About Me

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Harrisonburg, Virginia, United States
Professor of Saxophone, James Madison University

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Chronicles of Practice Monster

Welcome to the world of Practice Monster.  Make no mistake, I am not The Practice Monster!  He is a fictional character that personifies the way we obstruct our own progress with self-sabotage, anger, and surrender.  Practice Monster has the potential to devour us, but we can learn to control his energy and use him like an engine for improvement.

In this blog, I will discuss the various ways that my relationship with practice has evolved over the years.  Topics will be mainly geared towards musicians, but the concepts will be applicable across many disciplines.  We can be happier in everything that we do, the moment we begin to associate work with joy.

I welcome your questions and comments.


  1. I'm looking forward to sharing your blog with my students.

  2. I continue to be intrigued by the idea of waging a war on mediocrity. How does the Practice Monster in each of us relate to "The War" and does the beast play a role in every battle?

  3. I'll address this in a future post. Thanks for following!

  4. It's a troubling concept really. Waging war on mediocrity really means attacking parts of your psyche that you usually need: the forgiving instincts, the accepting instincts. You need the monster to demand you put perfectionism first - and then be able to keep him in his proper place so you can accomplish! It's a very narrow window, and the monster is always just about to slam your head in it.