Yawning

Yawning. What’s that have to do with piano? Everything.

I once had a student that was trying a new part of a piece for the first time. She really had to focus, think things through and make an attempt. In her concentrated effort I noticed she was biting her lip. I let her figure the passage out and play it roughly a few times.

Once she had the general idea I said, “Now yawn and play it.”

She got a big yawn going and as she started to play, the most beautiful sound came out of the piano. It was no longer a beginner trying to learn how to play the piano. Instead, the piano sang in the way a concert pianist can make a piano sing. She was making music.

Stunned by the exquisite tone she had just created, I asked, “Did you hear that?” She just smiled the biggest smile. “That is why we yawn.”

When we yawn, we can’t help but relax. When we relax, we can’t help but create a beautiful tone out of the piano.

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