Re: Playing while driving

The subject of playing while driving raises deep conflicts in me.  I,
too, play at the wheel when I feel the road conditions don't require
absolute concentration.  We go into a particular state mind when we're
on a familiar highway.  If you're alone and have no car phone, then
drive time is a part of the day when you are isolated from normal
distractions.  A thiry minute drive can be an eternity in your mind
because it's sustained isolation from everyday affairs, and, the more
familiar the road, the more trans-like you may become.  And if you
commute, then this vacuum is programmed into your day.  Ideal practice
time, some would say.  Yet it's not.  You can not concentrate on
you're playing the way you need to concentrate to make substantial
progress with your playing.  It may be OK for basic exercises and to
keep up your muscle tone, but you can't do serious music while you do
something else.

My conflicts come sharply not when I think about what driving does to
my playing, but when it's the other way around.  I lost a parent and a
spouse in separate auto accidents.  I know that some slight
inattention can be the deciding factor in preventing or minimizing an
accident.  When traffic is demanding I put my harp down.  For heaven's
sake, please be careful out there!


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