Margo Drakos: On Creating a Safety Net and Taking a Chance on Yourself

Margo Drakos: On Creating a Safety Net and Taking a Chance on Yourself

Have you ever begged and pleaded for something when you were a kid, and when you finally got it, discovered it wasn’t quite what you expected? Like the time you finally got a pair of Zubaz. Or like in that Friends episode where Monica got new boots . Of course, once you’ve fought so hard for that thing, there can be a lot of pressure to stick with it. Even if it’s not a good fit. And it’s tempting to think you just need a different color.…


How Technical Mistakes During Practice Can Be Used to Enhance Performance (and Confidence Too)

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes The first few minutes of bringing a puppy into our home were pretty awesome. He was so tiny and cute, the kids could barely contain themselves. I felt like the best parent ever. And then he peed on the carpet. Because of course while I knew he shouldn’t be peeing on the carpet, the little fuzzball clearly did not. And since everything I read online suggested that it was critically important to make sure the little guy did not make any…


Why You Might Want to Find Yourself a

The Potential Upside of Having a "Rival"

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes As an only child, sibling rivalry was a foreign concept, so it’s been, um…interesting…to see my kids engage in occasional moments of this kind of behavior. Like squabbling over who took whose pencil lead. Arguing about the fairness of chore distribution. Sneaky attempts to gain favor with the dog using treats. Much of it is pretty exasperating, but there are also times when the little one takes the older one’s lead and tries to emulate his…


Catherine Cho: On Developing Great Rhythm (and Why Old-School Metronomes Are the Way to Go)

Catherine Cho: On Developing Great Rhythm (and Why Old-School Metronomes Are the Way to Go)

I’ve accumulated a number of metronomes over the years. My first one, which still sits on our piano today (and which my daughter sneakily keeps unplugging), is this giant black brick of a thing, and seems to vibrate and generate this whirring sound inside that you can hear between clicks. I also still have my good old Dr. Beat, which remains in mint condition after some 30 years…having spent most of that time hidden away in the back of a drawer. Needless to say, I was never a fan of metronome…


A Visualization Hack to Get More Out of Your Mental Practice

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes From tennis great Billie Jean King to pianist Glenn Gould, imagery has long been a staple of athletes’ and musicians’ bag of practice tools. When visualizing, a general rule of thumb is that you want whatever it is that you're imagining, to be pretty close to the actual real-life experience that you are working towards. The same sounds, the same kinesthetic sensations, the same visuals. Take tempo, for instance. If it normally…