Blog Archives

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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Vibrato and Billie Holiday

In previous posts, I have written about encouraging my violin students to listen to the diversity of violin playing in recordings from earlier in the 20th century. Because recordings were not easily made or accessed at that time, violinists didn’t have the opportunity to hear each other on a regular

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Bow drama

The Sock and buskin, tragedy and comedy masks from Greek mythology, Thespis of Icaria, Melpomene the muse of tragedy and Thalia the muse of comedy, the yin yang energy of Buddhism, the balance of two opposites. All were inspiration for this card. Drama in personal relationships is usually considered to

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Humor, Fun and Play

Why is play important? It stimulates creativity, reduces stress, increases a sense of well being, provides social engagement and a positive outlook for the future.1  It gives you a way to step away from reality to enter into your creativity. This is personal for me because I have to constantly

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Connecting to your internal sense of pulse

Our beating heart provides our first sense of beat. As musicians, we develop beyond our beating heart to sense tempo, sometimes felt as groove. I frequently tell my students that as musicians, beyond playing in tune, with beautiful tone, and being able to play technically difficult music, our first and

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