Q is for Quiet

Sometimes, in practicing, we play louder and louder, more and more coarsely, and wonder why our bodies and ears are getting tired. To avoid this, stop playing and sit quietly.

Listen for every sound you can hear, and name each sound out loud (quietly).

Mary is practicing down the hall.

Bert is running the floor polisher downstairs.

The logs are crackling in the fireplace, and the fire is hissing.

A bird is singing outside.

Someone’s walking past the building.

The radiator’s gurgling.

Gradually, your hearing gets more and more sensitive. Keep naming sounds ‘til you haven’t heard any new ones for a few moments. Then start playing again, gently.

With your ear-sensitivity restored, you can play much softer than before and yet it will be plenty loud. With your body relaxed and attentive, you’ll have the poise to play softly with reliability.

Copyright © James Boyk 2013. All rights reserved.
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