You Should Feel Confident and Secure When You Play the Piano
Playing the piano should be a pleasant experience. That’s why you started learning the instrument, right?
If it's not pleasant for you, you’re not alone… I hear complaints from pianists all the time:
- My right hand feels great, but my left hand is clunky.
- I don’t feel right when I sit at the piano. I get tired and I can’t stop myself from slouching.
- I get tense, and I'm afraid to make mistakes.
These complaints all have something in common. Each one of them is a different way of saying “I’m just not OK sitting here and playing the piano.”
What would it be like if you were "OK sitting here and playing the piano”?
- Both hands would feel equal in strength.
- You would feel stable and relaxed on the bench.
- Your attention would be on the music you’re playing, rather than on worry about mistakes.
So, how do you make this happen?
The Answer: Mindfulness
This means paying attention, without judgment, to what’s actually happening.
Piano teachers rarely discuss this, but it’s super-important.
Take a moment and think about a recent piano practice session of yours. How often were you worried about something in the past or future, rather than focusing on the present?
What if you could focus on the present? How would your playing be different? How would your practicing be different?
Most problems pianists have can seem confusing and impossible to solve completely. You might have asked a teacher for advice, only to find that the solution didn’t actually change anything.
For example, you might have tried:
- laser-like focus on the misbehaving hand...but you just get more anxious and frustrated...
- raising or lowering the bench, trying to find the exactly-perfectly-right posture...but try as you might, you never seem to settle into it...
- taking your mind off of mistakes...and end up making even more...
Each of these “solutions” fails because you are trying so hard to find a solution!
Instead of spending all your energy trying to fix things, what if you spent it only on paying attention? What if you let your mind learn on its own?
With mindfulness, you can be your own teacher.
Want to learn more about mindfulness for pianists?
I want pianists to know more about this stuff. So, I've made an online course that shows you how you can be more mindful about your mistakes. Click on the button below to check it out (it's totally free).