Do you ever have those days where you just say "grrrrr" all day?? Grr!
Sometimes it seems like everyone else is having one of those days too. Problems can arise when we encounter those few that don't really know how to deal with their frustrations and tend to bring into whatever environment they come into contact with.
We've all had those experiences; the mad driver, the angry neighbor or co-worker, classmate, or even our teachers or parents. Life can get to all of us and it's important to remember that.
There's something relatively new being discussed in the science world that's called Emotional Intelligence. Basically, this term describes how well we have learned to handle and control our negative emotions, so they don't harm others. Sort of like anger management.
You know who some of the most Emotionally Intelligent folks are? Pianists! Well, and other musicians of course.
Why is this?
Studies have shown that musicians are able to express their emotions better than non-musicians because music is an emotional language. We learn how to express our emotions when we learn how to play the piano. In other words ,it's the same thing. Playing the piano is emoting...or emotional expression.
So we pianists already have a release of our feelings any time we play, even if we don't realize it.
Now admittedly, there are times we get frustrated because what we're trying to learn we don't get in a practice session, or even several...but that is a different kind of frustration. This is more about just general frustration at life situations, and especially ones that we can't release right away, and tend to carry around. <---These are the ones that can cause harm to others, and ourselves.
Have you ever gotten mad about something that has nothing to do with your piano and you went and sat down and just banged on your piano for a bit? And then you felt better somehow? You felt better because you not only were physically active but you engaged your emotions with very direct focus, and got them out. Much like hitting a punching bag! Although, you don't want to hit your piano that hard...the energy is quite similar though.
So if we know that this emotional release happens without us having to do anything but play...what would happen if we intentionally went to our pianos and played out our anger, instead of taking it out on someone else?!
Here's a little experiment for you to try the next time you get really angry at yourself, or someone else.
Sit down and start playing the easiest scale that you know. Play it with both hands and play the notes short, loud and fast. Play through it several times. Go as fast as you want and play as loud as you want...just don't be too hard on your keys though. Now take a few deep breaths. Now you're going to play the same scale, but your going to play it softly this time, slower, and very smoothly connected from note to note. Do this a few times as well. Now take another few deep breaths. How do you feel?
You don't always have to play a scale...but it helps to play something that you know well so you can really just "let it rip". The point here is that you're focusing your energy and getting it moving...out of you through the music.
Sometimes it helps to play music that sounds and feels completely opposite from what you are feeling. If you're feeling really sad, you might want to try and play some Mozart...something that is happy. It will affect your emotions in such a positive way.
Isn't it neat how playing the piano gives us an outlet for our emotions, can change our emotions, and even help us to be better people by not taking our anger out on others...because we have a better way?!
Stay tuned to PianoLessonsOnTheWeb.com to learn much more and achieve your dream of playing the piano!
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