Category Archives: Emotional Technique


Transformation Through Music

What is it that causes a mistake to be repeated? Discovering the answer to this can bring about great transformations in a person’s life. I know, because my life was transformed when I discovered the answer. I watched one of my students struggling today. After watching her repeat her mistake more than three times, I…

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You Always Have Permission to Be Creative

By the power invested in me as a Creative Piano Teacher, I hereby formally invest you with eternal, non-revokable permission to be creative, whenever you want, however you want, on any instrument, for as long as you want, each time you work on or play music. I am not in charge of whether or not…

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Finding the Point of Failure

Anna was making the same mistake again. I listened to her repeat it flawlessly, as if the mistake were written on the score. I witnessed her reach a point of failure, and then completely avoid facing it. Was she even aware of it? Was it silently threatening her self image to admit that she was…

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managing practice time

The Practice Detective – Part 3 – Managing Practice Time

Piano practice had become an intimidating ceremony for Lucy, and as her teacher, I had failed to see this at first. The suggestions I gave her in The Practice Detective –  Part 2 weren’t working, and I was about to find out why: after getting her mother to relax and give her space, Lucy was…

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fun on piano

The Practice Detective – Part 2 – Having Fun on Piano

Whenever Lucy was told to practice, she instantly rebelled against this command. After all, if she was going to practice anyway, no one would have needed to tell her in the first place. Constant demands from her mother, Kim, just got on her nerves and turned everything into a power struggle. Reminders are very useful…

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The First Law of Music – Part 4

Beautiful music is an endless well of inspiration, but the well can be easily poisoned, and talent is not always enough to clear the waters. The fight or flight response, or the stress response, is a normal reaction to scary or stressful situations, like being thrown into a dark, cold lake and not being able…

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The First Law of Music – Part 3

Valerie was lucky. Unlike Jimmy in Part 2 of this series, Valerie had never been faced with this kind of crisis in music. For her, coming to lessons was a release from the stress of the world. It was her idea to play and no one else’s. She didn’t have to be told to “practice.”…

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The First Law Of Music – Part 2

Love may be the “first law of music,”  described in Part 1 of this series, but this is not always clear to the students or their parents. Sometimes it”s painfully obvious to everyone but the people who need it the most. The phone rang one day a couple of hours before my lesson with Jimmy…

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The First Law of Music – Part 1

“Aloysius.- I am happy to recognize your natural aptitude. There is only one matter that still troubles me. If this is removed I shall take you into the circle of my pupils… Perhaps the hope of future riches and possessions induces you to chose this life? If this is the case, believe me you must…

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