Finding Your Voice In Music


in Performance

There have been over three events in the last few weeks that have invaded my subconscious. Two of the events were observed in teaching situations and the other in a reading one. It deals with expression and finding a music voice or style.

The question of finding my style or my music voice comes up eventually in learning music. There are as many answers to this as there are questions framed around the concept. I'm going to share my observations and experiments with you.

Why The Question Of My Musical Voice

Let's take a quick look at why this question may come up. Think about what happens when we hear many pieces of music. We often and quickly recognize the artist because of a sound or style. These performers must play, compose, and create from the heart and inner soul. It puts a fingerprint on their work. What I find even more amazing is our ability to observe this. But that's another commentary.

Finding Our Own Voices (Our Unique Fingerprint).

Now back to my original thought. First, let's start with learning technique and theory.

Gaining the tools you need to play music on any instrument is what most of focus on early in our music study. Eventually we are able to take these skills and make it part of our internal natural tool kit. Given the tools we now begin to explore ways to use those tools.

Let's explore one tool we can all work with

Recently Observed Example.

A Student was leaning to play a new piece on the piano and the result was very stiff and rigid. The song sounded flat and uninteresting.

So in demonstrating the a pop style of music the teacher showed how it was important to move with the music to become part of the flow. I could see body movement and hear a significant difference in the same song that was being played.

Now these movements were not exaggerated. They were small, but you could see how effective it was to put in physical emotion to the music.

My Experiments

This observation caused me to reconsider my playing style.

First I considered my recent improvisation sessions as a solo pianist. I became aware of the stiffness in starting with a new idea. Then as the idea formed, took shape, and become part of my internalization process, I would relax and put more body movement and mental flexibility to the music.

This was a great validation of the concept.

Next I considered pieces I've learned and played over the years. In many I was not giving myself to the song and they were flat. In others, that I really enjoy, I was relaxed and moved into the song noticing more physical connection to the song. I was aware again of the difference in sound quality.

Continuing on I began to add more expression in the form of mentally picturing and adding additional small physical movement as if I were trying to express the music through a dance step on the ballroom floor.

Again I was able to notice a difference.

Your Turn

This week is about the idea of expression and finding your musical voice through putting your “body and soul” into your efforts. Maybe that was the idea behind the saying and the songs.

If you feel your songs are flat, why not try this idea of relaxing and using slight body movements to express your inner ideas and see if it changes your performance.

Let us know how you did by commenting below.

Featured Music Resources

Learn Guitar Online with Videos: JamPlay Guitar

Previous post:

Next post: