Do Other People Really Learn As Quickly As It Seems Like They Do?

Do Other People Really Learn As Quickly As It Seems Like They Do?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes How long should it take to learn a new concerto? Or memorize a Bach prelude? And how many hours should you spend preparing for a first orchestra rehearsal? It used to be pretty difficult to get answers to questions like these. But, now that we have the internet, we know that the answers are a) 3 days, b) less than an hour, and c) yes. But in all seriousness, even with the internet at our fingertips, we still look to our peers to get a sense of…


Jay Larranaga: On Becoming the Best Version of Yourself That You Can Be

Jay Larranaga: On Becoming the Best Version of Yourself That You Can Be

As a kid, watching TV was more of an occasional treat than a daily staple. Where my mom would usually tell me to stop watching Chips or Knight Rider, and do homework, read, or practice instead. Except when the Olympics were on, at which point there were a few times she’d encourage me to watch more TV. Hoping, I think, that I’d be able to learn from and perhaps be inspired by the athletes’ dedication, focus, and resilience. Which might explain why I’ve always been a big fan of…


Perform Better Under Pressure with This Subtle Adjustment to Your Self-Talk

Subscribe to the weekly “audio edition” via iTunes It’s normal to feel some pressure when we perform in front of others – but not all situations feel quite the same. Solo performances, for instance, often feel more stressful than chamber music performances. Auditions, in turn, can be more stressful than performances. And some auditions – like the one for your dream school or job – are more stressful still. So the situation may play a role, but a lot of the…


A Better Way to Teach Complex Skills, Borrowed From…Doggy Training?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes My daughter will often practice the piano by herself, but lately, I’ve been sitting down with her and trying to be her practice buddy. Essentially, to make sure she doesn’t make the same mistakes repeatedly and develop bad habits. Of course, despite my best intentions, this basically means that I can’t help but pounce on every missed note or rhythmic detail that seems to be going past her radar unnoticed. I might start with a gentle “nope” at…


Rob Knopper: On Overcoming the Fear of Recording Yourself (and Making It Your New Favorite Practice Tool)

Once upon a time, my kids would practically beg me to videotape them in action. Whether it was slurping noodles in slow motion, jumping off the couch onto bubble wrap, or rocking out to AC/DC, they seemed to be endlessly captivated by the magic of seeing themselves on-screen. Fast-forward a few years, and my videography game now needs to be at crazy ninja-like levels of stealth if I want to have any hope of capturing them on film. I can’t blame them of course, as I wasn’t any different.…