Research shows that playing music involves the firing of neurons in multiple areas of the brain at once. (See my previous post on this.) And yet many, if not most, learners, and I would venture to say most teachers as well, emphasize verbal and conscious control in the playing of a musical instrument.
I suspect that this emphasis on control not only hinders the musicality and facility of students, but also places improvisation and learning by ear out of the box, as if they’re difficult or unusual.
If the brain fires in many places at once, then clearly the verbal and executive centers are not all there is to playing music. Is it possible for teachers to help nurture the nonverbal and subconscious activity that is essential to playing music? [···]