Interview: Peter Miksza on the Overlooked Value of Improvisation in Musical Training

How would you react if someone encouraged you to include some improvisation in your daily practice routine? Would you react with curiosity, and perhaps be a little excited to see what this could add to your musical and technical development? Or would you wonder about improvisation’s relevance in your daily practice, given that you don’t have unlimited time, and it’s not like you can improv your way through Schumann’s Scherzo? Or run away, because…eek! Improv?! Where would I even start? If I…


Interview: Olympic Diving Coach Jeff Huber on Preparing Mentally for Competition

I ended up having surgery this week (which, thankfully, went well), but I'm still unable to read normally, so a regular post wasn't going to happen this week either (and if you missed last week's podcast-stravaganza, you can check out the list of podcasts I was enjoying while on bed rest here). So I thought this might be a nice opportunity to catch up with 3-time Olympic diving coach Dr. Jeff Huber, who recently retired from coaching at Indiana University, but still teaches in IU's Department…


Five Podcasts I'm Enjoying Now

Five Podcasts I'm Enjoying Right Now

I was in a bit of a strange accident this week, which resulted in a concussion, some eye trauma, and a trip to the ER. So…the last few days have consisted of me sitting propped up in bed with my eyes closed, catching up on episodes of my favorite podcasts. Since writing a normal post was not in the cards this week, I thought it might be a perfect time to share some of the podcasts I’m enjoying – and also ask you to share some of your favorite podcasts too. So without further…


A Childhood Pastime That Could Help You Reduce Stress and Manage Audition-Day Nerves

A Childhood Pastime That Could Help You Reduce Stress and Manage Audition-Day Nerves

Legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock once said “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” Indeed, as stressful as performing could be, being on stage often felt much more freeing and liberating to me than the rest of the day leading up to that moment. After all, once I was in front of an audience, there was nothing more I could do to prepare - I just had to let go and play. But all the hours leading up to that moment were a different story. How was I supposed to keep…


Can We Really Trust Our Intuition When Making Difficult Decisions?

Can We Really Trust Our Intuition When Making Difficult Decisions?

Audio version It’s said that we make dozens (or thousands1) of decisions every day. From the relatively mundane (hmm…can I trust this food cart’s hot dogs?) to the more momentous decisions that feel like they could take us down very different paths in life (umm…which college should I go to?). The simple decisions don’t generally keep us up at night (unless you make the wrong decision about the hot dogs), but we can easily get overwhelmed and feel lost when…