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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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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