The Perils of Aiming Low: How Our Expectations Can Shape Our Students' Learning & Performance

The Perils of Aiming Low: How Our Expectations Can Shape Our Students' Learning & Performance

In the mid-1960’s, two researchers visited an elementary school in the San Francisco area and administered a test called the "Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition" that was purported to identify students who were likely to experience significant academic growth in the coming year (“bloomers,” they were called). They compiled a list of student names, and shared the list with teachers, explaining that these students scored in the top 20% on the test and showed “unusual potential for intellectual…


Facebook and the upsides of envy

Facebook and the Upsides of Envy

Have you ever had a really rough day (or month), turned to perusing your friends' Facebook status updates, and moments later, been filled with feelings of gratitude and appreciation for how great your life is? Meh…probably not so much. It’s easy to forget that what we see on Facebook is not a complete picture of our friends’ lives, but mostly just the cool bits. So even though we are happy for them, it can still trigger a twinge or two of envy to see everyone’s shiny new jobs, relationships,…


Kinesthetic Imagery: a Way to Minimize Backsliding When Dealing with Injuries?

Kinesthetic Imagery: A Way to Minimize Backsliding When Dealing with Injuries?

Horowitz (or Heifetz or Paderewski or Liszt or even Louis Armstrong, depending on whom you Google) once remarked: “If I don't practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.” Umm…so what happens if we get injured and can’t practice for weeks or months? Like, let’s say we have an unfortunate thumb wrestling accident, fracture a bone, and have to spend a month with our wrist immobilized in a cast. Is there anything we can do to minimize the impact this…


why ear training matters more than you might think

Why Ear Training Might Matter More than You Think

I don’t know if it’s normal to get nervous for aural skills class, but ear training at Juilliard with Mary Anthony Cox was not just any class (the short anecdote in the second gray box provides a tiny glimpse of a typical day in class). In her legendary 49-year tenure, she was known for being an absolutely terrific teacher, albeit demanding and tough as nails (I particularly enjoyed this comment from her ratemyprofessors.com profile - “Wow. A methodical pedagogue, a thoughtful performer, a…