Answer that question honestly.
If I answer it, I have to say that sometimes, yes my practice space does look like this, especially when life is really busy and there's no down time.
It may not be that you put your clean laundry on your piano, (although it's a great idea in a rush); it may be that you store unopened boxes in your practice room, put unopened mail on the piano bench, or store those seasonal clothes that you've moving temporarily on the floor right next to your piano.
When we do this...we're visually and physically covering our pianos and keeping them out of our main focus and attention. Hmm...
Think about how much you have to move just to get to your piano to practice. If you/we are tired, we won't feel like moving all of that most times...we'll just decide to do "it" later. This happens for a few days, then a week, and before you know it, we've established a habit. And the habit is, not having a clear focus on your piano playing.
Now it may be pretty obvious what the solution to this is: you clean out your practice room/area and keep it clean, right? Partly, but there's a bit more if we go just a little deeper into what may be actually happening here.
Think for a minute about this: The physical mirrors the nonphysical... or in other words, we can get a glimpse of what's going on in our mind (thoughts, emotions, worries, etc.) by looking at what are putting into our physical environment.
The question you want to ask yourself is, "why am I covering up my piano with other things?"
I'm suggesting here that the reason may not always just be "because we're busy." Let's look at some other possibilities.
Every piece of clutter, or clean laundry, or box, that you have put around or on your instrument represents something inside of you. Those items can teach us a lot about our piano playing if we learn to look at them as teachers themselves, instead of just objects.
So while removing them is the physical representation of you dealing with these thoughts and emotions, it is important to understand what they represent to you individually and how you can deal with them not only in terms of clearing out that space, but also in your piano playing.
You may not have the answers to all of those questions right away. Just start by being aware that they exist and that the answers are available to you as well as you begin looking and actively moving things so your focus and attention can be peacefully and clearly focused on your piano and your playing goals once again.
Take this week to start asking yourself what is in your practice space, and what is it saying to you about your piano playing. Look at these questions and ask your own as you begin this special dialogue. Next week we're going to look at some specific ways to take each question and apply the answer to our piano playing.
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