Today my Mum came round and we were having a go on the piano. We took it in turns and had a go at a few of the tunes that were in the new book that I got for Christmas.
It got me thinking of an article that I read a little while ago about hobbies. It was about how we change as we grow up. When we are young we have lots of hobbies and we are encouraged to enjoy a variety of activities. As we get older we get inhibitions and it seems that we feel the need to only do things that we are good at.
I really think this is the case with music for me. I played the violin and the piano when I was at school. I was never amazing but I was OK. As an adult I am embarrassed to play if any one (except perhaps my family) can hear me.
In recent times I have enjoyed playing more and more.. I have some fairly easy pieces and I totally LOVE the experience of sitting and having a go for a few minutes every day.
I can feel it working my brain as I focus and figure out the notes. After a few minutes I can feel my brain start to tire. Little and often is the best way for me. It seems to be a hardcore way to train the brain.
When we start out with training the brain the first step it to keep our focus on one thing. Each time it wanders we return our focus. When I play the piano it takes all of my focus. If my concentration goes then I can’t play. it isn’t some thing I can do automatically, I need to give it my full attention.
If you want to train your brain in a proactive way then finding a hobby that takes all of your focus could be a great addition to your Mindfulness and brain training activities.