This Is What Gratitude Does to Your Performance

Gratitude in performance? What a ridiculous idea. Won’t it take away from our focus? Nope. Last Sunday I performed a sextet with fabulous musicians from the Oregon Symphony, as well as the Brahms Clarinet Trio (watch it here). I felt immense gratitude percolating behind

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

Leverage Your Powerful Memories to Enhance Today’s Practice and Performance

I walked onto campus last night to begin my work at Lewis & Clark College. As I met with the new collegiate orchestra players, I felt the memories from my own college years come flooding back, the good the bad, and

“Listen! You smell something?”

Ghostbusters. What an awesome movie. In the library scene quoted above, Ray (but not Peter or Egan) is experiencing an “orienting response”. His body stills, his breath quiets, and his attention is highly focused. These are the same physiological responses that accompany inspired experiences that I’ve

What your love of music is telling you about your heart’s potential

A few weeks after learning meditation in 1996, I was sitting alone in my living room, practicing what little I could in the silence. All of  sudden—WHAM!—a huge presence of Love overwhelmed me. What was THIS?! As a musician, I experience love in many

What your heart rate might be telling you about trust

30 minutes before my Oregon Symphony audition I was poised and ready to go. I felt good, prepared, and calm. But as I waited for the knock on the warmup room door, my heart began to beat faster. And faster. What