Knowing Where to Start

drawing showing music notes falling from above“There is no beginning. Start where you arrive.”
–Auguste Rodin (Cathedrals of France, p. 9)

Do you want to do more with your music but lack clarity about where to start?

Maybe waiting for clarity isn’t the way to go.

Maybe the antidote to creative ruts is to do what artist Auguste Rodin advises and just start: Continue Reading

5 Tips for Successful Practice

woman practicing piano“Nothing motivates better than success.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 107

Do you typically finish practice sessions feeling that you’ve achieved meaningful goals?

If not, these tips can help you invigorate your practice with clarity and accomplishment. Continue Reading

3 High-Demand Career Tracks for Musicians

Image of High School Trumpeters“When college-bound music students report their educational plans to family and friends, they often hear this question: ‘So, what are you going to do for a living?'”
The Musician’s Way, p. 300

Non-artists generally have scant knowledge of the professional opportunities available to musicians, so they tend to assume that few options exist.

Unfortunately, hordes of young musicians are comparably uninformed. Continue Reading

6 Ways to Cultivate Expressive Tone

Image of flute player“The quality of your tone will probably have a more immediate impact on listeners than any other feature of your execution.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 22

We performers know the power of tone quality. Sweet tones can charm, almost like magic, and harsh sounds quickly put people on edge.

Nonetheless, I’ve found that many students don’t pay close attention to tone production nor the emotional language of tone color, so here are six tips for building mastery. Continue Reading

3-2-1 Goals. Practice Efficiently, Boost Motivation

“There can be so much to cover in a practice session that it can seem overwhelming.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 6

We all know how demotivating it can feel to have much to do yet not know where to begin.

By setting small, specific goals, though, we can ignite our motivation to practice and be productive day after day. Here’s a potent strategy that helps us get underway. Continue Reading

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 guitaristIt’s not just how good you are. It’s how intriguing.

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