Recharge Your Battery (Shine Your Light #6)

I blinked, and now it’s December. What a perfect time to celebrate Light! In the past 5 Shine Your Light articles, I’ve been talking about how to open, plug in, switch on, draw current, and energize. Each of these take will

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

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

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

Notes from a Journey into “Center Everywhere”

What an amazing tour through California! It succeeded far beyond my expectations, and expanded my understanding, friendships, and new connections. It began with a great day at the YMA Camp where I presented Meditation for Musicians to the 100 young singers

Pay It Forward from the Audience

Last weekend I heard an amazing concert by the Pacific Youth Choirs with guest director Dr. Rollo Dilworth. As a father, frequent guest artist and clinician with PYC, I had a choice: I could focus with a critical ear, or I could

I’m a recovering clock-watcher

My daughter finally turned 10 today. Sitting at the table before the festivities, she showed herself worthy of Olympic clock-watching potential: “Only 1 hour and forty….THREE minutes ’til my party!” Of course she gets her talents from me. I vividly remember a few Pittsburgh Youth

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,

The 5 major advantages I will have in my audition

I have a huge audition coming up for a full-time position at the Oregon Symphony. The audition will bring over 100 very capable cellists from all over the country to audition. We will all play behind a screen for the prelims

The Sunday Matinee Challenge

It’s 2:00 on a Sunday afternoon. The perfect time for a nap. Returning to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 15 hours after last night’s applause had died away, I sobered to the next phase of my challenge: Can I tap into Inspired