Pre-Performance Apathy (or the Importance of Mentally Disengaging From Work and Practice)

Pre-Performance Apathy (or the Importance of Mentally Disengaging From Work and Practice)

I spent most of my life as a chronic under-practicer. So the experience of practicing too much was uncharted territory…until the time in grad school when I crammed for a competition. There was plenty of time for me to learn and polish all the rep, but it was several rounds of music, and I waited far too long to get serious about my preparation. Several months out, I knew I was in a bit of trouble. So for once in my life, I cranked it up to 11 . I forced myself to practice way more…


how talking to yourself could help you become a more effective practicer

Why Thinking Out Loud Could Help You Become a More Effective Practicer & Problem-Solver

I once studied with a teacher who had this amusing habit of talking out loud to himself. Essentially offering a running play-by-play of whatever he was doing at the moment, whether he was sharpening a pencil, typing an email, or packing the trunk of a car. I thought it was a personal quirk, but as the years have gone by, I’ve caught myself talking out loud on occasion. And it seems I’m not alone in doing so. What’s up with this? Are we just weirdos? Or is there something about talking out loud…


Metacognitive Instruction: How to Foster Smarter, More Independent Learners

.6% That’s the percentage of time in each week that students and teachers get to spend together. Not very much, huh? Heck, many students probably spend a greater percentage of the week driving to and from each lesson… The opportunity to receive direct feedback and guidance on how best to improve one’s skills is essential to a student's learning, but if they are going to make meaningful gains from week to week, much (if not most) of their learning and growth must happen outside of the weekly…


why you are capable of more than you might think

Evidence That We Are Capable of More Awesomeness Than We Think

“But I caaaan’t!” Whether it’s long division, making their beds, or controlling their bladders until we can get to the nearest restroom, this is one of the stock responses my kids like to use when they get to a sticking point and feel like giving up. Pushing through challenges is never easy, and whether it’s a solving a difficult technical challenge or counting the rests when you're last stand in orchestra, we all have a point at which we say enough is enough and throw in the towel. And…


Are You an Early Bird or a Night Owl? Why This Could Affect How Well You Play in Your Next Audition.

Are You an Early Bird or a Night Owl? Why This Could Affect How Well You Play in Your Next Audition.

If you had a choice, what time slot should you select for your next big audition? 9am? Noon? 3pm? Or 6pm, even 9pm? Put another way, at what time of day are you most likely to perform your very best? Larks and owls (and otters) Researchers at the University of Birmingham recruited 121 competitive athletes to complete a comprehensive inventory of their daily activities, ranging from sleep/wake patterns to food intake, training schedules, and more. The results were used to categorize the athletes…