Acquiring speed requires a lot of patience. The patience of watching an iceberg move, or a tree grow. Yes, it takes that much. And it is a very frustrating process: the one working hard to gain speed doesn’t see his own progress.
I explain. Let’s suppose you are doing scales on the piano. When you first start, you go at 1 or 2 miles per hour, and you’re happy if you’re not doing any mistakes in your fingering (If you need an instructor to explain to you all these terms, I know a great one!). The task is frustrating as your body refuses to mold itself into the scales. But, with perseverance, in the space of one week, you have now reached the blazing speed of 3 miles per hour! And the anxiety associated to the fingering has diminished by a third. Bravely, you march on. Another week passes by of intense practice. This time you’re able to zip by at 5 miles per hour. Weeeeeh! And you’re not thinking as hard about the fingering.
Still, there is a big problem and it’s this one: you’re not happy. If interviewed by CNN, the student will confess that although he has practiced like never before, he hasn’t made any progress. The CNN anchor man asks for an investigation: where is this world going when the effort of the american worker is not rewarded by a solid pay off?! What a tragedy! What a shame!
You never see a tree grow. No, no, there is no philosophy behind it. Nobody has ever seen an iceberg move in real time. If you take pictures at a day interval, you’ll see it cover some distance, but otherwise, you’re sitting in that boat, freezing your eyes off, hoping to catch a glimpse of movement and yet, it seems to you that that iceberg is as solidly planted in the sea as Everest is in the Himalayas.
That’s where you need the teacher.
Because, to go back to teaching speed on a musical instrument, the teacher is the one who can remember where you were one week, two weeks, three weeks ago. He’s a witness of your effort. The only one, actually, who has all the gauges to appreciate your progress. Now, that’s not his only use. He also makes sure you keep the correct form, you avoid injuries, etc… But, in general, he’s the one who will witness the growth of that tree.
Teachers are irreplaceable. YouTube videos and the internet in general have their shortcomings. Among which, they are not be able to put a price on someone’s effort. It takes an eye, a perception, a personal relationship based on trust, and about a million other things to be able to understand how a pupil progresses.