Oct 12, 2023: What Musical Creativity Can Do For Writing

My Humble Abode – Tbilisi, Georgia – 11:40pm

While in Tbilisi, I’ve been taking music classes at a place called New Music School. Every time I’m back in the city, I’ll head over, usually twice a week, to play the drums. I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the drums, but it’s not a very portable instrument, is it? For a perpetual traveler, it’s difficult to take classes consistently so, when I get the chance to, I’m all in.

Today, though, I did a violin lesson with my teacher Temo! He’s been teaching me drums but he’s a professional violinist. Listening to him play so effortlessly (after many, many years of training) gave me goosebumps! I have played the violin before but only took lessons for a few weeks, and that was a few years ago. Needless to say, I was rusty. I forgot how finely you have to hold the bow to produce nice sounds — and how accurately you have to place your left fingers to play the right notes in tune.

It’s interesting, because my violin teacher in Malaysia put stickers on the violin so I knew where to place my fingers. That made it easier for me to stay in key when playing. It definitely lowers the learning threshold a bit for beginners. However, with Temo, he showed me where to place my fingers and told me I had to just practice and listen, and eventually I would find the right note through muscle memory. That was a different approach, and I actually really liked it because it trained me to rely on my ears more, rather than my sight guestimation of my finger placement. Temo said violinists just play without having to look at their instrument; they know where to place their fingers by sound. I think I sounded screechy — but after that hour-long lesson, I was able to play a few chords of Hallelujah. That was cool!

After my violin lesson, I went into the drums studio and practiced that for a while. When I got a bit tired of that, I switched over to the piano and played some of my old favourites. I pulled up some piano sheet music on my laptop too. I still haven’t memorized 9 Crimes by Damien Rice or the complete Fur Elise by Beethoven, so it was cool that I could draw up the sheet music and refer to that.

All in all, I spent 3.5 hours in the music studio. Every time I go there, my soul feels enriched. Music activates another part of my brain. Drums have been a great exercise in coordinating the left and right sides of my brain. Piano just lifts my spirit (especially when I sing simultaneously).

I’m sure all of this works behind the scenes to fuel creativity that bleeds into writing as well. It inspires the soul, and teaches how to feel, not just think. So, that would translate over to the process of writing too.

G’night world,


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