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Perfectionism Is a Trap

POSTED ON January 07, 2017   |   2 Comments

The trap of perfectionism keeps us from making the impact we seek.

Endless polishing and tinkering is one way we hide from emotional risk. We may tell ourselves that if our work is perfect, it will be immune from criticism. I know a jazz musician who has been working on his first album for over ten years because he wants it to be perfect. Insulating ourselves from risk feels safe in the moment, but it keeps our original contributions bottled up inside.


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Best of the Blog: 2016

POSTED ON December 31, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Before we let the door hit 2016 on its way out, I wanted to share the most popular Creative Music Blog articles from this year:

Forget 10,000 Hours of Delayed Gratification—Practice Flow

5 Types of Call and Response Phrases

Jerry Bergonzi’s Secret

More Information Isn’t the Answer

Average Is Boring

Transcribe the Music in Your Head

Quantity Leads to Quality

Find Your Calling

Who Cares if You Practice?

Ideal Music Under Perfect Conditions

Download the 10 Improvisation Games for Ensembles handout.

Hope you have a peaceful and productive new year!

Cheers,
– ST



Essential for Practice, Kryptonite for Performance

POSTED ON December 17, 2016   |   One Comment

Self-evaluation is indispensable for making progress, but constant self-criticism can sabotage our performance on stage. I’ve struggled with this for years, and performance psychologist Dr. Noa Kageyama helps us identify and take steps toward solving this nagging problem.


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Unused Creativity Doesn’t Disappear

POSTED ON December 09, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Gearing up to release my new eBook, Creativity Triggers for Musicians. Below is part of the introduction. Reserve your free copy.

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Does Too Much Shedding Dampen Creativity?

POSTED ON December 03, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Q&A article this week. If you have any questions, write me at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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More Information Isn’t the Answer

POSTED ON November 26, 2016   |   2 Comments

I know many musicians struggle with a common problem—they have a vision of where they want to go, motivation to practice today, but don’t know how to bridge the chasm.

books
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Infinite Hope

POSTED ON November 12, 2016   |   Post A Comment

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
Martin Luther King Jr.

 

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen, 1934 – 2016

Jerry Bergonzi’s Secret

POSTED ON November 04, 2016   |   Post A Comment

To follow up on my article, Forget 10,000 Hours of Delayed Gratification—Practice Flow, I want to share insight into the high-flow practices of two my favorite musicians.

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Interview for UW School of Music

POSTED ON October 29, 2016   |   Post A Comment

Brenda Banks, my graduate school advisor at the University of Washington, interviewed me as part of a series featuring alumni with “alternative” careers. We discuss the origin of my blog, my experience in the UW jazz program, marketing, and my future plans. I also list my favorite resources for freelance musicians and teachers.

Read the interview here

– ST

Jazz Robot Meets Fan

POSTED ON October 14, 2016   |   Post A Comment

This election is officially off the rails, so let me distract you with a couple videos.

You may remember the “jazz robot” videos from a few years ago. I just stumbled across the video I made in 2010. The material is mostly from real questions and comments from audience members“That guy with the big cello was really getting into it.”

Yesterday, film composer Danny Elfman released a horror soundtrack to clips from the last debate, called Trump Stalks Hillary. Pretty terrifying.

Hang in thereonly 24 more days.

– ST

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