“I’ve figured it out,” Shaggy Hair Boy said to me one day in the car. “If I practice three hours each day, I can be an expert by the time I’m 26.”
He’d been talking to his sister, who told him that the idea of people having “talent” at creative pursuits is largely a myth. Mostly, people acquire talent through the number of hours they practice. More than 10,000 hours of practicing anything will usually make someone an expert.
Shaggy Hair already spends a great deal of time on the piano. He plays it several times every day. In addition to the lesson he takes every week with the wonderful woman who teaches us classical music, he’s got a jazz piano teacher from the local studio, a jazz piano teacher at Snowstorm University, and another musician who teaches his Improv class. He meets with his grandfather to play twice a month too.
But now, every night after my husband, With-a-Why, and I go to bed, Shaggy Hair Boy sits down at the piano and plays for hours. He plays classical music, he plays jazz. He plays some popular tunes and some old standards. From our upstairs bedroom, my husband and I can hear the music floating up the stairs. It’s relaxing to lie in bed and listen to the lovely rhythms.
Last night I fell asleep to the sounds of the “Piano Man” and I woke up with the words in my head: “Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody, and you’ve got us feelin’ all right.”