Posted by Kenneth Sloan on January 01, 2002 at 16:24:06:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Education: Who Needs It? posted by David on January 01, 2002 at 13:45:03:
In my opinion, teaching ability is independent of playing ability. It's a separate skill. But, several factors tend to confuse the matter.
First, a good teacher has a deep love for the subject matter. This naturally means that it is highly *likely* that the teacher is also interested in playing.
Second, there are many aspects of playing which are most easily appreciated by someone ho has faced them as a player. It's possible to understand these things without having been a player - but it's harder.
Last, and most important - we tend to remember the "surprises". Teaching and playing are closely related, and we tend to expect good players to be able to teach, and vice versa. The folk we run into who can do both are unremarkable - they fit out theory. The remarkable ones are: 1) the great player who cannot teach, and 2) the great player who cannot play (at a high level).
Great players who cannot teach often fall into the "great natural athlete" catagory - the usual explanation is that they literally do not understand why what they do is at all difficult. Similarly, they also do not understand why their students do not spend every waking hour practicing.
Great teachers who cannot play (at a high level) are most often FORMER (perhaps aged) players. There are likely many good teachers who have never played well at all - but they rarely come to our attention. There is also the point that is difficult to develop the deep love or the subject matter if you can't perform at a high level. Difficult, but not impossible.
Every teacher understands the necesity to occasionally "hit them between the eyes with a 2x4". A teacher who can also play rings around the student can use that as a tool.
But, I return to my original point - performing and teaching are separate skills. Both require development, and practice.