First Receive, Then You Can Give

In this rich season of giving and receiving, with American Thanksgiving just past and winter gift-giving coming soon, I wanted to offer this special article again, on the nature of giving and receiving. We musicians are born with the ability to receive immense joy...

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Playing From Your Body

When you think about your desire to make music, what kinds of images come to mind? I see an underground source – a spring, a powerful current, or sometimes a volcano, its energy moving relentlessly to the surface, pouring out, and radiating everywhere, 360 degrees....

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Feeling Safe to Perform

I played concerts for many years and loved it with all my being. Every performance was an opportunity to give my best and to shine in a very special and meaningful way. Now I perform as a teacher instead, giving seminars and other public presentations, and I get just...

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When and How to Look For a Teacher

  When I was 27 I realized I needed to find a way to enjoy teaching more, since it was my main source of income. I had always liked teaching, but practicing and performing were what I loved. So I looked for books about how to teach. Luckily, someone...

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Receiving Nourishment and Support

As I write this, I’m about to leave my home in New York City for the beautiful campus of Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, to teach the Art of Practicing Institute’s 6th annual summer program, Mindfulness, Confidence & Performance. Musicians from six countries...

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Rallentare

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Italy, and my mind is filled with images of the gorgeous countryside of the Val d’Orcia, in Tuscany. For many centuries, the Italian people have made a deep connection with the land, cultivating it with care and...

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Transforming Your Musical Life

(This article has been edited since its original publication in this e-zine in October 2015 under the title "Why I Teach".) People sometimes ask me why I gave up performing. And until now, I always said that I didn't fully understand it. I knew I had dreamed of...

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Reconnecting with the Musician You Really Are

(This article was first published in Performing Beyond Fear e-zine in March 2013.) By his third lesson with me, Michael, a gifted young pianist, had already begun to get familiar with the new physical approach I was teaching him. His hands were no longer tense, and he...

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Grandma’s Recipe for Space

(This article has been edited since it was first published in September, 2012 under the title of "Creating Space for Music to Flow.") At seventeen, I arrived at music school at Indiana University, full of ambition and excited about being surrounded by musicians and...

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