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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A Great Performance: Bill’s Story, continued

Four weeks after Bill’s artistic breakthrough, in which he had discovered the power of being receptive to the beauty of each musical sound, he came into his lesson saying that he’d had more breakthroughs. He said his hands had relaxed a lot, and that he was hearing...

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Playing From the Heart: Lee’s Story

This story describes how you can overcome stress and performance anxiety by tapping into the power of your heart. Lee arrived at his lesson last week after a full day’s work at his office. He took a few minutes to settle down and warm up a bit. But as he started...

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Belonging on the Stage: Laura’s Story, continued

This story shows how personal bravery overcomes performance anxiety and uplifts an audience.  After Laura‘s amazing breakthrough last week, she joined the workshop again this week, performing a major work from her program in the concert hall she would be playing in...

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Confident Performing: Laura’s Story

This story shows how a musician can turn performance anxiety into performance power, using a combination of great piano technique, strong mental focus, and above all, a deep belief in themselves. Laura is preparing for a recital in a few days. She had come to the Art...

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Bill’s Story: An Artistic Breakthrough

This story shows how our primary gift as musicians—our intense receptivity to musical sound—can increase musical expressiveness and improve physical coordination. Bill had been working hard for a long time to release tension in his hands, arms, and shoulders. He video...

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Sandra’s Story: A Piano Technique Breakthrough

This story describes how a musician can acquire one of the fundamental elements she needs for confident performance: A reliable instrumental technique. Sandra’s previous teacher had given her pieces that were way beyond what her technique could handle. She showed up...

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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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