This episode was a really exciting one for us because we got to speak with Professor Anders Ericsson, the leading academic researcher on the topic of “talent”.
If you’ve been listening to the Musicality Podcast for a while, then you know we have a particular perspective on “talent”, and we’re often asking our guests their opinion on how important talent is to become a great musician and learn the skills we associate with being a “natural” in music, like playing by ear, improvisation, song writing and more.
So for a long time we’ve been wanting to speak with the man who’s done more serious research on this topic than probably anyone else.
Professor Ericsson has been researching talent for over 30 years and has become famous for two things: the so-called “10,000 hour rule” for becoming an expert, and the idea of “deliberate practice”. We actually did a whole episode of this show on the 10,000 hour rule, and deliberate practice is an idea that runs through all of our teaching at Musical U. So you can imagine what a treat it was to get to talk to the man himself!
He recently published a book titled Peak sharing the biggest findings from that research, co-authored with Robert Poole, and if you enjoy this episode then you must check it out, it is packed full of more information, explanation and examples of everything we talk about today.
We were determined to make the most of this conversation and we asked Professor Ericsson the big questions we knew that you would be interested to hear the answers to…
- Is there such a thing as musical “talent”?
- If you don’t have talent for music, will that affect what you’re able to accomplish?
- Do you need perfect pitch to become an expert musician?
- What’s the most effective way to spend your practice time – especially considering the vast abundance of tutorials and other resources available at our fingertips online these days?
His answers were just as fascinating as we’d hoped. We were looking forward to this interview for ages and it did not disappoint.
We should mention there’s a brief section towards the end where we have some noisiness on the audio. We apologise for that, we had real technical issues on this one but Professor Ericsson was really gracious and patient and in the end it turned out really well apart from that one glitchy section.
We hope you’ll enjoy this episode and feel encouraged and inspired by the proven truth about musical “talent” and what it really takes to develop your musical skills.
Listen to the episode:
Links and Resources
- Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise (book)
- About The 10,000 Hour Rule – podcast episode
- About Perfect Pitch – podcast episode
- Making Music with Ease, with Gerald Klickstein – podcast episode
- Talent vs. Practice in Music
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Christopher: Welcome to the show, Professor Ericsson. Thank you for joining us today.
Prof. Ericsson: It’s my pleasure. I’m really looking forward to talking to you.
Christopher: So I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your book, Peak, that you co-authored with Robert Pool and it’s packed with so many insights and surprising tips for more effective learning that I know I’m going to struggle to pack all of my questions into this conversation. There’s so much I want to share with our audience so let’s just dive in and I’ll ask you the big question that I think is front-of-mind for anyone listening after I’ve introduced the kind of research you do. Is there such a thing as talent in music?
Prof. Ericsson: Well, you know, what I find very interesting is that different people have different ideas of not just what it is but how you would know if somebody has it and I think when we started our work, I guess I was brought up in a family where my parents were endeavoring to work hard and find the right kind of teachers. You know, there was basically nothing that I wouldn’t be able to do. So that’s kind of like the backdrop that I had when I started doing research and I basically encountered a lot of people, especially about 40 years ago who basically had this view, you know, that talent is scarce and part of basic education is actually identifying those scarce individuals who have the talent and can be successful.
Now when we actually did our research what we found that was really compelling to me was how professional musicians start out very early on and are guided by teachers and actually spend a considerable amount of time, you know, maybe like 20, 25 ours a week, you know, basically working by themselves trying to refine their skills, you know, being helped here by their teacher who directs them to what they need to do. So once you start seeing here that there’s this development then the question is, how would you be able to to know if a four or five-year-old is talented? And when you actually look at the kinds of things that people argued was evidence for that, it was sort of that a child would be actually enjoying listening to music.
Now when people actually did studies asking that now parents of children who eventually became very musically skilled and sort of even professionals versus other families, that type of thing that children were listening to music, that’s not unique for those children with talent and over time, you know, we basically have been focusing on more here is, is there really any evidence that really in some ways is compelling that some individuals can do something that somebody else wouldn’t be able to do if they got the right kind of instruction and practice. And I guess the thing that seemed to be really striking was this idea that, you know, some musicians — and it’s kind of interesting is that not all musicians have perfect pitch and in fact when I’ve talked to professional musicians, you know, I mean, obviously in some cases it’s a real advantage if you’re singing, you know, basically without having somebody accompanying you on a musical instrument but essentially that perfect pitch doesn’t seem to be as key as basically relative pitch, which, you know, all musicians do have and once you track, you know, basically what is it that allows somebody to actually develop perfect pitch, I guess the research seemed to be very consistent, here.
