Should One Practice Very Much on the Day of a Concert?

Should One Practice Very Much on the Day of a Concert?

Legendary musicians and pedagogues are not in the habit of going out for drinks with sport psychologists. But if they were, I think there would be much to talk about. As I reflect on everything I learned from my lessons, coachings, and master classes over the years, and filter it all through the lens of sport psychology, I find it interesting and even a bit amusing, just how much overlap there is. Not complete agreement of course, but more than you might expect. For instance, what would a great…


The Best Advice You've Ever Received (A Collection of Reader Submissions)

The Best Advice You've Ever Received (A Collection of Reader Submissions)

The recent post What Should You Think About When You Perform? elicited some really insightful comments, and I was reminded of how much valuable wisdom is shared by the readers of this blog. And not just related to performing better, but being a better musician too. I'm always intrigued by stories like that, and am a sucker for books like The Way They Play or David Dubal's Reflections from the Keyboard, so I decided we should have some fun and turn it into a contest (yes, there are prizes).


What Should You Think About When You Perform?

What Should You Think About When You Perform?

Have you ever been guilty of tuning someone out? Like a teacher who keeps harping on the same thing. Or a parent who keeps repeating the same old advice. Or a significant other who keeps telling you to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom. Tuning people out comes pretty naturally to us, and it doesn't even require that much effort. Our brain is often looking to conserve resources, so anytime it senses that what's about to happen is just more of the same old stuff, it take a mini-vacation. So…


Everything You Do is an Accident, if You Don't Do This First

Everything You Do is an Accident, if You Don't Do This First

My kids recently took a belt test in their Tae Kwon Do class. One of the last parts of the test is board breaking. It usually takes a few tries for each student to successfully make the break, but it all goes pretty smoothly and everyone gets the job done. On this day, however, there was one student who caught everyone's attention. She had successfully gone through her skills and her pattern, and was clearly capable of executing the kick with the necessary force to break the board. Yet, for…