Archive | Authenticity

Afraid of your musical burnout? 6 minutes of comforting advice

Recently a letter appeared in my email from a flautist I’ll call ‘Victor’. — Dear Jessica,  I studied flute in the school and this year I will graduate from the Romanian music university from Bucharest. I am not graduating from the university in flute performance, but in pedagogy. Currently I do not feel any passion […]

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Everything I know about receiving support (artistic, or otherwise)

  On the 2nd of January, 2017 I decided that my New Year was due a restart. I was in bed with Salmonella food poisoning –there was no way I was going to start the year like that. I’ve aligned my celebrations with the Chinese calendar instead. Happy New Year of the Rooster to you–and […]

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What I Do as a Flautist When World Events Seem Overwhelming

It’s a tumultuous world energy right now. News events are happening that have brought me tears and a deep frustration because I just don’t know what to do about it.  I can feel small in that sense. I have learned that I have to check-in with myself in order to keep it all in perspective. I do this […]

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How to Use Your Alter Ego for Performance (+ what we can learn from Beyoncé)

Here’s a step-by-step guide about how to tap into your alter ego in order to add more freedom to your playing. When American singer Beyoncé was in her 20’s she would embody an alter ego named ‘Sasha Fierce’ when performing on stage. This invented personality, she claimed, was separate from her everyday ‘shy self’. Sasha […]

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The Letter I’d Write to my Teenage-Self About Being a Musician, 20 Years Later

Hello, my whimsical, hopeful, fresh-faced girl. Since I have your attention for a moment, let me whisper in your ear 10 truths that will be your own only after you leave all those music degree programmes. Keep them near. 1) Your flute teacher –at every stage– matters. Really matters. This person will be like a […]

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A Behind-the-Scenes Chat with Flautist Bevani (and how she finally ‘Broke Free’)

Musicians who show the world who they are boldly and without any apologies are game-changers for us all. I am talking about artists who are openly unabashed about what they do. The ones who continually aim to unedit their artistic expression.  The ones who tend to ignore sentences like: …if I stay with what’s in the rule book I’ll be fine! or […]

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How to Play Flute From Your Heart + Soul (Here’s 7 Things I Know, For Sure)

Have you been able to witness it? In a recital, on the hi-fi, over Wi-Fi, a bar, or in your car? The air changes, becoming electrically charged with something. Your bum ceases to wiggle about in your seat. You stop worrying about that WhatsApp message niggling you and quit second-guessing whether you’ve locked your doors. You […]

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Why you will never be an ‘authentic’ tango musician–and why you (+ Yo-Yo Ma) shouldn’t take it personally

You have Piazzolla’s 6 Etudes/ Libertango/ Le Grand Tango in your hot little hands. You love playing the score. In fact you revel and delight in it. You think you could become a tango musical Jedi equivalent if you just knew how to play more authentically. So you dream about venturing to Buenos Aires to immerse […]

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