I can go for miles and miles and miles

Miles on the fiddleThis year I set out to ride 1500 miles on my bike. Although I’m not quite there yet, (I’m at about 1,000), I can already feel the difference in my body. My legs are getting stronger and more defined, my lungs are able to take in more air on the climbs and I just plain feel good.

I’ve been thinking about this 1500 mile biking goal and wondered what would happen if I made a similar goal for practicing music.

Author Malcolm Gladwell said, in the book Outliers, that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Ten thousand hours seems a bit excessive a goal for a girl who works full time and still has 500 miles on her bike to ride before the season ends. So what is a good goal to shoot for?

My first fiddle teacher said to shoot for 15 minutes a day, which roughly works out to about two hours per week. According to Gladwell, I won’t master my instrument for another 96 years at that rate.  So what’s a good balance?

At this point I think I’ll just try to pick up my fiddle every day, even if it is just for 15 minutes. Because I do think that those 15 minutes can add a lot to my playing over time. Though I may never master my instrument like my favorite musicians, I can at least keep adding miles on the fiddle.

4 thoughts on “I can go for miles and miles and miles

  1. Katrina Good post On practicing I am just starting the marimba And looking to create that disciplined Dedication of time that leads to steady Improvement, as your bike riding has for you

    Ten thousand hours is only five years of 40 hour weeks If we make our passions our job it doesnt take that long I need to focus more on that too it seems

    Hope it is a beautiful day in the home state

    Xo Russ

  2. Hi Katrina, There is a fellow who’s goal is to become a professional golfer using the 10,000 hours of practice technique, I hear he’s improving but me thinks there is some God given talent needed to become the best, good luck,

    1. Haha. I agree Brian. But I do think there is some truth to just gaining miles on the fiddle. The more I play the more comfortable I am on my instrument and the more I’m likely to just let the music flow. I’ll keep you posted. So far this week I’ve already practiced 2 hours. 🙂

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