How to practise

Wynton Marsalis
The acclaimed jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis came up with his Twelve Ways to Practice (sic) back in 1996.

Even though his forte is music, the lessons are as relevant to most areas of learning, as they are to becoming a music maestro.

For example:

Concentrate: You can do more in 10 minutes of focused practice than in an hour of sighing and moaning
.”

Or

Don’t show off: It’s hard to resist showing off when you can do something well.”

Inspired? Read the full list

Why the deaths of Prince, Bowie and others in 2016 are so shocking

Prince“No, no, no, no!” On learning that Prince had died unexpectedly at just 57, the response of almost everyone I know yesterday was the same.

It was awful news. It was a complete and utter shock. It seemed faintly unreal. That it was just the latest in a seeming unending line of celebrity deaths in 2016 merely compounded the hurt.

David Bowie, Terry Wogan, Ronnie Corbett, Victoria Wood to name but a few.

But why are these deaths so shocking? In Prince and Victoria Wood’s cases it was their relative youth (57 and 62 respectively), but that could hardly be said of Ronnie Corbett or Terry Wogan.

The simple reason is this: for a generation of 30-50-somethings, our childhood and adolescent memories and heroes are being eviscerated. Continue reading

A sense of physical loss

David BowieWe’ve all lost someone we care about. It’s devastating. You feel as if there’s a big hole somewhere inside you.

Today came the frankly-unbelieveable news that David Bowie has died from cancer. In the hours that followed, I went through emotions that I’ve felt before.

I sat staring at my computer screen, unable to do anything of any merit. I didn’t really want to talk to anyone. I got angry when I saw people talking about other, more trivial (in my view) things. Continue reading