Learning Piano – How is it Done?

I’ll never forget the time one of my college professors talked about types of learners. There are two I’d like to discuss here and they are the A to B learner and the one that learns in leaps and jumps.

The A to B learner, or linear learning for lack of a better term likes to progress from one point to another. That is, they don’t want to learn anything new unless they get point A down. Then, it’s on to the next point.

These types of learners excel in science and math because these disciplines require a solid foundation based on previous knowledge. For instance, you really can’t do well in a physics course unless you already have a good understanding of basic math.

Then there are those of us who just don’t do well in an A to B world. I fall into this category and I suppose many ‘artistic’ types do as well.

Take music for example. You could actually learn how to play piano going from A to B. And most do. This is what is done in the classical music world. You start with the basics and slowly move from there. Note reading, pedagogy, technique… all are carefully planned out to produce a student who can recreate a piece of music with proficiency.

But… what if you have problems with this approach? What to do? Most teachers only teach a linear approach and this is fine when it comes to learning technique. Yet, for those who like to ‘play,’ growth can seem slow.

And this is where the term ‘leap’ really applies. Because while it seems as if the ‘leaps and jumps’ learner is getting nowhere by playing around, he really is growing and will probably leap right over his linear learning opposite. Why?

Because much IS going on at a subconscious level.

You may feel sometimes as if nothing is happening and that you aren’t growing. Not true. In fact, you probably have already progressed light years ahead of the A to B learner.

To prove this, take a break from playing the piano for a few weeks. Give your subconscious mind time to process all that you have done on the piano. When you return, you will discover how much you really have learned.

Learning takes place, but now always at the surface. Especially for the arts. If you’re a ‘leaper’ you may have doubts, but you probably won’t have to worry about it for long.

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