How Important Is It to Perform a New Skill Perfectly From Day 1?

How Important Is It to Perform a New Skill Without Errors From Day 1?

It seems like I’m always pushing my kids slightly outside their comfort zone, and trying to get them to do something new. So recently, I figured it might be good for me to model some of this myself by taking up a new sport. The experience has given me a lot more empathy for what my kids must go through. Because I had completely forgotten what it feels like to be a beginner, with the constant confuzzlement and overwhelm that comes with learning something totally foreign. And a lot of it has…


Do Musicians Perform Better with Eyes Open? Or Closed?

Audio version http://bpm-podcast.s3.amazonaws.com/bulletproofmusician.2017.09.10.mp3 Have you ever had one of those strange out-of-body moments during a performance, where you suddenly realize where you are, what you’re doing, and you kind of marvel at it all? Where you see your fingers flying around all over the place, and think to yourself “Gee, look at my fingers go. They’re moving awfully fast. Hmm...are they going to be able to keep that up?” Or maybe you've had one of those days when…


Want to Help Students Remember More of What You Worked on in Their Lesson? Try This Learning Hack.

Want to Help Students Remember More From Each Lesson? Try This Learning Hack.

Audio version http://bpm-podcast.s3.amazonaws.com/bulletproofmusician.2017.09.03.mp3 Geno Auriemma is head coach of the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team, where he has guided his teams to 11 national championships, the two longest winning streaks in college basketball history (most recently, a 111-win streak spanning three seasons), and hasn’t had a season with double-digit losses since before most current college students were even born. To provide a bit of perspective,…


Evidence That a Little Bit of Self-doubt Could Be Performance-enhancing

Evidence That a Little Bit of Self-Doubt Is Ok - and Might Even Be a Good Thing

Audio version http://bpm-podcast.s3.amazonaws.com/bulletproofmusician.2017.08.27.mp3 Whether it’s a music theory placement exam, orchestral audition, or recital, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of going into important moments with total confidence. Such moments don’t happen as often as we’d like, but when they do, everything is so much easier and fun. Of course, more typically, we go into auditions and performances battling doubts and fears for days or weeks in advance. Especially when…


Why the Pressure to Be Positive All the Time Could Make You Feel Worse

Why the Pressure to Be Positive All the Time Could Make You Feel Worse

“Don’t worry, be happy!” “Stay positive!” “Don’t be nervous/sad/upset/frustrated/etc.!” Throughout our lives, we are told in many ways - both explicitly, and often, more subtly - that we ought to maintain a positive, upbeat attitude. That winners engage in positive thinking, and our success is dependent on our ability to avoiding being so negative. And while there is certainly much to be said for positivity, sometimes it can be awfully exhausting to keep it up. Because on occasion, we do…