Say you want to learn to do something you have never done before. Or master an activity that you already know something about.
So you decide to have private lessons with an accomplished teacher.
How often do you study with the teacher?
Well, the typical model is one time a week. The idea is you learn during that 45 minutes or 1 hour lesson, and then go home and practice what you learned until the next week.
But how many times have you gone home after a lesson only to discover you have no idea what to practice? You have no idea because you don’t remember what you did in the lesson – what you supposedly “learned”. You seemed to know it there, but now it seems elusive.
Now you have to wait a whole week to work with your teacher again.
You go to your first ever guitar lesson and the teacher shows you three chords. Then she helps you play a song that only has those three chords during your lesson.
Your second guitar lesson is the very next day and the teacher teaches you a fourth chord.
You are still working on finger, hand placement, coordination, and timing, and your teacher clarifies some of this. Then she gives you a song to play that has those four chords in it. And has you play it several different times in several different ways, very slowly. Then she has you play it in different sections.
The very next day you have yet a third guitar lesson in which your teacher has three new songs to play, all that have the four chords you know, in different combinations.
At the end of those three days, you know how to play four chords and four different songs. You really learned something at the end of those three days. You go home and continue playing these songs until they start sounding good and you memorize them so you don’t even need the sheet music.
Now imagine that you had guitar lessons only weekly, and you either didn’t have time to practice in between lessons or had difficulty remembering all you had learned in each lesson. How much would you know about guitar playing at the end of those three weekly lessons?
Not much, right?
You see, we learn best by immersing ourselves into the doing-ness of the activity. Immersion. When we do something new for the first time, we need reinforcement from different angles and perspectives and lots of exploration.
What new skill would you like to be able to do well? Is it singing, speaking a foreign language, computer skills, skiing, dancing, athletics, tennis, golf…Keep dreamin’…
Consider immersing yourself, rather than doing weekly appointments, to increase your learning and retention.
Take those four or five weekly appointments for the month and do them all in one week! Then you can spend the rest of the month enjoying and using what you have learned. In this case, playing several different songs on a guitar!
Then next month, you can jump start your brain with another series of four or five lessons in a week. And you can again take home with you new skills.
In this way, you get to build on what you learn with each lesson and then use what you know after the immersion experience.
Now you know a much easier, more effective way to learn, and the #1 way to master a new skill.
Then it is important to create optimal conditions for learning while you are immersing yourself.
We’ll talk about how to do that later. But here’s a big hint: Anat Baniel Method’s Nine Essentials.