Blog Archives

Will there be a roaring 2020’s?

I find maintaining a sense of balance to be an ongoing challenge. When I was much younger, I could spend hours practicing without worrying about the vicissitudes of life getting in the way. These days it very often makes more sense to opt for getting more rest. I make better

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Seed the movie

The image on this card will hopefully inspire good nutrition. It started with a kernel of wheat. Then I started thinking about how the nutrients found in plants are so important for brain function and overall good health. Then I thought about how cauliflower looks like a brain. Voila! A

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Who is this guy?

How old are you? How old is your music? How old is the music inside of you? Who is this guy and what does his music have to do with a 21st century musician? Even before the pandemic, symphony orchestras and other classical music performing organizations were struggling to remain

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Praise and criticism

An important lesson to learn about judgement and criticism is to not avoid it. Many years ago a friend of mine who was progressing successfully into final rounds of national orchestral auditions, told me that he learned more from losing auditions than from winning them. Eventually he did win a

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Service as a musician

I believe that students need to learn their value as musicians from the very beginning of study. I refer to all of my students as musicians. Mostly without their knowing it, as soon as they first start playing their instrument, they have already assumed this important societal role. It may

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Infusing music with your sound

Can you hear your own sound while playing in a string quartet, a piano trio, a full symphony orchestra? With so much going on around you, it’s easy to abdicate your autonomy as a musician and follow the crowd. You may find over time, the most basic aspects of your

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The palace of your memory

Science suggests that making connections and revisiting a subject often improves memory.1. In his post “How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything,” founder and CEO of lifehack.org, Leon Ho, writes about placing items of memory in a detailed map, which has been used for improving memory

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Preparing a new piece of music

The most obvious way to form a deeper connection with your music is to learn more about it by studying the history of the piece, how it fits with other masterworks from the same time period and analyze it harmonically and thematically. Having access to scholarly articles about music is

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Your beautiful song

Whether or not you are a violinist, you may recognize the melody on this card as the main theme of the Beethoven violin concerto. This concerto, opus 61, was completed in 1806 and was part of an extremely prolific period in Beethoven’s life when he was composing other pieces such

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Rilke, Compassion and Sound healing

“The necessary thing is after all but this; solitude, great inner solitude. Going into oneself for hours meeting no one – this one must be able to attain.” – Rainer Maria Rilke. Letters to a Young Poet.1 There are so many stories about artists who have had difficult and tragic

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