Stephen Hough: On the Question “Is Memorizing Music Really All That Important?”

Every month, The Juilliard Journal publishes a short mini-interview with faculty, where in addition to sharing thoughtful answers about life, music, and the arts, they also often reveal little-known tidbits about their lives. Like their most embarrassing moment. What they they think they’d be doing if they weren’t a musician. How they were on their university’s water polo team, or biked across the country (here’s a directory of all of the interviews through 2017; the more recent ones are…


How to Keep the Critic in Your Head From Wrecking Your Practice Session

How to Keep the Critic in Your Head From Wrecking Your Practice Session

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Whether through books like The Little Engine That Could or TV shows like Sesame Street, I think many of us have been exposed from an early age to the idea that positive thinking is a good thing and negative thinking is a bad thing. And indeed, the research does suggest that pervasive and excessive negativity can not just be a real downer, but have some pretty adverse effects on our life as well. But when it comes to the impact of spontaneous,…


Why the Progress You Make in the Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight

Why the Progress You Make in the Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight - PART 2

Of all of the frustrating Greek myths out there, I think the story of Sisyphus is the one that I could always relate to the most. In case it’s been a few years since your 6th grade Greek mythology unit, Sisyphus was the guy who was condemned to an eternity of pushing a huge boulder up a hill, that would always roll back down every time he got it close to the top. I think we’ve all had to deal with this sort of frustrating, seemingly futile task at some point or another in our lives. Like…


An Email Hack That Could Increase the Likelihood of Getting a Reply (and Possibly Make the World a Slightly Better Place for Everyone Too)

An Email Hack That Could Increase the Likelihood of Getting a Reply (and Possibly Make the World a Slightly Better Place for Everyone Too)

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes What is the default phrase you use when ending an email? “Regards”? “Sincerely”? “Cheers”? “Thx”? “Snet fmor ym iPnohe, lulz”? (if you’re shopping around for a new sign-off, there’s a fun - and long - list here) Whatever closing you may be using at the moment, it turns out that the way you end an email could be more influential than you think. And not just in terms of how likely the recipient is to write back. Depending on the context, the way…


Jason Haaheim: On “Deliberate Lessons” and How to Become a Better Teacher to Yourself

Jason Haaheim: On “Deliberate Lessons” and How to Maximize Your Progress From One Lesson to the Next

The last few months have led to many changes in how we work, how we play, how we connect to others, and a whole lot more. But I think our desire to learn and improve at things that we find meaningful and enjoy doing is still there. After all, many are continuing to take piano lessons, or participate in writing classes, or train in jiu jitsu online, even though doing so via Zoom is not quite (or nearly) the same experience as learning in-person. Despite its many limitations, online learning does…