The “Gesturing Effect

The “Gesturing Effect": A Way to Learn New Skills More Quickly?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Aside from the day I graduated from velcro sneakers and learned how to tie my lace-up Spiderman shoes, I don't think I thought very much about knots until the day my dad showed me how to tie a slip knot . Which led to a brief fascination with knot-tying. Of course, in those days, you couldn’t just hop onto the internet and look up a video, so I ended up getting a knot-tying kit (this exact one, in fact). Which is when my initial…


How Many of Our Worries Actually Come True?

How Many of Our Worries Actually Come True?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes What if I get the shakes in studio class? What if I mess up this gig, and don't get invited back? What if I started getting serious too late? What if things don’t work out? What if the aggregate total of jelly in the donuts I'm bringing home exceeds TSA's carry-on limits, and I can't get through airport security? It’s pretty easy to get stuck in a cycle of worries and what if’s. And to become increasingly anxious and stressed out as we dwell…


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…


Why Day-of-Performance Butterflies May Actually Be a Good Thing

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes For most, waking up on the day of a big audition, competition, or performance feels very different from every other morning. Things are just a little more unsettled. And it’s harder to go through your normal morning routine and enjoy a bowl of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs as you might on a normal day. Especially, when perhaps a few hours out, the butterflies kick in as your thoughts start drifting to the performance, and you begin imagining…