For a while now, meditative practices have been popular among people of all kinds of backgrounds. Learning to be in the moment, in a good and healthy sense, appears to be helpful to being well in a busy and often stressful world.
People often say that playing the piano is relaxing. We’d like to suggest that far from only being ‘relaxing’, playing the piano can actually be something of a practice in being present, in being aware and in the moment.
As you’re playing a piece or song that you already know and love, your attention is on the music that you’re bringing to love. You’re in the moment, feeling the music. You’re feeling the emotion. You’re tracking nuances in the sound.
You’re following the harmony with your ears and with your heart. Your attention simply doesn’t have space for thoughts about stress at work or worries about an exam at school. You’re in a musical space, an artistic space.
Time practicing the piano, learning a song you don’t already know is also an exercise in mindfulness. Time practicing is time spent focusing on, often nuanced movements of the fingers, the hands, the arms. It’s time spent getting to know the workings of a piece, and getting a sense of its character. Even exercises, practiced correctly, should be practiced mindfully and with attention to the nuances of sound. Even a simple scale can be played musically. If the word ‘practice’ brings to mind images of mindless repetition, that’s not what we have in mind. Practice is not ‘automatic,’ like running on a treadmill for a set amount of time. Each practice session is an adventure, as you identify and meet challenges. Not to mention the satisfaction of seeing your own progress.
At NY Piano School, one of our objectives is to share the beauty of music. Music is something for everybody, and the piano is a wonderful and versatile instrument with which you can play music of almost any genre. How wonderful if piano playing, piano lessons, and time spent practicing can also serve as an exercise in mindfulness, with the healing benefits of the latter!
We are proud to offer piano lessons for children and adults of all ages and backgrounds, in-studio as well as in student’s homes and online.
Alexander Barsov is a pianist, a classical composer, and the founder NY Piano School; a friendly environment where people of all ages can learn the piano from seasoned professionals. Barsov and his team believe that music is one of life’s greatest joys, and to be able to play an instrument is a very special gift that anyone can learn.
Lessons are held at a studio at 37 West 65th Street (near Lincoln Center) or from the convenience of your home. Online lessons are also available.