Can Younger Students Be Taught to Engage in Deliberate Practice Too?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Every young musician knows that in order to get better, they have to practice. But when you’re new to practicing, it’s not actually so clear what practicing is supposed to look like. I mean, it’s clear that repetition is involved - that we can see. But the most crucial (and invisible) element of effective practice, are all the essential thought processes that underlie each repetition. The reflection, the analysis, the planning,…


Angela Beeching: On the Keys to Developing a Career That’s Totally “You”

Angela Beeching: On the Keys to Developing a Career That’s Totally “You”

My first year in grad school, I ended up connecting with a few friends of friends, and became part of a casual, not-super-serious quartet (evidenced by our name, as we remain the only quartet I’m aware of to have named itself after the violist), which would get together on occasion to play concerts and various gigs. One day, after a gig, we were all walking down the street to grab something to eat, and talking about what we’d do if we won the lottery. Everyone started off with the customary buy…


Quirky Pre-Performance Rituals: Do They Really Work?

Quirky Pre-Performance Rituals: Do They Really Work?

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes A student recently told me of an old Italian tradition among singers, where some would not go on stage to perform until they found a bent nail backstage. Even Pavarotti is said to have engaged in this ritual. Other musicians like Led Zeppelin, John Legend, and Beyoncé have described their own quirky pre-show rituals. And many athletes are known for their unusual game-day or pre-shot rituals as well. Most of the pre-performance rituals that…


Get into a Better Pre-Audition Headspace with a

Get into a Better Pre-Audition Headspace with a "Heroic" Playlist

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes Whether it’s waiting for your turn at an audition, getting stuck in traffic on the way to rehearsal, or standing in line at Trader Joe’s on a Saturday, much of life seems to consist of...waiting. Which in the grand scheme of things is probably not such a big deal (and might be something worth learning to embrace, as I learned from watching the movie Click ), but sitting around idly with nothing to do does tend to lead to a lot of…


Why the “Task Completion Bias” Could Give You the Illusion of Productive Practice, but Make You Less Productive in the Long-Term

Subscribe to the weekly "audio edition" via iTunes You know how people say you should never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry? I know this is probably good advice, but when I’m hungry is like my favorite time to go! Admittedly, that’s when I end up with all sorts of stuff in my basket that wasn't on my shopping list. Most of which don’t serve my long-term health and fitness goals... Umm...and what does this have to do with anything? Well, I wish I could say that I spent most of my…