Imitating Physical Gesture: Try To Understand Cause And Effect

“There is no such thing as a right position, but there is such a thing as a right direction.” F.M. Alexander One of the traps that many thoughtful musicians can fall into is that of trying to recreate physically what it looks like to play efficiently. They see a musician perform who is playing with […]

A Hobby That Will Make You A Better Musician

Many years ago when I first met the great flutist and composer, James Newton, he impressed upon me the importance of a musician having a hobby. He felt that many musicians spend so much of their time and passion on music, that having a hobby was a great way to maintain balance and perspective as […]

Two Habits Of Thinking That Will Limit Your Growth As A Musician

If you ask an accomplished musician about what is necessary for continuous growth and improvement, you might well be met with a “to do” list: Always work on improving your sound. Find new ways to challenge your reading and technical skills. Keep expanding your repertoire with pieces that broaden your expressive capacities. Listen deeply to, […]

Is The Art Of Improvisation A Relative Thing?

Many musicians define themselves (or could otherwise be categorized) as being primarily interpretive musicians, or primarily improvising musicians. In other words, their main creative impulses lie either in interpreting the musical thoughts of others, or in composing their own music right on the spot. When you put it this way it seems like an either/or […]

Easy Precision

One sure fire way to get somebody to tense their bodies up is to tell them to hold a particular position. As soon as you say, “Good! Exactly like that. Now don’t move a muscle”, you can bet that they’ve stiffened themselves up and stopped (or at least significantly interfered with) their breathing, in an attempt to hold […]