There’s Nothing Wrong with Music Competitions

UPDATE: I just returned from another music competition. In Nottingham, England. Solo jazz piano.  Didn’t win.  Again.  I guess I’m not built for these things. THOUGHTS! I don’t have a problem with competitions.  They’re the same as winning a Juno, landing a jazz festival gig or getting a positive review. It’s a clash of culture […]

Joshua Bell is a Horrible Salesman

You may have heard the story of Joshua Bell, world famous violinist, busking in a subway station in Washington. Imagine an industrial printer in your home office. Or imagine a home printer trying to serve the needs of a corporate office.  Neither makes sense.  Both are ugly and inappropriate.  I would never presume that one […]

2 Reasons Why Mentorship is Important

On May 6th, I sat down with Josh Grossman, artistic director of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. It was part of a series of live interviews Josh is hosting called The Artistic Director’s Guide to Jazz.  We had a great discussion about four artists performing solo shows at the festival: One of Josh’s questions was […]

Opportunity, Luck, Creativity and Success

Consider this hypothetical experiment: You’re at a coffee house, and you intentionally drop a $10 bill on the floor in front of a cashier.  You sit at a table and observe how customers react (you also have plenty of replacement bills!). I imagine a multitude of ways people may react: Some people wouldn’t notice the […]

Playing, Talking, Role Models and More

Something occurred to me the other day. If you recorded and analyzed how I spend time during lessons, you would see that most time is spent talking and discussing.  Very little time is spent playing. When I compare this to how my university piano teachers conducted my lessons, the observations are the same: lots of […]

Lesson #7 – Hockey Supports Connection and Feedback

This post is part of a series I’m writing about lessons that Music-in-Canada can learn from Hockey-in-Canada. Lesson #1: Hockey Brings People Together Lesson #2: Hockey is Anytime, Anywhere! Lesson #3: Hockey is Spontaneous Lesson #4: Hockey is Simply Structured Lesson #5: Hockey Creates Feedback Loops Lesson #6: There are No Undergraduate Degrees in Hockey Lesson […]

Lesson #5: Hockey Creates Feedback Loops

This post is part of a series I’m writing about lessons that Music-in-Canada can learn from Hockey-in-Canada. Lesson #1: Hockey Brings People Together Lesson #2: Hockey is Anytime, Anywhere! Lesson #3: Hockey is Spontaneous Lesson #4: Hockey is Simply Structured Lesson #5: Hockey Creates Feedback Loops Lesson #6: There are No Undergraduate Degrees in Hockey Lesson […]

Lesson #2: Hockey is Anytime, Anywhere!

This post is part of a series I’m writing about lessons that Music-in-Canada can learn from Hockey-in-Canada. Lesson #1: Hockey Brings People Together Lesson #2: Hockey is Anytime, Anywhere! Lesson #3: Hockey is Spontaneous Lesson #4: Hockey is Simply Structured Lesson #5: Hockey Creates Feedback Loops Lesson #6: There are No Undergraduate Degrees in Hockey Lesson […]

Lessons Music-in-Canada Can Learn From Hockey-in-Canada

Canadians love to celebrate hockey. Most would agree that hockey culture is embedded deep within us.  We’re pretty good at it too!  The Canadian music community can learn lots from the hockey community; many parallels can be drawn – especially where it concerns education and the maintenance of a strong cultural presence. (Not that music […]

Music Auditions – 3 Tips for Increasing Your Chances

Audition season is upon us! Are you getting stressed? Having one or more auditions approaching means you’re opening yourself up to new opportunities and new possibilities. That should be exciting! But it also means you’re opening yourself up to rejection and ego bruising. That can be stressful. Stress can lead to horrible auditions; I’ve seen […]