Why Have Magic Lessons?

Experiments with cats have shown that those which learn from other cats learn faster and more effectively than those instructed by humans. This is roughly equivalent to someone learning magic from another magician as opposed to learning alone or from a book. The traditional concept of apprenticeship in which the student soaks up the ‘tricks of the trade’ works along these lines.

Justin Higham lecture at Flat 9

Book-learning still remains an important part of the overall process, though. Once the key to understanding has been provided by the teacher, the student can then learn on their own from the written page. This is because they will know how to apply their understanding to what they read, just as a chef can read a recipe without any details and yet know exactly what to do.

How effective are videos on magic? They can be very effective, but without feedback from a teacher it is hard for the student to assess their own skills objectively. They will likely be taking shortcuts and forming bad habits which can only ever result in bad magic. Once formed, these habits are hard to shift.