Updated: Mar 3
There’s a beautiful age of development where children don’t yet worry about what other people think of them. We’ve all seen this -- toddlers laughing (or crying) with such volume and display that it is very clear that they are in their own world -- completely unaware of those around them. If we think back to when we were younger, we might even remember times when we, too, have felt this way. Times when we have found our joy without worry of what others will think. Maybe we were dancing without caring that others were around. Maybe we chose our favorite outfit to wear simply because it brought us joy and we didn’t even give thought to the fact that others would see us. Perhaps while creating, we were in such a bubble that we abandoned all sense of the world around us and just created from the heart.
I know I have felt this before in moments when I am completely present in the moment -- not wrapped up in my own thoughts because I am one with whatever I’m doing. I experience this a lot when I’m practicing the piano -- and sometimes when I’m playing for other people. I can get in the flow, and for me, the flow is an extreme presence and mindfulness of what I’m doing. It’s like a laser focus on the task at hand. It’s like I’m in a bubble and the world outside of my bubble doesn’t exist. I love being in this bubble. I love this feeling of being at one with what I’m doing and without the interruption of the chatter and noise of my non-present mind--my mind that remembers the world around me and the noise that comes along with it.
I know that others find this space in music as well. I see it with my students during our lessons. I’ve seen it during recitals while they’re performing. I’ve also seen it in group classes when students are connecting with one another.
The beautiful thing about kids is that when they’re under the age of 5, they don’t know about the outside bubble. They pretty much live in the present moment constantly -- with only their view from their bubble in focus. When they get to be about 6-8 years old, they start to realize that there are other people outside of their bubble. This is the age that my students start expressing fear at the idea of performing in recitals. This is the age where they start to be conscious that their friends or peers might care what they’re doing or if they make a mistake.
I wish we could all channel the energy of being under the age of 5 and not caring what other people think. If we could live in that bubble more often -- especially while practicing and creating music, I think that it would be SO MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE and also we could possibly get more done because we could focus on the task at hand as opposed to tuning into the chatter and noise.
I know from experience that ANYONE can learn how to play the piano. I also know that it’s not always an easy road, and there will definitely be challenges along the way. However -- if we can channel some of that child like energy -- the energy where we abandon the external judgement, the external voices, and we just tune into what we’re doing in the moment -- the experience can be better. The experience can be positive. You can do this -- whatever is goin on in your practice at the moment -- tune out the voices that are telling you you can’t do it. Tune out the negativity, the fear, the judgement. Create your bubble -- with the inspiration of your 5 year old self BEFORE things got complicated. When you could just create to create and being in the moment was the only option. Try this in your piano practice for a few days and let me know how it works.
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