Success of Lang Lang

Successof Lang Lang

Successof Lang Lang

Manypeople associate success to talent. However, some renowned humanshave achieved significant success in their line of work despite thatthey showed little or even no possibility of excelling in theirrespective fields. For instance, Lang Lang – an internationallyrecognized pianist – was expelled from the music school because heallegedly had no talent in for playing the piano. However, his fatherpressurized him to practice playing music harder until he excelled asa professional instrumentalist. Lang’s father sacrificed hisluxuries just to ensure that he put his son in a world-class musicschool that could help him develop his skills in playing a piano. Forexample, he quit his job in armed forces so that he could relocate inBeijing where the best music schools are situated. Besides, he lefthis wife behind, and the comfort of their small apartment as well asrelatives, to live in a rental slum in Beijing. The study will useColvin (2008) case to emphasize on the significance of training oftraining over talent. Besides, Gladwells (2008) will back up thefindings with the 10,000-hour rule that every professional –whether gifted or not talented – needs to train to become aprofessional. Finally, the essay will explore Greenstreet (2011) toprove that Lang Lang exercised playing piano for several hours a day.Consequently,the sacrifices and the pressures that Lang’s father made to takehis son to the music school in Beijing was indispensable for Lang toachieve the present success in as a pianist.

Atalent is useless without exclusive training to perfect the skill.For example, Greenstreet (2011) uses the case study of Lang, who wasexpelled from the prominent Central Conservatory of Music institutionsince he showed no talent in music. However, Lang’s father putexcessive pressure on him to practice playing the piano. He haddecided that his son would become China’s leading pianist. Theinstrumentalist associates extensive training to his success as apianist (Greenstreet, 2011).

Theexpertise in a given field is a product of hard work as opposed tomere talent. As a result, hard work is indispensable to develop aninnate gift. Gladwells (2008) explores the background of successfulartists, computer programmers and professional sports’ enthusiaststo conclude that each one of them has trained at least ten thousandhours to achieve excellence. For instance, he notes that even theinfamous music genius of all time – Mozart – reached the climaxof his career after spending over 10,000 hours practicing the basicsof playing music (Gladwells, 2008). Furthermore, the resource notesthat most experts achieve international excellence because theirparents urged them to accomplish their desires. Similarly, Lang Langwould not have become a professional pianist if his parents had notoffered him an opportunity to dedicate his entire leisure time toplaying the piano. Moreover, the author argues that Lang Lang shouldattribute his success to the sacrifice that his father made. He quithis law enforcement job so that he could relocate in Beijing. The newlocation was convenient since he could access the leading musicschools in China (Colvin, 2008).

Parentsshould choose a profession for their children since most of them areoften too naïve to choose their destiny. Furthermore, the parentsshould then provide the children sith a suitable opportunity todevelop their skills. According to Gladwells (2008), choosing aprofession for a child provide adequate time for the young ones toperfect their skills at early stages. Lang’s father (Lang Guoren)had already decided that his son would become a professional pianistin China even before Lang was mature enough to make his decision.Besides, he ensured to provide everything his son needed so that hecould focus on just learning music and schooling. For example, he hadpurchased a piano that his son could use to train as well asallocated some time to train his son to play the instrument. Hisharsh method of urging Lang to learn piano is justified becausehumans need pressure to bring out their best, especially when onelacks an innate gift (an outlier) (Gladwells, 2008). Colvin (2008)supports Guoren’s method of drilling his son to become aprofessional pianist by comparing the common background of the highlysuccessful professionals. All the professionals had to train forseveral hours, and for at least ten years, to accomplish the10,000-hour rule. Lang’s mother struggled to pay his school fees.The parents had also sacrificed to purchase an extremely expensivepiano so that their only son could begin learning music early.Guoren’s approach of pressurizing his son to train piano as well asput him in a high-end school is in line with the 10,000- hour rulethat requires a potential expert to begin training intensively at anearly age. However, it contrasts with the deliberate practice thatrequires a person to exercise his or her skills at his or her pace(Colvin, 2008). Moreover, Lang’s father advice to his son to killhimself is irrational. He overstepped his mandate as a parent toencourage his child to train music. Despite that, he failed toachieve the required qualification to join the prestigious musicschool he should have refrained from advising his son to commitsuicide since even successful individuals often fail more than oncebefore they can attain the basic requirements (Greenstreet, 2012).

LangLang’s success is attributable to the extensive training he put inlearning to play piano, thanks to his father’s strictness. Guoren’s sacrifice to quit his job, relocate to Beijing where hehad to play the role of the mother and father to his young son, aswell as the investment he paid for his child to receive high-endmusic training, were valuable. The dedication helped him toaccomplish the 10,000 -hour rule that requires upcoming experts tobegin training early so that they can perfect their skills at a youngage. However, extreme pressure on a child, such as Lang’s fatheradvice to his son to commit suicide after he was expelled from hisfirst music school is unnecessary. Lang Lang is an “outlier” inmusic, he required a little more time than his colleagues did tobecome a professional pianist.


Colvin,G.(2008,October21).Why talent is overrated. Fortunemagazine,web. Retrieved on 26 Oct. 2015 from

Gladwells,M. (2008). Outliers:The story of success.New York, NY: Little brown and co.

Greenstreet,R. (2011, May 13). Lang Lang: I`d play the piano at 5am. TheGuardian.Web. Retrieved on 26 Oct. 2015 from