Friday, June 08, 2012

Summer, Piano Playing, and Getting Inspired

I’ll admit it … summer’s not my favorite time of year. I’m almost 50, have a bad back, and can actually feel my body contract and expand in ways I never thought possible.

To say that I’m not inspired to play piano would be an understatement.

And yet, when I do take the time to sit down at the piano and play, I find, once again, how easy the heavy feelings can be lifted once I let the music wash over me.

One of my major teaching philosophies is that you can’t force play. And that’s true! Which is why I suggest that when you’re feeling down and don’t’ feel like playing piano, you shouldn’t.

But, there’s a competing philosophy that suggests you ’show up’ at the piano even if you don’t want to. I tried this myself and found about a 70% success rate. That is, there are times when I really don’t feel like playing and won’t. I’ll go to the piano, place fingers on a chord and when I play, it sounds lifeless and flat.

Of course, the reason it sounds this way is due to my own emotional state.

Yet, if I stay with the music regardless of how I might be feeling and play anyway, there’s a good chance that something will ’click’ and the music will feel new and fresh again. This actually happens and has happened to me on numerous occasions.

So, if you don’t feel like playing - if you’re miserable and the last thing you want to do is play piano, try it anyway. It might be just the thing you need to reinvigorate and inspire you once again.

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 15 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Visit now and get a FREE piano lesson and book!

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