Two months ago I was in Tulum. This was my first time travelling with a close friend, and I’ve learned a few things about myself and leadership. Here are a few tips that might help you.
On the way to Tulum, I am silent.
“Do you like this place? Are you glad we didn’t go to Cuba? Do you like the hotel?” Megz asks.
“Yes,” I say.
“What’s wrong?” She says.
“I’m just tired,” I say. It’s 3am and I could’ve been playing beach volleyball back home. Somewhere in my body there is excitement about Mexico, but overall I’m craving a shower and bed.
The next day, she says: “I thought you were angry.”
“Because you were quiet.”
For better or worse, each of us is setting performance benchmarks for people around us and we can create a lot of stress for someone.
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I wasn’t always a pescatarian. I’ve stopped eating meat for probably seven years now, for a slew of reasons. This is something I’m not very vocal about, but people catch on and ask the following questions, without fail:
“How long have you been vegetari–er–pescatarian?”
“Do you eat eggs?”
In the past year or so, I’ve noticed that people are less surprised at my alternative diet.
If you are trying to make a social change, here are a few things I’ve noticed.
There’s something intriguing about creating an idea quick and dirty from scratch. That’s why I’m a fan of hackathons: you get 24 hours to create a project about anything.
The most boring hackathon I have ever attended was when a bunch of doctors sat around and ate finger biscuits while they chatted about their patients’ problems — for goodness sakes, if no one is stressed, then it’s not a true hackathon.
I’ve heard from about fifty different doctors now that if you create a ‘physical activity tracking app’, you will “solve diabetes” or “decrease obesity” or some other sort of magic trick. Hi, can you google “fitbit”?
Doctors tell you about the flaws in their patients’ treatments and conditions though, which are good for working with. For example, after a while, breast cancer survivors become too lazy to get screened again. Or, for some tests, the length of time between getting screened and getting results is ridiculous. We put health science people together with engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs, at our hackathon, and got some great projects.
So, a hackathon is about getting the right people in the same room together and giving them the right tools to achieve a goal the dirty way. In music terms, this is like jamming in someone’s garage and coming up with a great song just because you were in the right place at the right time.
I put together a FAQ about organizing a hackathon, focused on logistics, which will give you a peek into the effort that goes towards a large-scale hackathon!
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I tend to focus on the psychology of practicing piano efficiently on Artiden.
But it doesn’t matter how many psychology tactics you’re solidifying bad habits and hurting your body in the long run.
Readers often ask about how to play more efficiently, the correct posture, and how to be a better piano teacher.
When I taught piano at public schools, the beginner pianists all made similar mistakes— you can tell how much music experience a student has from these three factors alone.
If you want to play beautiful piano music, remember that professional pianists sound good because they’ve set a solid foundation. If you are a teacher, you’ll see how I might explain the concepts to a student– perhaps this will help your teaching.
Take a look at the video below to see the 3 biggest mistakes that beginner pianists make!
“Don’t let the simple music mistakes hold you back.” (Click here to tweet this.)
Watch out for:
1. Tension in the wrists. If your hand looks like a claw, you probably sound that way, too.
2. Nails. The piano sounds great on its own without the clicking nail rhythm.
3. Distance from piano and posture. My favourite way to measure the correct distance to sit from the piano is to have the pianist hold a fist out in front with a straight arm. In general, that is a natural distance to sit, and allows room for arm movement but not awkward leaning.
What is your biggest weakness in music? How are you working on it? Leave a comment to join the conversation below!
Do you believe in Steinways– legendary hand-made pianos?
Whatever type of instrument you love, there’s a way to make music so that people want to listen.
This summer, I am taking intensive ballet classes. During a break, I step into a Tom Lee music store in downtown Vancouver. I ask the saleslady to tell me about the grand pianos–because, why not?
She sits me at seven grand pianos where I play the same Un Sospiro phrase. None of these sounds repulse me anymore— although some are more favourable, nothing feels perfect.
“Come,” she says. “I want to show you the Steinway room.”
Outside, spotlights shine in the main showroom and my ballet bodysuit-shorts combo feels chilly. Inside, the Steinway room is saturated with spotlight-light.
At the first piano, a Boston, two of the keys are a smidge out of tune and most of them feel sticky with something that is, the saleslady suggests, ice cream.
Some of the pianos sound alright. I love white grand pianos, although it’s a rule that white grand pianos in display rooms sound weak.
The Steinway with the touch I like best is a wood-finished concert grand that costs 1/3rd of a small Vancouver condo. I’d rather have the condo, but this reminds me of a study I read last year.
Have you ever wanted to play great piece of music, but don’t seem to be able to start?
Wanted to apply for a job but keep hesitating?
Had a project that was too tedious to finish? Or even new equipment for your music studio that you’ve wanted to order?
What happened afterwards?
Sometimes, it’s insanely hard to do the best things in life, because we get the idea that there’s a perfect ‘time’ to start. What can we do about it?
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If you’re like me, then you have a mile-long to-do list. All the time.
Though sometimes I am scolding myself for trying to shorten it given that this list is basically my life laid out.
In any case, to-do lists can get stressful. Here are 3 ways to increase your productivity and feel free.
1. Convince yourself first
When the US government wanted citizens to consume animal organs (like liver), because most conventional meat was sent overseas in WWII, an interesting experiment ensued.
Housewives were the food gatekeepers in charge of planning meals, so psychologist Lewin and his team gathered two groups of housewives.
They lectured the first group on benefits of consuming animal organs, like many health campaigns do today. The second group discussed ways of convincing other people to change their diet. Guess what happened?
They discovered that nearly five times more families in the second discussion group changed diets. By taking objections off the table, the second group had successfully convinced themselves that organ parts were worth consuming.
We can use this in our own lives as well.
YES you have a to-do list and you’re going to get this done while feeling free.
Take the first item on your list and tell someone how you’re going to do it. If you sound confident, they’ll believe you. When you’re persuading someone else, you’re essentially persuading yourself– you’ve just skyrocketed the chances of getting it done.
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