An early start, basically, training, that kind of thing of recognizing notes when you’re quite young seemed to be sort of the common factor and over time now people have actually done experiments where a guy in Japan in particular actually brought a group of students of that age range and then basically was able to show here that with practice they were all able now to achieve that kind of criteria for perfect pitch. It turns out that apparently at age five children start kind of moving over to a different way here of basically encoding tones so you actually are now relating each other as opposed to this more absolute way where even a single tone can be recognized and categorized.
Christopher: Fascinating. There was so much there that I would like to unpack. I think what you said there about it being hard to even identify what people mean by talent or a gift is particularly interesting. I must admit I was quite surprised in a pleasant way when I came to the end of the book and you addressed that very question, you know, in the context of music. I’m sure people often ask you as they ask me, “Well, what about Mozart?” You know, clearly he was incredibly talented, he was a prodigy and you actually, for music and several other fields you’ve picked apart some of these case studies that people hold up as, you know, clear examples of talent and you analyze them and show that actually there may have been a lot more going on there than we like to imagine.
Prof. Ericsson: Right. You know, and I think many people don’t know that Mozart was unique in several ways. His father was a musician and actually a pioneer in actually starting with music training with young children and in a sense, here, Mozart and his sister were sort of almost like, you know, kind of pilot subjects here in his effort here to kind of initiate early training and I guess once you compare individuals who get Suzuki training today with what Mozart was able to do, it’s kind of remarkable here that when it comes to musical proficiency, of being able to play difficult music pieces actually the Suzuki children would actually perform at a higher level than Mozart would have. But at the time of Mozart, you know, he was unique and somehow it seemed to many people inexplicable how a young child would actually be able to play at a level of an adult basically who they knew had spent a long time training.
Christopher: So I’d like to ask you shortly about, you know, what Mozart’s training might look like or what would have resulted in him having such proficiency, but first I’d like to come back to something else you touched on, there, which was perfect pitch versus relative pitch, you know, this is a real quagmire for a lot of musicians. They get the notion in their head that all great musicians have perfect pitch and if they aren’t born with perfect pitch they can’t possibly develop it and you just shared one of the interesting findings covered in the book, which is that actually with the right kind of training young children who aren’t born with perfect pitch or at least wouldn’t be expected to have it can learn it at least according to these Japanese studies that have been done. Is that right?
Prof. Ericsson: No, that’s completely correct and once you start thinking about, you know, perfect pitch it’s kind of a surprising skill and it hasn’t very much to do with the music. You’re presenting in isolation one note and then basically asking people to name what that would correspond to on the musical scale. And most people would argue that music, you know, that would be a relationship between tones that actually now generate a musical experience.
Christopher: Absolutely. That’s very much the message we try and share here at Musical U, that the more useful skill for musical tasks is relative pitch, you know, that’s the way we naturally interpret and understand music as the listener and so it’s very useful to refine that skill but perfect pitch in a lot of ways is an oddity and it can be useful but it’s certainly not prerequisite for extraordinary musical ability.
So we touched on there one of the two really interesting aspects I think of this question of talent versus developing skills in a practical way that you cover in the book and it’s that we have the misconception that you need talent to get started, you know, “I can’t even get started with such and such because I don’t have a gift for it. I’m not mathematical,” or “I don’t have any languages.” There are all of these societal preconceptions about what you need inherently in order to develop a skill and we’ve clearly just tackled one of them talking about the ability to learn perfect pitch, something that a lot of people think you need to be born with.
Are there any cases, would you say, of where you do need some kind of inborn ability to have a chance of becoming good at a skill?
Prof. Ericsson: Well, you know, I’ve been sort of reviewing this now for about 30, 40 years, trying to find something where it seems to be necessary to be successful at some domain that really can’t be influenced by training, and that may be in fact kind of the interesting point here and I think you were talking about people more or less feeling like if they were really, you know, talented then, you know, they would actually have this ability and they wouldn’t really have to work to attain it but the really interesting question once you start looking and finding that those individuals who have certain types of abilities once you look back and see what they were doing there in the first five or eight years of their life you find that they were engaged in activities and that actually seems to be related now to their ability here when they actually are getting into activities in school age, but I think that idea here that, you know, it’s really kind of the training that is critical.
