Music, the Heart, and Hope

Tuning my share of 150 elementary string players before their joint rehearsal the other day was the perfect opportunity to practice sharing kindness and love from a relaxed heart. It kept me calmly focused, and definitely helped me perceive one

Learning From Fear vs Learning From Love

Learning From Fear vs Learning From Love

Reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back on my way to North Carolina for my niece’s wedding last weekend, I had an idea that is changing me completely: What if I choose love instead of fear as my teacher? We’re here

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

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,

Stop the Reactive, Engage the Responsive

The first major benefit I noticed when I began meditating 22 years ago was that I started making progress much faster. I thought it was magic! But it turns out that as we meditate, we awaken the prefrontal lobes of

Lessons from 10,000 ft

Lessons from 10,000 ft

Last week my daughter and I backpacked in the wilderness of Yosemite, hiking 24+ miles over 5 days. This was no “stick to the trail” trip, as I was with friends who had found their own routes from lake to lake over

Musical Shifts of Consciousness

Last night I hosted a screening of a beloved movie, after which I experienced what is commonly called a “shift in consciousness”. I felt deep joy and connectedness, and my mind rose above worries for the future. All I wanted

The Thrill of Liberating Progress

We’ve all felt it—the moment we wake up into a new realm of sound production, technique, or level of mastery. A thrill from the core of our being that revitalizes and empowers our hope, and reminds us in a flash