Musical Shifts of Consciousness

Last night I hosted a screening of a beloved movie, after which I experienced what is commonly called a “shift in consciousness”. I felt deep joy and connectedness, and my mind rose above worries for the future. All I wanted

Courageous Peace

I longed for a lasting experience of Peace. I found it in nature: at the coast and on the lakes, in mountains and forests. I found Peace in slow movements of Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto and Ravel’s Piano Concerto for

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

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

Speak, Sing, and Play from the Hermitage of Your Heart

Although we connect through music, social networks, family and community, our most vital connection is to our own heart. Now more than ever do we need to spend time in our hearts, connecting us beyond our little egos into highest potential, a deeper experience of

5 Ways to Soften Musical “Scar Tissue”

I recently had the honor of teaching an esteemed colleague how to meditate. The next week he told me of an immediate benefit: “I was walking through my college campus during the Viola da Gamba Society Conclave—hundreds of viola da gambas everywhere—and passed

Be the Jury, not the Judge

I got called for and had to report for jury duty last week. At first I dreaded it, fearing the worst. They were selecting people for 4 grand juries, and I was not ready to give up a big chunk

Who’s at Fault—Performer or Audience?

In a recent performance, the magic just wasn’t happening. “Tough crowd!…They hate it!…Who’s going to make the next mistake? Me?…I’d better play it safe.” It ended on a muted note of frustration for me—an inspired performance had been within our grasp. So who’s to

Basking in Your Glory—Good or Bad for the Ego?

“Timers ready? Swimmers, take your mark…” I was supercharged with energy for our parent/coach relay at my daughter’s district championship meet. The head coach had chosen me to swim anchor in our 200 yd free relay (no pressure!). The gun went off—the

How to Make Sacred Music Truly Sacred

It was hot—really hot as I wound my way up the Historic Columbia River Highway to the Royal School of Church Music Retreat. The river glistened in the evening light as I entered the beautiful grounds of the Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett,