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…


Conflicted Between Two Different Choices? Here’s a “random” Way to Accelerate the Decision-making Process.

Conflicted Between Two Different Choices? Here’s a “Random” Way to Accelerate the Decision-Making Process.

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes At the risk of sounding like a bit of a nut, I must confess that I have a longstanding aversion to socks. It’s not a phobia - I just don’t like having to keep my little toes wrapped up in what’s basically a sweater, when they’d be so much happier in a tank top. So as soon as the temperature hits 55°F, out come my trusty flip-flops, and - much to the consternation of my wife - I happily wander around the city pretty much socks-free until Fall…


Uri Vardi: On the Way Unconscious Habits Shape Our Playing, and How Feldenkrais Can Help Us Do More With Less Effort.

Uri Vardi: On the Way Unconscious Habits Shape Our Playing, and How Feldenkrais Can Help Us Unlock More of Our Potential

My family and I have been following a few teams in the NBA playoffs this year. And one of the things that I’ve found interesting, is hearing the commentators remark on whether a shot was a good one or a bad one. Because sometimes, the announcers will say that a player took a bad shot – even though it ends up going in. While on other occasions, they’ll suggest that a player took a good shot – even though it misses. In other words, whether a shot is “good” or “bad” has…


Self-Monitoring, and How “Happy Face” May Have Been a More Potent Practice Strategy than I Realized…

Self-Monitoring, and How “Happy Face” May Have Been a More Potent Practice Strategy than I Realized…

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes One of my enduring childhood practice memories is of the binder my mom maintained, in which she would write out a list of all the things I had to practice in every practice session, with an empty circle next to each one. The idea being, once I had finished working on that part of my practice to-do list, she’d fill in the corresponding circle with tiny eyes and a smile, transforming it into a smiley face. She called this whole process “happy…


Three Different Types of Practice Strategies - Which One Works Best?

Three Different Types of Practice Strategies - Which One Works Best?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes On occasion, I’ll eavesdrop on my daughter as she does her daily piano practice. And I've noticed that one of her recurring practice habits is the tendency to repeat a tricky passage only as many times as it takes to get it right just once. Sometimes I’ll poke my head out into the hall and ask her to try it again. To see if she really did fix the problem, or just got lucky. And sometimes she'll give it another go - but usually she just…