Unlocking Musical Treasure: Evan’s Story

At a recent lesson with me on a virtuosic piece by Liszt, Evan saw that he was creating unnecessary tension in his arms by holding his elbows out. As soon as he he let them relax, he began playing with tremendous freedom, and brilliant energy leapt out of the piano....

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Beginner’s Mind: Georgia’s Story Begins

This story describes how a musician can begin to develop a healthy instrumental technique by having an open mind and focusing on simple, comfortable movements, rather than overexerting physically or mentally. Although the story is about a beginner, all of us, no...

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Freeing the Body: Laura’s Story

This story describes how simple body awareness can improve your piano technique and transform your playing. Laura was quite tired from lack of sleep due to a challenging event in her family. But she showed up at last week’s live online workshop anyway, ready to work...

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Was I Nervous? My Story

This story describes my own recent experience with overcoming performance anxiety before an important presentation. Thursday evening I had the wonderful opportunity to address a group of pianists in a workshop at Steinway Hall, on a topic that has great meaning for...

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Scared of Change: Marie’s Story

This story, about a student I taught many years ago, describes the kind of dramatic and frightening change that can be necessary in order to overcome performance anxiety. Marie had serious problems with performance anxiety and was ready to try a new approach when she...

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Mindfulness for Pianists at Steinway Hall

An Interactive Workshop with Madeline Bruser, author of The Art of Practicing Steinway Hall 1133 6th Avenue, New York Thursday, January 9, 6:15 - 7:30 pm Free Admission   Feel more physically and emotionally free in playing the piano Overcome what’s limiting your...

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Getting There! Sandra’s Story, continued

This story describes a seemingly small but actually crucial breakthrough that can make the difference between feeling insecure at the piano and playing with ease and confidence. I hope it encourages you to delight in the details on your journey toward overcoming...

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When You’re Not There Yet

Sandra came into her lesson this week saying that she sometimes thinks about giving up on getting better at the piano. “Other people can just sit down and play,” she said. “Kids can start lessons and after a couple years they’re playing.” She had made so much progress...

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Healing the Old Story: Geri’s Story

When I met Geri by chance, she was in her mid 60s and had hardly played the piano for 46 years. Her childhood teacher was very critical and discouraging, and she thought there was something wrong with her and that she just didn’t belong in music at all. But she had...

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