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…


Nathan Hughes: On Being Honest in the Practice Room, and Learning How to Balance Being Analytical and Being Expressive

Nathan Hughes: On Practice Room Honesty, and Learning How to Balance Being Analytical and Being Expressive

I don’t know if it’s just me, or if musicians are a finicky bunch in general, but I was always really sensitive about how my hands felt, as far back as I can remember. For instance, even as a little kid, I didn’t like touching anything that was sticky – e.g. the parmesan cheese and red pepper shakers in restaurants. And not because that’s just gross, but because if my hands were feeling icky, I couldn’t shift smoothly. And if I couldn’t shift comfortably, it was hard to play in…


How to Keep Bad Dreams From Freaking You Out in the Days Before a Big Performance

How to Keep Bad Dreams From Freaking You Out in the Days Before a Big Performance

If you’re a fan of the show Friends, you may remember the episode where Phoebe is mad at Ross, and nobody - including Phoebe - knows exactly why (click here for a short video of the key scenes). And when they finally figure out a strategy to find out why she’s mad, it turns out that she was mad because Ross said she was boring - as they were playing chess on a frozen lake, right before he took off his energy mask, revealing that he was actually Cameron Diaz. Needless to say, this is…