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Microblog: From the Beginning, again...

My trombone shrunk.

I’ve been playing tennis irregularly for about 8 months now. Being a complete beginner at a sport - which I’ve never been elite or even decent at in my life - has given me so much insight into how we all learn new skills whether that pertains to our instruments, driving a vehicle, or any other motor skill.

Like any motor skill we wish to accomplish whether it be walking, riding a bike, playing tennis , or the trombone , we all need to go through an extensive period of failures before our brains learn how to achieve a new skill (i.e. the 10,000 hours theory).

When we were infants we never gave up on walking. At first we crawled. Then, one day we took our very first step followed (almost likely) by a fall. Fast forward through weeks of attempts and finally we were able to put one foot in front of the other a few times before falling again. Years later, we are able to walk, run, jug, or sprint without thinking about how to move our feet.

The brain learns through trial and error. Through various attempts the brain is able to learn what isn’t efficient or what results in a fall. Only from failure upon failure does our brain begin to figure out the right path to take. From there - with much repetition - a new motor skill is learned and built upon.

So, be kind to yourself. The brain is a powerful tool but it does not process information like a MacBook does and nor does it function like a Google search. The brain takes time and repetition - of failures and successes! - to discover and engrain what works.

Happy Practicing!


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