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…


Your “Stress Mindset,” and How This May Affect Your Experience of Stress

Your “Stress Mindset,” and How This Could Make Stress Work for or Against You

Subscribe to the weekly “audio edition” via iTunes It’s been said that… “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” (~Ghandi?) That’s a great quote, but more than just a cool Etsy project or words on a coffee mug, research suggests that our beliefs can indeed have a significant influence on our experience of life. For…


How to

How to "Reset" Your Body Clock & Shift Your Peak Performance Window (and Survive AM Rehearsals)

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Having kids (and a dog with a small bladder) has changed my perspective on what “normal” bedtime and wakeup times look like. But in my college years, 2am seemed like a pretty normal bedtime. I mean, the conservatory building closed at 11pm, and the snack bar was on the way back to my dorm, so it made perfect sense to stop by and grab a sandwich, some chili, and a giant cookie, to fuel up for some 4-player Mario Kart with my roommates. Of…


The Role of Self-Compassion in Cultivating Mental Toughness and Overcoming Setbacks

The Role of Self-Compassion in Cultivating Mental Toughness and Overcoming Setbacks

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes We’ve all experienced setbacks at some point in our lives. Maybe it was a mortifying sequence of memory slips in a recital. Or failing to pass a jury. Or getting wait-listed, on your last year of eligibility, at the summer festival you’ve always dreamed of attending. So when we begin to teach, and the young musicians who’ve entrusted us with their development experience setbacks of their own, most of us can totally empathize with the…


A Goal-Setting Tweak That Could Be the Difference Between an OK Performance and a Great Performance?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Whether you read the book or watched the movie, you might recall a scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, where Harry discovers a magical mirror, called the Mirror of Erised, tucked away in a dusty room. Given that “Erised” is “desire” spelled backwards, you may also remember that the mirror doesn’t show us as we are, but instead, shows the “deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.”  As Harry’s parents were killed by an evil…