Learning about how to practice a musical instrument (including singing), and the proper techniques for playing your instrument, is absolutely integral to the process of music making. A relatively large portion of any music lesson (particularly during the early stages of your musical education) will most likely be devoted to learning how to practice and how to use proper technique. Almost anywhere you get your music lessons this will be the case and for good reason.
Nobody taking music lessons wants their progress to be slow. While it may certainly be beneficial in some situations to be prepared for slow progress (learning any musical instrument takes time no matter how talented the student or good the teacher), aiming for slow progress is neither desirable, helpful, nor is it recommended. Understanding how to practice efficiently and effectively is one of the, if not the, core foundations of music all lessons. Music is, after all, learnt through practice rather than through knowledge. It goes without saying that there are some ways of practicing musical instruments that are more effective than others. What works for one student may not necessarily work for another, but the way you practice will determine more than any other factor how quickly you make progress. Establish good practice habits and you’ll be well on your way to musical proficiency.
Learning good technique on your chosen instrument is also important, and for several reasons. First of all, you must consider that music is like a sport in that the greatest achievers spend many hours a day, for many years perfecting their craft and often do so with the benefit of a good teacher who, having taught their students good technique, is able to help them learn to play with utmost control and dexterity. Music should never be a competitive endeavour (in my opinion, at least) but remember that it is these great performers who inspire us to pursue music in the first place. And it is when our playing begins to approach the kind of clarity, directness, and facility (for lack of a better description) demonstrated by our idols that our music making begins to take on new life, and this is when things really get interesting – and enjoyable.
But good technique is about more than just mastery of your instrument. It is also a question of health. Music students are particularly at risk of what are called ‘repetitive strain injuries’. Given the amount of practice required to learn a musical instrument, it is actually little wonder that many students experience these sorts of injuries, and the fact that it doesn’t happen more often may be in part because of the efforts of music teachers to teach good technique. Good technique not only makes your playing sound better, but it makes it easier to achieve greater things on your instrument. It also allows you to play and practice for longer periods, speeding up the learning process, without fear of strain or injury.