Ever wonder why you can practice for hours, sound great in the practice room, and still be frustratingly hit or miss on stage? Join performance psychologist and Juilliard alumnus/faculty Noa Kageyama, and explore research-based “practice hacks” for beating anxiety, practicing more effectively, and playing up to your full abilities when it matters most.
Struggling to Get a Tricky Passage up to Tempo? Why Slow, Accurate Practice May Actually Be the Problem.
17:32We've all been told that slow practice is important. And while it's certainly an important tool to have in your toolbox, there is research which suggests that slow practice can potentially cause problems too, if we are too focused on slow, accurate playing in the early stages of learning something new. What?! In today's episode, you'll learn why this is, and two strategies to help you learn a new piece at the goal tempo from day 1. Struggling to Get a Tricky Passage up to Tempo? Why Slow, Accurate Practice May Actually Be the Problem.
Evidence That Too Much Consistency in Practice Could Potentially Hinder the Learning Process (What?!)
10:21The traditional method of learning is to try to learn the correct "textbook" way of performing a skill, and to do lots and lots of repetitions of that exact movement. But there's some increasing research in the last 20 years which suggests that this may not always lead to the best learning or performance. And that doing a bunch of goofy "wrong" repetitions that one would never do in performance could actually lead to more consistently and high-level execution of that skill. What?! Evidence That Too Much Consistency in Practice Could Potentially Hinder the Learning Process (What?!)
Why Too-Short Practice Breaks Could Undermine Your Learning
7:04I know we've all been told (and experienced first-hand) that cramming doesn't work, and learn better when our practice or study sessions are spaced out over time. But why? What's actually happening in our brains, that makes spaced practice more effective? Why Too-Short Practice Breaks Could Undermine Your Learning
Vivian Hornik Weilerstein: On Listening, Leading, and Learning How to Be More in Sync With Your Music-Making Partners.
45:06Whether you're a pianist, a singer, or instrumentalist, I'm sure you've had the experience of feeling a sort of musical "chemistry" when collaborating with other musicians. In this month's conversation, pianist and educator Vivian Hornik Weilerstein shares insights on how pianists can be better listeners, leaders, and collaborators with their music-making partners. And though I originally approached this episode with pianists in mind, I think you'll find that everything Vivian talks about applies to non-pianists who wish to collaborate more effectively with their keyboard colleagues as well!
How Do Experts Get Even Better? 5 Lessons From the Practice of Expert vs. Intermediate Athletes.
10:47Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall of the practice room of a well-known performer and watch or listen to how they practice? A team of researchers did something close to this - they videotaped expert and intermediate-level athletes practicing for the same exact amount of time, measured their improvement (the experts improved more), and then traced this back to specific differences in what they each group did with their practice time. There were four key differences - differences that I think musicians (or athletes) at any level could benefit from!
What to Do When Everyone Thinks You're Great - But You Feel Like a Failure
7:39I think we all go through moments in life where we feel like failures. But has this ever gotten to a point where even though on paper, you are not at all a failure, you still feel like one? And even when everyone else seems to think you're pretty terrific? It's not a silver bullet, but the "directed abstraction" technique could help all of us become a little more confident and cultivate a stronger belief in ourselves. What to Do When Everyone Thinks You're Great - But You Feel Like a Failure
If We Want to Maximize Learning, is It Better to Focus on Our Failures? Or Our Successes?
7:34Mistakes may be inevitable, and there sure are lots of inspirational quotes out there on how important it is to learn from failure... But is that really the best way to learn? Is there any value in learning from successes? Is one better than the other? If We Want to Maximize Learning, is It Better to Focus on Our Failures? Or Our Successes?
Evidence That Listening to a Recording Could Accelerate the Learning Process for New Repertoire
6:56Sometimes we don't have the luxury of time, and just have to get new repertoire into our fingers quickly, and up to a playable level asap. When that's the case, can listening to a recording really help to accelerate that process? And by how much? A 2014 study provides some clues on how much of a difference this might make in accelerating the learning process. Evidence That Listening to a Recording Could Accelerate the Learning Process for New Repertoire
Merry Peckham: On Rehearsing, Performing, and Growing as a Musician (And Person!) in Chamber Music
42:32Navigating ensemble rehearsals can in many ways be trickier than figuring out how to practice effectively on your own. But it can be so much fun and incredibly rewarding too! Given that many musicians are returning to ensemble rehearsals after many months away, I thought I'd ask cellist and Cavani Quartet founding member Merry Peckham to share some of her insights on effective rehearsal techniques, score study, and how to not turn on each other in your next rehearsal! Merry Peckham: On Rehearsing, Performing, and Growing as a Musician (And Person!) in Chamber Music
A 5-Step Strategy for Enhanced Motor Skill Learning (Especially if You're an Older Learner!)
9:42Ever notice how learning new things seems to get harder (and slower) as you age? It's not your imagination - but there do seem to be some strategies that could help us offset this a bit. One is a learning "metastrategy" simply called the "Five-Step Strategy" and has been shown to enhance learning in both young adults and older learners (~65 years) as well! A 5-Step Strategy for Enhanced Motor Skill Learning (Especially if You're an Older Learner!)