How to Play What you Feel

Many students think that being able to play what you feel is difficult. They believe you must have years and years of training in improvisation and theory.

The truth of the matter is that playing what you feel is easy when you understand what feeling is. Feeling is not emotion, yet it contains emotion. For example, If I'm in an ecstatic state of happiness and rush over to the piano and play, what I am doing is tapping off of the emotion.

To play what you feel does not require high or low emotional states. On the contrary, feeling is always with us and to just sit down and play is all that is required. Our feeling is what comes out of us in the moment. It lies in wait but is always there. Think of freewriting as an analogy. To put pen to paper and just write what comes to mind, the writer is expressing feeling. Emotions may come up during this process, but they gradually return to the pool of feelings from which they came.

To play what you feel requires nothing more than being present at the piano and having a little skill in being able to improvise. For example, in creating Lesson #35: "Moss Garden" certain decisions were made in the beginning. The sound was determined (pentatonic). Chords were chosen and a technique was chosen too (broken chord).

With these decisions out of the way it becomes a matter of playing around with the possibilities. And from this playing comes a music that is not forced or willed into being. On the contrary, feeling is allowed to be expressed normally and naturally. It becomes an easy thing to do, just like freewriting.

Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at s.html for a FREE piano lesson!

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