The Best Advice You’ve Ever Received (A Collection of Reader Submissions)

The recent post What Should You Think About When You Perform? elicited some really insightful comments, and I was reminded of how much valuable wisdom is shared by the readers of this blog. And not just related to performing better, but being a better musician too.

I’m always intrigued by stories like that, and am a sucker for books like The Way They Play or David Dubal‘s Reflections from the Keyboard, so I decided we should have some fun and turn it into a contest (yes, there are prizes).

The rules

Enter the contest by leaving a comment below in which you share something impactful you learned from a teacher and/or artist you’ve studied with. Whether it’s something that helped you become a better musician, better performer, practice more effectively, warm up better, etc., please tell us about the impact this has had on you – and don’t forget to tell us who the teacher/artist was.

Sometimes we learn really profound things from books, interviews, and videos, so feel free to share those too.

You may enter as many times as you wish (each comment counts as an entry), but the contest ends in 7 days.

The prizes

In one week, at midnight EST on Saturday, March 31st, entries will be tallied up, and three winners will be selected at random.

All three will get advance pre-release access to the soon-to-be-released Performance Anxiety Crash Course (a.k.a. All the stuff I share with musicians who call me up at the last minute requesting help for a big audition or performance).

And the first prize winner will also get a 50-minute coaching via Skype, plus a mystery gift (it’s a mystery because I haven’t figured out what it’s going to be yet, and because mysteries are fun).

That’s it! Now go scribble something in the comments below before the motivation wanes (because it’s a whole lot easier to do it now than later). It doesn’t need to be anything mind-bendingly profound. Just something that stuck with you over the years.


Winners of the random drawing were Margot Kenagy (3rd), Irene Charrois (2nd), and Laurel Ann Maurer (1st).

Many thanks to all of you for sharing your stories, quotes, and wisdom. It was great fun reading through the comments as they arrived, and there was a lot of great stuff to absorb!

Ack! After Countless Hours of Practice...
Why Are Performances Still So Hit or Miss?

For most of my life, I assumed that it was because I wasn’t practicing enough. And that eventually, if I performed enough, the nerves would just go away and everything would take care of itself.

But in the same way that “practice, practice, practice” wasn’t the answer, “perform, perform, perform” wasn’t the answer either. In fact, simply performing more, without the tools to facilitate more positive performance experiences, just led to more negative performance experiences!

Eventually, I discovered that elite athletes are successful in shrinking this gap between practice and performance, because their training looks fundamentally different. In that it includes specialized mental and physical practice strategies that are oriented around the retrieval of skills under pressure.

It was a very different approach to practice, that not only made performing a more positive experience, but practicing a more enjoyable experience too (which I certainly didn’t expect!).

If you’ve been wanting to perform more consistently and get more out of your daily practice, I’d love to share these research-based skills and strategies that can help you beat nerves and play more like yourself when it counts.

Click below to learn more about Beyond Practicing, and start enjoying more satisfying practice days that also transfer to the stage.

BOGO pricing is now in effect! (through 11:59pm Sunday)

Sign up anytime now through Sunday (Dec. 4) at 11:59pm Pacific, and you’ll receive a second bonus Beyond Practicing account – at no additional cost – that you can gift to a friend, colleague, family member, student, or teacher (i.e. a practice buddy to explore the course with 😁).

Click the red button below to learn more about the course and get the holiday buy-one-get-one-free offer.


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