The one thing we know that you can’t train is actually your body size and height. So the length of your bones, I’ve been looking for any kind of evidence that you can actually change that through training even when you are young. For a long time people believed the reason why gymnasts, artistic gymnasts were so short was that they were kind of bouncing, you know, from heights on to the floor and thereby stunt their growth and basically that’s been shown now that there’s an advantage to be short because that actually makes certain kinds of movements easier and you’re not basically, you know, having to deal with the forces and basically the effects here of being very heavy when you’re making, you know, jumps and other kinds of things but basically height seems to be preprogrammed, you know, genetically.
But once you start going beyond that, I’m not saying that we will never find genes that actually will give you a sort of a head’s up on your success but what I would say is that basically so far I’m not seeing any compelling evidence and people have now been, you know, mapping out the DNA for hundreds of thousands of people, trying to actually see how maybe the best long-distance runners might have different genes from those who are far less successful and so far, as far as I know, and this is based on other people who are actually doing the research. We actually have not found even a single gene that actually would be of useful value to kind of help you know whether you’re going to be successful in long-distance running or sprinting or whatever.
Christopher: Mm-hm. I think that would surprise a lot of people. That example of height and physical attributes I think is a good demonstration too of the other aspect of this question of talent versus training which is, “Okay, maybe you don’t need a gift to get started and maybe you need to put in hard work but surely talent is what limits your potential. Surely everyone has kind of a built-in maximum they could reach and I’m only ever gonna be an okay musician and that guy has, you know, better genes or better upbringing and so he can become an amazing world-class musician.” What’s your opinion on that? Is there some kind of talent factor that affects how high you can rise with a given skill?
Prof. Ericsson: Well, I think this is a really important, interesting question and my view is that basically individuals who try by themselves to acquire highly technical skills, they may actually end up basically at a place here where the way they actually learn the skill will actually constrain them from making further progress and I’ve talked to actually a fair number of coaches and musical teachers who tell me that this individual is quite able to do what they’re doing but they’re actually selected to do fundamentally things that actually they would have to unlearn in order now to be on track for actually being able to make this increased control and changes that would be associated with the highest levels. So I think that’s an interesting reflection here on the need here to have teachers if you really want to get to the very highest levels. If you want to basically achieve other levels then maybe, you know, just, you can be self-trained and then get your teacher to help you improve but there may be now terms of achieving the highest possible level of control.
Christopher: Interesting. So your research hasn’t shown that there’s an inherent limitation in the potential to develop a skill. It’ s more that the methodology of the training or the particular way they go about developing that skill may lead to a plateau or a tailing off of progress. Is that right?
Prof. Ericsson: You know, and I’m actually quite interested so if people actually could identify now something that would be that firm limit where you could actually identify that somebody reached this limit but can’t do anything beyond that, that I think would be very interesting. I’ve met a lot of people who basically would decide here not to continue on a professional career but they would pretty much not say that they couldn’t get better. It’s just that some other people seem to be so far ahead of them that basically they didn’t see how they would be able to catch up with those individuals. And I think that’s a different kind of issue than — basically that they — if they had unlimited resources and basically access to the best teachers — wouldn’t be able to reach a similar level to those that they were basically mentioning.
Christopher: That’s such an important point, yes. There’s such a real psychological factor, isn’t there, that, you know, if you’re considering pursuing it as a career or you’re aiming to, you know, be on the Olympic team for a sport you really need to factor in how everyone else is getting on and your relative position to them whereas if we’re talking more, you know, of someone learning a skill for their own enjoyment, that limitation, it could be entirely avoidable or irrelevant because as long as you’re making progress and you’re continuing your development that may be enough to enjoy the skill.
Prof. Ericsson: And I think that’s one of the general areas that I think is really important to think about is that if you look at the performance historically in domains, and I think music is just one good example here of basically what people at the end of the 1800’s were able to do. You know, basically some people said, “It’s impossible. Nobody can actually,” you know, “consistently play this,” and now it’s part of general repertoire so — and I guess in sports it’s even clearer how, for example, in the marathon now basically you could have won a gold medal around basically 1900 in the Olympics and now all you can get is actually just being allowed to run in the, you know, Boston Marathon or New York Marathon. So these kinds of tremendous changes strikes me to be really showing here that this idea of absolute limits and that people invariably end up here at the limits of their own natural ability is just not a very well supported view.
