Dear ones, These times we are living in are requiring us to awaken, as the falling away of our outdated ways of being, habits, and beliefs propel us towards the callings of our hearts - because life wants our joy, fulfillment, and liberation. I know this because I am paying attention.
My body, my temple, this ultimate divine compass technology, is always guiding me to liberation by the way that it complains at me, or lights up. I am not ok with sub-standard living in my heart, so this feisty one gonna cry, scream, get real quiet, pray, and sing out loud til’ truth comes home to her heart again, and again, and…
“El silencio es la madre de el sonido”
“Silence is the mother of sound”
– Tito La Rosa
Attentiveness, in the form of listening might as well be the most important quality we have the capacity to develop not only as humans in relation to all of life, but also as music makers. Musicating without listening is equivalent to driving with your eyes closed – a disaster.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEARING AND LISTENING
We hear pre-recorded music, we are attentive and listen when we make music. This is why more parts of the brain light up than any other activity when we create music. It’s #aliveinside when we are playing music off a page alone. Add other musicians and it’s #poppin’. Improvise with others and it’s #neurofunktionjunction – substance free musical brain enhancement.
But that’s not all. It’s in the relationship of #reciprocity that music exists. If my audience or musical partner just sits there with no expression or response, I might as well be in my room. I play or sing something, and regardless of whether it went well or not, or it resonates with you or not, you feel something. Your feeling is a feedback loop to me and mine to you. Relational or musical reciprocity allows speech or face-to-face interactions to inform our next move. When improvising with others, our capacity for attentiveness and listening is sharpened exponentially, but why should we care about this?
Because because because! As music lights up more and more parts of our brain, the potential for cross skill development increases - attentiveness and listening are the #turtlemedicines for our planet, our bodies, our health, and our relationships, IMHO.
A practitioner I once worked with said “you know, it’s tricky with you because you process things slowly, but your energy moves very quickly”. She was right! She was attentive and caught that, and I have slowed the whole system down so that I also may be more informed and attentive – because that is how we musically and relationally play and grow.
Author Rick Hanson, who wrote in his book Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom says “attention shapes the brain”. Alison Bonds Shapiro expands on this, “What we pay attention to is literally what we will build in our brain tissue. Our neurons wire in response to what we focus upon.”
THE PRACTICE OPPORTUNITY…
Is to enter into a caring container where we engage our listening and attentiveness to what is arising in the moment in our musical conversation, rooted in reciprocity as a practice for relational acuity.
I am looking forward to being with you!