Created with Sketch.
The Bulletproof Musician
8 minutes | Jun 26, 2022
Why Your Playing (or Singing) Tends to Become Less Musically Expressive on Stage
Ever wonder why your playing or singing (or that of your students) tends to be less expressive under pressure? A 2015 study provides some clues on what exactly happens to the expressiveness of our playing when we're on stage, and even some details on what exactly happens with a particular aspect of expressiveness - phrasing that makes it sound less musical. Why Your Playing (or Singing) Tends to Become Less Musically Expressive on Stage
9 minutes | Jun 19, 2022
Do the Best Performers Also Provide the Best Advice?
Whether in music, sports, fitness, or in business, there’s often a tendency for us to assume that the best performers in any domain have the most valuable advice to offer. Of course, there’s a common counter-narrative which suggests that sometimes the best athletes, the top performers at work, and the most shredded folks at the gym, don’t necessarily make the best teachers. So…which is it? Is a person’s performance a pretty good predictor of the quality of their advice? Or are performance and advice-giving two very different things? Do the Best Performers Also Provide the Best Advice?
8 minutes | Jun 12, 2022
Why Thinking Out Loud Could Help You Become a More Efficient Practicer
Ever find yourself getting sucked into mindless repetitions, despite your best intentions to practice more thoughtfully and efficiently? Research suggests that thinking out loud could enhance problem-solving, essentially making you a more efficient and effective practicer. Why Thinking Out Loud Could Help You Become a More Efficient Practicer
49 minutes | Jun 5, 2022
Peter Keller: On Becoming More Skilled Ensemble Musicians with Insights from Cognitive Science
Ever wonder what it is that makes for great ensemble "chemistry"? Like, what are the underlying skills that make some musicians especially easy and fun to play with? Peter Keller is a trombonist/composer-turned-music psychologist, who studies the neural and behavioral bases underlying effective ensemble playing. In this episode, he shares some insights from cognitive science that could enable us to be more effective musical collaborators, whether playing in a duo, quartet, or orchestra.
9 minutes | May 29, 2022
An “Awkward” Way to Increase Motivation and Make More Progress Towards Your Goals
Ever find yourself wishing you could get better at something, but getting stuck somewhere along the way? And facing a lot of internal resistance to doing the uncomfortable, awkward things that you know would help you get there? A recent study provides some insights on why this is, and what we can do about it. An “Awkward” Way to Increase Motivation and Make More Progress Towards Your Goals.
10 minutes | May 22, 2022
How to Clear Your Mind of Worries Before a Big Performance (revisited)
Ever notice how mean and distracting (and unhelpful) your inner critic can be on stage? Previous research has found that writing out our worries right before a test (as counterintuitive as that sounds) can help to improve test performance. But would something like this work with musical performance as well? How to Clear Your Mind of Worries Before a Big Performance (revisited)
7 minutes | May 15, 2022
Evidence That Performing From Memory May Be More Challenging for Pianists Than Others (What?!)
Anecdotally at least, fear of memory slips seems to come up more often for pianists than for some other instruments. Is this because of how many notes they have? Or is there something else about the instrument itself that contributes to an increased risk of memory slips in performance (unless one adjusts their practice habits to account for this)? Evidence That Performing From Memory May Be More Challenging for Pianists Than Others (What?!)
7 minutes | May 8, 2022
Do You Struggle With Unreliable Memory on Stage? Perhaps Your Memorization Strategy is Missing This Key ingredient...
Memory slips can be a scary thing and a major cause of anxiety on stage. But it's not a skill that we tend to think of much in our daily practice... We know from previous research that mental practice plus physical practice leads to better learning than physical practice alone. Could the same thing be true for memory too? Like, could substituting a bit of mental practice for physical practice lead to more reliable memory than physical practice alone? Do You Struggle With Unreliable Memory on Stage? Perhaps Your Memorization Strategy is Missing This Key ingredient...
51 minutes | May 1, 2022
Keith Underwood (Part 2): On Breathing and the Problem With Thinking of Air as the Solution to Everything.
As instinctive and natural a process as breathing is in our moment-to-moment existence, breathing efficiently and effectively so as to produce a beautiful sound that projects, clear articulation, smooth, connected phrases, etc. can be a real challenge (or so I hear)! In Part 2 of my chat with flutist Keith Underwood, we get into the topic of breathing, and Keith explains and demonstrates a whole range of concepts that will help you play more effortlessly, and better understand how to "play on the breath, not with the breath." Keith Underwood (Part 2): On Breathing and the Problem With Thinking of Air as the Solution to Everything.
49 minutes | Apr 24, 2022
Keith Underwood (Part 1): On the Art of Imitation, and How to Glean Transformative Insights From Great Musicians to Level Up Your Playing.
