There are many ways to think about our musical development. Here is one way.
Level one: The student learns to control their hands. i.e. the hands do what they are told. This takes about 10,000 hours I’m told. I believe it. I’m about 1200 hours in on my drum studies.
This level is about technique, learning repertoire, ear training, theory studies, concert going, lots of repetition etc. All the stuff our teachers are teaching us. It is about learning to practice in an efficient manner. It is about patience, faith, and hope. And lots of focused time in the practice room.
Level two: The hands do what they are told. This is where professional musicians reside. They practice to maintain and refine their skills: keeping them sharp like a prizefighter.
Level three: Artistry, hands have something interesting to say and the ability to do so. Artists operate at a high level of creativity and skill, blending effortlessly, or so it seems to the audience, their ability to wow and amaze. Oscar Peterson, Lang, Lang, Stevie Ray Vaughan live here.
Get off the internet and go back to the practice room!
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.