Christopher: So I think we’ve probably tantalized the listeners by explaining that, you know, you don’t need talent to get started and become good and talent doesn’t need to be a limitation and we touched a few times on the importance of training and how you go about it. So what does the right kind of training look like and maybe before you answer that I could just ask you to touch on something that I think you are particularly well known for even though it wasn’t a phrase you coined which is the ten thousand hour rule. This was made popular in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers. Could you just share for the audience what that rule or what that supposed rule says and what the reality is and then maybe you can explain, you know, what those hours of practice could or should look like.
Prof. Ericsson: Yeah. I think, you know, Gladwell read about our research with violinists at a music academy in Berlin, where I did some research and what he noticed was that at age 20 basically the average of the very top group actually had, the average was higher than 10,000 hours of actually solitary practice so we kind of asked them, “How much time do you spend where you actually are practicing by yourself?” because that seems to be a good kind of activity in the sense that people wouldn’t really practice by themselves because they typically enjoy playing with others if you’re really more interested in making music but if you’re really trying to improve then basically what you do here when you’re actually practicing by yourself may be a much more effective way of proving.
So he kind of then coined this term here that, you know, you need 10,000 hours of practice to be an expert and I guess one point that I want to make here is, you know, there’s nothing magical about that 10,000 hour number. I mean, it sounds good but how would the body know if you basically engaged in 9,000 or 10,000 hours? I mean, that doesn’t sort of make sense. Besides, if you want to win the piano competition I estimated that you probably need, like, 25,000 hours because most pianists would be in their early to mid-30’s when they actually win these competitions so basically that’s like, 12 to 15 years more than what required on the average 10,000 hours.
Also, you know, there was quite a variability here and we don’t know whether that has to do with the error in the estimates if they’re individual differences but I guess a key difference was that it wasn’t the hours per se and I think one of the reasons why people got so excited about this 10,000 hours — and I’ve had numerous people coming up to me and telling me that, “You know, I’ve been a salesperson here for 8, 530 hours and basically I’m just looking forward to in a couple of years I’m gonna reach 10,000.” Now, basically that’s so fundamentally different from the activity that we talked about where you’re working with a teacher who identifies now things that you can’t do and then you go off and engage in training that allows you now to reach that and if you’re looking at that type of training, that I think is really key but there is no magical amount and it very much depends on the particular activity that you involved in.
So for example Olympic skydiving. You can apparently win an Olympic medal with, you know, maybe 800 hours because, obviously if you have to pay, you know, thousands of dollars here every time you skydive with your instructor, you know, that’s gonna set some limits on how much you can skydive and also how much money you need to be able to do it. So basically that idea here that it’s critical to distinguish when you’re engaging in known and reputable activities that are known to actually improve certain aspects of your performance versus just engaging in something for whatever other reason.
Christopher: You had a couple of really elegant examples in the book. One was that, you know, someone who’s been driving their car for 40 years isn’t necessarily an incredible driver after those 40 years of practice, as it were and also that actually in a lot of cases you can identify that someone’s skills decrease over time. I think there were medical examples where someone who has just freshly completed their training could have better diagnostic skills or surgical skills than someone who is a few decades on and is maybe not so up-to-date on the latest training.
Prof. Ericsson: Yeah. Exactly, that — if you have a doctor who is actually diagnosing heart sounds when they’re graduating they will actually be listening now for all sorts of pathological cases but when they go out and practice, you know, they may not encounter any of these cases and if they were to encounter one of those cases ten years later, well, there is evidence that they’re no longer as capable as they used to be in diagnosing that. But now, actually, they have week-long seminars that allow these doctors to come in and actually now listen to high-fi recordings of heart sounds and then they can be asked to make a diagnosis and then you can give them immediate feedback, you know, “This case was clearly diagnosed with other methods to really have this heart problem.” So now, basically, in a weekend they can actually get back their accuracy and thereby, you know, perform in a way that, you know, would be desirable here for their patients.
Christopher: Fantastic. So I think we’ve painted a bit of a picture of what doesn’t constitute good practice and maybe what would be more effective training so let’s get specific because the other thing you are very well known for is the concept of deliberate practice which I think at this point a lot of musicians have heard of and maybe know a little something about. Could you tell us a bit about what defines deliberate practice and maybe also the related concept of purposeful practice?
