Why Playing the Piano Can Be a Chore and What to Do About It

Edward Weiss

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So, you're just not that into playing the piano lately? Not inspired? Feeling less than enthusiastic about putting fingers to keys?

I understand. I've been there and still experience what is commonly called “creative blocks. " But you're not really blocked. You just don't want to play. Sounds weird I know but let me explain.

Art, any art is essentially a play activity. Let me ask you something. What happens when children are “forced" to play? They end up rebelling and doing exactly the opposite of what they were told to do.

Do you think you're any different? I'm always amazed at teachers who suggest students bang their heads on the keyboard until they get it right. This is OK I guess if your goal is to become a concert pianist. But if your goal is to rise above the mundane realm of what I call “typist" piano, then you best get used to the idea that forcing never works.

Why is this? Because the artist part of you is really a child who just wants to play. Remember when you were young and you were in “the zone?" You didn't have to think about it. You didn't have to worry if it was good enough or if you knew enough. It could have been paper mache, finger-painting, sprinkles…anything. The point is, your elementary school teacher understood that the process of play was far more important (and educational) than having you compete in an art contest to see who was better. The ironic part of all of this is that we ALWAYS discover more about our art when we do just play.

Look, life is hard enough already. Let's ease up on ourselves and actually enjoy the act of piano playing.

Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons . He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!


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