Once upon a time, a man wanted to learn how to play the
piano. He approached a teacher and asked him, “How long
will it take me to become an expert pianist?”
“In ten years you would be able to play well,” replied the
“I don’t want to merely play well, I want to become an
expert pianist. I will practice day and night,” said the man.
“Thirty years.” replied the teacher.
“When my practice is so much, why is it taking so much
time?” asked the man.
The teacher illumined, “More than the quantity, the
quality and regularity of practice is important. If you practice
day and night, then your practice will become tedious and
long-drawn. This will fatigue you and you will miss some
days and nights for practicing, making your practice irregular.
By practicing day and night, you cannot possibly retain the
same level of concentration through out the time, which will
make most part of your practice less fruitful. Whereas, even
if you practice only few hours a day, then you are not
fatigued, you can retain the same level of concentration, you
can practice every day, your practice will be regular, and you
will derive the maximum benefit from your practice.
The quality of practice is very important. While
practicing, you should not be obsessed with becoming an
expert, rather you should be obsessed with becoming one
with music. If your heart is preoccupied on becoming an
expert, it will miss all the musical joys. But if your heart is
preoccupied with music, it will get pleasure from the
musical joys and you will remain with music all the time.
Then you will think, see, hear, speak, eat, walk, sleep and do
everything with music, consciously and unconsciously, all the
time. When you reach this stage, then without any effort at
all, you will undoubtedly and automatically become an
expert. How long will this take, depends on your love and
talent for music and your perseverance in practice.”
Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani