If Music is Your Religion, Here’s How to Worship

Think of one of your most amazing musical experiences—a concert, rehearsal or your private practice—and you’ll soon realize that music brought you into some form of bliss. Wherever it happened, you likely felt an awakening of energy, a presence, expanded

4th of 10 Obvious Inaudibles: Willingness

What I’m most ashamed of: Sitting in a cello lesson with a guest teacher, being completely unwilling to try any of his suggestions. “See!” I inwardly seethed, “that doesn’t work for me!” The lesson was a total waste, and I certainly didn’t

3rd of 10 Obvious Inaudibles: Joy

Joyful performances can’t help but inspire. Musicians performing with Joy draw us into their sphere of inspiration. Their subtle physical cues of relaxed pleasure and confident presence trigger something within us—perhaps due to mirror neurons in our brain that elicit our own inner experience of uplifting

Fighting Fear with the Fuel of Music

Fear is ripping our country apart. How can we as musicians fight this pervading fear? How can we best be instruments of change? We need to act more than ever, but expressions of anger and frustration don’t lead to the

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

Musicians: Curators of Consciousness

I received an awesome birthday present yesterday: a moment of realization! As I conducted my choir of meditators, I felt the purest Divine presence. It left no room for littleness of egoic pride, insecurity, anger, control, ambition. It was 100% benign, holding vibrations or frequencies

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

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

What’s behind inspired music?

Something weird about me: In the midst of glorious music, my breath often stops on its own. I’m not purposefully holding my breath—I’m just moved to stillness. I feel a resonance that would rather not be disturbed by breath. My body doesn’t seem to