Brain Acting Out

Last night as I warmed up with scales I was not getting the notes.  I would play the G major scale and play C# instead of C.  Conversely, I would play C instead of C# in the A major scale, a basic reversal.  Then, while playing the C major scale I’d play F# instead of F.  It was all rather odd for me – I’ve been playing these scales for a while and getting the fingering/notes right is generally not a problem.  Instead, my scales warmup is typically about being in tune and overall tone production and smooth bowing.  Adding to the oddity of last night’s work, whatever different kind of memory center my brain has for actual pieces of music versus scales seemed to be better activated than usual.  By the end of my session I found myself better able to play from memory two of my newer pieces that I typically struggle with quite a bit where online recall is concerned.

Best I can figure, my brain is working on a bit of an overload and is acting out – I’m in the middle of a three-day professional development conference that has me thinking about all sorts of things quite intently for long periods of time.  Wednesday was the first day of the conference; I came home and went for a run, which was a great way to decompress.  Last night, I picked up the violin as soon as I got home – I was making a point of doing something each day to intentionally shift gears and focus on something entirely different.  My playing last night reminded me that while playing the violin is indeed therapy for me, it is also something I’m striving to learn how to do, and as such it activates the brain quite intently.

Thanks for reading.

Ryan

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