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Sharpen Your Focus - 3 Quick Tips

Oct 30, 2016


The word always reminds of that amazing moment in the eye doctor’s office when he adjusts the machine in front of my eyes and everything comes into focus. I’m extremely near-sighted, so the change from my unaided eyes to the corrective lenses is startling and almost profound. The world is transformed from an impressionistic blur into well-defined reality.

I’ve had...

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2 Steps to Make Every Practice Session More Productive

Oct 02, 2016

You put your instrument down and stretch your arms. Shake out your hands. Rub your neck. That feels good. You got a lot done. Another productive practice session.

How often do your practice sessions feel like that? If your answer is “not often enough,” then let me help you with these two basic steps that could make all the difference.

Too often we think of our practice as a block of...

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Want a Great Lesson? 3 Must-Know Tips!

Sep 11, 2016

Did you have a great lesson this week?

I recently wrote an article for Harp Column magazine titled “Gold Star Student.” In it, I describe numerous ways that students can get the most from their harp lessons.

Today I’d like to look at lessons from a different angle with three tips that will help make each lesson a great one, and they apply whether you are the student or the...

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In a Practice Rut? 7 Ways to Make Your Practice More Creative

Aug 28, 2016

Are you in a practice rut, feeling a little bored, unproductive or unchallenged?

We all get into a rut occasionally. Usually it’s not from lack of discipline. Actually, often the diligent workers are the first ones to feel stuck in the practice mill.

Sometimes our practice can feel directionless or purposeless, like we are practicing in circles. Sometimes we simply don’t know what...

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Create Your Perfect Practice Routine

Aug 07, 2016


They say that perfect practice makes perfect. But are we all looking for “perfect?”

For most of us, we are simply aiming for “better.”  It would just be nice to know that we are working on the right things in the right way.

We are a culture obsessed with productivity - getting more done, developing systems, employing strategies, hacking our schedules. But...

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Why Hands Together Doesn’t Work

Jul 24, 2016

Playing hands together instead of hands separately is always a challenge. But why should it be so much more difficult? And what are the best strategies to use to make it work?

Picture the best multi-tasker you know.

This is the person who never says “no” to a project or a request, appearing to keep all the balls miraculously in the air, juggling phone calls, emails, family...

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Taking a Vacation from Practice

Jul 17, 2016

When you took your last vacation did you take your instrument with you?

I heard an alarming statistic the other day. According to recent research, about 41% of U.S. workers don’t use all their vacation time, and some 56% of Americans haven’t taken a vacation in the last 12 months. In other words, many of us are just too busy to take the vacation we have earned. And that...

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What Will You Accomplish This Summer?

Jun 26, 2016

What do you want to accomplish this summer? Will you just get a nice tan or will you be more ambitious?

For me, since my teen years, summer was always about projects - reading the complete works of a single author, learning to knit (that one didn't work out so well), practicing my Christmas repertoire, or maybe cleaning out the attic.

Naturally, I still went on vacation and hung out with my...

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Is it a Mistake or a Symptom?

May 30, 2016

Mistakes are easy to spot. We hear a wrong note, an incorrect accidental or rhythm. We can feel it - it just wasn't right.

But is your mistake simply that - an error - or it is a symptom of a larger problem? And how would you know the difference?

Sometimes a mistake is just a random slip, in the way that sometimes a sneeze is just a random sneeze. But we know that if we start sneezing more...

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Everyday Practice Mistakes: Change Them Today!

May 08, 2016

Is there anything you should change about your practice?

Our daily practice is our path to progress. It's how we develop mastery of our instrument and increase our understanding of music in general.

Shinichi Suzuki's famous quote,"Practice only on the days you eat," illustrates so vividly the importance of making practice a daily routine.

But anything we do every day can become so routine that...

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