“I wanna be where the people are
I wanna see
Wanna see ’em dancin’
Walkin’ around on those
Whad’ya call ’em? oh – feet”
Gosh Ariel had trouble walking at the beginning. When the evil sea witch Ursula gave her legs she could barely take two steps. Ariel kept falling over just like a toddler. Melody had the same problems when she wanted to return to the sea.
“this way is left, but which way is right? Now I’ll be circling in circles all night. Ok, so this forward, no problem.”
You would think a mermaid would know how to swim. But Melody was a new mermaid, just like Ariel was a new person- kinda like a baby. She had to learn to walk in the same way we all had to learn how to walk when we were growing up. But now that we know how to walk it isn’t hard at all, is it?
When we learn to walk we learn a very complicated pattern which our brain stores away, to be pulled out any time we need it. This is the same for heaps of things we do- using a knife and fork, or chopsticks (which I find a lot harder), braiding hair, even talking. All of these are learned behaviours which we have practiced and honed over time, so that our brain can learn the pattern and store it away in our head. This stops us having to think about these actions, we can simply do them. This is the same for any sport or musical instrument and where the saying “practice makes perfect” comes from. The more we practice the stronger the patterns are and the more easily our brain can pull out the patterns at a moment’s notice.
Learning to walk is a type of implicit learning- nobody teaches us to do it, we learn by observation. This is the same type of learning when we make judgement calls or even when we judge a sentence for grammatical accuracy.
All the types of learning mentioned above (braiding hair, knife and forks, walking, swimming) refer to gaining procedural memory. You learn how to do something and you remember the action- your muscles have memory of previously completing the action. Sleight of hand and magic tricks rely on this type of memory for their very quick hand movements!
We can learn more patterns easily, and I have one here for you all that looks really easy, but isn’t. Try it home, challenge your friends to see if they can do it and remember practice makes perfect!