Was I Nervous?

A month before the pandemic hit, I had the wonderful opportunity to address a group of pianists in a workshop at Steinway Hall in New York, on a topic that has great meaning for me: Mindfulness for Pianists: Freeing Your Energy for Performance. t was the first time I...

On Taking Drugs for Stage Fright

The New York Times reported in 2004 that among classical musicians, the use of beta-blockers—drugs that reduce the physical symptoms of stage fright—had become “nearly ubiquitous.” The article mentioned that some music teachers even advise their students to take...

Getting Intimate with Greatness

My mother-in-law gave us a book one Christmas that I have often brought into piano lessons to show my students. The book is titled Monet: Waterlilies, and in it are many fold-out reproductions of these extraordinary paintings. What is most special about this...

Receive First, Then You Can Give

We musicians are born with the ability to receive immense joy from music. It moves us so much that we feel compelled to get as close to it as possible by actually making music – by producing the sounds with our instruments and our own bodies. And sometimes we feel...