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…


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 to Keep Your Cool Backstage Before Auditions and Performances

How to Keep Your Cool Backstage Before Auditions and Performances

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Football is a very physical sport of course, but there is certainly a mental aspect to the game as well. Likely, you’ve seen coaches use a strategy known as “icing the kicker." This is where a coach will call a timeout, right as the kicker is about to attempt a field goal. In principle, the idea is to give them a chance to start overthinking things, and choke. Kind of devious, and it makes sense - even though the data suggests that it probably…