What Will Actually Help Your Performance Anxiety

What Will Actually Help Your Performance Anxiety

I can give public speeches, perform in groups, and give many other kinds of public performances, but a solo piano performance has always been something I’ve struggled with. When I started out in music I was a little nervous about letting people know that I was afraid to perform.  I wanted to keep it to myself. It’s embarrassing. No one else has to deal with this. Or so I thought. Through the years I’ve learned that just about everyone has …

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How to Stop Sweaty Musician Hands

How to Stop Sweaty Musician Hands

I have an embarrassing confession to make. My hands sweat. They sweat a lot. They sweat more when I’m performing, but it can even make practice difficult. The more I think about it the more they sweat. I’m a pianist, and trying to stay on the keys and play accurately is next to impossible when I have hands that are literally dripping in sweat. It’s been years since I had to worry about this though because I’ve found some techniques …

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How to Stay Focused While Practicing

How to Stay Focused While Practicing

Anyone who has spent any time practicing an instrument is familiar with the feeling of not getting anything done. This doesn’t have to apply only to music practice. You can be working on a task, but never actually get anywhere. Real progress comes from daily focused attention and deliberate practice. If we are to get better at doing something, in this case music, we can’t just say “I touched my instrument today, so I did my part.” You won’t learn …

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What Instrument Should You Learn

What Instrument Should You Learn

You know you want to learn music, but what instrument should you start on? The piano seems like the default, but guitar and drums are so cool! Maybe you could start more than one? Is it ok to start with something other than the piano? Let’s look into this question a little deeper. Piano as Your First Instrument The piano is a very versatile instrument, it has its place in classical music, pop, jazz, and just about everything else. No …

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Major Piano Pieces That Every Pianist Should Be Familiar With

Major Piano Pieces That Every Pianist Should Be Familiar With

When I started to really get into practicing piano, I bought hundreds of CD’s full of piano music. I had this desire to hear what was out there. I would listen any chance I got. I was always reading as much as I could, and if there was ever a time that I heard of some music I wasn’t familiar with, I would get out there and buy a few more CDs. I didn’t know what the staples of the …

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Improving Piano Technique the Right Way

Improving Piano Technique the Right Way

Have you ever practiced a section for weeks and weeks, but it never seems to get any better? It’s time to perform, but you just know you’ll miss that difficult part. If this scenario sounds familiar to you, then I have something that will help. You’re practicing wrong. There should never be a section that seems impossible to learn.  If you tackle the passage correctly, with almost no exceptions, you can feel comfortable with it in about a week. Not …

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7 Steps to a Successful Music Routine

7 Steps to a Successful Music Routine

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? You are on your way to your weekly music lesson and you cringe from the guilt of knowing you barely…kind of…sort of…did not practice your music this week. Or if you have children: “Johnny, did you practice your music this week?” He replies, “kinda…” You know this means a solid “no.” This seems to happen all too often, right? Each weekly lesson we make another broken promise to our music teacher that we …

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Develop A Good Saxophone Tone

Develop A Good Saxophone Tone

Perhaps the most important consideration for any saxophonist is tone. Tone is the sound produced on your instrument, which can vary widely on every saxophone. What instrument other than electric guitar can have players like Paul Desmond, Cannonball Adderley, and Maceo Parker all play the same type of saxophone yet sound so wildly different. A quality tone separates the beginning or amateur musician from a professional, mature player. Since the saxophone is such a dynamic instrument, capable of a wide …

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