Michael's Blog

Please take a look at this guide to some of my important posts.


The one thing every beginning student should expect

When you first start learning a musical instrument, you are full of excitement and optimism. Your life will be so wonderful when you can finally play, you just know it.

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Is my child progressing fast enough on piano?

This is a question I hear quite often from parents.

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Instant gratification

A beginning adult student said to me:

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10 subtle signs you are NOT trusting yourself while practicing

Should you trust yourself while you practice? There might be some benefits. But, you will not even know how unless you pay attention to signs that it is not happening. To get you started, here's a list of ten such indications: Playing a wrong note twice, trying to fix it the second time. Trying to make sure you play the right dynamics, fingering, phrasing, etc. (you think you know what's so important, don't you?). Realizing you...

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Can you embrace your faults?

As a musician, how often do you take a stance of acceptance towards yourself? I see in my students and colleagues (and certainly myself) constant battles, efforts at correcting or running away from our faults. What if those faults don't need to be chased away? Could we even embrace them?

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What if there were no way to do it wrong?

All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. — J.S. Bach We all know that you're supposed to play classical music right. There are just so many things to get wrong, aren't there? Wrong notes, wrong rhythms, wrong dynamics, wrong phrasing, wrong articulation, wrong attitude. What if there were no way to do it wrong? Are there benefits to getting rid of the concept of...

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Three unconvincing reasons not to use a metronome

I am tempted to say that if you don't use a metronome regularly in your practicing You're Doing it Wrong, but I'm sure that would be unfair.

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Stress is easy

Here's a challenge for you: can you just let go of your difficulties?

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Control, avoidance, acceptance

As a musician, how often do you take a stance of acceptance towards yourself? I see in my students and colleagues constant battles, efforts at correcting or running away from our flaws. What if those flaws don't need to be chased away? Is it possible to even embrace them?

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Interpreting poems

As someone who plays a lot of art songs, I am constantly faced with issues of poetic interpretation. Is there a right or wrong interpretation of a poem? What would it mean for an interpretation to be right or wrong?

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