Playing piano and multi-tasking

I have been messing around a lot with piano lately, mostly playing the bouncy, martial Radetsky march, Pachelbel Canon, and an arranged version of Chopin’s Funeral March that makes me sound way better than I am.

It took me a little while to get used to piano again, and I almost gave up and chalked it off to turning 40.  But I stuck at it habitually, and it’s coming back.  It’s a very good brain exercise for multitasking, like having to shoot a bunch of things at once, in a certain order.  And doing it musically makes it that much more engaging.

Definitely get a piano and mess around with it if you can.  You can teach yourself to play the thing, just keep your fingers curled and relaxed.   It’s also a tool for honing and relaxing the mind.  You have a song in your mind and you try to make it happen physically, and to make it sound good you have to create a certain set of relaxation brainwaves.  If you have tense brainwaves cranking, your music won’t sound good.  A musical instrument is a natural biofeedback machine.

In the olden days, most folks could plink a few keys or pluck a few strings.  We lost that in the electronic age, along with our Group Consciousness.  You get one back, you get the other back.  It is a rediscovery and revival of the relics of the ancestors, their melodies, their dances, their social vocabulary.  It’s not easy.  We can’t recreate the past, of course.  But we can take the relics of the past, of a less  Entropic Age, and put them to modern use.


  1. Here’s a new pop parody everyone can play or sing along with…

    The Ballad of Big John (Demjanjuk)

    Every morning at the camp, you could see him arrive.
    He stood 6 foot 6 and weighed 245.
    Kind of broad at the shoulders, narrow at the hip.
    And everyone knew you didn’t give no lip to Big John.

    Big John
    Big John
    Big Bad John

    Nobody seemed to know where John called home
    He just showed up in camp wearing that skull and bones.
    He didn’t say much, a strong silent goy,
    And if you spoke at all, you just said “oy!” to Big John.

    Somebody said John came from the Ukraine,
    Where the Marxist dialetic drives a man insane,
    And a crashing blow from a huge right hand,
    Sent a kosher commissar to the promised land.

    Big John
    Big John
    Big bad John

    Then came the day when a B-17,
    Dropped a load on the camp, and folks started peein’.
    The barracks were a-burnin’ and the showers stuck fast,
    And all the SS thought they’d gassed their last,

    Cept’ John.

    Through the dust and the smoke of this man made hell,
    Walked a giant of a man that the kapos knew well.
    He grabbed up a canister of Zyklon B
    And stood there alone like a big oak tree.

    Big John
    Big John
    Big Bad John

    Then with all of his strength, he gave it a heave,
    While the commandant shouted out “Ach du lieb!”
    As the canister crushed a furry rabbi’s nut
    And rolled on and flattened out a stockbroker’s gut.

    Big John
    Big John
    Big Bad John

    Now they never re-opened that worthless camp,
    They just placed a marble plaque out in the cold and damp.
    These few words are written on that stand,
    “In the dock in Munich stands a big, big man,
    Big John.”

    Big John,
    Big John,
    Big bad “Ivan the Terrible” John.

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