Flutist and educator Keith Underwood shares insights on what (and how) we can learn from our favorite musicians so as to level up our playing in some pretty transformative ways. And how doing so can potentially make practicing and recording way more fun as well! Keith Underwood (Part 1): On the Art of Imitation, and How to Glean Insights From Great Musicians to Level Up Your Playing.
7 minutes | Apr 17, 2022
How Mental Imagery Can Help You Become a Better (Or More "Psychic") Chamber Music Partner
You know how some musicians seem to be almost "psychic" in their ability to play together and be totally in sync with one another? Ever wonder how they do this? Is it just experience, or something else? A couple imagery studies provide some intriguing clues on what they might be doing, that facilitates next-level ensemble coordination. How Mental Imagery Can Help You Become a Better (Or More "Psychic") Chamber Music Partner
10 minutes | Apr 10, 2022
How Does One Learn to Play More Musically?
How much emotion should we be feeling internally for a musically effective performance? Is there such a thing as feeling too much emotion when performing? And is playing more musically something we can learn, or is it something innate? How Does One Learn to Play More Musically?
7 minutes | Apr 3, 2022
Do We Really Sound as Terrible on Stage as We Sometimes Think We Do?
Ever notice how after performances, your family, friends, and teachers seem to think that the performance went better than you thought it went? Is this just because they're being nice, or is this a real thing? As in, is there something about being on stage that makes us perceive our own playing differently than how others perceive our playing? Do We Really Sound as Terrible on Stage as We Sometimes Think We Do?
8 minutes | Mar 27, 2022
"Quiet Eye": A Technique to Enhance Performance When You're Nervous
Ever notice how nerves can make us feel pressure to rush into the opening of a performance, and start before we feel truly settled and ready? Turns out that one of the keys to starting off more effectively may have to do with our eyes, and what we look at or focus on in the moments right before beginning. How so? A 2014 study gives us some intriguing clues... "Quiet Eye": A Technique to Enhance Performance When You're Nervous
7 minutes | Mar 20, 2022
Prone to Procrastinating? Why the Way You Set Deadlines Could Make Things Worse, Not Better.
When it comes to getting things done, do you find it helpful to set deadlines? And if so, do shorter deadlines work better, or longer ones? Research suggests that in some cases, no deadline could be best (what?!). And at other times, the wrong kind of deadline can make us more, not less, likely to procrastinate. Prone to Procrastinating? Why the Way You Set Deadlines Could Make Things Worse, Not Better.
9 minutes | Mar 12, 2022
Having a Bad Practice Day? Turn It Into a Good One With This 3-Step Self-Coaching Technique.
We've probably all had teachers who told us that their goal is to help us learn how to teach ourselves. But how do we do that exactly? A 2006 study lays out a 3-step self-coaching process that we can use to become better teachers to ourselves. Or even share with our students as kind of a how-to-become-a-better-practicer cheat sheet. Having a Bad Practice Day? Turn It Into a Good One With This 3-Step Self-Coaching Technique.
62 minutes | Mar 6, 2022
Adina Mornell: On Learning How to Practice in Such a Way That Performing Can Be Something We Enjoy, Rather Than Fear
Pianist, educator, and music psychology researcher Adina Mornell shares insights on the four component of stage fright (and what to do about each), and describes some of the key takeaways from recent studies she has done on how to not only practice more effectively, but prepare in such a way that we can enjoy ourselves more on stage too. Adina Mornell: On Learning How to Practice in Such a Way That Performing Can Be Something We Enjoy, Rather Than Fear
8 minutes | Feb 27, 2022
How to Get Your Brain to Do More Learning BETWEEN Practice Sessions
When we think of optimizing learning, we tend to think of practice strategies and how to make our time in the practice room more effective. But much like working out and building muscle, a good bit of motor learning actually occurs outside of the practice room, BETWEEN practice sessions. So what can we do to maximize the motor learning that occurs between practice sessions? How to Get Your Brain to Do More Learning BETWEEN Practice Sessions
6 minutes | Feb 20, 2022
How to Get Yourself to Practice When You Don't Feel Like It
Ever have one of those days where you just can't get yourself to practice? Or maybe that's a little bit how every day feels? Turns out there's an intriguing motivation "hack" of sorts that could make it easier to start practicing, and naturally increase your motivation to do so. It even has a cool name - the "Zeigarnik effect." How to Get Yourself to Practice When You Don't Feel Like It
8 minutes | Feb 13, 2022
Why You Get Sucked Down the YouTube Rabbit Hole When Practicing (And How to Prevent This Without Having to Break Up With YouTube)
Ever find yourself in the middle of a practice session, take a moment to check your texts, and then realize an hour has gone by as you got sucked down some random internet rabbit hole or another? Why does this happen? And what can you do to prevent this without resorting to the nuclear option of airplane mode or an app that blocks you from the internet for a set period of time? Why You Get Sucked Down the YouTube Rabbit Hole When Practicing (And How to Prevent This Without Having to Break Up With YouTube)
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022