In the book "Outliers," author Malcolm Gladwell states that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Apparently, Gladwell studied the lives of extremely successful people to find out how they achieved their success.
In the early 1990s, a team of psychologists in Berlin, Germany studied violin students and their practice habits from childhood through adulthood. All of the violinists had begun playing at roughly five years of age with similar practice times. However, by the age of eight, practice times began to diverge. At the age of twenty, the elite performers averaged more than 10,000 hours of training each, while the less successful violinists only had 4,000 hours of practice.
So, based on this study, wouldn't it make sense that the more hours an artist puts into their craft, the more accomplished they can expect to become? Well, yes and no. How an artist develops isn't solely based on the number of hours they practice; it's also highly dependent on the quality of their education. In other words, if an artist doesn't learn the necessary information from a carefully trained teacher, they will never progress beyond their current level of abilities regardless of the amount of time invested.
To download a free PDF copy of "The Art of Composition: A Dynamic Symmetry User's Guide for the Modern Artist," click here.