My brain and I, we have been through a lot together. Through trial and error, success and utter failure, curiosity and adventure as well as complete boredom. Together we have slammed ourselves repeatedly against the proverbial “wall of un-creativity,” desperately sifting through a sea of noise to find something sweet as simple music.
It’s amazing what our brains can do. It’s amazing what we can learn and how we adapt to every new piece of information. Not only that, but how about what our brain can get the rest of our body to do! Specifically impressive is how our brain can control 10 differently minded fingers at the same to play potentially 1o differently sounding piano keys at the same time, to make something that sounds cohesive and beautiful. Not only that, but our brain can also do that on the fly. Make something up, just like that, that can sound as delicious as something that’s been cooking for 2 months.
That’s not to say that it’s easy at first, or that the skill of improvisation is somehow innate. To improvise on the piano keyboard is skill to be learned, practiced, and enjoyed. Think of it as a lifestyle choice, not a chore to complete or a means to an end. The skill of improvisation is not another burdensome practice commitment. It’s the joy of feeling an emotion, taking a seat at the piano, and communicating that emotion for all to hear, but none to know fully. It’s the joy of expression without the pain of rejection. It’s the joy of a prayer that has no words and knowing it’s completely understood.
“Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and notfor men, because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.…” – Colossians 2:23-24