Music Making as Spiritual Experience

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If you've been playing piano for some time, you may come upon periods where you forget yourself and only the music remains. You might even have had a spiritual experience. A phenomenon where emotion and intellect become one and the outside world disappears.

This experience is what we all want, whether we admit it or not. This is a very important part of making music - especially new age music. We want that moment where we can stop thinking and start feeling.

Of course, there are times when we create something for a specific purpose such as dance music, rock and roll, etc. But when you are attuned to your feeling and letting the music flow from your fingers the wonder and magic of it is enough to make you want to come back again and again for more.

To get to this place does not require any special ability. It only requires that you know a little about chords and how to use them. Then, you place your fingers on a chord and off you go.

What makes this complicated for some is their indecision about which chord or notes to play. After all, there are thousands of choices. The solution for this problem is limiting your choices. In the free lessons, I give you a scale to play and a few chords from that scale to improvise with. This is enough material to get the imagination going. Some students thrive on limits while others fight them. I fought them too until I realized that my goal was to feel good about music making - not to create a masterpiece.

As soon as I thought about creating anything - I froze up. Technically, I knew a lot but it did me no good. I reexamined my reasons for making music and came to the conclusion to keep it simple. Simple, in my mind at the time meant boring. But I finally let go of the need to please others and as soon as I did, I began to experience music making as a spiritual experience.

Now, there is nothing that heals me so much as just being at the piano - letting the notes fall where the will within the limitations I set for myself. First, I allow myself to gravitate to any sound that calls me. For example, it could be a minor chord. It might be the pentatonic sound that calls to me. Then I simply stay within that sound or tonality and all is well.

Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at for a FREE piano lesson!

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