Spring 2015 Newsletter

Musician's Way Book CoverThe Musician’s Way is a gold mine of information that will help musicians around the world.”
—International Trumpet Guild Journal, October 2011

In the Spring 2015 edition of The Musician’s Way Newsletter you’ll find a unique collection of articles chosen for performers, teachers and anyone else who loves music.

Some articles report breaking news about the music industry whereas others offer tips to improve practice and creativity.

There are links to a range of online resources, too, among them, newly published free ear training games by Theta Music.

In honor of April 1st, I included as well an uproariously funny video creating by the Miller Theater at Columbia University in cooperation with the JACK Quartet. Continue Reading

Returning to Music

“Treat everything you play on your instrument as an important piece of music, even if you are just warming up.”
-Wynton Marsalis (The Musician’s Way, p. 22)

Countless musicians set their instruments aside as their lives unfold, yet the desire to make music remains.

If you’re a rusty musician, I hope that these guidelines will help awaken your musicianship. Continue Reading

It’s Not Just How Good You Are

jazz guitarist“It’s not just how good you are. It’s how intriguing you are.”

All of us musicians work hard to maintain and improve our skills.

Too often, though, young musicians devote years to “getting better” without concurrently growing their distinctiveness, and then they struggle to attract audiences and bookings.

Continue Reading

Helping Each Other Succeed

musicians playing together“In any collaborative enterprise, one of your duties is to help your colleagues feel successful.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 117

It’s not easy to succeed in the music world, and we musicians can sometimes compete with rather than support each other.

Still, we’re all part of the same artistic community, and when we stop being overly competitive and start helping, we and our industry become stronger. Continue Reading

Winter 2015 Newsletter

 alt=“Divergent thinking is more about asking questions than finding answers.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 55

The Winter 2015 edition of The Musician’s Way Newsletter offers a sweeping collection of articles and resources for musicians.

From inspiring stories to practice tips to career pointers to music industry news, instrumentalists and singers will find bundles of valuable info.
Continue Reading

Don’t Be Like Your Teacher

young man playing guitar“Music making is a never-ceasing process of change and progress.”
–Jacqueline du Pré, cellist (The Musician’s Way, p. 205)

We musicians seldom achieve expertise on our own but seek out teachers to inform our growth.

Although good teachers influence us in countless positive ways, it’s crucial for us to forge our own artistic paths and not merely imitate our mentors, especially in today’s evolving music industry. Continue Reading

10 Reasons to Pursue a Graduate Degree in Music

“If you’re dedicated to becoming a professional, you have to prepare to compete in the marketplace.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 300

If you aim for a career in music, your educational choices will profoundly affect your future.

Here are 10 guidelines to help musicians make informed decisions about graduate school. Continue Reading

The 3 Components of Deep Practice

woman practicing piano“Gauge your sound and internal experience against the benchmarks of excellence.”
The Musician’s Way, p.58

How can we master unfamiliar music in ways that are both soulful and efficient?

In short, we have to be proficient with the 3 components of deep practice: Discovery, Repetition, and Evaluation. Continue Reading

4 Rehearsal Challenges and Ways to Overcome Them

The Modern Jazz Quartet

“We’re smart enough and clever enough to give each other room to live in, to have respect for each other’s personalities.”
-John Lewis, pianist, Modern Jazz Quartet (The Musician’s Way, p.120)

Unlike when we play in conductor-led ensembles, working in small groups requires us to make shared decisions about what and how we play.

Decision-making comes to a head during rehearsals, so, in this post, I offer tips to deal with 4 common rehearsal challenges that collaborating musicians face. Continue Reading

November 2014 Newsletter

“No matter how musically advanced you become,
you’ll encounter passages that defy easy mastery”
The Musician’s Way, p. 54

The November 2014 issue of The Musician’s Way Newsletter brings together more than 20 articles and resources of interest to musicians and music lovers.

Musicians will find tools to improve practice and memorization along with an announcement about a powerful online resource published by the New World Symphony. Continue Reading