the joy of braining

Writing a new piece avoiding playing previous patterns.  As days pass the unfamiliar becomes less confusing. The new ideas moves into instinct. Slowly, the need to think through each finger’s job is disappearing. Positioning oneself to learn new things on the instrument, who is teaching who? Sometimes you try to catch that middle ground between not knowing how to conjugate a sentence and later hearing yourself speak without thinking.  Instructing yourself plus experiencing yourself taking over. Does that space even exist? Mindfuck of the highest order.  It really does feel like experiencing new brain activity which in itself is a unique plesure.
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Over the last month, I tried to train the ears of three 6 year olds who I see weekly. Had them close their eyes listen to a note on the piano then open eyes and try to find it.  Quickly became apparent their capacity to replay the tone internally was undeveloped or else the effort to concentrate like that they were not wired up to do. Maybe it is their age and brain development but last Monday I changed the rules.  Instead of trying to find the note, I gave them a choice of three notes and now each one finds it. Just a little change in the rules. Usually life is lived as though we are driving a car, one we were born in. We turn left, we turn right. Seems like we are in charge (of course we forget we didn’t create the body, motor or transmission) Then some fight or flight shock happens and without any consultation of the driver, the car moves out of the trouble. That’s how this process of making music feels/ is. Like we savour pretending we are in charge.

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