Should Eliminating Procrastination Be a Top Priority?

Conventional wisdom suggests that procrastination is a bad thing. "Think about how much better you could have done if you had started a week ago!" our parents and teachers like to say. But is this really true? Would we be vastly better off if we started studying, or writing that paper well in advance of the deadline? Those of us who defend our procrastinating ways fire back with the argument "I work better under pressure!" Sounds reasonable enough…or is it?

Is It Really Better to Give Than to Receive?

We tell our kids that it's better to give than to receive, and that the holidays are a time of love, peace, and joy. But this may not be exactly the message they receive when they see us fighting for parking spots at the mall, getting all snippy as we wait in line at the post office, and frantically rushing around to every Toys R Us in a 50-mile radius to find that must-have toy of the season. It would appear that giving is stressful and takes a lot of hard work! Or is giving really all that…

How Can I Become More Enthusiastic About Practicing?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said "Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved." Unfortunately, when I was in high school, enthusiasm had nothing to do with my reasons for practicing. Except for those times when I had a new piece to learn, practicing was not something I enjoyed or looked forward to. I did it because I felt I had to. But imagine a parallel universe in which you are in high school, and suddenly have one of those moments of clarity in which your…

How Does One Bounce Back From Crushing Disappointments?

Have you ever wanted something so badly, that you couldn't imagine what you would do if things didn't work out your way? Failing to get into your first choice school. Failing to advance in the competition you've spent the last nine months preparing for. Coming up just short in the audition for your dream orchestra, which hasn't had an opening in five years. How are we supposed to rebound from moments like these?

The Point of Practicing Is To...?

How would you complete the following sentence? The point of practicing is to... get better? play better in tune? improve the quality of your sound? find a more compelling and effective way of shaping a phrase? I stumbled across an interesting YouTube video a while ago (which for the life of me I can no longer find, lost amidst a digital haystack of sneezing pandas, nyan cats, and gagnam style). Anyhow, it was a clip of a respected guitarist talking about practicing, in…