What to Do When Everyone Thinks You're Great - But You Feel Like a Failure

Live with someone long enough, and you get a pretty good sense of what kind of person they are. What kind of movies they like. Whether or not they take out the trash. How respectful they are of your stuff in the fridge. We live with ourselves for our entire lives, so sooner or later, we come to form a pretty clear idea about the kind of person we are too. How introverted/extroverted we are, what we’re good or bad at, and other important things like what kind of jeans we look best in.…


The Peak-End Rule: A Simple Way to Make Practicing Feel Less like a Chore

One summer in graduate school, a couple friends talked me into doing the run portion of a triathlon with them. I don’t remember much about the experience, other than wondering somewhere around the half-way point why I ever agreed to do such a thing and rueing the day I ever met them, but also, on a more positive note, that the last portion of the race was downhill, and there were a lot of folks at the end offering smiles and encouragement. The first words I said to my friends at the finish line…


How to Increase Your Kids' Performance Anxiety (Not That You'd Want to)

We’ve all heard stories about those super intense sports parents who get more invested in games than their kids do.3 So the question of whether or not parents ought to attend all of their children’s games or practices is an interesting one - with no clear one-size-fits-all answer (check out 6 Reasons Parents Should NOT Watch Practice - which also is an interesting blog with some pretty cool contributors). I’ve struggled a bit myself in trying to figure out where to draw the line in my kids’…


Is It More Effective to Practice Scales and Etudes in the Morning?

I don't remember the day when I first laid eyes on the glossy burgundy cover of the Carl Flesch scale book, but I do remember that summer when it went from one of those books that collected dust on the shelf to one which took up permanent residence on my music stand. Until that time, scales were a mostly neglected part of my practice regimen. A chore, that I (mistakenly) thought was just for beginners. I was working with a new teacher that summer, and he insisted that I begin devoting some time…