Fall 2015 Newsletter

The Musician’s Way is wonderfully thought-out and organized. . . . The third chapter alone is worth about five times the cost of the book itself!” —David Hodge, GuitarNoise.com

The Fall 2015 issue of The Musician’s Way Newsletter presents articles for musicians and educators of all levels.

There are tips to build a music career, access free video libraries, and publish a website.

You’ll find insights into organizing and performing concerts, understanding today’s music industry, engaging listeners, and much more.  Continue Reading

Handling Requests to Perform for Free

Jazz musician performing on upright bass“A performer’s reputation is enhanced by or diminished with each musical interaction.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 306

I suspect that almost every skilled musician has been asked to perform free of charge, often by strangers and organizations that can afford to pay.

Assuming that you normally earn fees to perform, here are some tips to help you handle such requests productively.

Continue Reading

Forward Motion

“There must always be a sense of progression or movement towards definite landmarks.”
–Tobias Matthay, pianist (The Musician’s Way, p. 23)

Rhythm comes alive when it propels a listener forward through a phrase.

Aside from choosing a suitable tempo, two ways to create forward motion are to steer shorter notes into longer ones and move from upbeats toward downbeats. Continue Reading

Reinforcing Performance Habits in Practice

“The habits that enable you to perform expressively in public can only be instilled through practice.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 149

When you’re onstage, do you feel secure and creative?

If not, the reasons probably stem from the habits you reinforce in practice.

Here are 8 strategies that help aspiring musicians gain performance skills and become commanding performers. Continue Reading

Don’t Be a White Egg

carton of white eggs with one golden egg“What is best in music is not to be found in the notes”
–Gustav Mahler

If you’re a classical musician who aspires to a concert career, you’re in danger.

In danger of becoming a commodity. Continue Reading

Playing with Ease

“Playing is never difficult; it is either easy, or it is impossible.”
-Kato Havas, violinist (The Musician’s Way, p. 21)

We all love how it feels to play or sing with ease.

That sense of freedom we enjoy when physical tension melts away and mental focus expands.

Here are 7 ways to instill easeful habits in practice and on stage. Continue Reading

Benefiting from Auditions and Competitions

“You can control your performance but not the result of an audition or a competition.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 221

Whenever you audition or compete, you offer yourself up for criticism.

That criticism may be overt, as when judges provide comments, or it may be implied, as when a performer is passed over for a prize or a seat in an orchestra.

If the thought of getting critiqued or not winning a position makes you cringe, then your qualms about criticism and rejection will probably undermine your ability to perform as well as your willingness to take artistic risks. Continue Reading

Appreciating Healthy Hearing

“By safeguarding your hearing, you don’t just look after your music career; you preserve your quality of life.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 278

If you’re fortunate enough to have healthy hearing, it’s likely that you take your ability for granted.

Yet your wondrous sense of hearing, aside from being primary to making music, is interwoven with almost every aspect of how you interact with the world. Continue Reading

Summer 2015 Newsletter

Closeup photo of classical guitar with cut-away body“An outstanding accomplishment . . . The Musician’s Way should be on the shelf of every aspiring professional musician and every serious music educator.”
—Clavier Companion, May/June 2010

In the Summer 2015 issue of The Musician’s Way Newsletter, you’ll find more than two dozen articles articles and resources.

There are fun quizzes, technology insights, and music industry updates.

You’ll enjoy links to practice & performance tips, innovative online resources, and much more. Continue Reading

Renewing Your Repertoire

Vladimir Horowitz

“I may play the same program from one recital to the next, but I will play it differently. And because it is always different, it is always new.”
—Vladimir Horowitz, pianist (The Musician’s Way, p. 75)

Most of us musicians develop a core repertoire that we perform for years.

In fact, we need to have large amounts of music at our fingertips so that we can present diverse concerts and perform on a moment’s notice.

How can we keep fresh the compositions that we’ve known for years? Continue Reading