TO MASTER the violin takes 10,000 hours of practice. Put in that time and expertise will follow. This, at least, is what many music teachers—following Malcolm Gladwell’s prescription for achieving expertise in almost any field by applying the requisite amount of effort—tell their pupils. Psychologists are more sceptical. Some agree practice truly is the thing that separates experts from novices, but others suspect genes play a role, too, and that without the right genetic make-up even 20,000 hours of practice would be pointless.
A study just published in Psychological Science, by Miriam Mosing of the Karolinska Institute, in Sweden, suggests that the sceptics are right. Practising music without the right genes to back that practice up is indeed useless.
Read the whole story: The Economist