The Choice to Survive or Thrive

When my daughter was born, I learned about FTT (failure to thrive), which refers to decelerated or arrested physical growth in infants. But how about decelerated or arrested spiritual growth? Am I thriving and happy? Am I growing? Or am I

Walking the Talk Amidst Crashing Worlds

I’m in the midst of a tumultuous situation that rips out my heart and stomps on it, with no easy solution in sight. It’s not important for you to know details, but I bet you’ve felt something like it in

Music as a Message of Love

This week in the midst of teaching and performing, I had the rare experience of being overwhelmed by love. A love so powerful I could hardly breathe. Part of me wanted to run away from its overpowering presence, but the

When the Heart Breaks Wide Open

Just a few weeks ago we skirted the edge of the Camp Fire’s devastation as we drove by Paradise, CA. Choking on the heavy smoke, we walked into the Target in Chico, passing mountainous piles of donations for those who had

A Call to Arms for Musicians of Light

A Call to Arms for Musicians of Light

I grew up in Pittsburgh. Yesterday’s attack hit me hard. My weekly cello lessons with Michael Lipman took place just blocks away from the synagogue. Again the question arises: what can I do in response? Last night at the Oregon Symphony,

The Heart Compactors

Fear. Egoic pride. Insecurity. Competition. Judgment. You may face these “heart compactors” daily while pursuing excellence in rehearsals, performances, and lessons. How do you prevent them from compounding the stress you already feel? Do you try to become impervious, protect

Giving the Gift of Love Through Music

I sat at the end of a quiet hallway at Randall Children’s Hospital and unpacked my cello for what seemed just a few passersby on the 4th floor unit. My idealism faded away—what good could my music truly do for

What Freedoms Have You Won for Yourself?

What Freedoms Have You Won for Yourself?

We celebrate Independence Day for our country, but use this day to also focus on of the inner freedoms that you can claim for yourself. Have you won the freedom of inner peace? Don’t be dominated by the incessant outward

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