Measuring learning

January 23rd, 2007

Aspiring to a new career in case the software-thing doesn’t work out, I am taking dance and singing lessons since october last year. Since I tried learning to dance a couple of times already and it invariably ended up in me getting frustrated by the lack of progress and giving it up, I set out to enhance my approach this time.
I started measuring my work.
In the last four months I managed to take lessons (and practice) worth 14,5 hours of singing and 56 hours of dance. I would love to be able to tell: An average person needs about 200 hours of dance practice before they get really good, so (being Joe Average) I am 29% towards my goal of “learn to dance”.

No way.

I still don’t have any reliable way of measuring my progress. The only information you seem to be able to get out of people is “it takes many years”, “don’t rush it, give it time” and the occasional “To the dark side, give in thou shalt not.” I know I still can’t sing or dance altough I definitely made a lot of progress in both areas. Of course what I could do is measuring my progress in a sort-of binary way: Either you know it or you don’t. This is not great (I don’t like to get zeros) and I am trying to focus on what I achieved instead (I do not suck as bad as I used to) and setting small goals and figuring out the shortest way to get to a point where it comes together to be something I can actually enjoy. 

Update 3rd of July 2007: In the meantime I am at a little bit more than one hundred hours of dancing (with about 20-30 hours worth of private classes) and the progress has been great – I still have a lot more to learn but now I am able to dance through multiple songs and my dancing is enjoyable both for me and my partners.
Still not much progress in singing though, after about 30 hours.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peter  |  January 23rd, 2007 at 1:19 am

    Welcome back to blogging 🙂

  • 2. Carlos Vieira  |  April 18th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    When I see people dance, I get this weird daydream where I can dance like Travolta. Then I think of the times I actually enjoyed dancing versus the times I danced out of peer pressure. My legs hurt, I don’t move right and the whole experience just tells me dance is not for me.

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