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

Ahimsa (Non-Violence), Competition, and Inspired Performance

When I entered Eastman as a Freshman in the fall of 1985, I needed a tool to survive being plunged into an intimidating sea of talent. In the first few weeks I was lifted up high by a wave (Principal

What Do We Really Celebrate?

What Do We Really Celebrate?

It’s my birthday on Tuesday. I’ll be 50. I can deal with saying and hearing the number, but when I actually see the number, it’s a whole different ballgame! I look back over these years and wonder what I have

Amplify Your Light

Amplify Your Light

I just watched this video about Charlottesville. How can I respond? I can share Light. How do I amplify that Light? With attunement. What is attunement? Attunement is a simply a state of resonance with sound, style, attitudes, and even

It’s Time to Redefine Our WHY of Music

It’s Time to Redefine Our WHY of Music

Imagine working towards a high-level performance: tensions build, expectations rise. Breath tightens. Cortisol flows increasingly into your bloodstream to cope with the stress, leading to eventual disease of body and mind. We justify it all as perfectly acceptable, because “the

The Terrifying Aspect of Willingness

The Terrifying Aspect of Willingness

Just this past week I’ve had the opportunity to say YES to an opportunity that terrified me. It has been a long-standing practice of mine to say YES (within reason) to opportunities that arise, but this opportunity is a whole new

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

Spring Overwhelm – How Do You Deal?

Do you ever get overwhelmed this time of year? I’m preparing for a stretch of very intense performing, teaching and presenting, and sometimes my mind and body rebel against my best intentions. What’s the best thing to do? I’ve learned over

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