Contradictory? It takes tremendous physical training over a tremendous amount of time to play piano technically well. So a talented person plays there is a fantastic amount of skill and training driven by the mental and emotional content of the pianist.
I like the piano analogy too. I am a teacher and over the years have noticed a few things. Sometimes, you get two kids who can both play beautiful piano - all learned by heart of course. But one will be able to create whereas the other will just not be able to do anything but copy. So, who is better? Kinda obvious I guess. And back to Aikido - I think most people are just at the level of trying to copy.