Where do you direct your eyes, when you are playing from memory?
I started thinking about this, as I was performing for family members after Thanksgiving dinner. I feel like I'm fairly blind when I play, as in, I'm not really using my eyes. But my eyes sort of woke up in the middle of playing, and I realized I was staring at someone's shoes!
There are certainly useful ways to employ the eyes when playing, when they are not needed for looking at sheet music.
I often want my students looking at their violins when they play -- to keep an eye on their straight bow, their lefthand finger placement, etc. For myself, I'm pretty sure that I under-utilize my eyes, when it comes to playing. I've always been extremely aural and tactile about it -- how does it sound? How does it feel? Yet the eyes can greatly help in analyzing how your left hand is working, whether your bow is straight. They can help you do things like more accurately find one of those high-on-the-fingerboard notes that you have to pick out of the sky. Yet I am much likely to stare at the side of my fiddle or at the floor, not really thinking about what I'm seeing, when I'm playing.
How about you? What do you look at, when you are playing by memory?
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