Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Evaluate Your Performance Readiness

Why Performance Is Different from Practice Many of my students come to their lessons prepared, but do not play very well. They tell me that their last run-through in the practice room went without a hitch, but as soon as … Continue reading

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Establishing Good Practice Habits: How Do You Stack Up?

It’s Thursday at 2:00, and it’s time for Jonathan’s lesson. He comes into my studio and sits down and chats with me while getting out his music. He tells me that he is excited to share the work he has … Continue reading

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How to Become an Expert Musician

I’ve devoted many years to helping people learn music faster and more reliably, and play music like experts. But what if it turns out that most of the advice I’m giving in this blog doesn’t really work? What if there … Continue reading

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How to Deal with Performance Anxiety: Channel Your Energy and Conquer the Stage

You’ve put in hundreds of hours of practice on your program, your dress rehearsal went really well, and this is the best preparation you’ve had for any performance in your life. Why, then, ten minutes before walking on stage, are … Continue reading

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How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Practicing: Why Motivation Is an Unreliable Resource

Willpower alone probably won’t get you into the practice room day after day to do the unglamorous dirty work of mastering difficult passagework. Studies have shown that willpower is variable and wears out when we get tired. When learning a … Continue reading

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Conquer Your Practicing Procrastination: Planning and Scheduling Your Music Learning

Are you a procrastinator like I am? It’s not that I don’t think ahead or try to make practicing for my next gig a priority. In fact, the more I think about how important it is for me to get … Continue reading

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Music Memorization Technique: Staff-Paper Flashcards

In my previous two articles, I provided you overall strategies for memorizing music and the first of two memorization techniques. Here is the second technique. If you missed either of these posts, make sure to go back and read them … Continue reading

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How to Memorize Music: The Two-Chair Technique

Equipment required: Your instrument and normal practice equipment (Regardless of whether you sit or stand to practice, we’ll call this Chair 1.) One extra music stand and one extra chair (We’ll call this Chair 2.)

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Why You Should Teach Your Brain the Music Before Your Body

Why bother with memorization? In my previous article, I emphasized the importance of learning the music really well intellectually before beginning to learn the physical aspects of playing the music. If you want to focus your work on the musical … Continue reading

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Strategic Practicing

“I’m sooo sorry, Mr. Bach.” I said this under my breath as I walked offstage from a catastrophic performance of the Prelude and Fugue in G Minor from Book II of the Well-Tempered Clavier. It was just the first piece … Continue reading

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