How to enter a state of flow

What exactly is a state of flow or peak performance zone and how do you get into it? In this video I explain what flow means to me as a teacher and student of fluent musicianship and give some key pointers on how to achieve this elusive state.

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How to play fast on the piano

As a fluent musician, to learn to play fast notes on the piano, you first need mental dexterity and then you need to be able to let go and play with physical and rhythmic freedom. It is the passive, muscle-memory approach that becomes obsessed with the physical...

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Teaching musical fluency – dogma or discovery?

It can feel quite strange for students of fluent musicianship to be forced to think of nothing but a simple model of how music works: I won't allow students’ focus to drift towards anything other than intending musical shapes made from rhythm cells and tonal blocks...

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Why people want to play music they know

When you know the language of music fluently, you love to discover new music. Whilst it is natural, up to a point, to want to play music we know and love, there can be rather a delusional element to this, if what you are playing sounds less intelligible than you might...

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You can use any fingers…

Playing by pinning fingers to set keys destroys natural musical fluency - you can use any fingers. If we can only play music using the same fingers every time, it means that muscle memory has such a critical role in how we play the piano that our musicianship is...

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How to make a great sound on the piano

What makes a good piano sound? A good piano sound comes from a combination of factors. We must have a decent instrument with a good range of volume and timbre. It must have a reliable action with a wide range of velocity available so that you can control the sound....

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5 Keys to overcoming practice resistance

I've been giving some serious thought to the subject of why we get blocked around practice. Everyone struggles with practice resistance to some degree at times. I think there are 5 key insights that can help us overcome practice resistance. 1. Curiosity - rather...

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