What Was Your First Musical Epiphany?

An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but we can also use it to describe those

2nd of 10 Obvious Inaudibles: Focus

A 19-year old pianist recently showed me the power of focus. I heard Aaron Petit perform at the Young Musicians and Artists Camp in Salem this past summer. He played with impressive passion and precision, and drew us all very deeply into the

1st of 10 Obvious Inaudibles: Fear

In this series I’ll be presenting the qualities we experience in performance that go beyond the audible. 1. Fear (including worry and anxiety) Although fear can be heard in your sound from shaky hands or breath, some scientists say that

Notes from a Journey into “Center Everywhere”

What an amazing tour through California! It succeeded far beyond my expectations, and expanded my understanding, friendships, and new connections. It began with a great day at the YMA Camp where I presented Meditation for Musicians to the 100 young singers

Fear, Courage, and My Misunderstood Pulse

Like many, my heart rate increases when I audition behind a screen. It’s distracting and annoying. As a 20-year meditator, I’d like to tell you that my years of inner practice has completely fixed this. But I can’t, because it hasn’t—yet. So

If You Want Peace of Mind in Performance, Practice With a Mind of Peace

People often remark that my playing gives them peace. Is it my sound? My articulation? My phrasing? Peace is what I practice every time I take out my cello and warm up. I focus on producing the fullest sound with the least

The Mouse, the Cheese, and the Owl

Does the type of motivation matter for your performance? This weekend I’ve got lots of creative work to do, but find it hard to get going. What would be the best way for me to motivate myself? A. Focus on negative

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

What’s the Greatest Service of Music?

I’m performing a recital on Wednesday. How do I best serve the audience? My life is a search for that answer. At first I focused on trying to fulfill the wants and desires of parents, teachers, and audiences. Approaching the task from the outside-in,

What Is Beautiful in Your Music?

On Tuesday I was a panelist for a philosophy of music class on “What Makes Music Beautiful?” at Lewis & Clark College. Dynamic discussion! Is it structure? Is it emotion? Is it context and memory? Is it tone? For 90 minutes we