Want Your Students to Be More Engaged, Take More Risks, and Get Better Grades? Here’s Why Your Mindset Matters.

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes If you’ve read any articles online in the last few years about learning or resilience, you’ve probably come across some reference to the work of Carol Dweck, and idea of a growth vs. fixed mindset. This is where believing that intelligence is changeable and can be developed (i.e. a growth mindset) is associated with better learning, performance, and perseverance. Whereas believing that intelligence or talent is something innate that we either…


Specific Times When SMART Goals Can Be Counterproductive (and What Strategy to Use Instead)

Specific Times When SMART Goals Can Be Counterproductive (and What Strategy to Use Instead)

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Fire up your browser, do a search for “goals,” and you’ll probably see something about SMART goals within the first few hits. Because whether it’s school, sports, business, diet/exercise/fitness, or personal finance, SMART goals are everywhere. Heck, my middle schooler was learning about this in gym class the other day. SMART goals, of course, refers to the idea that we’re more likely to achieve a goal, if the goal is specific, measurable,…


Kris Chesky: On hearing health, earplugs, and how the best strategy for protecting young musicians’ ears might help them become better musicians too

Kris Chesky: On Hearing Health, Earplugs, and How the Best Strategy for Protecting Young Musicians’ Ears Might Help Them Become Better Musicians Too

I can’t say that I’ve ever listened to much of John Denver’s music, but one of the highlights of my summer music festival experiences, was a benefit concert he did one year in the Aspen Music Festival’s tent – the mostly outdoor/semi-indoor performance space where all of the large ensemble performances took place. There were crazy lights, giant speakers, cables criss-crossing all over the place, and even those little tiny lights on our stands. Which I know is not a big deal, but was super…


Does a Musician’s Physical Movements and Gestures Affect How Musical We Think They Are?

Do a Musician’s Physical Movements and Gestures Affect How Musical We Think They Are?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes I can’t remember if I’ve told this story here before or not, but the first time I played for Dr. Suzuki, he remarked that when his eyes were closed, I sounded great. But that when he opened his eyes, I sounded...not so great. Indeed, although I hear I was a pretty rambunctious and chatty little kid, apparently, that part of me disappeared and turned into that guy from Ferris Bueller when I had a violin in my hands.  Of course,…


How to Cultivate Better Rhythm and Avoid Clipping Notes (and Rests) Short

How to Develop Better Internal Rhythm and Avoid Clipping Notes (and Rests) Short

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes The third movement of the E minor Shostakovich piano trio begins with the pianist playing a series of whole note chords, all by their lonesome, before the violin finally comes in at the end of bar eight (click here to take a quick listen). The tricky thing, is that each of those whole notes is held for quite a long period of time. Like anywhere from 4 to 6 seconds per note or longer, depending on what tempo the group chooses to…