Even when you show others the how it's done, they are never able to
do it exactly how you do it because they aren't you.
We have stumbled on important topic of how to teach goldsmithing
skills and what are the best avenues of transmitting the knowledge,
where motor skills are big part of becoming a master.
I actually looked into the subject with some depth. What prompted my
interest is that the two best apprentices, out of all I trained, had
no jewellery experience at all. One was a carpenter, and another was
a helicopter mechanic. They were different in respect that they spend
disproportionately large time simply watching, instead of doing. I
guessed at a time, it was because everything was so new to them that
they needed time to absorb the environment. However, later on I came
on the subject of “mirror neurons”. Actually, it is the very subject
that prompted me to start making my Advanced Fabrication DVDs. The
short summary of what mirror neurons are - follows. For more details
just google “mirror neurons”
We have neurons ( we can call them motor neurons ) which fire
(become active) when we perform some movements. There is another
group of neurons which fire simultaneously with motor neurons. What
was discovered is that these neurons also fire when we observe the
same movement done by others. Therefore they were named mirror
neurons. Since mirror neurons are connected to motor neurons, we can
( and do ) learn movements by watching others performing the same
That explains my experience quite well. The question remains what
role books play. Books are important at later stages of the
development when base of motor skills has been established. In the
beginning, books can even be harmful, if a reader visualizes
techniques incorrectly. The same goes for attending courses, where
student does not have the opportunity to observe the techniques,
correctly performed by instructors. It is also important to be able
to see it more than once. I wonder how many schools allow student to
film instructors, so they can view technique as often as necessary.
The process of learning is enhanced by combining viewing with music.
Music is processed by the limbic region, amygdala in particular.
Amygdala sends signals to hypothalamus, which controls release of
hormones ( via endocrine system ) to put human body in a state
corresponding to musical stimuli. MIT have a lot of research about
it. They discovered that for academic studies, Mozart is the best.
For motor skills acquisition, I find Beethoven, Chopin, and List far