Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Ear Training for Music and Life
I can listen and learn to identify tones and intervals on my guitar or a piano in a practice studio. The stakes here are practically nonexistent. But how to practice deep listening with a loved one? How to listen when another person is distressed? As our world becomes smaller and full of people who absolutely know that they are right - can I listen to them? Will I listen to them? Can I listen to the dissonant and complex harmonies of clashing cultural, religious and political storms? Can I hear in my heart and soul that we all want and need to be heard? Especially those I dislike? Those that offend me? Those I do not understand?
I can hear the urgency of the cry of a loved one in distress, but what about their more subtle and nuanced tones? When I hear fear, will I resolve it's jagged melody? Allow the driven tempo of anger to come to rest? To resolution? What do I hear in silence? Effective listening requires practice. Practice quieting my mind; quieting my feelings. Practice building awareness of where I am here and now. Practice, discipline, practice. Very similar to learning an instrument - the voice of love. Dare I listen as if the world depended on it? The practice begins - Now!
Let my being
Intently focus on
After writing this much I was not sure this post was complete. Time to pick up my guitar I reasoned. Listen to her and see if any answers or clarity arrived. Before entering my practice space, I paused, connected with my intention and myself. Freedom in playing was my intention. A few minutes into running through my second piece, Turning the Wheel, I noticed an internal dialogue was underway. I paused to quiet, good to listen to myself I reasoned. Freedom may very well begin in the mind. After quieting my mind I resumed playing the piece. After working with a transition, I moved on to an improvisation. Simple and beautiful. Then another improvisation which became complicated, judgement arose in my mind. Can I listen to my improvisations without judgement? Can I listen to another person without judgement? Ah the work never ends.
Photo by Tinu