Is Videotaping Yourself Worth the Time and Trouble? And If Yes, How So?

Is Videotaping Yourself Worth the Time and Trouble? And If Yes, How So? (Part 2 of 2)

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes One of my advisors in grad school regularly reminded us that whether it was our dissertation or our work with clients, taking the time to fully understand and accurately define the nature of the problems we were presented with, was critically important. He would say that “If you misdiagnose the problem, you’re probably going to misdiagnose the solution too.” I think the same could be said of practicing. Like, if you think the notes in a…


Is Videotaping Yourself Worth the Time and Trouble? And If Yes, How So?

Is Videotaping Yourself Worth the Time and Trouble? And If Yes, How So? (Part 1 of 2)

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes From golf to tennis to baseball to diving, basketball, and countless other sports, athletes and coaches have used videotape analysis for years to pinpoint errors, identify areas for improvement, and maximize performance. And while I’ve heard some musicians speak about the value of videotape analysis (for instance, check out these articles - here and here - of violinist Burton Kaplan advocating for its use way back in the 60’s and 70’s!), I…


Mental Practice Not Working for You? This Might Be the Reason Why…

Mental Practice Not Working for You? This Might Be the Reason Why…

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Many elite athletes have described using visualization and mental practice to supplement their training and improve performance. And likewise, a number of musicians have spoken to this as well. More than likely, you’ve used some form of mental practice yourself, whether it was hearing notes in your head as you read through a score, visualizing how you’d like your performance to go as you drove to the concert, or mentally practicing how to ask…


Structured Vs. Free Practice: Why You Probably Shouldn’t Just Be “Winging It” in the Practice Room

Structured vs. Free Practice: Why You Probably Shouldn’t Just Be “Winging It” in the Practice Room

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes When it comes to dieting or working out, we all kind of know (from lots of experience with failed New Year’s resolutions) that “winging it” doesn’t work so well. That if we want to make real headway on our goals, having a workout plan with specific exercises, and a specific number of sets or reps, can make it easier to stay on task and make adjustments over time based on our progress. Whereas “winging it” tends to lead to uninspired workouts,…


How Do Fear, Anxiety, and Other Negative Emotions Affect the Learning Process?

How Do Fear, Anxiety, and Other Negative Emotions Affect the Learning Process?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes I once read a story about the violinist Isaac Stern, in which he was confronted by a fan backstage after a concert. Gushing at how beautifully he played, she exclaimed “I’d give my life to play like you!” To which Stern curtly replied, “Lady, that I did!” Studying music - especially in the context of summer festivals and school - can of course be an incredibly positive experience with many meaningful, inspiring, and fun moments. But there can…