Prof. Ericsson: So when we actually started our research looking at musicians we found that there was a consensus here between students and teachers that the way that you can actually become better was actually this activity where you were consulting with your teacher about things that you want to improve, specific things, and then also you had specific training activities that basically through history have emerged as very effective means to achieve that improvement.
So if you’re actually now being helped by the teacher, the teacher can do a couple of things. They can basically look and see how you as a unique musician, what is it that you should change and what are the things that you are capable in changing in a couple of weeks of training so — and also maybe give you good expectations here about how much training should you engage in. You know, is it good to spend a hundred hours a week basically practicing?
Well, our evidence when we looked at the best musicians was, you know, maybe three or four hours a day was the amount of time that you could actually productively engage in this focused training. So if a teacher is a critical part here in guiding you to these effective training activities, that we would call deliberate practice but there are a lot of domains there were you can actually improve your performance by yourself, so like in darts or bowling where you actually have that ability of repeating things and getting immediate feedback as to whether you’re able to basically hit, you know, the cluster that you’re basically presented with and we call that purposeful practice.
We also claim here that there’s a lot of other activities that are cold practice so if you’re practicing with an orchestra you’re really not focusing in on trying to improve your specific skills. You’re basically assumed to kind of do, you know, that by yourself and also what we’ve found in a lot of domains, especially in sports, is that actually the engagement of playing in matches doesn’t seem to improve. It’s more that you’re actually trying to do your best but basically it’s not a good time to kind of try to change something and do something where you would need many trials here to basically improve it up to the level where it really is effective in supporting your performance. So when people perform professionally in front of audiences they typically are just trying to do their best so it’s not, you know, where they are actually trying to change anything and actually view that as an opportunity to make improvements.
Christopher: Mm-hm. And coming back I guess for a second to the 10,000 hour examples you talked through the case of the Beatles, which, I think, is one of Gladwell’s examples and you explained that, you know, them spending that many hours performing wasn’t necessarily the kind of practice that actually leads to expert performance.
Prof. Ericsson: Especially not, you know, basically technical skill as musicians. And I don’t think that the Beatles really were known for being superb instrumentalists. I mean, they were I guess famous, legitimately famous for being able to produce music that really had a tremendous impact but I don’t know of any of them being, you know, used as studio musicians to help other performers, you know, with their recordings and I think it’s kind of important to distinguish now that the practice that we’re talking about is actually providing you now with the tools so you actually increase your chances here of, and your arsenal of ways in which you would be able to produce a musical experience and now that basically being popular obviously is something that — so to compose music that people would like, that’s a different activity and I would assume here that there are ways, you know, that you can engage in that in a deliberate way but that’s different from now just playing a lot of music together with the band.
Christopher: Absolutely. I think you touch on a couple of really fascinating areas in the book which we probably don’t have time to delve into today but you talk a lot about the brain adapting and how the brain responds to different stimuli and you also talk about mental representations and how, for example, it can be very helpful for a musician to have a vivid mental model of the music they’re trying to create so that when they go into practicing that piece they aren’t just, you know, trying to get the notes right in a robotic fashion. They have a very clear representation in their mind of what they’re aiming for so that they can then have that feedback of “Am I getting it right or not?” and know what to work on.
Prof. Ericsson: You know, I think that’s probably one of the most important things is this kind of idea that when you have a musician, and a really skilled musician seems to be able to actually almost read the score and actually hear the music in their head which obviously now there’s no physical input directly here with the sound which really kind of shows here their capability.
There is obviously the question, how do you actually get that ability of actually being able to, you know, read the score and produce an image or listen to somebody else performing a piece and then mentally being able to say, “You know, I could do it this way and that way and that would make it sound so much more interesting,” so that would be one representation of that way of mentally almost kind of creating that experience before you’re able to do it but then also being able to translate if you have an image of what you want to do how can you actually get that basically realized on your instrument.
And then one thing that I think at least to me was a real interesting realization, being able to listen to the music that you’re producing because there’s been now a fair amount of research showing that young students who are basically doing their lessons when you videotape them it’s almost like they just keep doing the same mistakes over and over. They can’t really hear what they’re doing and obviously if you can’t enjoy the music that you’re producing it will put you at a real disadvantage to the vast majority of those music students who actually have that ability of being able to create music on the piano where they’re actually exploring new things and hear what that sounds like and now be able to use that as a stimulus, you know, maybe for their interpretation or maybe even if they’re composing.
