What music is for

Music is....

It’s not easy being a school music teacher. I don’t know this from personal experience, because all my teaching experience has been in universities and my own private studio. But as hard as I work, I’ve never experienced the daily stress of having to defend my own job against a board of education that believes a subject is only worth studying if it’s directly applicable to the needs of the job market.

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The Illusory Promises of Training Wheels

training wheels.jpg

This morning, as my dog and I were jogging behind my daughter while she rampaged up and down a bike trail near our house on her Doc McStuffins bicycle, I started wondering if I’d been right to teach her to ride using training wheels.

Training wheels do exactly one thing: balance the bicycle so the child doesn’t fall off.

Which is the one thing they need to do themselves once the training wheels come off.

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Disarmed: Dropping the Protective Armour of Stage Fright

concert hall

Is there a musician alive who hasn’t experienced the sabotaging interior conflict of stage fright?

There might be a lucky few. I’m not one of them.

In my career as a cellist and a professor of cello, I’ve noticed something happening again and again. A performance–my own or someone else’s–is going reasonably well, and then an unexpected mistake changes everything. It might be a wrong note, a badly missed shift, a momentary memory lapse.

In the split second after the mistake, things can go two ways.

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