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Practice Makes Perfect

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Practice Makes Perfect

Rank Test Lecture by Grandmaster Gedo Chang August 17, 2018

I would like to play a part of Vladimir Horowitz Mozart piano concerto #23. (He is the most famous piano player in the world.) Please listen Vladimir Horowitz is a Russian born American classical pianist. He is also well known as a composer. In his piano performance I partically love his colorful and detailed skills which touches the audiences heart strings and excites them! He was born in 1903 and died in 1989 at the age of 86. He had played the piano his whole life. He always presented better performances as he became older. Even in his eighties. Right before he died, many people asked “Do you still practice? “ Vladimir Horowitz replied “If I skip practice for a day, I notice. If I skip practice for 2 days my wife notices, If I skip practice for 3 days the whole world notices.”

Some time ago I had introduced to you the most renowned cellist Pablo Casals. Until Pablo died at the age of 97, he never skipped practice not even for a day! He started playing at the age of 7 years old. A news reporter asked him, “After 90 years of playing, how come you still practice?” Casals replied “Even now I feel I am still improving.” What a wonderful humble answer, showing humility even as the number one cellist in history!

A Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi in the 17th century is even today considered the best samurai. In order for him to demonstrate one particular skill he would practice it 2000 times. With this dedication we can say he reached up to the devine level! When you learn a skill from your instructor, please don’t wait for the next skill! Expecting to learn what is next right away! You need to repeat what you have learned over and over again.

Excellence is a habit!

I have been meditating for 60 years. I always get up at 4am in the morning. Of course I naturally get up at 4am, but sometimes my alarm clock wakes me up. In that case, I am still half asleep, but in the darkness I automatically touch the alarm clock switch without hesitation or any mistakes and turn it off! The alarm clock switch is as small as a small bean! You might think this is miraculous, but that is from a long time practice and habit!

Aristotle once said “Excellence is not an act, it is a habit.”

Thank you
Grand Master Gedo Chang

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