September 3, 2019

The mind has a funny way of pulling our attention away from what’s most important. If our piano playing is going great, it might say “practicing is so much fun” or “I’m so glad I can play this well.” When that happens, it’s normal to want to continue doing what we’re doing. On the other

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August 28, 2019

It is not your responsibility to play better. If you knew how to do that, you would be doing it already. Are you not already doing the best you can do? Why do you expect more? So, what’s the alternative to this mindset? The way you play is a direct result of how you practice.

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August 26, 2019

“Is my piano playing good or bad?” If you’re asking this question, you should already know the answer to it. You are the one playing, not me. Do you like the results you’re getting? If so, what more do you want? If not, great. Now you have an opportunity to improve something. Stop asking other

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May 27, 2019

A pianist posted a video in an online forum, along with the question “Am I doing this right?” I spent a few minutes trying to decipher the motivations behind this post. I began suspecting that this pianist did not look at the world the same way I did. But, I can’t blame them. After all,

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April 30, 2019

It’s not some random force that happens to you. The reason you get tense is because you are trying really hard to get it right. It’s not because of your posture, or because of your technique is wrong, or because you’re stressed out. It would be great if there were such a simple fix. It’s because you’re trying

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April 21, 2019

You have to enjoy your mistakes. This is non-negotiable. If you are spending all your time trying to prevent mistakes, this whole thing is going to become a drag, and sooner or later, you will just quit. Or worse…you won’t. “But, how can I enjoy my mistakes!? I hate making mistakes!” You will enjoy your

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April 20, 2019

You can’t have it both ways. Either you are concerned about the big picture, or you are concerned about the little tiny details. Or, you could be focused somewhere in between. The point is, you can only focus on one thing at a time. Either you’re trying to play that note correctly, or you’re trying

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April 13, 2019

If a piece has 1000 notes, and 5 of them are out-of-place, it can ruin the whole thing. You want a piece of music to be perfect. No blemishes. Nothing stands out or seems out-of-place. Everything is perfectly legato, or staccato, or whatever. A perfectly uniform touch. Most teachers will tell you to work extra

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June 5, 2018

When I play the piano, I strive to make it feel good. It is no fun for me to feel like I am struggling with my body while trying to play, and the music that results from that struggle is not something I would enjoy listening to. I want to be clear that I am

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March 6, 2018

In sharp contrast to the usual method of practicing, which is locating and correcting mistakes, my approach could instead be described as looking for blind spots. As always, I stress awareness over correctness. True change and improvement can only come from this place. What is a blind spot? As I have written about, there are

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