Should Phones and Laptops Be Banned in the Classroom? Or Is This Just Much Ado about Nothing?

Should Phones and Laptops Be Banned in the Classroom? Or Is This Just Much Ado about Nothing?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes There’s a scene in the 1995 movie Clueless, where the main character Cher is walking down the hallway of her high school, while chatting on a cell phone with her best friend Dionne. A few moments later, Dionne merges into the same hallway, and they hang up their phones while seamlessly continuing their conversation as they walk to their next class. I distinctly remember that most of us watching this in the theater laughed, or at the very least…


A Mental Tweak to Shrink the Gap Between Your Best Playing and What Happens Under Pressure

A Mental Strategy to Shrink the Gap Between Your Best Playing and What Happens Under Pressure

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes For me, the days leading up to an audition or competition were often way more stressful and unpleasant than the actual event itself. And inevitably, I’d play some funky mind games in an effort to relieve some of the pressure of doing well. Like trying to convince myself that I didn’t care if I won the prize or passed the audition. And brainstorming all of the reasons why winning may not be such a good thing. With my Juilliard audition, for…


David Kim: On Letting Go and Being Yourself

David Kim: On Letting Go and Being Yourself

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like the only way to get ahead in the world is to be an egotistical jerk? I’m sure that there probably are a number of self-obsessed, egomaniacal dingleberries in the upper echelons of every field, but it’d be nice to think that this isn’t necessary in order to find success, happiness, and meaningful work. Meet David Kim Case in point, violinist David Kim has been concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1999, and is one of the most…


Get Into

Get Into "The Zone" More Frequently with This Subtle Mental Adjustment

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Everything else goes away. It almost happens in slow motion, even though you’re doing things at the correct time with the music and everything. Nothing else matters; it is just such an eerie, eerie feeling. The audience fades away, except for the brief moment when they were clapping so loudly - actually that was just a part of us. It was all a part of our experience; it never took us out of our focus. -A figure skater’s description of flow,…


Lori Schiff: On How Alexander Technique Can Enhance Learning and Performance Under Pressure

Alexander Technique has been around for over a century, and is taught in many schools and conservatories around the world, so it’s very likely that you’ve heard a friend, teacher, or fellow musician mention it at some point or another. But what is it, exactly? If you’re like most, you might not be so sure. Is it about breath control? Learning how to stand or play with good posture? Or maybe about injury prevention? Releasing tension? Does it involve stretching? Is it like yoga? And is it…