Mindfulness and Musical Perfectionism – the hidden costs of chasing after an unexamined illusion

What is perfection? If someone asked you to describe your own idea of perfection, what would you say? For many musicians, ideas about perfection lie on some continuum between internally imposed and externally influenced idealizations about musical competency. Furthermore, these idealizations are by definition abstractions rather than the thing itself. The perfect note, phrase, or … Continue reading Mindfulness and Musical Perfectionism – the hidden costs of chasing after an unexamined illusion

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Three breaths – re-engaging during practice and rehearsals

A few weeks ago, my colleague Sharon Paul shared an experience with me that I think demonstrates how powerful even a simple mindfulness-based technique can be in changing the dynamics of a practice session or rehearsal. Sharon is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Oregon, and is in my opinion, one of … Continue reading Three breaths – re-engaging during practice and rehearsals