September 2014 Newsletter

“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 196

The September/October issue of The Musician’s Way Newsletter features news, practice tips, inspiration, and career resources in a combination unlike any other.

Looking to overcome creative blocks? Want to offer limited-access downloads to your followers? Thinking about launching an online store?

This edition addresses these issues and more. Continue Reading

Keeping Practice in Mind

Closeup image of classical guitar“Create meaning in everything that you practice.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 312

Have you ever started a practice session and felt that your musical abilities were out of alignment?

Maybe your mind was restless, your control tenuous, or your tone iffy.

It’s easy for us to get misaligned, but the following techniques help us be ready to practice effectively anytime. Continue Reading

How Not to Pursue a Music Career

Image of cellist playing alone in wheat field“Probe every aspect of what ‘being a successful musician’ means to you.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 302

If you aspire to a career as an independent musician, you’ll find lots of “how to” advice online.

This post takes a reverse approach: I highlight 12 unwise moves that are common among young performers.

I hope it will inspire you to enthusiastically pursue your musical dreams.

Continue Reading

Handling Criticism in Rehearsals

Image of two violinists rehearsing together“Wise artists seek out critical evaluations.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 297

Musical collaborators come together out of a shared passion for music, and intense feelings about art can stir up ardent criticisms.

How can we harmonize the critical give-and-take that’s integral to working in groups? Continue Reading

Talent and Skills

“The path you take is your path and no one else’s, so welcome it.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 314

Many aspiring musicians worry about their futures, wondering whether they have enough talent to succeed as pros.

Thing is, musical talent is but a facet of what enables us to sustain ourselves from our art. Continue Reading

The Fight-or-Flight Response

“The fight-or-flight response works wonders when you’re standing on a sidewalk and a piano is falling from a building above.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 135

Shaky hands, racing heartbeat, queasy stomach – all manifestations of a nervousness that almost every musician has felt.

How can we get beyond such jitters and be free on stage? For starters, it helps to grasp a core aspect of performance anxiety.
Continue Reading

June 2014 Newsletter

Closeup photo of solid-body electric bass“The heart of performance is about sharing music with someone else.”
The Musician’s Way, p. 154

In the June 2014 issue of The Musician’s Way Newsletter you’ll encounter a wide array of articles suited to performers, educators, and music lovers.

On the subject of creativity, there’s an article that looks at whether deadlines help or hinder us; another piece considers strategies to generate fresh ideas.

There are links to grant resources, practice & performance tips, music industry news, tech updates, and much more. Continue Reading

When Every Note Vibrates with Life

“Whatever music you play or sing, your objective is to express musical ideas, not spew out notes.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 24

Accomplished musicians bring vibrancy to every sound they make – there’s an emotional power to their music that captivates listeners.

Student performers, by comparison, often come across as bland. They may focus on mechanical execution instead of expressing the emotions in each phrase. Continue Reading

Starting Practice with Intention

“Leaving your troubles behind, enter the exquisite realm of music making.”
-The Musician’s Way, p. 6

The beginnings of practice sessions set in motion everything that follows.

When we start with clear intentions, we accomplish more in the shortest time.

Here are ideas for launching each practice session with optimal focus. Continue Reading

April 2014 Newsletter

“Confident performance is not a fluke, but the product of imaginative and consistent synthesis of technical and emotional work.”
-Frank R. Wilson (The Musician’s Way), p. 146

The April 2014 edition of The Musician’s Way Newsletter has landed in subscribers’ inboxes and is being shared across the Web.

This new issue brings together 20 articles and resources geared to performers, educators, students and music lovers alike. Continue Reading