An inspirational look at some of the most common mental habits that stop us all from realising our highest potential as musicians, with practical steps and strategies on how to dramatically improve our playing by being attentive to how we use our minds as we practise.

I’m really proud of this one, I’m very passionate about how these concepts (which are only rarely touched on in the world of piano teaching) can make a giant difference to the struggle and frustration that a lot of people feel as they learn- and deepen the progress of those who are further on the path.

Show Notes

  • The gap between knowing what to do when practising, and doing it! [1:55]
  • The strategy of aiming for practice with no concentration as the highest priority [8:10]
    The importance of keeping this solid intention when practising, and trust in this goal
    The benefits of mindfulness and meditation

    Bob with trophies

    More trophies this year!

  • Exactly how self-doubt and lack of confidence affects how we practise and how to deal with this [32:00]
  • The importance of enough sleep [43:05]
  • The common error of practice needing to be stimulating, and how to fix this in a way that feels easy and rewarding [44:05]
    Brain scans in musicians/pianists and in meditators
  • The importance of immersed embodiment, and how this physically shapes and rewires the brain [49:45]
  • Effective practice strategies and techniques come naturally from the goal of not concentrating [1:00:30]
  • More about needing stimulation vs relaxed mindful ‘being’ and how this makes effective practice rich and rewarding [1:01:40]
  • Good piano technique can develop naturally from mindfulness [1:05:15]
  • We are all natural musicians, we have to just not get in our own way! Practising self-acceptance and a feeling of being ‘good enough’ [1:09:40]
  • Committing to action with a strong intent- it’s not enough just to understand what to do! [1:20:05]
  • Positive motivation [1:24:15]
    Carrot rather than stick is best for motivation!
    Cultivate and deepen love of the piano and the music you want to learn
    Reflect on why music has value and importance for you, and focus on that sense of value


Playing a musical instrument improves audio-motor connectivity in the brain:

Studying the brains of pianists:

Meditation and consequently altered brain structure:

The intro/outro music is me (Bob Rose) playing a bit of my own jazzed up version of the “Raindrop” Prelude, Op 28, No. 15 by Chopin