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,

I’m a recovering clock-watcher

My daughter finally turned 10 today. Sitting at the table before the festivities, she showed herself worthy of Olympic clock-watching potential: “Only 1 hour and forty….THREE minutes ’til my party!” Of course she gets her talents from me. I vividly remember a few Pittsburgh Youth

The 5 major advantages I will have in my audition

I have a huge audition coming up for a full-time position at the Oregon Symphony. The audition will bring over 100 very capable cellists from all over the country to audition. We will all play behind a screen for the prelims