Busting the 10,000 Hour Myth

I’m here today to bust a pretty popular myth. It’s one that I think has been holding a lot of people back from trying to learn a new skill, and I’m not just talking about playing piano.

Personally, I think it’s important to encourage people who want to learn something new. And I think a lot of people agree with me, at least in theory! But I’ve noticed that (at least online) there’s a whole lot of doubt about whether it’s possible to acquire a new skill easily. Maybe that’s because too many people believe misconceptions about what it takes to learn something new.

A Common Misconception About Learning

Here are some of the criticisms I see people posting online (the ones who have zero experience with my lessons): “You can’t teach piano in just 21 days, it’s too complicated!”

Or, “Jacques, don’t you know it takes 10,000 hours to learn a new skill?”

But these people don’t realize that I’ve had over 1,500 students who have learned to play piano with my course. Based on what I’ve seen with those students, 10,000 hours isn’t necessary to get results and start playing real songs. So, why is there a disconnect between popular wisdom and the reality I see every day with my students?

Myth Versus Reality

Recently, someone named Connor contacted me to thank me for my YouTube videos. Connor had conducted an experiment to see what he could achieve on the piano after just 20 days of practice. It was great to see his progression! Plus, I noticed something else  when I was watching Connor’s video.

A commenter had posted a link to a TedX Talk video by Josh Kaufman (you can watch it here). Josh described how his fascination with how people learn new skills. He had heard the same supposedly magic number – 10,000 hours. So he decided to do some research on the topic. But as he dug a bit deeper, Josh found that the original significance of that number had been twisted over time.

In reality, the first 20 hours of any learning experience are the most important. As Josh learned, further improvements after that were minor in comparison to what someone could achieve from the initial 20 hours.

That’s right: the first 20 hours of learning matter the most. Those 9,980 other hours? Just icing on the cake (great for people who want to become world-class experts, but not as important for those of us with less lofty goals).

A Catch (But Not a Deal-Breaker)

But Josh also found that there’s a catch – you have to maximize those first 20 hours of learning with focus and the right approach. You need to be motivated, and you have to get your hands on resources that can teach you in an effective way.

Based on my experience with my 21-day piano course, I’m totally with Josh on this! Because from what I’ve seen, the right mindset and system can turn a seemingly-insurmountable task into an attainable goal. In short, if you set yourself up for success, you can achieve great results in a relatively small amount of time.

Depending on what you want to learn, you might need to seek out a mentor who can show you how to get started. It might mean spending some extra time at the library and delving deep into your topic of interest. Or, if you want to learn to play real songs on your piano, you could sign up for my 21-day course!

It’s Your Turn to Disprove the Myth

If there’s one thing you take away from reading this post, this is what I hope you’ll understand. You don’t have to take years to acquire a new skill. You don’t have to study something fulltime to learn and apply it. And while there will always be some naysayers out there, it’s okay if your approach isn’t “traditional”.

So to sum up, here’s my challenge to you: take the next 20 days to focus on learning something new. Heck, give yourself an extra day and make it 21!

It’s your turn to disprove that 10,000 hour myth. I think you’ll be blown away by what you can accomplish. 🙂

Ready to get started? Grab your copy of Jacques’ Free Workbook Today!