Friday, 24 May 2013

Lose the piano

When Prokofiev wrote his ‘Classical Symphony’ it was the first time he had composed without the aid of a piano.

Whilst writing, straight from head to page, he would have conceived the symphony in purely orchestral terms, unencumbered by the mediation of the piano and the constraints of its keyboard. It is highly likely that this change of compositional approach contributed significantly to the work’s immediacy of style and brilliantly colourful scoring. 

If you want to enhance your approach to problem solving, or indeed anything else that matters to you, practise doing it without the aid of the crutches you have formed the habit of relying upon for support. If preparing for a presentation forgo the pre-prepared script. If you are writing a report put your usual template aside for a while. If attempting to solve a problem loosen and then remove the shackles of your habitual problem solving approaches.

Explore how it feels to do things in a different, more immediate way. Allow your mind to engage directly with the task before you, rather than via the medium of your well-worn tools, methods and approaches.

Make your thinking quick and nimble and your ideas bright and sharp. Lose the piano. Identify those things that weigh heavily upon and constrict your thinking. Work at heaving them out of the way. It will feel difficult at first, but as you persevere you will gain the confidence and strength to grapple directly with the problem at hand and go straight from head to task.

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