Learning How to Learn - the science of learning

I’m taking Barbara Oakley’s “Learning How To Learn” class free via Coursera and it’s
tremendous. Has really helped manage my long, strange days and be
productive about practice. I like how she addresses procrastination and reframing. The Pomodoro Technique has been a game changer for me. The youtube vid summarizes the course material. Enjoy!

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd2dtkMINIw

comment>>My summary of some highlights would be:

  • Exercise, even simple brisk walking, can enhance the neural
    connections & help build new neurons, similar to the effect of
    learning new things itself & supportive to it.

  • Distraction makes it hard for short-term memory to interact with
    long-term memory (saving in it & retrieving from it).

  • Spaced regular repetitions of studied materials (without leaving big
    time gaps in between) help to homogenize & consolidate the material in
    the brain.

  • People who think that they are slow thinkers can be actually
    experiencing the very common “imposter syndrome”. Also, slow thinking
    can be actually a more of “analytical thinking” that can observe &
    detect important things that other “rushing” minds cannot detect.

  • “Following your passion” can be a tricky concept, as people have
    passion towards topics they are relatively “good” at, & some topics
    take much more time to be good at than others. So, instead of
    following your passion, first “broaden” your passion…


wow this is great, I just signed up to PG and this is what I really read first!!! Thank You for this @keynut.

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You’re welcome sokho. And welcome to PianoGroove!

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That looks very interesting!

@keynut, in case you’re familiar with Effortless Mastery too, which approach would you say offers more hands-on tips for improving practice quality?

Kenny’s book offers a lot of experiential guidance for managing your mind as a musician/healer-- meditations, tuning up your self talk-- he’s maybe more about the big, spiritual picture. EM is a touchstone book worth turning to throughout your musical life.

Oakley is a good interpreter/presenter of learning research and suggests practical techniques (Pomodoro, memory palace, chunking…) to avoid procrastination and learn large amounts of any material efficiently.

So, they are both hands on but in different areas. Both are fundamentally similar though in the sense of guiding us to focus on and enjoy the process of learning. It is focusing on the product that causes procrastination, self-doubt, and failure. If we enjoy the process, the mastery will take care of itself.


Great answer, thanks @keynut!

I see the piano as a group of 12 notes repeated, so basically I stay with the 12 notes for speed, chords, tunes, scales, fingering.
I also believe that practice should come with some criteria including concentrated practice, sessions of no longer than an hour each time and a few times a day if you have the time.

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