Following Brightness: My TEDx Experience

Following Brightness: My TEDx Experience

An hour ago I gave my first TEDx talk. I wish you could have been there, in the sold out black box theater at Lewis & Clark Colelge, packed in with the 80 eager listeners. The title of my talk

Podcast published!

So grateful to be interviewed for The Mind Over Finger podcast series, with Dr. Renée-Paule Gauthier! Check out the podcast here: iTunes: Stitcher: Overcast: Podbean: The Mind Over Finger Podcast: Discussions on Mindful Music-making, Efficient Practice, and Building a Purposeful Career  

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

5th of 10 Obvious Inaudibles: Hope

We need beacons of Hope. In this time of unrest, natural disasters and tragedies, it’s easy to despair. Energy spirals down, darkness descends, and gloom suffocates our Spirit. We look to music to help us untangle and find our way

Ralph Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols

Skip to 56:44 for my solo performance with Lewis & Clark Capella Nova conducted by Brandon Brack, with baritone soloist Damien Geter.

Contentment: Supreme Virtue or Enemy of Progress?

My 12-year-old student came out of his audition. “I’m rather pleased with that,” he said to me. I wanted to yank the smug expression off his cute chubby face. In my opinion there was MUCH that could be improved. I wanted him to take

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

How to counterbalance hate crime

I was deeply discouraged when I read the news about the hate-crime tragedy in South Carolina that left 9 dead yesterday. I feel deeply for those who mourn. In sending thoughts and prayers to the families, I’m frustrated that life isn’t balancing out like it is

Dealing with uninspired music

Moments of frustration come for me when I am learning a piece that is neither inspired nor intuitive to learn. So what do I do? As a musician I’m expected to play pieces given to me. I’m not asked to like

An inside view of my year with BRAVO

Last August I became a Teaching Artist at BRAVO Youth Orchestra in North Portland. It is an after-school music program based on El Sistema, founded in Venezuela in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu. Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic,