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

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

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

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

What Was Your First Musical Epiphany?

An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but we can also use it to describe those

A Search and a Call for Truth in Music

15 years ago I was an inexperienced spiritual seeker armed with a righteousness that rivaled JP Sears’ Ultra-Spiritual spoofs. I made a dismissive comment about a musical piece of angry, arrhythmic dissonance to my dear friend and cellist, Andrew Eckard. He knocked me off

“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

Salvaging Happiness after the BIG DAY

Is there a way to avoid the emotional crash after holidays and big performances? I’m having a conversation with my 9-year-old daughter who is SO bummed that Christmas is suddenly over. All her anticipation and preparation couldn’t lengthen the thrill of opening presents, just as performers can’t stretch out

Are You a Spiritually Independent Musician?

Is your spirituality tucked safely out of harms way? Have you ever yearned to bring into the secular world of the Arts the deep spiritual truths that you have experienced? Centuries ago we created a barrier separating the Arts and Sciences from the