The difference is in the types of practice

The difference is in the types of practice

When referring to quality of instrumental practice, mental representations are one of the key indicators defining differences between the expert and novice. Honing a particular skill improves mental representations. Improved mental representations helps to hone a particular skill. The process is cyclic. Is is also known as deliberate practice.

deliberate practice

The difference is in the types of practice required to improve performance skills

Ericsson and Pool (Ericsson  et al., 2016) describe that they found with elite music students at a music academy, the only difference between good better, and best was the amount of deliberate practice for each student.

One of the major differences between these students and a novice was access to a teacher who could explain and provide practice strategies to help these students improve their level of performance.

When students have good problem-solving direction from a teacher, they are able to improve their mental representations. The improvement is at such a level as to promote a faster acquisition of skills and rapid improvement. This is shown to be the difference between expert and novice students.

The skills their teachers brought to the lessons in providing adequate solutions to instrumental issues assisted the students in their deliberate practice.

The students developed their skills as identifying, analysing, and solving technical problems to overcome in their repertoire.

Teachers, Ericsson and Pool (Ericsson  et al., 2016) believe are only able to guide students to the level of their previous students have attained.

When looking into a teacher’s reputation, keep in mind the shortcomings of subjective judgments. Skip over the stuff about how much fun their lessons are and look for specific descriptions of progress the students have made and obstacles they have overcome. These are the teachers which will be able to provide specific details and strategies to help a student overcome technical limitations (Ericsson  et al., 2016).

You may need to change teachers as your needs change.

This is an important aspect of expertise. Experts will usually seek out teachers who are able to challenge. They can provide practice strategies to improve acquisition of skills of deliberate practice. Avoid teachers who suggest mindless repetitive without a specific objective or goal in mind.

Ericsson , K. A., & Pool, R. (2016). Peak: How all of us can achieve extraordinary things: Vintage Digital.

© iteachpiano 2017

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