PIANO NOTES

Posted By Tina Dubin, Ph.D. on August 22, 2013 at 10:46am | General, Tina's Musings
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These are my thoughts and reactions as I play the piano.  I think you can recognize in them the self-talk and self-reflection we all experience as we perform and put ourselves out in the world each day.

Playing the piano can become a time of fantasy and drama for me – as I imagine who is listening and what they are thinking.  It’s easy to get carried away.  Indeed, sometimes I have to remind myself to “just play the piece, Tina.”  It doesn’t have to be all about your performance – it can also just be about the music.

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Actually, you don’t even get to fantasize or dramatize unless you play the notes right.  Focusing our attention on getting the notes right is a good way to get out of our heads. For those of us who may spend too much time there.  It’s important to get involved in “doing” – not just feeling and thinking.  Remember you only get to create a fun fantasy if you get the notes right.

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Playing well (or building,  dancing or painting well) is a gift to oneself.

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When I sit down at the piano I find myself searching for particular pieces or styles of music.  When I eventually stop and look at what I’ve chosen to play, it helps me to understand what I’m needing at the time and thus what I’m feeling.  [read  Looking At Ourselves and Our Feelings]

Stop and look at times to see what you find yourself yearning for or drawn to – the bed, the popcorn, the wine, certain books or movies or people?  What does it say about what you’re needing and feeling?

When my world is chaotic, I tend to go for classical pieces.  They’re so beautiful, orderly and timeless that I feel reassured of good and order in the universe.

Lately, I’m into Latin jazz.  It’s majestic, moving, poignant and fun.  It works great when you’re Freaked Out About Aging .

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It’s nice, kind of reassuring, that there is one right note.  It means I can figure it out.  Even nicer, that  there are other options that work.  Music, like life, allows for more than one good possibility.

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There are times when I make mistakes as I play and get into blaming myself.  “I’m careless; I’m lazy.”  (Hello Survival Child).  Then I realize that this part of the piece is really difficult.

 

 

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Posted by Tina Dubin, Ph.D.

I received my doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas in 1977. I completed my post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin Counseling Center. Since then, I have been a research associate at the Institute of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Texas, a founding associate of Family Eldercare, and have been in private practice with my husband, Dr. William Dubin, at Psychological ARTS since 1980.

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