This exercise is part of the elective ‘Become the Owner of your Learning’
It came into my mind after teaching about Talent last Wednesday. Enjoy if you like…
- Start your practising with ten minutes of free playing, as following:
- Your playing or singing is, in this exercise, not a ‘means to an end’. It has ‘no reason at all’. Do not practise a song, an exercise, a rhythm or skill or anything existing. Known stuff may pass by if this so happens, but you let go of it as easily as it occurred. After a second or after a minute, it’s all ok as long as there is no plan.
- No goals in playing nice, in discovering something new, in having a certain amount of energy, nice sound, or whatsoever.
- Do not stick to anything happening. Let go free not only in the beginning, but also during the exercise.
- Letting go free could be difficult if you’re not used to it. On the contrary, if you áre used to playing free, it still might be hard not to stick to anything. When going fine do not hesitate to dive into ugly, nasty, boring or even silent waiting if this passes by. Feel the liberation of not wanting any result.
That in fact ís the result.
- If you are afraid to loose any brilliant ideas passing by just record the whole session. This might be nice anyway, unless when it makes you feel unfree because of extra judging yourself when playing.
- Each time a thought or judgement appears during playing consider it as natural. This is what happens. Do not push it away, but do not go into it either. Get back to the pure sense perception of your playing to practice coming back from thinking. So: what do I hear? What do I feel (feet, arms, muscles, breath, sound vibrations, etc.)? As detailed as you can.
- After ten minutes you sit down for a moment to overlook what happened, answering these questions:
- What was the moment of highest energy/best flow/most natural playing?
- What did I do then?
- What was the moment of lowest energy?
- What did I do then?
- Make short notes of it. Just be curious and don’t judge the answers, nor the music. Just do it again the next day.
- Do this exercise seven times, each time with full concentration and targeting on letting go free. Overlook your practice and remarks to it after these seven times and then answer the following questions:
- What does the collection of seven best moments tell you about your spontaneous playing, about where your energy goes and probably, although not expressed in relation, about your talent?
- What does the collection of seven worst moments tell you about your dragons (negative self-judgements)?
- Does this exercise have any influence on your other playing? On the perception of your playing? On your energy or wellbeing? On other actions during the day or the way you look at them?
If this exercise works well for you, you can start your daily practice every now and then with a few minutes of free playing, observing what comes up. Repeat this at regular intervals.