Janet Horvath: On Preventing Overuse Injuries and Playing Pain-Free

Summer festivals were always the highlight of my year. Sure, there was more practicing, rehearsing, and playing to do than during the school year, but none of this ever felt like work when it was summertime. Getting to play awesome music alongside dedicated and talented musicians in orchestra and ensemble rehearsals, studio classes, and lessons, made for tons of inspiration and many lifelong memories. Not to mention all the fun times hanging out with old and new friends, and engaging in various…


A Better Way to Teach Complex Skills, Borrowed From…Doggy Training?

My daughter will often practice the piano by herself, but lately, I’ve been sitting down with her and trying to be her practice buddy. Essentially, to make sure she doesn’t make the same mistakes repeatedly and develop bad habits. Of course, despite my best intentions, this basically means that I can’t help but pounce on every missed note or rhythmic detail that seems to be going past her radar unnoticed. I might start with a gentle “nope” at first, but it quickly escalating to a firm “no!”,…


Listening to Music While Studying: Ok or Not Ok?

A few days ago, my wife came back from work, remarking at how different walking around the city feels when you’re listening to music. How it feels almost as if you’ve become a character in your own movie, with a soundtrack that makes even the rush hour subway rides and crazy long lines at Trader Joe’s a little more pleasant (while they're not always as nightmarish as this article makes them seem, sometimes things do get so packed that there’s a line just to get into the store). Indeed, the…


Memorize More Music by Remembering to Press "Pause"?

A few weeks ago, my 12-year old got hooked on a Japanese anime centered around volleyball, in which one of the main characters shares his last name. Needless to say, this has led to a sudden enthusiasm for jumping. I now hear him jump and crash about in his room randomly throughout the day. And he’s been running up and down the block, jumping and spiking the low-hanging leaves on all the trees in our neighborhood. And he even started an online program that’s supposed to increase your vertical…


Rob Knopper: On Overcoming the Fear of Recording Yourself (and Making It Your New Favorite Practice Tool)

Once upon a time, my kids would practically beg me to videotape them in action. Whether it was slurping noodles in slow motion, jumping off the couch onto bubble wrap, or rocking out to AC/DC, they seemed to be endlessly captivated by the magic of seeing themselves on-screen. Fast-forward a few years, and my videography game now needs to be at crazy ninja-like levels of stealth if I want to have any hope of capturing them on film. I can’t blame them of course, as I wasn’t any different.…