chapter  5
19 Pages

The Way to Carnegie Hall

Aevery musician knows, the way to get to Carnegie Hall is to practice. What surprises most people is just how much practice is needed. The training of a professional musician requires more than 10,000 hours of music practice and a minimum of 10 years before the young musician is ready to begin a career (Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Römer, 1993). In Lauren Sosniak's study of a group of American pianists who had reached the finals of one or more major international piano competitions, the average number of years of musical training was 17 and ranged from 12 to 25 (Sosniak, 1985). For composers, the preparation is generally even longer-20 years from first exposure to music until their first notable composition (Hayes, 1981; Simonton, 1991). In music, as in other fields, a minimum of 10 years of dedicated and intensive practice and preparation is needed to achieve eminence.1