MUSICAL KNOWLEDGE, SKILL, AND INSIGHT ARE NOT INherited characteristics, but are acquired. Musical pedagogy, or music education, concerns the processes through which musical knowledge, skill, and insight are acquired. Research in musical pedagogy applies to the problems of music education methods of thinking that have revealed what is known about music through acoustics, psychophysiology, aesthetics, and other related fields of study.
The auxiliary science that contributes most directly to musical pedagogy is psychology. What general psychology teaches about the educative process is applied to the specific problems of music education. Performance on an instrument is studied as sensorimotor learning. The psychological laws of learning can be applied to piano playing as well as to handwriting. For a rough definition in psychological terms, the learning process is the process of acquiring the ability to make the correct response to a given stimulus. Five steps may be distinguished in the process: mental set or adjustment; selection of the correct response; elimination of the unsuccessful act; fixation of learned responses; and integration of the separate acts into a unified whole.1____________________