This is the second part of my series about the nervous system. To read the first part, go back here: "The nervous system and its significance for practice, learning from memory, and stage fright"

Neurologist Hughlings Jackson made a discovery in the 19th century, which still serves as the basis f...

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With examples for clarinet, piano and viola

How do I practice for joy in music? How can I ensure that I can play the piece by heart? How do I manage not to tense up when I practice? What should I practice first, the notes or the sound or the music, or something else entirely?

These are some frequently asked questions in my seminars and individual sessions.

In this article I describe my approach, how I practice musical pieces that they get into my system "by themselves" and I stay relaxed and fresh. It consists of four simple steps, simple yet powerful, that can make a big difference in your practice. I apply them also with my piano students, and the best of it: they are really, really fun.

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Ever heard of the thread that is supposed to be pulling your head up towards the ceiling?

How dangerous is this image, although at the beginning it may be helpful for some people. However, as a mental instruction derived from an external image, it quickly reaches its limits.

What may happen, whe...

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In the field of body awareness methods there's one approach that happens to find a special appeal among certain musicians. This approach says that a musician who has tensions should just stop doing superfluous, "wrong" movements. These would then be saved and the "right" movements would appear by th...

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Today I want to share with you what is, in my opinion, the Number One reason why we suffer from performance nerves.

Many musicians think, it's because they're technically not skilled enough, or not concentrated enough, or that the pressure is unbearable. But I think it's about something else.

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The language of piano is harmony and it's expected of piano players to move between keys as if they moved between rooms in their home.

All piano players can learn to think in harmony and conquer the keyboard. From the very beginning.

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10 year old Szofi ist new at school, and her greatest wish is to sing in the school choir. She always loved to sing, and in the choir there is that nice girl from her new class, and that's great, because otherwise not many people have been noticing her yet.

And then there is the choir teacher... she is so sweet and patient, in every rehearsal, so very enthusiastic, that the choir has already been awarded several prizes. What a great honour for a "small" school choir! What an honour and joy to be a part of it and sing there. Of course she is on board!

But after the first rehearsal Szofi has to realize that the actions of the conductor aren't so inspiring after all... should she say something or remain silent?

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"Piano playing is actually not so difficult. You just have to touch the right key at the right time."
- Johann Sebastian Bach

If at all, these words bear witness to the sense of humour of Johann Sebastian Bach. What he says, sounds sensible, albeit there is a catch.

It's not to be taken seriously.

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