Robert Estrin - piano expert

Why Crying is Essential for Your Musicianship

Learn how much emotions can drive your musicality

In this video, Robert discusses how much personal emotions can play a role in developing your musicality.

Released on February 5, 2020

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, I'm Robert Estrin. This is and today's subject is extremely important. Why crying is essential for your musicianship. You might think I've gone off the deep end with this subject. Crying and music? What the heck does crying have to do with music? A lot. Here's the key.

What is music about? Now, of course, there are a lot of different styles of music. There's dance music, there's electronic music, there's Gregorian chant. There's a wide range of music, but ultimately music I believe is primarily a way of expressing emotions. Emotions that are impossible to express any other way.

Now, let's say you have had some really tragic experiences in your life and you know what? Everyone has in this world, there's nobody who's sheltered. I know from the outside it looks like some people have that glorious life of perfection. You look on Facebook, everybody's having a great time doing the greatest things. You wonder, "What am I doing here?" But the reality is this is just all a front, not just on social media, but even in person. People are always like, "Well, how are you?" "Fine." Everybody is guarded, keeping their emotions at bay, not revealing too much for fear of getting caught by somebody who has spurious intentions.

But what's the problem? Why do you need to cry? Why can't you just go through your life and just ignore those tragedies and those hurtful things and the pain? Well, if you're trying to express emotions honestly in your music, but you haven't even reckoned the emotions you're feeling, it's all but impossible to be genuine in your music. You've got to feel the things in your life, not just the joyful things, but the tragic things as well. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if you don't experience your pain in your life by crying, at some point it's going to come out inappropriately and it will also affect the other side. The flip side, how can you feel joy if you don't feel sadness?

You have to feel. It's a choice of either feeling or not feeling. So you must work through your emotions so you can honestly express beautiful music, sad music, happy music, whatever the emotion is by being genuine to yourself and true to yourself. So this is a lesson for life as well as for music. And if you have repressed emotions, it's going to be all but impossible to really have the poetry, and the vision, and the experience that you want to share with others.

So I encourage all of you to be honest with yourself and at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way with either people who are supportive or if your prefer when you're by yourself, or maybe even need a counselor or a therapist to help work through emotions. It could be the bottom line and what you've been looking for to be really expressive in your music. Interesting thought, huh? I'm love to hear from any of you out there who've had this experience and share it here on the comments below. And again, thanks for joining me, Robert Estrin here at Your online piano store. You're welcome to subscribe and ring the bell for future videos. See you next time.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Judy Burns * VSM MEMBER * on February 5, 2020 @3:48 pm PST
This reminded me of a long time ago when I was a junior in college. I had a new piano
Teacher that year. I was extremely shy and tended to keep all my emotions inside. He was always on me to express myself. I learned by the second semester that he sometimes would make me cry on purpose. He basically said what you are saying . You have to be able to feel and show emotion before you can put it in music. Once I got used to him, I actually really liked him and did better with him than with any other teacher.
Robert - host, on February 6, 2020 @4:15 pm PST
That's a really interesting approach. I imagine it would only work for students. It's essential that teachers find a way to connect with each individual student in a manner that works for them.
Linda Conn on February 5, 2020 @5:53 am PST
Thank you so much for your words of wisdom here. I have put out many original songs of my music that were emotional. Songs of my healing from the abuse I had gone through. My "Musical History Book" as I call it. Then took most of them off You Tube thinking that maybe I was wrong in sharing my experience via music with my tears. I tried to encourage others through my failures and sadness in life, to seek Jesus Who has helped me for many years now. I am slowly putting my music back out there, and still writing more songs. Now that both of my parents have died, my past has also died in many ways and now I can move on with a happy frame of mind. My Dad was my abuser from age 2 to 17, but God gave me a special Godly love to help my parents in their senior years that only God could have given me. Thank you for your encouragement that tears are okay in music.
Robert - host, on February 5, 2020 @2:09 pm PST
So glad to hear that you have been able to overcome adversity in your life and that music played a part.
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