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

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

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,

What legacies are YOU carrying?

I was caught red handed—the huge serving spoon had disappeared completely into my mouth. “You’re just like your father!” “Thank you!” I love my dad.  But then I had to wonder…. If I’m carrying stuff from my dad, and he is carrying stuff from his dad, how

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