The Importance Of Not Knowing

“In the mind of the expert, the possibilities are few. In the mind of the beginner, the possibilities are infinite.” -Ryo Suzuki It is natural for us to want to know. It’s what fuels our growth, our curiosity and our inspiration. Without knowing certain things, life itself would become quite difficult, if not impossible. But […]

Listening Beyond Your Instrument To Open Up Your Musical Imagination

“Some of my favorite saxophonists don’t play saxophone.” I remember saying that once, some years back, when I was being interviewed on a radio show. The host asked me a simple question, “Who are some of your favorite saxophonists?” This is a logical question to ask a saxophonist (me). But truth be told, at that […]

The Sum Total Value Of Non-Doing

Some years back, after I’d been studying the Alexander Technique for a couple of years, a friend of mine, George McMullen (a highly accomplished trombonist), came to hear me play saxophone at a concert in West Los Angeles. He hadn’t heard me play in quite a while (since before I started studying the Alexander Technique). After the […]

Artistic Growth: Looking Inward, Looking Outward

For serious musicians, artistic growth comes in many forms, from many sources and from a variety of motivations. As I observe and ponder some of my favorite musicians, I notice that they tend to aim their growth primarily in one direction or the other. They either expand upon what they do by looking ever outward, […]

A Simple, Highly Effective Tool For Avoiding Fatigue And Injury

Well timed and well directed rest is one of the most important elements for a serious musician to maintain and develop a healthy practice regimen. Unfortunately, many musicians neglect this crucial element, sometimes looking at rest as a necessary evil, something that steals precious time away from “real” practice. But truth be told, it is […]