To be able to listen is certainly one of the arts a teacher needs to have or develop. Not just in hearing someone play, but listening to them speak about themselves and their circumstances.
A question I ask myself is, "How much is too much information for someone to absorb?" Again, in general terms, it depends on the individual. Some people seem like they can absorb a lot or rather take a lot coming at them. That doesn't mean they can utilize, apply or even remember what was said. Others can take a little bit and really work with that bit and make it their own. Some students in the exuberance of wanting to do their best and really go for it, can swamp themselves with unrealistic expectations and end up drowning themselves in a sea of trying to do too much at one time. This is where having a plan and a couple of goals at one time can aide in keeping the student on task and productive. I've seen some students recently discover the meaning of the saying, "go slow to go fast." Or the saying, "a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step." A step at a time with a goal in mind. Hey, that just came to me, I like that. It has a flow that might be easy for people to remember. A step at a time with a goal in mind.
In listening to students play chamber music, it is obvious when things are not in sync. Not only in rhythm, pitch or starting and ending together, but in agreement of what the music is about. Often times people just need to play the music a lot with their group to even get a feel for the music and then have ideas come as each person gets to know the piece. There certainly is a period I call the "getting to know you, getting to know all about you" ( a Rogers and Hammerstein song from the play The King and I) that is like dating the piece. Not only the piece, but a new chamber group needs to get to know each other at least on the playing and conceptual level. This of course is just not a student issue!
The Art of the Student is in a sense similar to the Art of the Teacher. Their needs to be a balance between having Allowance to experiment and find things coupled with a Resistance to drifting and not sticking to something. The balance of these two gates will either open or close the possibility for Transference of greater perception, knowledge and ability.