Creative by Nature, there was a very good article on the mastery process, how our skills grow. An excerpt is below. The full article may be read here.
Skills and abilities only develop when knowledge is applied directly
and used creatively in meaningful situations, not on multiple choice
tests. This is as true for basketball and piano playing as it is for
cooking, reading, karate, mathematics, parenting, democratic
decision-making and brain surgery.
Our comprehension about something new deepens as knowledge is
activated and applied. This is why concentration, effort and long-term
practice are so essential. There is no way to bypass this process,
because we are creative living beings, not machines.
Children understand this, intuitively. During the first years of
their lives they learn quickly and informally- mastering their parent’s
language, discovering how to walk, run, paint, play, sing and dance. In
their early years learning is a source of great joy for them.00.
The mastery path of learning was well understood by our ancestors, both
in the West and the East. In Europe, artisans and craftsmen have always
trained new apprentices in this way. Likewise, traditional Eastern arts
education places great importance on this process.