practice makes perfect. if you survive.

Originally published 12 June 2007. Near the end of this piece, I talk about resisting change and looking down on a teacher I had in London because she wasn’t up to speed on the Rococo Variations. I am still struck by how common it is for students to feel a sense of competition with instructors, […]

it’s all in your mind

Originally posted 31 May 2007: These students are the foundation of my enduring interest in working with students with traumatic brain injury and other neuro-atypical learners. While the phrasing may be a tad jejune [cello is hard for everyone, some people just have a diagnosis as to their particular brand of difficulty], there is truth […]


I talk to lots of musicians in pain- if there’s one thing I’m grateful for after all these years of questionable medical care and countless wrong turns, it’s the education the experience has bestowed upon me, so I can at least be a useful resource to others who are new to the “is this going […]

vintage srcb, part 3: pinky pressure

Originally posted 9 January, 2008.¬†This, and the next one, are two of the most popular posts on SRCB, according to the Google-mo-tron.   Another darling of our community, CelloGirl has stress when it comes to her pinky joint. A portion of her comment reads, “…Sore pinky joint. This one I struggle with quite a bit. […]

vintage SRCB, part 2: practice makes perfect, if you survive

Post originally published 12 June, 2007 I wish I could send my adult students to music school, if only just for a week. Not to be inspired by the hours and hours of practice or the tide of talent that floods the halls every hour. No, I want them to witness the bizarre behavior of […]

introducing practice guides!

  Designed to be affordable mini manuals for pieces commonly studied, practice guides are packed with miniature exercises, technical reminders, and tips on approach. The first one, La Cinquantaine, is available now for $3.50 here. Stay tuned for more, and drop me a line if you have any requests.

perfectly imperfect practice

Practice is good. Common sense tells us it’s necessary for progress and essential to maintain our skill. In my lessons, I rarely teach people how to play- it’s mostly about diagnosing what makes something difficult and then developing strategies and routines designed to break down the difficulty. I teach people how to practice. The playing […]

strange flattery

If you keep up with me on Twittaw, you know I’ve become something of a swing dance addict. There’s something uniquely satisfying about learning a new discipline that, if you’re doing it right, requires lots of awareness and technique and then you let it all fly out the window and go with your guts. Or […]

Stage fright

  I still catch a case of the stomach-jumpies when I get on stage. Not all the time, but I’d say at least half of my gigs (including workshops, seminars, etc) have some added zesty to them. The key to beating the fright element is a trick of rebranding, rather than dissolving the fear. I’m […]

Striking out.

Ryan Howard is a baseball powerhouse. He’s led the majors in things like slugging and home runs, and is known as a Big Bat, for good reason. If you’re not a Philly fan, you probably just feel a little uncomfortable when he’s up against your team. If you’re a Philly fan, there’s a different dynamic […]

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