You will note that the Solipsist is currently reading The Well-Crafted Sentence: A Writer's Guide to Style. This is not an attempt at self-improvement (of course, if it happens, it happens). Rather, it is homework. YNSHC is looking into replacing the textbook for a writing class. Currently, he uses Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams. A fine little book, but ridiculously overpriced. No word yet on the price of the book currently under consideration, but it might be time for a change anyway.
Can style be taught? OTHER people's style, maybe. Style can be developed, of course. And what the Solipsist likes about the above-mentioned books is that they take a somewhat "mechanistic" approach to the development of writing style. They demystify the process so that people can look at writing in terms of its constituent parts: words, phrases, clauses, sentences. Style, after all, is choice (as a former writing teacher said). And in order to speak intelligently about style, one must be able to articulate the choices a writer is making.
For example: The Solipsist likes to begin sentences with coordinating conjunctions ('and,' 'but,' etc.), even though many writing teachers will tell you (wrongly) that this is not allowed. Yes, yes, it is a practice best used sparingly and strategically. But YNSHC likes it nonetheless. Another stylistic tic of YNSHC is a tendency to lapse into the passive voice. This is partly due to the affectation of avoiding the first-person singular ('I'). It--the passive voice--does, however, worm its way into the postings with somewhat disturbing regularity. Perhaps an unfortunate consequence of the Solipsist's time in academia.
There is nothing inherently wrong with the "passive voice"--or with any other rhetorical construction--as long as one is employing it consciously.
(Digression: "There is" is a distinctly weak way to begin a sentence.)
(And, to the extent possible, one should avoid the weak-chinned "is" as the main verb in a clause. End of Digression.)
Again, style is choice. The point of most writing instruction--at least in the experience of YNSHC--is simply to get students to think carefully about the choices they make. Far too many students enter writing classes thinking that writing just "happens"--that you're either gifted or not. They have little idea that they themselves are the sole determiners of whether a piece of writing makes sense or evokes a response, to say nothing of a desired response. The more a teacher can demystify the process, the better.