The Way of The Pianist


To You, dear student, in your sincere search for perfection.
Throughout this book, I will be treating you as a great friend and offer these thoughts, discoveries, ideologies and scientific analyses to simply plant seeds in the fertile soil of your creative personality, only with your permission however.

In no respect would I want you to be tied down by any hard and fast rules, or a dogmatic, unfeeling approach, quite to the contrary.
We share a great love for that most challenging of musical instruments, so magnificent in its tonal capacity, so singularly satisfying and fulfilling in its broad outreaching ability to portray, in the hands of a solo performer, such a complete repertoire of musical nuance, style and integrity.

The Pianoforte.

The very name of the instrument and the colours of its keys hint strongly, and immediately of contrast, one of the facets we shall cover as the book unfolds.
All, saving the very young early learners, will hopefully be able to glean at least some helpful tips, and perhaps a glimpse into what I refer to as the Science of Piano Playing.

Firstly, however, before we set off on our journey together, a word or two about expectation.
Simply put, an old and very wise phrase, that applies to all walks of life, and all areas of study, and although it may dismay and repel the faint-hearted, there is a great realism within, and also the power to stir up the courage.

"If Perfection were obtainable, it wouldn't be worth having."

There . . . can we face that together and continue with our sights readjusted?

Excellent, at least we'll avoid the pitfall of too much self satisfaction (of course a gentle glow of pride is always allowed, as long as we share it all with The True Source of Everything) and we can always remind ourselves of the Infinite challenge we have set ourselves, and maybe get a sense of pace to our study.
Balance, not too hard on yourself, and not too soft.
Enjoy both with equality.

Okay, I'm going to demolish the rationality in the above, and open ourselves up to a different point of view, a different and much more inspiring perspective.

Perfection, in the relative sense, ie. from the conventional, value judgement sense, is perhaps never attainable, because, quite simply, our mortal points of view could never conceive of Perfection.
So, perfection is not going to even lie in the arena of perception.
Let's try looking somewhere else, at that which we are EXPERIENCING, when entirely untouched by our judgmental, conceptual view.
What we will find is something in the order of the miraculous.
Incredulous, almost un-believable, were it not unfolding, around us and about us, within us and without us.
Simply to touch any part of this with our awareness, light as a feather, will surely bring us to experience Perfection of this different order.
The ineffable, unspeakable Perfection of Truth.

So let us re-affirm our goal. We wish to travel on the road to Perfection, experiencing as much of that Perfection on the Way as we can.
Always include yourself within that Perfection, my dearest friend, that is the very first step, whatever you do, whatsoever you think, where ever you are.
Truly you are always HERE and NOW and that is where Perfection lies.
We have our share of this, and will know it, when we simply allow what is there already, to happen.
You will therefore detect two currents of thought from now on.
The Perfect, in the absolute sense, and perfect in the relative sense.
The Way points to both of these simultaneously.
The relative is contained within the absolute, and yet the absolute permeates the relative.

9 comments:

Lucy Lopez said...

I closed my eyes and enjoyed the gentle movements and sweet phrases of your playing. What a treat! May you share you talent with many!

I have missed my piano in the last few months but have been fortunate these last couple of days to play on my brother, Joe's, organ which has a really good piano feature. I am encouraging him to exercise his fingers and wrist on it. He has loved playing it.

As for the journey in Perfection, may all who play, enjoy the journey recognizing each note as of the Here and Now...

ellumbra said...

Lucy - thank you for your kind comment - I am so happy that the mysteries of music brought you some joy.
For it is a different world, music - it speaks to us in such a deep way, it can move us - and yet it is completely beyond my understanding how & why. It is universal and is a language of emotional communication that I have been steeped in all my life - perhaps with a little ability to create. But that in itself is another mystery - trying to capture a mood - riding a wave or just a ripple - to see where it goes.
Thank you again.

S. A. Hart said...

What an inspiring post! I really enjoy your writing. As an artist, I appreciate effective use of imagery. Well done!

Ellumbra said...

@ - S.A.Hart - thank you for your appreciative comment, it is truly heart warming to have received.
Thank you very much.

musicteacherhub said...

This post reminds me of a great poet. I am sure that you are also a passionate music teacher as seen in this article.

Thanks for inspiring your readers.

Music Teachers Resources

ellumbra said...

@ musicteacherhub - thank you for visiting and leaving such a generous comment.
Indeed, poetry is very close to my heart, and my heart is very close to your country - but alas, resolution is obscured.
I have been told that I cannot see through these cultural differences - but I feel that a heart in tune with music and poetry beats to a universal rhythm - sensitised to harmony and sincerity.
Maybe I am wrong.

thepianoplayersdaughter said...

Thanks for a great read.Lovely words.Learning to play an instrument is the most profound and enriching thing I ever did. It opened a chapter in my life!

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ellumbra said...

Thank you Wedding Pianist - for your kind comment - may inspiration be yours.