Have you ever read a book that is so good that you start recommending it to everyone before you are half way through?

Range by David Epstein is one of them for me. It goes on the shelf with all of the other books about learning, teaching and the world which have made my students more successful.

This book has such far reaching potential for improved teaching that this won’t be my only review of it. And, this is the beginning of a series of book reviews that I will be posting here on the blog.

I am keeping the blog short and simple so am limiting this to comments on Chapter 2 , for now.

Chapter 2: How the Wicked World Was Made.

The premise of the chapter is two different learning environments, kind and wicked.

Kind Learning Environments- Students improves by engaging in the activity and trying to do better. Deliberate practice.

Wicked learning environments- 1.) The rules of the game are often unclear and incomplete 2.) There may or may not be repetitive patterns and they may or may not be obvious 3.) Feedback is often delayed, inaccurate, or both.

Don’t you love the idea of being Wicked? In the context of piano lessons, where no crimes are being committed, being Wicked can be full of desirable difficulties, which are obstacles that make learning more challenging, slower and more frustrating in the short term, but better.

The book is well researched and documented and has loads of musical examples- as well as chess, business, science and sports.

You can find it here- and in the interest of full disclosure, I get nothing from the sale of it ;-)