At first it was exhilarating – you loved touching your instrument and producing beautiful sounds. And then . . . at some point . . . the honeymoon was over. You started to feel like practicing was more work than you wanted it to be. Maybe your body started feeling uncomfortable and tense.
Or maybe your teacher put you onstage and you were terrified. You might have even had parents who scolded or punished you for playing wrong notes in a recital, making you feel unworthy of performing the music you loved. So maybe you started practicing more, and “harder,” trying to become worthy of playing for other people. The whole situation grew painful.
So many of my students have had painful experiences like these. And they’ve wondered – sometimes for years – if there was a way to get the magic back. To fall in love with their instrument again and to love playing it every day.
Could there possibly be a way to feel transported again practicing the piano – like they did when they heard that first magical performance?
YES. There is a way.
And it’s not through pushing yourself to play perfectly, or to meet a standard that feels out of reach.
No – it’s completely different.
It’s through appreciating yourself just as you are, and discovering you have gifts you simply didn’t notice before.
You might have been too busy judging yourself or worrying about getting it “right.” Or you were trying to accomplish too many things at once: “Gotta make that jump! And don’t forget to pedal it this way while you’re at it! And to change the dynamics when you get to the high note!”
What a recipe for excessive stress and tension!
Instead of all that stressful practicing, you could take your time and just notice, over and over, how good it can feel to move your hands and arms without extra tension. Or even to simply hear a single sound.
You could relax and start to trust that you’ll learn the piece just fine if you just go at your own pace, and do things comfortably, naturally, enjoyably.
You could even learn to view your moments of dissatisfaction not as signs that you’re not good enough – but simply as indications that you care deeply about music. That your heart is full of love for it and you just want to fulfill your talent and play as beautifully as you can – for yourself and for others.
Amazingly enough, when you stop struggling and begin to appreciate yourself, your body can begin filling up with good, warm energy that flows right into the music you’re playing.
Making music isn’t about stress and strain. It’s about you, and your heart, and why you’re a musician in the first place.
Practicing is actually a chance to be who you are more, and to discover one beautiful detail after another – in feeling your hands move, or in hearing each sound flow into the next.
It’s about letting your body move freely, unimpeded by excess tension – the way it was designed to move.
You can learn this.
And usually, to do it, you need a reliable guide to steer you toward the inner world of your gifts – your natural coordination and natural receptivity to sound. And your natural connection with the rhythmic flow in music that allows it to fully breathe and come alive.
So – if you’re a pianist, I invite you to consider applying for one of the generous scholarships to my upcoming Transformative Piano Master Class Series, beginning June 21, for six weeks. You’ll be surprised the places it can take you.
You won’t be the same when it’s over. You’ll be so much more the pianist you’re meant to be. And it will all happen in the company of other like-minded pianists who share the journey with you.
If you’d like to talk about whether this special series is a good fit for you, I’m here.