'Once Upon My Cheek'

'Flight of the Bumblebee'

End of Year Dances

Upcoming Performances

Four Stages of learning any Skill 

- by Noel Burch


1.Unconscious Incompetence


When we are learning a new skill, we are becoming aware of new things. We are “waking up” muscles we never knew we had.  We are listening for things we never heard before.  We are focussing in a new way, shaping bow strokes, dynamics, and colors in the sound like never before.  

It is not “wrong” to be unconscious, or incompetent.  Be kind to yourselves.  We all become aware of new things every day, one step at a time.


 2. Conscious Incompetence


Here, we begin to know “Oh that is the muscle I am learning to use!” 

“OK… this workout again today”  Again, we are learning a little bit every day, but we can see it coming.  As you add skills to your list of abilities, you will start to notice this stage every time.


3. Conscious Competence


Some people think this is the final stage. I can do it.  Good!

Being able to do your skill at will, consciously, is fantastic.

4.Unconscious Competence 

Unconscious Competence is to be unable to do it “wrong”.  It is to have that skill as a habit….to have that skill as a reflex.  This allows us to perform so easily and comfortably that we can put our attention on being expressive and artistic.At stage 4 we play easfully, moving freely with soft eyes. Maybe there are distractions….but we have fresh beauty, and an interpretation for this moment, this time through the piece, today.


Think of one of your skills which have developed through all four stages.