What Does it Take to Be a Genius?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Practice, practice, practice. In this second installment of our weeklong series on genius, we talk to violinist Sarah Chang who was recognized as a child prodigy, recording her first album at age ten. Together with author David Shenk, the violinist shares some simple ingredients to astonishing success.


Sarah Chang and David Shenk

Produced by:

Posey Gruener

Comments [3]

David Shenk

As I discuss in the book, the 10,000 hours research is sound, but it's been cartooned in the media It's not just the time but the particular type of practice that's important. Just working at what you're already good at isn't enough -- you need to develop a special relationship with failure, working on the stuff you can't quite do, always pushing yourself just beyond your abilities.

Mar. 11 2010 09:49 AM
Dave McIntosh from West Palm Beach, FL

Thank you for this segment.

My 11th-grade, 16 year old, daughter is a soprano, laser-focused on a career in opera. Your story is great encouragement for a strikingly similar focus, passion and discipline at an early age. It served as validation that there are others who have proven that the unconventional and unpopular path can, indeed, be the rewarding one.

Mar. 09 2010 11:32 AM

"Practice, practice, practice" - This reminds me of Malcom Gladwell's Outliers, in which he argues that mastery of anything - whether it's the Beatles in music or Bill Gates in the computer world - takes 10,000 hours of practice. The only requirement for the individual is to find the money to create time for practice, have a strong desire to commit to the work, and practice, practice, practice until they achieve success.

Mar. 09 2010 11:30 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.