Have you ever been to New York City? If you visit, you’ll probably want to check out Carnegie Hall, which is where many famous musicians play live concerts every year. If you’re not sure how to get there, just ask anyone, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”

Don’t be surprised, though, if the answer is the same from everyone: “Practice!” This is an old joke, which means that it takes years of practice to become a great musician who could play at Carnegie Hall.

By now, you probably know all about practice. If you’re an athlete, you know all about sports practices. If you’re a musician, you know all about practicing with your instrument. If you have a math class, you know all about practicing your basic math facts.

You may have even heard a popular saying that many people use often: “Practice makes perfect!” But have you ever WONDERed whether that’s really true? Does practice really…eventually…make perfect? Always?

Sometimes practice does make perfect. Take a math test, for example. If you know you’re going to have a math test on your multiplication facts in a week, you can practice those facts over and over again before the test. If you get a 100% on your test, that’s perfect and you can safely say the practice helped get you there.

In other areas of life, though, practice doesn’t always make perfect. That doesn’t mean that practice doesn’t help. Sometimes it just means that there’s no such thing as “perfect” in a certain area.

For example, if you play sports or a musical instrument, is there such a thing as a perfect game or a perfect performance? It all depends upon what you consider to be “perfect,” and that definition can differ depending upon who you ask.

Even if practice doesn’t always make perfect, it almost always makes you better than you were before practicing. You’ve probably seen this fact many times in your own life. The more you do something, the easier it becomes.

Sometimes you may hear people use a similar phrase: “Perfect practice makes perfect!” What does this mean? The idea they’re trying to convey is that it matters how you practice. As with anything, the more effort you put into practice, the more benefit you will get out of it.

If you practice half-heartedly, you won’t get as much benefit out of that practice as you would if you gave your all during practice. Some experts recommend you engage in deliberate practice. This means that you constantly assess your practice efforts and focus on areas where you’re weak, so you can continually improve.

So how can you make the most of your practice? Give it your all. Do it frequently. And make sure you’re getting good feedback from an expert, such as a coach, instructor or teacher! Focus on ways you can get better and set goals to improve in those areas.

60 Join the Discussion

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  1. We believe that most of the time practice DOES make perfect, however we’re not sure that anyone can ever be perfect.

    Predictions: weather, climate, snow tires, beach, people stuck in the snow, summer, people driving in snow, hot chocolate, spring, four wheel drive, playing in the snow, building a snowman, mobile snow,

    • Great point, Wonder Friends in Mrs. Hess’ class! Practice can make you great, but you always want to have fun– no one is perfect! :) Thank you for sharing your AWESOME guesses with us for tomorrow’s Wonder– BRRR! :-)

  2. I agree with you if practice with all your heart you will succeed. Is there something that you always put all your heart into?

    • We like your style, Hadley H! Thanks for sharing your comment with us– practice and passion go hand-in-hand! We love to put all our energy, effort and excitement into WONDERing… and spreading the Wonder to new Wonder Friends! It makes us very happy when other Wonder Friends, just like you, learn something new and have fun doing so! What do you put your heart and soul into, Hadley? :)

    • Great point, Aleyah! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about practicing– it takes a lot of practice and trying to get it just right! We Wonder what you like to practice… an instrument, a song, math problems?! :)

  3. We learned if you practice you are going to be better at anything you do.

    We predict: Hot Chocolate, Four Wheel Driving, Spring, the Solar System, Summer

    • Hi there, Wonder Friends in Miss Holden’s 2nd Grade Class! We are so glad you’re here! Practice hard– we know you’ll do your best! Whether you’re studying, painting or playing a sport, keep up the great work! We can’t wait to find out what tomorrow’s Wonder will be, but we’re glad to WONDER with you now! :)

    • That Wonder makes us laugh, too, Isabel! Thanks for sharing your comment today! We hope you have fun practicing what you love to do! :)

  4. We learned that if you practice every day, you will eventually get better at anything! We also learned that practice doesn’t always make perfect, but sometimes it does! If you get feedback you need to focus on what you got wrong and practice to get better.

    • Hi there, Wonder Friends Panthers 2/3! We sure are glad you’re here today! Practice will make you better– you can always try your best! We are proud of you, Wonder Friends! Keep up the great work! :)

    • Hi there, Hunter, thanks for stopping by today! We’re so glad you’re WONDERing with us… have a WONDERful time at your dance today! WOHOO! :)

    • We couldn’t agree more, Mrs. Campbell’s Wonder Class! You’ve got a great point of view about practicing and working hard! Trying your best is the way to go! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! :)

  5. I play flute in my Intermediate Band at school, and you progress to higher band like concert and jazz. But my band teachers say; “Practice Makes Habit.” I agree.!

    • How cool, Gina M! We bet you have to practice for many hours each week to play the flute in the Intermediate Band! WAY TO GO! We think your band teachers are so very right– practice makes habit! Thanks for sharing your comment with us! Have a SUPER weekend! :)

  6. Not many of us have been ice skating. That looked challenging! We think that practice makes us grow and improve, but in our opinion no one is perfect.

    • It takes a lot of balance to be a great ice skater– and lots of practice, too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about today’s Wonder, Ms. Fulenwider’s Class! We agree; no one is perfect, we can only try our best! :)

    • We sure do, Chrissy! It’s important to bundle up so we stay nice and warm while we skate, it’s a great workout! We really love when we drink hot chocolate afterward! :-)

  7. I am in Mrs. Hess’ class and how do people ice skating have to be perfect and how many people are there in the ice skate rink?
    I wonder why people skated good? I wonder why?!
    Thank you and please write back!

