Stuff I wish I had known when I was a kid

Deliberate practice — I instinctively knew this about mathematics, the sciences, and languages without ever being told. Why I never generalized it to music I don’t know, although it may have been due to the physical nature of it.

Mental practice — also known as “visualization” in the sports world. Glorious. One plays an instrument with one’s mind, not one’s hands. It sound so easy, like cheating, and then you try it and realize that it’s a lot harder than you thought to get it right even away from your instrument.

How to deal with stage fear — It’s a solved problem, people. There are really smart people out there with degrees who know how to help you deal with this. I mean it. But for some reason, the classical music world doesn’t seem to want to admit it. I think that world really likes to winnow its ranks down more than it wants to swell them. They’re suffering for it now.

Zip it — JFDI, in a way, but a far more profound way.

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