a pianist capable of performing in a recital or on stage. That translates to: 1,000 hours/year and that translates to (about) 3 hours/day - - - and that means EVERY DAY!! But if you want to be a good Chopin or Liszt interpreter, it takes even more than that! But - - it's a start!!
Donn Xavier
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/24/10 11:07 PM

Originally Posted by ll
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Are you guys suggesting that the study is flawed? Do you feel that the facts they gathered are trumped by your armchair guesses?

Armchair guesses?
That's like saying art isn't subjective, but purely objective.
Of course there are certain qualities we approve of wholely and comparatively, but you can't assess these types of things purely based on the mathematical assignments by some study.
Answer my previous question and THEN we'll talk about it. Until then: BALONEY.
I'll take that as "I've not seen the study, I'm not able to evaluate the results, and I'll offer no factual support for my statements." smile
Posted By: jcabraham

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/25/10 01:23 AM

Originally Posted by ll
Originally Posted by jcabraham
Originally Posted by ll
Wizard, I was about to post the same exact links earlier!

You know what they say... great minds and all wink

But seriously. It's a load of crock.


You guys understand than in any sample there will be outliers, right? All this proves is that you need more education.


The problem with statistics like this (whoopty doo, trust me, I've done enough classes and studies in that) is that they don't approach the other variables in terms of the arts.

Maybe it is you who needs to be educated.

The issue lies in the term "master" and what that means. A concert pianist is "more of a master" at the piano than, say, a DMA piano teacher? Because of what, their fame? What about comparing rock/roll piano to classical? Do you think 10k hours are necessary in that to become a master?

It's all nonsense. Studies like this make absolutely no sense in this side of the academic or practical world.


You're fixated on the number. The studies have important things to tell anybody who wants to master a skill. You're simply blowing smoke out of your ass (yeah, I'm serious) without actually challenging either the methodology or the results. You trying to find an excuse for mediocrity or something?
Posted By: ll

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/25/10 11:02 PM

You say that as if it bothers me. Believe in the number all you want. In the end, it's just a number that means absolutely nothing.

Do I believe there is some merit to the study (which, yes, I have seen)? Of course. But it simply doesn't apply in the same fashion you'd wish. Especially when the outliers against it are one-too-many - ie, the hundreds of thousands of kids who are well above "mediocrity" - as well as the sample pool the data is taken from. There are too many variables and subjective reasonings (like the ones I mentioned before, which apparently to you are just smoke out of my ass - welcome to the world of the arts, buddy, where you are sure to fail) to find a true value in this analysis.

10,000 hours of dedicated hours will make you 10,000 hours better. They won't make you a master, and are not the threshold for becoming a master - whatever the heck that term means.
Posted By: eweiss

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/25/10 11:38 PM

Technical skill does not make one a 'master.' Nor does 10,000 hours. Why? Because you can have 50,000 hours under your belt and still give a performance that does not communicate.

A real master is able to combine intuition and intellect into one resulting in a communication that transcends technique. Sure, technique is needed and required, but it ain't the holy grail many seem to think it is. smile
Posted By: ll

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/25/10 11:58 PM

Originally Posted by eweiss
Technical skill does not make one a 'master.' Nor does 10,000 hours. Why? Because you can have 50,000 hours under your belt and still give a performance that does not communicate.

A real master is able to combine intuition and intellect into one resulting in a communication that transcends technique. Sure, technique is needed and required, but it ain't the holy grail many seem to think it is. smile


+ a billion
Posted By: WinsomeAllegretto

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/26/10 12:09 AM

Well, let me tell you. I have been playing piano for 10 years and I have certainly not "mastered" it.
Posted By: MacMacMac

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/26/10 12:47 AM

Originally Posted by eweiss
Technical skill does not make one a 'master.' Nor does 10,000 hours. Why? Because you can have 50,000 hours under your belt and still give a performance that does not communicate.
That's unsupportable.

Do you know ANYONE who has 50,000 hours of practice under his belt? I can't. It would take 8 hours of practice EVERY SINGLE DAY for 17 years!

No days off. No holidays. No slacking off. (Fall below 8 hrs/day and you have to make it up with extra practice on another day.)

I'd guess that only the greatest of dedicated greats could achieve 50,000 hours before the age of 40 or 50.

I dare say that anyone who has practiced that much would be a fine pianist. Or, if he/she couldn't hack it, he'd drop out LONG before the 50,000 hours. Indeed, probably before 10,000 hours.
Posted By: Mark...

