Thursday, February 12, 2009

playing in the dark

Our power was out for several hours this evening--with all the super strong winds outside I'm not surprised.  In any case, I was trying to figure out what to do with myself w/o electricity (no internet, no TiVo, no stove for cooking... what's a girl to do?).  I decided to give my hand at playing piano in the dark (no electricity needed for Steinway).  I've been working on Danzas Argentinas by Ginastera, and my teacher had made a comment at my last lesson about my phrasing at one particular section of the piece, and although I'd been working on it since then, it still hadn't really clicked and felt comfortable in my hands.... until i played in the dark, that is.  Wow, my other senses were so amazingly alert and in tune without my being able to see my hands.  The phrasing of the double melody line in the right hand instantly sang to me what it wanted to be.  What surprised me even more, though, was that I could actually feel a difference in my thought process when I closed my eyes versus when I had my eyes open in the dark.  When I closed my eyes I was accessing a different part of the brain and my muscle memory ruled (which wasn't a good thing because my muscle memory was playing the phrasing the old way)... but when I opened my eyes, I was relying on my memory of the note names and listening very intently to the sound of the output.  I can see that this will be an amazing thing for me to do more often.  I'm glad I have the black curtains on the door to my piano studio to block out daytime distractions... but now I know to also turn the lights off and maybe lie a blanket along the strip of light that leaks through at the bottom of the curtains.

On some other notes, a friend bought an amazing piano footstool for me at a silent auction... it's adjustable to 7 different heights and is super easy to change for each student that comes in the door.  I'm so excited!

I've been keeping up with the daily yoga and still feeling amazing.

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