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.
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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

3 Ways to Build Concert Programs

Flutist playing outdoors“Concerts need contrast – and lots of it.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 210

In previous articles, I’ve explored avenues to design concert programs that can attract diverse audiences.

In this post, I offer tips to construct attractive programs primarily using your current repertoire.
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3 Traits of Successful Concert Programs

Flutist playing outdoors“Memorable concerts don’t merely deliver what’s expected; they also take audiences beyond what they can envision.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 211

We classical musicians have it in our power to attract hordes of enthusiastic fans.

And one of the most effective ways we can do so is to offer innovative concert programs that make listeners hungry to hear us. Continue Reading

Learning the Art of Performance

Photo of pianist playing and singing“Music is a performing art. . . . It isn’t there in the score.”
-Michael Tippett, composer (The Musician’s Way, p. 152)

When you think about all that goes into preparing for a concert, performing can seem like a delicate skill, something akin to tightrope walking. I’ve found that many musicians think along those lines.

But I’m convinced that performing can be as natural as having a conversation or sharing in a game. Continue Reading