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Showing posts from March, 2012

Time-Tripping Music Lessons: A Visionary Method of Teaching To Possibility

Piano lessons were mandatory in my house growing up. I loved piano and wanted to play, but did everything my immature and impatient mind could dream up to avoid practicing the scales, precise fingerings and exercises that are designed to develop the muscle memory and skills that make expressive piano-playing possible. My teacher observed my sloppy performance, the mechanical attacks upon those poor keys undeserving-of-such punishment, my mechanical and rigid phrasing, all the ways I overcompensated for a lack of solid technique. He reminded, cajoled, admonished, that there was no substitute for going through the boring, tedious skill development to become a musician. And I believed him. But putting that belief into action took something else.

     That “something else” was a visionary method my teacher rolled out. He could have called me undisciplined and impulsive. He could have called me out on my atittude, which wavered between resentful and open rebellion at times. But he sail…

Magic Is Hard Work, and it's all in the warm-up

 “My brain is the key that sets me free” Harry Houdini

     Harry Houdini, the famous 19th century magician, was a brilliant showman who engaged audiences in the drama of his onstage struggle. In one of his more famous stunts performed all over the world, he was shackled hand and feet, attached at the feet to a wooden board and lowered head first into a glass tank filled with water. A black curtain surrounded the tank after he was immersed, while an announcer described the enormous difficulty of escape. The audience was invited to hold their breath with Houdini, while the announcer solemnly counted the seconds, then minutes that he was locked in struggle. The audience would be gasping for air, the tension in the theater at a fever pitch and everyone in the place attuned to Houdini when he at last emerged, breathing hard, and near collapse. Watching a man face death and emerge victorious provided a collective catharsis to the audience that made Houdini a hero of his time. The fact that…

Stress and Smoking; Its All In Our Heads A Program for Smoking Cessation

Celebrate Einstein's Birthday - Pi for Everyone

Albert Einstein, the father of modern physics and one of the most creative thinkers of all time, was born on 3/14/1879. In an interesting synchronicity, his birthday coincides with a mathematical constant. We should all celebrate the life of this creative genius whose discoveries made mind-boggling technology possible and changed the way we think about the way things work in the universe. Start now, or do it later. Time is a relative thing. “People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”  Albert Einstein
Some ideas for how to celebrate Einstein's birth:

LOOK AT PROBLEMS FROM A RANGE OF ANGLES. Studies show that we can work on a gnawing relationship problem by looking at it from the perspective of the other person. Reverse roles with others who are involved and explore the story as if they were narrating it. This is one example of "psychological distancing" which is associated with…