Bob Fisher: On How to Become Great at Something, and Setting Multiple World Records (at Age 50+)

A few years ago, thinking it wouldn’t hurt to get away from the computer now and again and be a little more active, I accompanied my son to his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, and signed up for some classes myself. Needless to say, rolling around on the ground, getting crushed and choked by a bunch of bigger, stronger, faster guys (and gals), many of whom were half my age, was totally out of my comfort zone. So I spent the first year or so feeling totally incompetent, very insecure, and wondering…


Jason Sulliman: On Why Fast Practice Can Sometimes Be More Efficient and Effective Than Slow Practice

Jason Sulliman: On Why Fast, At-Tempo Practice Can Be More Efficient and Effective Than Slow Practice

I’d bet my last dozen Krispy Kreme donuts that every music student in the history of practicing has at some point been encouraged to a) slow things down, and b) use a metronome. I’d also bet a box of Timbits, that each of us have also dragged our feet and resisted doing both of these things. And who could blame us, right? It’s way more fun to play things at tempo. But as the saying goes, perhaps we need to crawl before we can walk… Or do we? The problem with slow practice While slow practice is…


Minna Chung: On the Mysteries of Intonation and a Few Things We Can Do to Play Better in Tune

Minna Chung: On the Mysteries of Intonation and a Few Things We Can Do to Play More in Tune

Like most Suzuki youngsters, I went through a phase where I had little stripes of tape placed on my fingerboard to guide where my fingers ought to go. Which I’m guessing was my first lesson on intonation, and the idea that there’s a precise place on the fingerboard, where if you put your finger right there, all is good in the world because the resulting sound that comes out of your instrument rings, and just sounds right. Of course, the rebellious part of me resented those lines, and I remember…


Stephen Hough: On the Question “Is Memorizing Music Really All That Important?”

Every month, The Juilliard Journal publishes a short mini-interview with faculty, where in addition to sharing thoughtful answers about life, music, and the arts, they also often reveal little-known tidbits about their lives. Like their most embarrassing moment. What they they think they’d be doing if they weren’t a musician. How they were on their university’s water polo team, or biked across the country (here’s a directory of all of the interviews through 2017; the more recent ones are…


Jason Haaheim: On “Deliberate Lessons” and How to Become a Better Teacher to Yourself

Jason Haaheim: On “Deliberate Lessons” and How to Maximize Your Progress From One Lesson to the Next

The last few months have led to many changes in how we work, how we play, how we connect to others, and a whole lot more. But I think our desire to learn and improve at things that we find meaningful and enjoy doing is still there. After all, many are continuing to take piano lessons, or participate in writing classes, or train in jiu jitsu online, even though doing so via Zoom is not quite (or nearly) the same experience as learning in-person. Despite its many limitations, online learning does…