#203. Balance

#203. Balance

In my previous blog, I wrote about my concern that when ensemble students are told to correct their blend, they almost always just get softer so as to guard against the possibility that it is their sound that is causing the problem. Instead of first checking to make...
#202. Blend

#202. Blend

Of all the ensemble performance skills we need to teach, blend has to number among the most important. Look at any adjudication form, and there it will be. We can all agree on how important it is in shaping the sound quality of our ensembles. Each of us come up with...
#201. The Genius Casals

#201. The Genius Casals

The next time you are looking for a good – no, great – book to read, I would wholeheartedly recommend “Casals and the Art of Interpretation” by David Blum. This wonderful book offers a glimpse inside the mind and talents of the remarkable cellist Pablo...
#200. Pure Gold

#200. Pure Gold

I spend way too much time traveling on airplanes. Much of it is exhausting. Lots of it is frustrating. Often it is debilitating. But last week I had a wonderfully illuminating experience. As I boarded the plane, I happened to notice that there were two flight...
#199. Who Is Responsible For What?

#199. Who Is Responsible For What?

While watching television, I heard a line that made me stop and think. “I’m responsible for what I say, not what you hear.” On the surface, those words are quite powerful, seem somewhat logical, and could be used to shut down a conversation pretty...
#198. What Does It Mean

#198. What Does It Mean

A few months ago, a teacher sent me a copy of a note she had received from one of her students. The teacher shared with me that the student was often on the verge of quitting school, was in trouble much of the time, had an unimaginably sad home situation, had few...