Why Practicing While Distracted Is Actually Very Important (Sometimes)

Like any other child, I had many moments when I wished I could practice while reading a book or watching TV. Like passing the time while driving by listening to music, I thought it would be awesome to be able to simply move my fingers while engaged in some other more entertaining activity, and still make progress. I tried (and failed) to make that work, and am surely not the only one who has attempted to multitask in this way. Indeed, practicing while distracted is pretty much universally…


learn quicker by focusing less on what your body is doing

Learn Quicker by Thinking Less about What Your Body Is Doing

I'm not much of a tennis player, but I wanted to give my kids an introduction to the sport last summer, so we picked up some kid-sized rackets and headed out to do some hitting. Naturally, I started by walking them through the basic grip, stance, and swing...and managed to overwhelm them with instructions and paralyze them with too many things to think about. I also totally sucked all the fun out of what is essentially whacking balls with a handheld trampoline. Instructions are a big part of…


3 Reasons Why You May Be Stuck on a Plateau

3 Reasons Why You May Be Stuck on a Plateau

As a child, I always loved getting new pieces to learn. It was all fresh, new, exciting stuff - and I sounded like garbage. So I'd happily set about learning notes, figuring out bowings and fingerings, and working at things until it sounded better. Progress was usually pretty quick and very satisfying. But then I'd reach a point where everything seemed to progress more slowly. Where getting to the next level took more and more work, with smaller and smaller improvements to show for it. And…


which is better - playing to win or playing not to lose?

Playing to Win vs. Playing Not to Lose - Which Leads to Choking Under Pressure?

I remember my dad showing me this picture when I was a little kid, asking me - "What is this a picture of?" A duck, I said. He asked if I saw anything else - which didn't make sense to me, because all there was to see was a duck. But when I could finally see that it wasn't just a duck, I wanted to know which one was the "true" image. Was it really a duck that also happened to look like a bunny? Or a bunny that also resembled a duck? I came to understand that they are both equally true,…