Archives for risks

How Playing Fearlessly Leads to Reinvention: Recommended Reading List


The Road of Creativity and Kristen McKeon of D’Addario recently presented a new workshop, How Playing Fearlessly Leads to Reinvention. The topic was born from months of inquiry about risk and fear, ultimately leading to the deeper question, “what is your bottom line as a human being (and musician)?” That if your bottom line is identified and adhered to in the most important aspects of your life, doesn’t it seem probable that fear might lessen or subside, which in turn stands to strengthen your ability to take greater risks in all aspects of your life? Read More

“Let’s take a walk…”


…is what my student said to me when he arrived for his saxophone lesson in early December. While we were both reluctant to admit it, this particular lesson was significant because it was his final weekly lesson of his undergraduate degree before his student teaching assignment this coming spring semester.

With curiosity, I obliged his invitation, because after all, I have been lobbing seemingly non-lesson related questions and statements at him for the past four years. There were times he would arrive for his weekly lesson and we would talk about mountain biking. Read More

Invest in Yourself


I can say with honesty that the first time I spent money that felt like an investment with a tangible return was when I commissioned Dutch composer JacobTV in 2002 to write a new work for alto saxophone and boombox, entitled Billie.   The tangible return was the obvious: a new piece of music that I owned rights to for one year and was going to premiere at the 2003 World Saxophone Conference in Minneapolis.  Despite the commissioning fee that was beyond my means at the time, the investment felt right; I was sure about that because Jacob’s music set my thoughts on fire. Read More

What’s Your Game-Changer?

game changer hat

Even though I dislike shopping, I’m remembering Black Friday 2008 with fondness and a huge smile.  That day was a game-changing day for me. I bought new kitchen appliances that day (saved $2000!) because I was putting my condo on the market the following month, leaving a secure, full-time university teaching job for a part-time one, and moving where I wanted to live even though the cost of living was triple.  For two years, my income would be cut in half and I was losing health and retirement benefits.  I took a sabbatical from the professional chamber music group I was in.  I reduced my public performances by over 90%.  Little did I know the depth of discovery, richness and clarity that would come from those choices. Read More