When We Hide Things

When I was six or seven, my mother started giving me more toast than I wanted at breakfast every day. Because I didn’t know how to tell her that I didn’t want all of it, every morning I threw one piece of toast behind the refrigerator. I felt so clever and gleeful...

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Unlocking the Energy in Musical Transitions

I had a tough time transitioning back to New York City after teaching the Art of Practicing Institute’s summer program this year. I’d spent the week on the spacious, green campus of Edinboro University, with its peaceful lake in the middle inhabited by geese and...

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The Power of Being Ordinary

by Tracy Stuchbery A performing experience I had recently as a choral conductor has led me down a path of pondering the ordinary. Strangely enough, the performance itself was, in a word, extraordinary. I have never felt more alive, more in command, more connected to...

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Nora Krohn on Self-Love

Dear readers, This wonderful article by Nora Krohn was first published here on January 25, 2016. Her amazing heart and mind come through with fresh impact today, and I am honored to republish it. I hope you enjoy it! Madeline Bruser On Self Love By Nora Krohn A few...

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Decluttering Your Practicing

We’ve had a spectacular spring in New York, unlike any I can remember – intoxicating flowering trees followed by the unbelievable boldness of green everywhere, magically invading the masses of gray city buildings. Seeing this vibrant display of natural beauty, I can...

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How to Realize Your Dream

I woke up Saturday morning after dreaming I had discovered a whole new place at the south end of Manhattan, where people lived on quiet streets near a wide, curved beach that looked out on a vast expanse of water, no land in sight. It was spacious and peaceful, and...

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Do Less, Feel More

“150 minutes a week!“ the doctor said. “It’s very important.“ He was talking about how much aerobic exercise I need to get. So I committed to five vigorous, 30-minute walks a week in Riverside Park. It seemed easy enough—I love the park, and it’s just a block away...

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What Is Performing About?

This video clip with me is from an interview I gave recently to this delightful young musician in the UK, Jake Jones. His questions were part of his research for his dissertation on “Equanimity, Mindset, and the Psychology of the…

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The Power of Slowing Down

The pianist in a recent live online workshop was playing a piece by Schumann. All the notes were in place, and it was clear that he understood the flow of the music. His hands and arms were working beautifully. But I sensed that the energy in his lower torso was...

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The Gift of Deep Listening

  Happy Holidays, dear subscribers! I'd like to give you a special gift today from my former student Mary Duncan. In this article of hers from 2015, "The Gift of Deep Listening," she offers a magical description of how we can listen with our whole hearts to every...

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