Mindfulness isn’t what you think!
Let’s take this story from Laura‘s lesson last week.
Laura played Chopin’s gorgeous and super challenging F minor Ballade. She’d improved a lot since her previous lesson—was really starting to get the piece under her belt.
But it just didn’t grab me.
Most of the technical moves were in order, and she had done a lot of listening work to bring out different lines and open up the textures.
But it needed more joy. And I went for it.
I told her about the small gland in front of the tail bone, called the coccygeal body, which is like the joy center of the body. (Think “dog wagging its tail”.) And I asked her to sit upright on the bench, place one hand on her lower abdomen in front of that tailbone spot, and tune into the joyful energy emanating from it. Within a few seconds, she felt it clearly. Then I asked her to put her other hand on her heart—the love energy center. She connected well with that too.
Then she played again. And we were both knocked out.
“That was wild!“ she said.
“I’ve never heard you play like that!“ I said.
What had happened?
Laura used her awareness—her mindfulness—to connect to the vital energy in her body. As a result, the energy that had been somewhat blocked before could now flow freely through her system.
And this liberated energy came right through the music Chopin wrote.
How does this work?
Sitting still allows us to notice what’s going on inside our body—our deep aliveness.
Instead of trying hard to express ourselves, we deliberately connect to what’s within us, so that it can come through in our playing.
It’s such a pleasure to make music this way! Full of joy and heart.
And that’s what our audience will receive from us too.
If you’d like to find out more about how mindfulness can open up your playing, I’m excited to invite you to my upcoming Free Interactive Workshop, Mindfulness for Pianists: Freeing Your Energy for Performance, on Thursday, May 11, at 1 PM Eastern.
You can get more info and sign up here.
I hope to see you there!
With warm wishes,
P.S. Please also feel free to ask questions or share comments below.