Once again, as I was traipsing around the internet , I came across yet another reference to the 10,000 hrs of deliberate practice, paper quoted yet again.(Thankfully, it was arguing more for the deliberate practice part than the 10,000 hrs). Nevertheless, i got sick of reading and hearing about it, and for once and all decided read the actual damn paper and make up my mind. The following is notes, I used for the purpose cleaned up a little.
Here’s a Summary of what i found by reading the copy found here. http://www.mockingbirdeducation.net/uploads/5/4/0/7/5407628/ericsson_1993.pdf
I’ll skip most of the preface, and survey parts as they were too much, and too hard to actually form a opinion, without getting into a rabbit-hole search of references and many days trying to read and digest them.
Will just observe that this was a paper from 1993.
There were 2 studies, This is the first one:
Student Musicians(Violinists): From some univ in Germany.
1. Professors recommended 14 of them to be potential professionals. 10 of those were studied.(4 excluded for bad German, and pregnancy)
(Tagged as best violinists)
2. Control group was another 10 students from a different university with lower admission standards.selected again from professors recommending as good violinists(Tagged as music teachers)
They matched sex and age across these two groups.
3. Another control group of 10 middle-aged violin professionals
Note: This seems to fall under what can be called stratified random sampling.
1. 3 sessions of interviews with the subjects.
a, autobiographical + question to estimate the hours of practiceper year, since the subject started playing.
A pilot study had helped form a taxonomy of 12 music related activities and non-related activities. This taxonomy was presented and explained. Then they were asked to rate each of these activities/categories(some were non-violin players in the control group) on 3 Dimensions.
1. How relevant it was in terms of performance improvement.
2. How much effort was required to perform it?
3. How enjoyable it was regardless of the result.
b, Questions about practice and concentration, + previous days’ activities and subjective estimates.
What I interpret from the graphs. best violinists vs teachers’ there is quit a bit of number of hours practicing almost no difference. No difference between best violinists vs good violinists(professional violinists).
When plotted from age since they started playing the solo playing time/practice Teachers fall behind everyone else very clearly, but not much difference between the others.