The Problem with “Technical” vs. “Musical” Practicing

When you practice, do you think of different ways of practicing as either “technical” or “musical” practice? That’s a common misunderstanding about how to work on a piece of music. I think it’s very problematic, and goes contrary to what we … Continue reading

How Do You Deal with Overwhelm?

Overwhelm. What is it? It’s a sense of life spinning out of control. Feeling like life is too much to manage…like there’s too much to do and not enough time…that we are inadequate, or too slow or too stupid, or … Continue reading

Finding the Smile After the Storm

Everything changes. What matters is to have something changeless to refer everything back to. The changeless is central and must be recognized and appreciated as such. The center is in the middle of all things. It is everywhere. There is … Continue reading

How Can A Fleeting Moment Conquer Evil?

I’m having a bit of an emotional morning. I’ve just realized something important and surprising, and I want to share it with you. It’s a personal story with huge implications. I’ve been going through a lot of ups and downs lately. … Continue reading

My Struggle with Being Concise in Speech and Musical Practice

A few months ago, I was asked to give a 10-minute TED-style talk at the College Music Society Summit on improving 21st century music school design. I gave the talk last Friday, and I believe it was a success. However, the process … Continue reading

My Personal Journey with the Violin Evolves… to the Stars

When I was two years old, I wanted to play the violin. My mother, a cellist, made me a toy violin out of half a coconut, so I started playing violin on a coconut. How funny is that?! (Maybe that’s … Continue reading

Death, Performance Anxiety, and a Tool for Bravery

There are times in life when we are called upon to do something which seems terrifying and impossible. On the outside, we may not always have a choice about what happens to us, but on the inside we always have … Continue reading

Do You Know How to Think to Improve Your Technique?

“I used to go to my practice room and just start practicing my scales and my pieces… doing the same thing every day… working on things I needed to work on… aware of how little time I had and how … Continue reading

What to Do When “There Isn’t Enough Time to Practice”

I’ve had an extremely busy weekend, filled with essay-writing, videotaping myself, a workshop for string players at NKU, and our second Art of Freedom annual “Non-Performance” (more about that later, once I have pictures!). So I’m pretty exhausted, but it’s now … Continue reading