My best answer?
What we hear comes from our education and cultural experiences. So, more education more cultural experiences=more imagination. And, putting in the time on the piano bench over a lifetime.
“There is nothing more fatal for our musical sense, than to allow ourselves – by the hour – to hear musical sounds without really listening to them”
The Musician’s Way, p. 16
Please have a quick read of Gerald Klickstein's blog post on recording ourselves in practice. I have gigabytes on my hard-drive of practice. I agree completely with his point that, "Self-recording in practice provides us with the means to compensate for glitches in our self-perception and memory."
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted student and teacher of the drums.