The 10,000-hour Red Herring

You’ve all heard it by now: all the talk and focus on the 10,000 hour “rule,” from people like Malcolm Gladwell, and the researcher who originally published the study with the finding, Anders Ericsson, whose theories are not without opposition in the academic world. If you haven’t heard of this finding by researchers Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Romer yet, it goes like this: it takes 10,000 hours of practice to reach expert-level performance, whether it’s in sports, music, chess, or x-ray diagnostics. But the 10,000-hour rule is a red herring for several reasons.

Ethan Bensdorf: NY Philharmonic Trumpeter on Practice

It might go without saying that Ethan Bensdorf is a fantastic classical trumpet player, but I’ll say it anyway: Ethan is a fantastic trumpet player. We talked over the phone and he told me the story of how he landed the gig with the New York Philharmonic, playing with principal trumpet legend Mr. Phillip Smith, including a week spent getting his chops together on the rotary valve trumpet before heading back to New York for another round of final auditions. Ethan also shared his thoughts about practice and had a lot of great things to say. Hope you enjoy.