July 20, 2011

Go Play Outside!

It is definitely summer! Long days with clear skies that just beg you to come outside. And why not - it can only do you good to get a little fresh air (in the shade!).

We get so used to playing in the same room, in the same spot, in the same light. But moving around could be a big help. You might be surprised how much your perspective will change.

Just by moving outside, you’ll get a different appreciation for a lot of things about playing. You’ll learn a lot about light, sound, temperature, and space. Things you might forget to think about if you always sit in the same spot.

Of course, you’ll also get to think about mundane things like how much a harp weighs, how unwieldy a triangular object can be to carry, the challenges of remaining balanced on an imperfect lawn. But each of these things also provides opportunities to learn.

Think about the challenges of playing from your deck and the slats beneath the strings. Or a brick patio that swallows up your Cs!

You’ll start to see the seams in your playing – pieces you thought you had down might be more challenging if you’re squinting. Yes, it is hard to concentrate on the next note or phrase when you detect sweat trickling down your back…just like it does at outdoor summer weddings! It’s really hard to hear yourself when the closest surface is not just 10 feet away, especially if it is a tree not a wall. And when planes fly overhead or the neighbor kids go by screaming on their bikes, you know it will be just like the distractions you overhear wherever you play.

But you can play through all that - and give yourself a fresh perspective on your music.  And if you give your neighbors an impromptu concert - all the better for all of you.  Who knows, you might just have fun!

So, go outside to play – and see how it helps you to improve.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

It's far better in the "neighborly" department than, say, the bagpipes, for sure! I'd love to open a window and hear someone playing her harp :)