Christopher: I have to say it was really reassuring and encouraging to me as I read through the book to find that a lot of the way we approach things at Musical U is well aligned with the results of your research in the sense that, you know, we focus a lot on solo practice and training where you get immediate feedback. “Did you identify that chord right or wrong?” that kind of thing, but we also recognize the value of having an expert guide, you know, at least for now I don’t believe that I can play that part and so there are limits to what a software training system can do for you, I think and so, you know, we’ve really made sure that our team is there on hand to answer questions, provide support, provide encouragement and, you know, help our members when they hit a hurdle or they’re not sure why they’re getting stuck on something.
I’d love to hear your perspective though in this day and age where there are so many people trying to go it alone in terms of, you know, going on YouTube looking at tutorial after tutorial. They kind of feel like with all of the educational material out there that surely they can just teach themselves. What does — I was about to say, deliberate practice, but I suppose more generally it would have to be purposeful practice. What does that look like differently if you are, say, learning on your own versus learning with an app or a software tool versus learning with a human teacher?
So these kinds of internet resources, they’ve only been available now for a relatively short time and what I’m particularly interested in is if we can get a larger number of people really documenting how they progressed learning-wise so we would be able to follow individuals who acquire musical performance either using a teacher or through the internet and basically identify what the challenges are with the various, especially the options here of doing it by yourself.
Now one thing that I’ve found is that especially for those individuals who start early I think a teacher is going to be very helpful and important and I think in some ways I think that, you know, the focus on really putting in the effort and mastering technique and producing music that having an adult spending as much attention and effort listening to you and helping you, I think that actually creates sort of a chance here to develop the right foundations.
Now obviously I think also similarly if you’re maybe, you know, an adult being able to actually interact now with a music teacher who has seen the challenges that you as a musician if you’re trying to improve are coming up against. And I guess I find that very often having the correct expectations here it would have took for other individuals that started out from the place that you did to get to a point that they wanted to get to having a realistic assessment here of how much they actually invested and what level of weekly involvement that they had because sometimes — or I’ve even talked to researchers who have been looking at older individuals who start up with music and I think they have very incorrect beliefs here about how much time it would typically take to reach the level that they want to achieve — so giving a scientific answer here that would allow them to adjust their expectations and maybe settle for something that wouldn’t be as high-level but at least getting now, sort of, affirmation here about what’s possible.
Christopher: Definitely. I think in our experience, anyway, there is such importance to the mindset and expectations for a student’s continuing motivation, and particularly with adult learners who may be coming to it with a lot of preconceptions and emotional baggage in some cases from past experiences. As you say, you know, resetting those expectations can set them up for much greater success as can being paired with a teacher who’s, you know, not to overstate it, but who’s seen it all before and can help them quickly and efficiently when they encounter a sticking point.
Prof. Ericsson: Well, and that certainly would be my, you know, emphasizing those considerations and maybe, you know, we’ll also be able to have what I’ve seen now, you know, video interactions where basically the interaction with a teacher may be long-distance and then basically the individual would send videos of their music but also videos of them playing so the teacher actually would be able to identify things that they’re doing that may actually, you know, be problematic that they wouldn’t be aware of and also this idea here that if you’re gonna learn you need to refine all your representations so maybe this training, ear training, so you can actually hear the difference between what you’re doing and basically what you might want to do or people that you admire are doing, being able to kind of refine your mental representation here to assess that while you’re playing. Those are the kinds of things that I think, you know, having interaction with a teacher might be particularly helpful for.
Christopher: Absolutely. Well, I think it’s clear that it’s a very exciting time to be a music learner but there are definitely still challenges and unanswered questions about the best way to go about it. I think the research you’ve been doing is incredibly valuable both, you know, to the state-of-the-art and, you know, music educators like myself but also to the individual in designing their own practice and figuring out the best part for them. I think I would highly encourage anyone listening to check out the book, Peak, co-authored with Robert Pool for a lot of detail and fascinating, inspiring case studies and examples of everything we’ve been talking about as well as big questions like, how do you maintain motivation, what do you do if you hit a plateau and a lot of detail on why this kind of deliberate practice is so much more effective than just kind of plugging away at it mindlessly year after year.
Thank you again Professor Ericsson for joining us today.
Prof. Ericsson: It was a real pleasure talking to you. Thank you.