Julie Landsman: On Getting into the Zone and Developing Trust in Your Playing

Julie Landsman: On Getting into the Zone and Developing Trust in Your Playing

I think most string players would have to admit that at some point in their lives, they showed up for an orchestra rehearsal less prepared than they’d like to be. At least, I certainly remember the week during my first big summer festival when I felt overwhelmed by the part to Bartók's Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta , and “hid” in the section a bit during rehearsals (and ok, part of the concert too). Not one of my prouder weeks, but something a string player can get away…


Janet Horvath: On Preventing Overuse Injuries and Playing Pain-Free

Summer festivals were always the highlight of my year. Sure, there was more practicing, rehearsing, and playing to do than during the school year, but none of this ever felt like work when it was summertime. Getting to play awesome music alongside dedicated and talented musicians in orchestra and ensemble rehearsals, studio classes, and lessons, made for tons of inspiration and many lifelong memories. Not to mention all the fun times hanging out with old and new friends, and engaging in various…


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.…


Peter Miksza: On the Overlooked Value of Improvisation in Musical Training

How would you react if someone encouraged you to include some improvisation in your daily practice routine? Would you react with curiosity, and perhaps be a little excited to see what this could add to your musical and technical development? Or would you wonder about improvisation’s relevance in your daily practice, given that you don’t have unlimited time, and it’s not like you can improv your way through Schumann’s Scherzo? Or run away, because…eek! Improv?! Where would I even start? If I…


Jeff Huber: On Preparing Mentally for Competition

I ended up having surgery this week (which, thankfully, went well), but I'm still unable to read normally, so a regular post wasn't going to happen this week either (and if you missed last week's podcast-stravaganza, you can check out the list of podcasts I was enjoying while on bed rest here). So I thought this might be a nice opportunity to catch up with 3-time Olympic diving coach Dr. Jeff Huber, who recently retired from coaching at Indiana University, but still teaches in IU's Department…