Archives for October 2016

My 10,000 Hours

MUSINGS IN Cb: “My 10,000 Hours” – In his book, ‘Outliers’, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in most any endeavor. Gladwell came to this conclusion by studying the lives of extremely successful people who had averaged 10,000 hours of preparatory work before emerging as leaders in their respective professional fields. His research examples included a group of elite violinists, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, and the Beatles. It’s a great read and I recommend it for anyone interested. As a musician, practice is among the constant endeavors of our lives. I averaged 20 hours of practice each week during the 22 years I was with military bands. So, that’s 22,880 hours, which is more than double Gladwell’s baseline in his study. And, there was a ten year period after finishing with military bands that I was practicing at least 40 hours a week. The five years working for the jazz museum dropped my practice time significantly, but I always got 10-15 hours of practice in each week nonetheless. All of that to say, there are no shortcuts to success in anything you want to be the best you are capable of being. I practiced at least 2 hours a day during my high school years. I thought that was quite a bit, but it wasn’t until I completed my first year as a professional military musician did I surpass 10,000 hours of practice. And, the thing about music is that it is so big and diverse that we must always practice in order to grow. Especially when you add jazz improvisation and composition to the mix. Nice work if you can get it. Anyway, I have been practicing my instruments and writing again. Thanks again to Mark Farmer for putting my horns back into adjustment. I’m beginning to get some clarinet reeds working … @connselmerinc @arclabelkc @vandorenusa www.BurnettMusic.COM