When I was in elementary school I took piano lessons for several years. I wanted to learn how to play the piano; I had asked to take lessons. But I didn’t want to practice.
My mom used to try to cajole me to practice with that old saying,
Practice makes perfect.
Perhaps you’ve heard this too.
It’s a lie. Practice alone does not make “perfect.”
First, perfection is a myth, and a poor standard to aim for because it’s not a standard at all. It’s unattainable.
Beyond the myth of perfection is the myth of practice itself. Practicing any skill will not make it easier, will not turn it into a habit, and will not necessarily lead to results you desire.
Practice only reinforces what you’re doing.
If you sit down at the piano to practice your scales and you don’t play the right notes, you’ll learn the scales wrong.
To gain facility and mastery in any skill you need to practice with good techniques. To know whether you have good techniques you need someone from the outside to assess you. You won’t know on your own because you can’t see your blind spots.
Once you know what you’re looking for, practice has the capacity to yield insights and expose flaws in technique.
Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.