[05/19, 18:46] It is vital when learning to play an instrument that we distinguish between information and skill. When confronted with technical challenges students often seem to think that the solutions lie in packages of information to be provided by the teacher that should neatly fit the challenges like keys in locks. They are expecting their teachers to provide the right keys for unlocking their technical challenges instantly. Unfortunately, skills do not work that way. Skills develop through prolonged mindful engagement and experimentation with an instrument. Think of skill development in sports. Does any athlete instantly become world-class simply from being told how to run the 100meter sprint, or how to pole vault across a high bar? Certainly not. Even in cases where the "technique" is quite simple, it still takes years of practice to hone athletic skills to a high level. It is similar in instrumental playing. Having information about a particular skill (whether an example to emulate or a verbal explanation of the principles involved, or both) is only the starting point. What then follows is a process of experimentation and reflection and repetition until the skill has developed to the point of unconscious competence, i.e. automatic fluency.