2.21.2012

Listen

Tonight I had one of those rare moments at the piano.

I was playing the Chopin Nocturne that I'm working on (Op. 62. No. 1 if you're interested in listening to it), and decided to approach it a bit differently. Instead of focusing on all the things I was doing wrong at the piano (and working on correcting them), I stopped and really listened. Really payed attention to the incredible, gorgeous sounds the piano can create.

Slowly, I savored each melody note, each beautiful harmony and sighing suspension. I stopped on a few chords and closed my eyes, just listening to the resonance of the piano. Each note blossomed into an even deeper beauty after the initial hammer strike of the string. Like the waves of the ocean, the sound of that one note rolled away and then flooded back again, each time dying a little more, and a little more....


When I was done, I felt like for perhaps the first time I really enjoyed the sound I was playing as I was playing it. 

I don't think I have ever given myself permission to enjoy the sound of my instrument while I am playing a Classical piece on it. Sure, I can enjoy a recording of it afterward, when I don't have the arduous task of managing the multiple muscles and memories and brain functions that it takes to play the piano. But to do all that and listen with attentiveness? That's a hard one. Typically, I either focus solely on voicing one or more parts, or just take sound for granted.

All this got me thinking - if I can play a piano for two thirds of my lifetime (so far) and never really listen to the gorgeous, lush sounds I can make on it... what other things am I taking for granted? 

 What things are you taking for granted? Where do you need to stop... and listen?

5 vivid thoughts:

Nessima Gwynn said... {Reply}

It's such a beautiful feeling when you're playing, and you can just feel the beauty of the piece you're playing...it's priceless. It's really amazing how music can move people the way it does. I definitely take it for granted.

~Nessima of Arda Nessimava

Amanda said... {Reply}

Hmm, good thought. I'm one of those people who always over analyzes what I've done. I need to sit back, overlook some of the petty blunders and see the good things.

Thanks!

Peter said... {Reply}

Hey Melody! I love your thoughts about listening. I am so glad you have the ability to both play complex pieces and listen to them. I am contemplating where I need to listen more. Thanks for posting!

Mikaela said... {Reply}

I am working on Chopin's Nocturne 27 No. 1...Chopin is amazing, isn't he? I usually get to the place where I can enjoy the sounds I am making at the piano and violin, but it takes months of perfecting a song before I let myself get to that place.

I can think of a whole host of things I take for granted! Thanks for the encouragement.

Grace Nation said... {Reply}

Oh, it's a beautiful Nocturne. I actually just used it as one of my audition pieces. It really helps to play Chopin like this, actually, any romantic era piece! You really have to feel the music. Like my old professor said "Play the piano, never work it."

I'm so glad I found your blog!

 

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