The Heart Compactors

Fear. Egoic pride. Insecurity. Competition. Judgment. You may face these “heart compactors” daily while pursuing excellence in rehearsals, performances, and lessons. How do you prevent them from compounding the stress you already feel? Do you try to become impervious, protect

Giving the Gift of Love Through Music

I sat at the end of a quiet hallway at Randall Children’s Hospital and unpacked my cello for what seemed just a few passersby on the 4th floor unit. My idealism faded away—what good could my music truly do for

A Thanksgiving Pilgrimage

It’s fun to be a pilgrim traveling to a sacred place at Thanksgiving. This week my family drove down to the Ananda Village in California, where we lived from 2001-20013. As soon as we arrived, I felt the essence of what

Ahimsa (Non-Violence), Competition, and Inspired Performance

When I entered Eastman as a Freshman in the fall of 1985, I needed a tool to survive being plunged into an intimidating sea of talent. In the first few weeks I was lifted up high by a wave (Principal

5th of 10 Obvious Inaudibles: Hope

We need beacons of Hope. In this time of unrest, natural disasters and tragedies, it’s easy to despair. Energy spirals down, darkness descends, and gloom suffocates our Spirit. We look to music to help us untangle and find our way

What Do We Really Celebrate?

What Do We Really Celebrate?

It’s my birthday on Tuesday. I’ll be 50. I can deal with saying and hearing the number, but when I actually see the number, it’s a whole different ballgame! I look back over these years and wonder what I have

Amplify Your Light

Amplify Your Light

I just watched this video about Charlottesville. How can I respond? I can share Light. How do I amplify that Light? With attunement. What is attunement? Attunement is a simply a state of resonance with sound, style, attitudes, and even

Walking the Fine Line

Walking the Fine Line

As a public school employee, I have to be careful about how I introduce meditation in the classroom. Thankfully, mindfulness practices have been accepted into public education by focusing on improving awareness and paying attention, bypassing religious dogmas and debates. But

It’s Time to Redefine Our WHY of Music

It’s Time to Redefine Our WHY of Music

Imagine working towards a high-level performance: tensions build, expectations rise. Breath tightens. Cortisol flows increasingly into your bloodstream to cope with the stress, leading to eventual disease of body and mind. We justify it all as perfectly acceptable, because “the

The Terrifying Aspect of Willingness

The Terrifying Aspect of Willingness

Just this past week I’ve had the opportunity to say YES to an opportunity that terrified me. It has been a long-standing practice of mine to say YES (within reason) to opportunities that arise, but this opportunity is a whole new