Today I met with a friend who plays the electric guitar. She played me some amazing snippets from pieces that she could play.
From the moment I asked about her music making I could tell it was something she loved. As soon as she knew I was interested she was keen to share, which was lovely and I totally enjoyed it.
It got me thinking about how mindful music making is. For the time that she was playing her chords and working on her technique I could see that she was totally absorbed and present in the moment. All of her other worries faded. She wasn’t concerned about me watching, or taking photos, or what time it was, or about anything else.
I was thinking about the connection between Mindfulness and music later on at home and it struck me that actually mindfulness could be the most amazing tool to help musicians.
I grew up playing the violin and one of the biggest struggles I had was developing a practise routine. I would go from no practise at the beginning or the week to masses of practise as my next lesson drew near. Actually little and often would have been much better. Now that I meditate I have really developed the ability to sit regularly and I am pretty sure this skill would transfer well to music practise too.
When I was at school and at university I struggled with nerves if I was asked to play in front of others. When I used to do the annual orchestra audition I used to dread it for weeks in advance. Mindfulness would have helped me so much in terms of not worrying about this forthcoming event.
Playing the violin requires a really upright posture, again something that is echoed in meditation practise. Setting the body up in the right way and having greater self awareness makes such a fundamental difference to the performance of your mind and body.
Playing sheet music is one skill but having real creativity takes music making to a different level. Mindfulness meditation allows you to free up some head space so that you really do have capacity to be creative.
So if you love to make music try giving mindfulness a go. The tools that you learn will take you so much further.