The other day I just let go. I was trying to play through a section of a piano piece that was constantly tripping me up. Like a scratched record, every time I approached that section, my thoughts were “Don’t screw up! Don’t screw up!”. As someone who teaches people about how they can manifest their own reality by their thoughts, I don’t need to tell you what happened… Revisiting the piece later on I just sat down and played it without thinking. I detached myself from the section that was causing me to trip up, and simply let go.
If you’ve ever tried to master an instrument (which, as we all know is at least two lifetime’s work!), you might be familiar with that moment when your hands (or feet) become detached from your brain. Like driving a car. If you drive, do you remember those first few lessons? At first we had to think of every single thing we needed to do, and often get overwhelmed and stall, or slam the brakes on when we are meant to accelerate. Soon, without even noticing it, we were are able to do everything with our eyes closed (although I won’t recommend this when driving…!). We’ve all experienced that sensation of daydreaming whilst driving and suddenly “awaken” to realise we haven’t been paying any attention to our driving. Could you have ever imagined being able to that in the future that after your first driving lesson?
With a musical instrument, it is often a case of simply letting go. Detaching your brain’s computer from it’s controller, and just trusting that your fingers know what to do. Have you ever experienced that? It’s a magical feeling where it feels like it’s not you playing. It’s almost like you are witnessing it, rather than doing it.
Today I finished reading a beautiful book called “Illusions” by Richard Bach. In the story the “student” asks the master how he can play the guitar so well:
“Just give up your inhibitions and beliefs that you can’t play. Touch the thing as though it was a part of your life, which it is. Know that it is alright for you to play it well, and let you non-conscious self take over your fingers and play.”
The student then replies that it will be very hard for him to let go of his knowing that he can’t play a guitar. The master replies:
“Then it will be a hard thing for you to play the guitar. It will take years of practice before you give yourself permission to do it right, before your subconscious mind tells you that you have suffered enough to have earned the right to play well.”
So if you are struggling with a piece, maybe you are trying too hard. Remember to let go, and see what happens. When you experience this, imagine what will happen when you apply the same principle to your music career and your life.
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