Sunday, January 18, 2009

Deep Piano - How To Go Beyond Surface Playing

All of us have our "special" times at the piano. You know what I'm talking about. Those times where every note sounds like it was meant to be and everything comes together.

Body, mind, and spirit are aligned and the music that flows out of us seems to come from a limitless source.

Then there are times when nothing comes. These periods are frustrating yet essential to our growth. We may not like them, but unless we go down in the valley so to speak, we will never see the next peak on the horizon.

I've found that it's best not to try and bypass this back and forth scenario. Some students get so frustrated that they try and force the music. This is a mistake and will only lead to further frustration.

The key to getting "back in flow" is to listen. Listening is essential for without it, we will only be playing on the surface. But if we tune in to what's going on inside of us - or more accurately, if we just let go and let the music itself speak through us, we're following our intuition and going with the flow rather than against it.

As you might have surmised, this is similar to meditation. Not the mantra chanting kind of meditation but the kind where you just sit and allow thoughts to come and go … watching them go by as an impartial observer. Soon, thoughts slow down and we are left contemplating nothing. From this place can come your deepest piano playing.

To get to this place, it's a good idea to not have a goal when sitting down at the piano. You simply allow yourself to be and explore using the materials of music - chords, notes, etc.

Perhaps the Key of G Major calls to you. Then that is what you must play. Your intuition will never fail you and will reward you with some of the "best" music possible. But you must release your grasp on what you want and allow for the unexpected to develop.

Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Visit now and get a FREE piano lesson!

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