The Correct Way to Sit in a Chair (and How This Could Help Your Performance in More Ways Than You’d Think)

The Correct Way to Sit in a Chair (and How This Could Help Your Performance in More Ways Than You’d Think)

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes I remember when my dad bought our first VHS camcorder. Unlike today’s tiny camcorders which fit in your hand, this thing was huge. ’Twas basically a VCR with a lens on it, so imagine trying to balance that on your shoulder. Anyhow, it was pretty cool to see yourself on a TV. And if you’ve ever seen America’s Funniest Home Videos, you know that watching yourself skateboard and fall down in reverse is pretty funny. But for once in my life, I was…


An Easy-to-overlook “hack” for Enhancing Concentration in the Practice Room

An Easy-to-Overlook “Hack” for Enhancing Concentration in the Practice Room

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Have you ever found yourself spacing out while practicing? Where you suddenly “come to” and realize that your fingers have been moving, but you have no idea what you’ve been working on? Maintaining focus and concentration is a common challenge in the practice room. When asked, my advice has generally been something along the lines of making sure you have clear goals for each practice session and for each repetition. Or, practicing at a more…


Carol Rodland on Learning to Work with Your Body, Not Against It

Carol Rodland: On Learning to Work with Your Body, Not Against It

I once heard a guitar teacher say that the point of practicing is to make things easier.  At first glance, the voice in your head might say something like “umm…duh.” And sure, there’s that – but I think there’s also a deeper wisdom to the statement when you ponder it for a moment. Because aside from making what our fingers do more automatic, another important part of practice is figuring out how to make the physical act of playing more effortless. Or ease-ier, as it were. For me, it…


The “Urgency Effect” and Why We Don’t Always Practice the Things We Should

The “Urgency Effect” and How to Prioritize More Effectively in the Practice Room

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Have you ever woken up the day before a big performance or audition, had this sudden realization what day it was, and wondered to yourself “Oh [email protected]#%. How is it possible that tomorrow is here already?” I certainly remember the moment I realized, on the day before the second round of an international competition, that my Bach Chaconne was not fully memorized. Which I know sounds utterly ridiculous, but it’s the kind of thing that would happen…


Does It Help (or Hurt) to Have Friends and Family in the Audience?

Why a Supportive Audience Could Paradoxically Lead to a Worse Performance

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes We’ve all heard of the “home-court advantage” in sports. How athletes perform better when they’re competing in front of cheering, supportive fans. The idea makes perfect sense, but there are also many instances of athletes choking in front of their home crowd, missing crucial shots, or making boneheaded plays at the worst possible moments. So when a student recently mentioned that they were feeling extra pressure before an upcoming audition,…