Can Younger Students Be Taught to Engage in Deliberate Practice Too?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Every young musician knows that in order to get better, they have to practice. But when you’re new to practicing, it’s not actually so clear what practicing is supposed to look like. I mean, it’s clear that repetition is involved - that we can see. But the most crucial (and invisible) element of effective practice, are all the essential thought processes that underlie each repetition. The reflection, the analysis, the planning,…


Why the “Task Completion Bias” Could Give You the Illusion of Productive Practice, but Make You Less Productive in the Long-Term

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes You know how people say you should never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry? I know this is probably good advice, but when I’m hungry is like my favorite time to go! Admittedly, that’s when I end up with all sorts of stuff in my basket that wasn't on my shopping list. Most of which don’t serve my long-term health and fitness goals... Umm...and what does this have to do with anything? Well, I wish I could say that I spent most of my…


A Simple Technique That Could Help You Give Better Advice to Your Students

A Simple Technique That Could Help Boost Your Effectiveness With a Struggling Student

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Once you get pretty good at riding a skateboard, hitting a tennis ball, or playing with a nice juicy vibrato, it can be easy to forget what it was like when you were struggling to do these things as a beginner. And be surprisingly difficult to remember just how unsteady, awkward, uncoordinated, or ineffective everything felt in the early stages of learning that new skill. Because sure, everyone goes through periods where they struggle with…


The “Gesturing Effect

The “Gesturing Effect": A Way to Learn New Skills More Quickly?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Aside from the day I graduated from velcro sneakers and learned how to tie my lace-up Spiderman shoes, I don't think I thought very much about knots until the day my dad showed me how to tie a slip knot . Which led to a brief fascination with knot-tying. Of course, in those days, you couldn’t just hop onto the internet and look up a video, so I ended up getting a knot-tying kit (this exact one, in fact). Which is when my initial…


Blaise Desjardin: On Emotion, Technique, and the Kind of Practice That Facilitates Consistently Beautiful Performances

Blaise Déjardin: On Emotion, Technique, and the Kind of Practice That Facilitates Consistently Beautiful Performances

Several years ago, I stumbled across a video of the violinist Pamela Frank sharing some advice she once received from the conductor Yuri Temirkanov about the opening of the Brahms Violin Concerto (click here to watch the clip ). In what she describes as being a total light-bulb moment, he explained that “To play exciting music, you cannot be excited.” In other words, the Brahms Concerto isn’t exciting because the performer’s heart rate is elevated. The excitement is created by…