    • Hi there, Kathy! We’re so glad you’re back to Wonder with us! Ice skating takes lots of practice and balance, but it’s lots of fun to do! We hope you can go ice skating in the future! Thanks for sharing your comment, Kathy! We’ll see you soon! :)

    • Hi there, yeniffer! We’re glad you’re WONDERing with us today! Our Wonders are a surprise each day, so you’ll have to visit tomorrow to find the answer! Hope you’re having a WONDERful day! :)

  8. I always believe that ”practice makes perfect”. Well I do understand that, but sometimes it does for example I always get straight A on my report card. [also that's hard work!]
    I’ve been practicing the violin for 3 years! Yes on my 1st day it was ugly but the past is the past. Now I am sort of good but practice, practice! Thanks!
    :}
    :]
    :]

    • Hi there, Manuel! We’re glad to hear that you have been practicing the violin for three years! We bet you’ve really progressed over the years; do you have a favorite song? Keep up the great work, Wonder Friend! :)

    • How cool, Nick! We bet it took a lot of practice to get your swimming just right! Thanks for sharing your Wonder guess with us… see you tomorrow! :)

    • Great guesses, JC! We’re so glad you are using your imagination to guess what the next Wonder will be! HOORAY for you! :)

    • BRRR! We think you’re on the right track, Chrissy! Thanks for sharing your Wonder guess with us– keep up the great work! :)

  9. :D

    I like this Wonder because I’m going to try to play baseball next season and this helped me understand how we could still lose a game even if we practice a whole lot! I also understand that practice is still important, even if it doesn’t make you win. :)

    I think tomorrow’s Wonder will be about SNOW TIREs!

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend Gavin! Best of luck when you try out for the baseball team! We bet it will be lots of fun, full of practicing, exercise and home games! We’ll be rooting for you! You’re right, practice makes you better, but as long as you try your best, that’s what counts!

      We think you’re on the right path for tomorrow’s chilly Wonder! :)

    • WOW, way to go, Chlo Chlo! Keep up the great work and have fun while you practice! Thanks for sharing your comment! :)

  10. Wow! That wonder was great. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us tomorrow. I forgot to ask do you have any wonders on Beethoven? I play piano so I was thinking that you would might have a wonder that could give me a few tips. :) :) :)

  11. I know practice dosen’t always make perfect because one time I practiced a play and on the 9th it wasn’t perfect at all and the play was the day after so at the play I almost fell off the stage and hit my head I was so embarrased everyone was laughing at me so I ran off stage.

    • Hey there, Olivia, we are so proud of you for sharing your comment! We have all had bad days, difficult performances, and times when things just don’t go our way. But you made it through, and that’s what matters! We’re sorry to hear you bumped your head on the stage– ouch!

      We know you’re a SUPER person, and you’ll do great next time. Remember, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” :)

  12. I agree with this! :)
    Honestly I don’t really believe that practice makes perfect for the simple reason that there’s no such thing as “perfection” to me. But I believe that how we practice is how we’d really do it in the end so… when we practice, we really should put as much effort to is as if we’re REALLY doing it. ^_^

    And besides, even if sometimes, things don’t go according to plan… at least we did our best and that’s what’s important.

    Thank you very much for this Wonder! :D

    • We Wonder if you have something, a sport, an activity, a musical instrument, that you enjoy, Ran? Do you practice often, even if you don’t believe in perfection? It’s so much fun to achieve your goals, no matter what they are! :)

      Keep your chin up and your imagination open! :)

  13. @Wonderopolis Yeah, well… I love writing, swimming, and baking. And, yes, I do tend to practice them a lot even though I don’t believe in perfection, mainly because I enjoy them. ^_^ I mean, I don’t practice just to be perfect in something. I practice because I think what I’m doing is fun! ^_^

    And yeah, it really is. :) Thank you very much!

    • Thanks again for sharing your comments, Ran! We are glad to hear about all the activities you enjoy! Keep up the great work! :)

  14. Practice does make perfect if only you try your hardest! I need to practice a lot on my career so to get good grades and get into a excellent college.

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend Marissa! We are so glad you’re thinking about the importance of college and trying your best! We are very proud of you, but we hope you’ll remember that trying your very best is WONDERful! Having fun, trying hard and practicing all go together! :)

  15. I always knew practice makes perfect but not that perfect!! I am working on being a profesional dancer!!!!!!!!

  16. I believe if you practice you will get it perfect sometimes but I don’t believe you are perfect all the time there is only one perfect person.

    • We love your positive attitude, Angela! Practice is important, but it’s important to have fun while you are doing what you love! Whether it’s sports, theater, music, art, school… you have to try your best to keep up the great work! :)

    • Hi Dave! A catch phrase is something that has become a popular phrase by people that has “caught on”. And often times they’re very true sayings like this one! Thanks for WONDERing! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Does practice always make perfect?
  • What is deliberate practice?
  • Where would more practice help you the most?

Wonder Gallery

Practice Makes PerfectVimeo Video

Try It Out

What would you like to be better at? A particular sport? Playing a musical instrument? Maybe just getting better grades in school?

What can you do to improve in these areas? You’ve probably guessed it already: practice! Of course, practice might not always lead to perfection, but it will help you get better.

Choose one particular sport, skill, or school subject and dedicate yourself to practicing. Measure your progress over a few days or a week. Set reasonable goals for improvement for yourself and see how quickly you can reach those goals with practice.

Over time, you’ll learn that setting goals and practicing can help you to do the things you really want to do. If you have a success story related to practice that you’d like to share with your Wonder Friends, post it to Facebook. We can’t wait to read about your experiences!

Still Wondering

Check out ArtsEdge’s Make Time: The Art and Science of Practice article to learn how to make practice time more successful!

Wonder What’s Next?

If you’re TIREd of SNOW, then tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is just for you!

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