15 minutes vs 10,000 hour rule

In the famous book Outliers, written by Malcolm Gladwell, the author claims that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate study to Master any skill; including the piano. I totally agree with this. Is it exact? Maybe, maybe not. However, I agree with the general idea that if you want to become the next great pianist you will have to practice a whole lot. The average Music major in college will practice 4-8 hours a day! This can be very disheartening if you want to play the piano. Most people don’t have time and do not want to spend a 1/3 of their day playing the piano.

The good news is that you don’t have to! Let me explain. If you want to become a famous concert pianist and travel the globe-you’re going to need about 10,000 hours of practice under your belt. However, if want to learn some of your favorite songs and play them for friends and family- you only need about 15 -30 minutes of your time a couple days a week. (In some cases less than that. Learn a song in less than 5 minutes!)

For example, if you want to be a bodybuilder, you will live in the gym. You might as well pack your things and move to the apartment building next to your local gym. You are going to be there for a while. However, if you want to lose a few pounds and tone your muscles, you could simply eat healthier and workout 3 days a week for about 30 minutes.

Im a professional musician and educator. It’s required that I practice and learn as much as I can. (By the way, I enjoy it and I’m a music nerd!) However, it’s not necessary for the casual piano player who has no desire to perform at Carnegie Hall to learn all there is to know about music theory to learn how to play a Beatle’s song. If you want to learn how to play “Let it Be”, then by all means, learn how to play “Let it Be.”

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