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Tag Archive 'Conducting'

It is always inspiring to reconnect with one’s craft, as I have the opportunity to do by observing the teaching of my mentors Oleg Proskurnya and Leonid Korchmar at the conducting workshop at West Virginia State in Charleston, June 18-23. The principles of physics affect all forms of music making, but they are particularly visible […]

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Once in a blue moon, if one is lucky, an artist gets to be a part of a project much larger than oneself that turns out to be an uplifting, even transcendent, experience that reverberates beyond one’s normal sphere.  It is even more so when one can be involved in the creation of something for […]

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Mental Effortfulness

Zazen is for allowing a clear mind. – Shunyru Suzuki, quoted in Crooked Cucumber by David Chadwick It’s February, which means that everyone in academe (students and professors) is in the trenches, trying to make it to Spring Break.  It is easy to find oneself overwhelmed – and there are signs that a number of […]

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Piggyback

When you have a strict practice that doesn’t ignore the weak points of your practice, then eventually you will have good practice. – Shunyru Suzuki, quoted in Crooked Cucumber by David Chadwick A friend of mine, Keith Hill, notes (as have others) that on one level who we are is the sum of how we […]

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On Being a Smart Athlete

A recurring theme this fall, for me and others: sooner or later many of us experience some degree of injury from the physical aspect of our work or training. I find it useful to think of this in terms of Being a Smart Athlete. In my case this applies to both my music and exercise habits. Some general observations:

1. Musicians are Athletes. Our bodies are our instruments, and we need to monitor and manage them as carefully as would an elite athlete.

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How much practicing?

The most basic part of pursuing music at any level is learning what it means to Honor your Craft.  Many books address this topic – some of my favorites being Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (see my first post), Eric Maisel’s Coaching the Artist Within, Eric Booth’s The Everyday Work of Art, and Twyla Tharp’s […]

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Zen Mind, Musician’s Mind

The inspiration for this blog is my favorite book, Shunyru Suzuki’s Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.  Every time I pick up the baton or the trombone there is the feeling of starting over again from scratch.  Not completely, and not literally – but to some extent we are always beginning. There is, of course, a good […]

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