temptation bundling

How to Stop Procrastinating on the Important Things, Yet Still Indulge in Guilty Pleasures Guilt-Free with “Temptation Bundling"

We’d all like to eat better, exercise more consistently, practice smarter, and improve ourselves in many areas of our lives, but dang, why does our willpower seem to peter out right when it’s time to make the right choice? At the end of a long day of rehearsing, teaching, and practicing, it’s so much easier to skip the gym, order some General Tso’s chicken1 instead of cooking something healthy, and chill on the couch with Netflix, topped off with some Pinkberry and a bag of frozen mangos2. The…


Research-Tested Practice Strategies That Will Help You Learn New Pieces Faster

Research-Tested Practice Strategies That Will Help You Learn New Pieces Faster

When time is short and we have lots of repertoire to learn, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and simply plow through as much as we can in a frenetic, bulldozer-y sort of way. None of this feels particularly smart or effective as we’re doing it, but in the moment, the desperation kind of compels us to abandon any semblance of practice strategery and simply hunker down and keep our fingers moving, which feels more productive than stopping to engage in practice planning. But is there a better way of…


Why Being Too Positive Can Backfire

Why Being Too Positive Can Backfire

I was at a water park earlier this week with my kids, and had an interesting experience waiting in line. The first ride we went on advertised a wait time of 10 minutes. In reality, however, the wait was more like 20 minutes. A few rides later, we were projected to wait for 30 minutes, but got to the front of the line about 10 minutes ahead of schedule. So we experienced the same wait time in both cases, but I swear the latter wait left us in a better mood than the first, even though…


The Self-Observer Discrepancy: Why We Think We Sound Worse on Stage than We Really Do

I recently had to record myself on video for a project at school, and even worse, had to watch it numerous times in editing. It drove me kind of crazy. Why do I have my head angled upwards and tilted like that? What’s up with that weird twitchy thing I do when speaking? Why am I talking so fast? Ack, the horror… It’s easy to nitpick and microanalyze and dwell on such details. Which feels pretty crappy. So not surprisingly, many of us avoid watching video of our performances, even though it can…