Your hands will always know something you don't.
Although today we’re talking about piano, for you singers on my list, this applies to you too…and if you’re curious how it applies to singing, reach out and let me know! I may do a singing version of this article 🙂
When you are learning to play piano in the studio with me, one thing we’ll likely cover is learning to play with your eyes closed.
When we play with the eyes open, we can see what we are doing…which allows our thinking mind to dictate to the hands what to play.
This is handy…but unfortunately for many beginning piano players, if this is all you do, you are short changing yourself.
This is because your hands, and the part of your brain that flows directly from brain to hands (without your conscious mind intercepting) will always be one step ahead of your thinking mind.
In The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain by Annie Murphy Paul, Paul describes how our hand gestures can reveal our understanding of something…before our thinking brains have figured it out.
Scientists were able to predict, through hand gestures, whether a student was about to understand something correctly before the student could correctly articulate the concept.
The gestures were a more accurate indication of correct understanding than words. Woah. Your hands get it before your thoughts do…and this tracks even as babies, we move the hands and communicate that way before we talk.
That was true, even for conceptual knowledge…now how much more is it true for a movement skill like piano playing?
If you want to develop your sense of spontaneity, creativity, etc. learning by feeling with the hands is essential to the process of learning piano…and actually gets you closer to one of the core reasons we play instruments to begin with: to get out of our head, to get a break from thinking.
So you can think with words and images in your head, but there is another part of your brain, that thinks through sensation and movement. Its this part we want to give room for, when we play or sing. When you wake up this part of yourself more and more…you tend to feel more alive.
So instead of watching yourself play music, you can feel the music more by literally feeling the music, without looking.
In Synergistic Piano lessons, this is just one of many ways that we learn to play piano that is oh-so-unique. Just like you.
For piano lessons, learn more here.
If you want to experience how your voice could express things your thinking mind couldn’t have predicted, learn more here.
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