In Outliers Malcolm Gladwell  suggests that opportunity plays a significant part in someone becoming an expert. He suggests that a 10,000 hour rule applies as much to the success of The Beatles (opportunity to play live 7 days a week in Hamburg) as to that of Bill Gates (opportunity to attend an elite school with a computer club followed by access to the University of Washington IT facilities).  Whether or not 10,000 hours is a magic number it strikes me that access to the best facilities and time to practice are essential. All the better if learning is.
more