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/26/10 04:22 PM

Just for the record I'm about to hit the 2500 hour mark and I still suck... smile

Please return to your scheduled program...
Posted By: jotur

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/26/10 04:47 PM

But you suck less than you used to!

(Sorry, that's one of my band's mottoes - "Damn, we're not as bad as we used to be" laugh )

Cathy
Posted By: ChristopherM

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/26/10 05:45 PM

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Are you guys suggesting that the study is flawed?
Do you feel that the facts they gathered are trumped by your armchair guesses?


Yes.
Posted By: ChristopherM

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/26/10 05:48 PM

Originally Posted by ll

10,000 hours of dedicated hours will make you 10,000 hours better. They won't make you a master, and are not the threshold for becoming a master - whatever the heck that term means.



This^
Posted By: Eddy Boston

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/26/10 10:55 PM

The problem is not really with the study, but from the conclusions that come from trying to generalize it, and the use of fuzzy words like "master" and "just about anything."

Has there ever been anyone who can truly claim to have "mastered" piano? In the history of the world? Maybe one of the first inventors of the piano could have claimed to be able to play every piano piece ever written, which at the time may have been just one. (Even still, there were harpsichord pieces, organ pieces, etc.)

No matter how good someone gets, there is always another challenge, another difficulty. The piano field is, relative to a human lifetime, infinite, for all practical purposes. Maybe you master classical piano, well you still need to learn jazz. Or how about ragtime?

On the other hand, I bet most could become a tic-tac-toe master in a matter of hours, if not minutes. You can't say "just about anything" and really mean it.
Posted By: LaRate

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/27/10 12:29 PM

Uhmm...

Where did you all read the term "master"?

Ericsson is talking about "expertise" - which I think is a bit different, since it does not have the same absoluteness to it ("mastering" something seems to imply there's nothing left to improve or learn).

The number 10.000 might be a bit arbitrary, however it hints toward the rough dimension of what it takes to become an "expert". Furthermore it suggests that "talent" is a largely undefined concept. Although I do not doubt that some human beings are more inclined to learn specific things faster than others, I believe that behind many of those child prodigies there is a complex system of affection, motivation, opportunity and encouragement - which ultimately results into spending a lot of time doing something.

And I wouldn't even be to hard on the "deliberate practise" requirement. I think someone spending 10.000 hours into something and not dropping out of it, one can assume that a good portion of that time will be spent purposeful. A person so immersed in one activity will educate himself/herself even when not practising: by being surrounded by people with similar interests, by reading stuff, by thinking about music (or whatever it is) in every spare minute etc...
Posted By: Phlebas

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/27/10 01:28 PM


Quote
Uhmm...

Where did you all read the term "master"?


From the title of this thread: "The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano."

EddyBoston said, "The problem is not really with the study, but from the conclusions that come from trying to generalize it, and the use of fuzzy words like "master" and "just about anything."

I suppose he's including the OP as someone who drew conclusions from generalizing, and used fuzzy words like "master."
Posted By: Inlanding

Re: The Simple Truth to Mastering Piano - 07/27/10 01:35 PM

Originally Posted by Inlanding
Originally Posted by jcabraham
Originally Posted by Inlanding
I don't believe a word of it. There are far too many variables when it comes to playing the piano that can't be summed up in a simple number.

Mastery is another loaded term. Just ask any of the 'masters' how many hours it took them - many will say mastery is as elusive as it was on day-one. wink

Glen


This is not some froot-loopy made up self-help. The original research was done by Anders Ericsson, and published in peer-reviewed journals. Take a look at the papers and then decide.


Thanks for forwarding a peer-reviewed article, referencing all sorts of other studies and articles ascribing what experts in one field say about what the experts in other fields are doing and how they might have arrived there. I very much appreciate reading and digesting articles like that. That well written article makes the OP's claim anything but a simple truth.

However, there isn't much in there addressing the mastery of piano musicianship specifically (skill, etc, not just knowledge), so the mystery of it still hangs out there - it addresses expertise and generalizing to other endeavors.

To quote the article:
The same acquired representations appear to be essential for experts' ability to monitor and evaluate their own performance (Ericsson, 1996; Glaser, 1996) so they can keep improving their own performance by designing their own training and assimilating new knowledge.

Also, I never claimed or intimated gaining expertise is some fruit-loopy made up self-help concept. I assert mastery (a different term) is much more complicated (perhaps more of a process) when it comes to music performance and that 10,000 hours as a means to an end is an oversimplification, that's all.


My response never received a reply, so any dialog wasn't considered important.

It seems people's joy to play the piano is more timeless than anything else. When it comes to passions like this, quantification sometimes dilutes it.

Glen
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