Have you ever thought about how much time you spend alone when you're playing the piano?
For most players, especially in the beginning and early intermediate stages, the only human interaction that is experienced is with one's teacher. Recitals and other performances provide opportunities to play in front of others, but you're still playing by yourself and not creating and making music with another person or group.
We all seem to start out as soloists, even though we probably don't think of it that way. We kind of get used to playing "behind closed doors" and feel most secure and comfortable just having ourselves as our audience.
There are great benefits to this. This 'solo' time provides all of us with:
The one thing that can add to this amazing list of benefits, is learning, playing, and creating music with others.
Music itself gives us a large hint, that it is meant to be more than just a solo endeavor.
Harmony is the clue. The nature of harmony is that it is more than one: a chord. Chords are made up of more than one note. It can be any number of notes, as long as it is more than one.
What does harmony add to a lyrical line of music? Texture, color, depth, emotion, and many other things. It adds a special beauty to the music, that otherwise wouldn't exist. Even with the solo line of music being beautiful on its own, it still isn't quite as lovely as it is with some harmony added in.
Apply this same concept to playing your piano with others. You're doing great on your own solo time, but what would happen if you added in some 'harmony' to your piano playing?
Some of the great benefits of playing the piano with others in 'group' time are:
As you can see, there are many!
The main difference in 'solo' and 'group' playing time is that the solo time is focused on you, and the group time is focused on you-as a member of a team. Both are important to incorporate into your overall piano studies.
Look at it as a balancing act. The scale may lean to far over to the 'solo' side if you are always alone when playing your piano. You may have never even thought about trying to play with others to help grow your piano playing skills. It's time to start thinking about opening up and allowing yourself to create music with some other musicians.
Our musical learning process always reflects life and how it works to us. If we did everything in life alone, it would be very, well lonely. Think about all you would miss out on, if you didn't have your loved ones in your life.
What kinds of color and depth do they add to your life? When did you do something better, because you did it with someone else instead of alone?
It's the same with music. There are amazing things that will come into your life, when you start making music with others, on your piano.
How can you do that? Let's look at a few ways.
If you feel a bit intimidated by the thought of playing with someone...maybe because you don't think you're good enough, or you're afraid of how people will react, congratulations! That means that you're a human being, and a musician. :)
We all feel that, so just accept it as part of the package, but realize that most of the package is filled with incredibly fun and rewarding benefits that far outweigh those few pieces of coal in your present. The fear in itself is a wonderful gift, because translated, it means, "you're growing"!
You're already receiving the great results just from studying and learning how to play the piano. Adding in this aspect of creating and /or playing music with others, will multiply those benefits 1000-fold.
It's like taking a Vitamin C with Magnesium because it increases the benefits of the Magnesium in your body. You get some of the benefits of the Magnesium taking it alone, but it's so much better for you when you take it with Vitamin C.
Playing the piano with others, boosts the benefits of your own solo practice and playing time. You will grow faster as a pianist and a human being, by sharing your musical journey with other musicians.
Is it time for you to venture out of 'solo' time and add in some human harmony to your piano playing?
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