Day 70 – One, Two, Four

February 17, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

Photo by David Ettlin

One piano, two people, four hands.

Tonight I had the pleasure of playing piano duets with friend Stacy for the first time. It’s quite different from playing solo. When I play alone, I can vary the tempo according to my mood from second to second and pretend I don’t hear my wrong notes, but when playing with another person, timing and correct notes are crucial. If one person’s tempo is off, then one will end before the other and  if anyone is playing the wrong notes, dissonance will result. In any kind of duet, both players must follow the rules, listen to the other, and realize that the music is a partnership. Both of us shared common goals…to make music, to finish together and—perhaps most important of all—to have fun. Tonight we laughed together at our mistakes, coordinated strategies for improvement, planned to practice and vowed to play together again after practicing our selections. In our collaboration, besides the technicalities of playing music, we had to deal with limited space on the keyboard and forego individuality for the sake of the music. Eventually we will learn how to listen to our own sound as well as the other. And, it is just as important to listen to the spaces, the silences.

When I think about it, this concept extends to larger life perspectives:

·        Listen to yourself.
·        Listen to the other person.
·        Follow the rules.
·        Plan how to improve.
·        Remember the common goal.
·        Share space.
·        Listen to the silence.
·        Practice alone and together.
·        Laugh together.

My gift today was playing piano duets with a friend.


> DAY 71 Small Beauty

You can read my other posts on this project here:


  1. I didn't know you play the piano!

    1. Yes but I mostly play just for myself. Do you play too?


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