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Better Better Nerves….

imagesOne of the biggest challenges we do have as musicians is the live factor.
I remember situations on stage where I was literally shaking in my boots with a beautiful teeth tremolo ;o)

Of course there are “unicorns”, people who are born to perform in front of an audience. Who just love it being starred at.
But I have to admit, I am totally not one of them.


I was very fascinated by this book I read about circus artists. The tightrope walker risks her live every evening. It is a life-death situation, day after day.
The interviewer asked her, what gives her the guts to go up there and walk every day this dangerous line.>>

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When I was a kid, I hated music.

quote 33I liked to sing and to dance and move around – but this serious music stuff with music books and sitting straight and doing things properly and repeatedly, no, not for me.
This was boring.
I was just not interested in that.

I am sure you have kids in your class that are just like I was.
Nice kids – but not interested.
How can you make them getting hooked and spark interest in them?

As you can see, even for the most uninterested kid in the world (me!!) there is hope, for today I am a professional musician.

Every kid, every student, in fact every person you come in contact with has so much passion! And you can connect with this fire and help it grow.

So how does this work?


The answer may surprise you: show how much you care.>>

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How to make a child practice at home

images-geduldNo matter if a child should do homework or practice an instrument at home, this is many times and in many cases a problem.

Discipline is synonymous for boring.
And children don’t like to do boring stuff.
(I can understand that, I don’t like doing boring stuff either. Do you???)

So clearly I can relate to that and know from personal, first-hand experience that homework and having to do something consistently and consequently at home sucks.
Wasting time, hanging out, fooling around and dreaming is much more fun.
No matter what age I am in ;o)

With that said, what can we do to motivate our students or children to do some work at home (homework and practicing)?>>

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How to be patient

quote 8When we teach, we need one special skill:
We must be patient like an elephant :o)

Learning takes repetition. We humans learn by getting the same information over and over and over again. And over. Again.
And again.
And one more time.

Sometimes we get it at the first time.
But most times… err… what was that again? How did that go?
I forgot. Can you show me…? Again – and again and —

– you get the point, don’t you? :o)

So, how can we deal with impatience?
I have good news for you. I know one simple trick, that makes you even more patient than an elephant.

The Elephant Strategy is to stop comparing.>>

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Socrates, The Best Bassoon Teacher

quote 6

How can we be the best teacher, we could possibly be? 

How can we give the best and most helpful support for other people?


As teachers, as educators, as parents, as partners and even as friends, we find ourselves in the situation to sometimes give advice.

Whether we are asked, or we feel the strong pull to say something uplifting, sometimes it can be hard to find the right words.

We want to say something that seems important, but we don’t want to be upfront, we don’t want to use too strong words or we just don’t know how to say things.

We also want to make sure that what we have to say is heard and understood and has a positive effect.>>

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Interview with Bernd Moosmann

Short & Sweet: Interview with world famous bassoon manufacturer Bernd Moosmann.

His instruments are played in every league, including small amateur groups as well as the top philharmonic orchestras. Moosmann bassoons are also preferred soloists’ instruments.
Moosmann fans are found in over 60 countries and 5 continents.

Mr. Moosmann, we first met in Phoenix, Arizona at the IDRS conference. There I found out, that you are not only a well traveled, very successfull bassoon manufacturer, but also a person with an eye for the essentials of human nature.

– Is there something that outstanding musicians all over the world have in common?

Bernd Moosmann: They are very hard working, informal, not stressed and strong personalities.>>

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Confidence building is easy!

quote 5Having not much self-confidence is one of the biggest problems almost everybody has who makes music.
How can I say that solving such a huge issue is easy?

I can say this, because I am a real pro in this.
I had NO self-confidence whatsoever. I thought of myself as a total idiot, a complete failure and someone who will never be good at anything, no matter what I try.

Coming from a place like that, I know a lot about the subject matter.
And today I enjoy what I am doing and I kind of like my life how it is.>>

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Thanks for being me

quote 4Do you know the weird feeling that someone gives you praise and it makes you feeling BAD?
You look the other way and mumble: Oh, that was nothing, I just was lucky!

I know this situation first hand. I experienced this <constantly> until I suddenly realized: hej, that’s stupid!!!

I also experienced, that a lot of students get kind of embarassed, when they get praise after a concert. They feel awkward and make a funny face.
This on the other hand makes me question: Oh, did I say something wrong? Er… I just wanted to express honest appreciation…

When I thought about this strange phenomena, I came to the conclusion, that this is because praise can give pressure.
Pressure through expectation.
I did it fine this time – but will I succeed NEXT TIME as well?>>

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The Key to Excellence

pic tigerI recently read about the maybe most famous golfer of all times: Tiger Woods.
Tiger Woods’ sandplay is average, but his long drives are legendary.

What does he practice most? Where is his main focus in his training segments?
Does he concentrate on his “ok” sandplay or does he put the main training time into his already outstanding long drives?

What does it take to bring whatever skill from average to great?
Is it improving areas where you kind of suck or is it putting all your energy into an area where you are already good at?>>

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Fresh Perspective

quote1Loser thoughts (Part 2)

Being open is vital for learning. Old habits sometimes constipate our brain and make helpful changes difficult.

The biggest loser thought ever we already discussed in part one: This is too easy for me. I know that already.
– In other words: “Don’t waste my time, I am already much much more advanced.”

STOP! Really, are you so tremendously advanced?
Thomas Huxley said: “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.”>>