This will only take a few minutes, and will help me better understand the experiences that musicians have with mindfulness practices.
If you grew up in modern society, like I did, chances are you have these two competing voices inside you. While you are practicing, one of them says “Work hard! Stop slacking off! You need to make progress!” Meanwhile, the other says, “This is so stressful! This is not why I signed up for this…I […]
There’s no such thing as a difficult piece. Come on. Where does this idea even come from? OK, I know this sounds crazy, so let me try to put it into a little bit more context. When you say “this is piece is so difficult!”, what are you trying to say? Do you mean “if […]
Do you find that you simply can’t be satisfied with your performance, no matter how hard you work? Are you constantly obsessing over some deficiency of yours? Do you get overwhelmed easily while practicing? Chances are, you have considered that “overthinking” might be inhibiting your ability to be efficient and productive. Furthermore, you may be […]
Mindfulness seems to be coming into fashion these days, and it’s not entirely without reason. This is a powerful skill worth developing, for a variety of reasons. In this article, I will cover some of the specific benefits for pianists, and musicians in general. What is mindfulness? I tend to like Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of […]
A beginning adult student said to me: “I think the biggest lesson for me is that this is going to take a long time. I like instant gratification, and the ego likes that too, right? But with continued effort, eventually, there will be music.”
It is very natural to want to play without messing up. Let me ask a different question, though: As a musician, how often do you take a stance of acceptance towards yourself? I see in my students and colleagues (and certainly myself) constant battles, efforts at correcting or running away from our faults. What if […]