Filling a piggy bank takes time, patience, perseverance. In the end, however, we know how much we've saved. It's easy to find motivation and patience for saving.

A new way to practicing your instrument is less clear. We can't put numbers to our process. Step by step, day by day, we build it up. Ho...

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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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Elasticity allows us to regulate our breathing flexibly, to move smoothly, to bring out a plasticity in our sound, and ultimately to feel refreshed after practicing. (Yes, that's possible!)

Elasticity is attained solely through our fasciae, also called connective tissue.

This new, young and grou...

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The most emotive moment in the film "Ratatouille" (Pixar, 2007) is the final scene, in which the antagonist, a restaurant critic, who on top of all things is called "Ego", visits our hero's restaurant to write a review. Of his opinion depends the future of the venue, for through his experience and r...

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What happens when your performance nerves get the better of you, when you can't play how you know yourself? In a music university audition, this can decide whether you're offered a place to study, or not.

My colleague Cecilia, flute teacher, approached me to ask if I would work with her student An...

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Plus a bonus lesson from Britney Spears. An encounter at Utrecht Early Music Festival.

I'm attending the last morning session of the masterclass at Utrecht Early Music Festival. For the last three days, harpsichordist Pierre Hantai has enveloped students and visitors alike in his own particular sound world. As we enter the last half hour of the class, the whole room listens in sweet rapture.

Suddenly, the door opens up, and in sweeps a tall blond man in a cream suit, with waving long hair, a white plastic bag in his hand. The room takes notice of the interruption. He looks self-consciously around the space, then spots a seat at the back of the room and sits down.

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But.

We're human, and life happens.

Suddenly, your dog ate your music, or the contact lens sits askew, or you couldn't sleep more than three hours the night before the concert because you had a bad cough (and we know how difficult it is to fall asleep when you're coughing like a dog with a hairball).

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