How Effective Is Mental Practice for Memorizing New Pieces?

How Effective Is Mental Practice for Memorizing New Pieces?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Many well-known musicians have described using mental imagery to increase confidence, and hone and refine their skills over the years. There’s a lot of research support out there for imagery too, suggesting that mental practice can indeed be a useful supplement (though not replacement!) to your regular physical practice. So…if visualization can help us increase the level and consistency of our motor skills away from our instruments, could it…


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…


Have a Tendency to Play “Too Safe” Under Pressure? Here’s a Daily Habit That Could Help You Play More Fearlessly on Stage.

Have a Tendency to Play “Too Safe” Under Pressure? Here’s a Daily Habit That Could Help You Play More Fearlessly on Stage.

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes I was going through some old home videos the other day, and came across some clips of my kids jumping off of the diving board at the pool for the first time. Well, not jumping, so much as cautiously inching their way to the edge of the board in a half-crouch position with legs shaking and eyes wide open, and going into a full crouch before tottering over the edge into the waiting arms of their swimming instructor. Of course, as they grew older…


How Using Social Media Apps Before Practicing Could Sabotage Practice Quality (and Performance) Over Time

How Using Social Media Apps Before Practicing Could Sabotage Practice Quality (and Performance) Over Time

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes I attend a martial arts class where the rule is that phones must stay in the locker room, and never be out near the mats. The rationale being, they’re a distraction. And if you’re distracted, not only does your training suffer, but you can get hurt. The idea is to come to class a little early, and spend those minutes getting warmed up, stretching, and transitioning away from work, family, social media, and whatever else is happening in life,…


How to Keep the Critic in Your Head From Wrecking Your Practice Session

How to Keep the Critic in Your Head From Wrecking Your Practice Session

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Whether through books like The Little Engine That Could or TV shows like Sesame Street, I think many of us have been exposed from an early age to the idea that positive thinking is a good thing and negative thinking is a bad thing. And indeed, the research does suggest that pervasive and excessive negativity can not just be a real downer, but have some pretty adverse effects on our life as well. But when it comes to the impact of spontaneous,…