Whether it is exercise or study, there is a perspective that can help you work on improving your own and others' abilities. It is the total amount of repetition time you have spent so far. The more of this total time you have, the closer you are to becoming a top-notch athlete.

This can be useful when planning your training menu. It is also useful at the moment when you stop feeling like you are growing, when you feel limited in your abilities, and when you lose confidence.

In the early 1990's, a study was done on what separates the best from the worst. The purpose of this study was to find out why certain violinists were better than others.

The researcher went to the West Berlin Music School, which was producing excellent musicians at the time, and nominated the following three groups of violinists.

1. The highest group. The best violinists who are likely to become international professional soloists at the school.

2, the better group. Not as good as the top group, but very good violinists.

3. The good group. Violinists from other departments in the university with lower admission standards.

Students in this third group usually became music teachers in general schools after graduation.

In this study, the age of each group was in the early twenties, and gender was kept as similar as possible. The subjects' personal data was collected.

The results of the analysis revealed the following facts.

By many criteria, the three groups of violinists were mostly similar. They started playing the violin when they were about 8 years old and decided to become musicians when they were 15. By the time this study was conducted, the subjects had already been playing the violin for ten years. We couldn't find any significant differences between the three groups.

Furthermore, the three groups spent the same amount of time per week on music-related activities. For example, private lessons, practicing on their own, and classes. The total time per week was about 51 hours.

All of these three groups woke up early in the morning and spent many hours on the violin.

And the subjects knew exactly which activities were important for improving their violin playing. It was to practice by themselves.

Up to this point, no differences were found between the three groups.

Later, when asked to rate what was important for improving violin playing among 12 activities related to music and 10 activities unrelated to music (such as housework, shopping, and leisure time), everyone listed practicing alone as the most important.

Although they understood the importance of practicing alone, the actual amount of time spent practicing alone varied dramatically among the three groups.

The "best" and "better" groups averaged 24 hours per week. The "good" group, however, practiced only nine hours a week.

These violinists say that training alone is the most important activity, but also the most difficult and uninteresting. Therefore, in order to practice a lot, they had to devise their own way of living.

For example, the two groups of "best" and "better" practiced by themselves in the late morning or early afternoon, while they still had energy. In contrast, the violinists in the third "good" group practice in the late afternoon. This was when they were most likely to be tired.

The top two groups also differed from the third group in one other way.

Not only did the top group sleep longer at night than the bottom group, but they also took more naps. This was because practicing alone was very draining and they needed a lot of rest to recover.

The three groups all had unlimited time as well. However, the ones who practiced the most on their own were the ones who were the best violin players.

The effectiveness of practice depends on the accumulation of repetition. At this time, violinists in the "best" and "better" groups were practicing 24 hours a week. This was significantly more practice than the violinists in the "good" group.

Here, we could not find any meaningful difference in the amount of time spent practicing between the top two groups. What did show a difference, however, was the total amount of time spent practicing before reaching the age of 18.

The top group practiced for an average of 7410 hours before reaching the age of 18.

The second group had 5301 hours.

The third group had practiced for 3412 hours.

In other words, the higher the total amount of practice, the higher the performance.