A Scientific(ish) Rationale for Keeping Photos of Friends and Family in Your Case

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Nobody enjoys spam or junk mail, but there’s something particularly aggravating about the dreaded telemarketer call. Maybe it's because deleting emails and tossing out junk mail doesn’t hurt anyone's feelings, while hanging up on a live human feels a bit more personal. So I was intrigued to learn about apps that instead of hanging up on telemarketers, actually aim to waste their time by keeping them on the phone as long as possible (here’s a…


Get Into

Get Into "The Zone" More Frequently with This Subtle Mental Adjustment

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Everything else goes away. It almost happens in slow motion, even though you’re doing things at the correct time with the music and everything. Nothing else matters; it is just such an eerie, eerie feeling. The audience fades away, except for the brief moment when they were clapping so loudly - actually that was just a part of us. It was all a part of our experience; it never took us out of our focus. -A figure skater’s description of flow,…


A Comparison of Two Types of Anti-Choking Strategies

A Comparison of Two Types of Anti-Choking Strategies

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes A few years ago, we took a look at a simple technique to prevent choking, that was actually so simple, it didn’t seem like it could possibly work (you can re-read it here). Essentially, it involved squeezing a soft ball in one’s left hand for 30 seconds before performing a skill. Wait...that's it? The rationale is that paying too much attention to the mechanics of a skill tends to lead to choking. And this unhelpful type of self-focused…


Lori Schiff: On How Alexander Technique Can Enhance Learning and Performance Under Pressure

Alexander Technique has been around for over a century, and is taught in many schools and conservatories around the world, so it’s very likely that you’ve heard a friend, teacher, or fellow musician mention it at some point or another. But what is it, exactly? If you’re like most, you might not be so sure. Is it about breath control? Learning how to stand or play with good posture? Or maybe about injury prevention? Releasing tension? Does it involve stretching? Is it like yoga? And is it…