Tag Archives | your story

Your (musical) guide to seeking pleasure (and why to stop feeling guilty about it, too)

Quick Question: What are your top 10 personal ‘cure-alls’? Below are my little ‘go to’ for pockets of pleasure: 1. The aroma of yellow buttery dahl from a Bombay café 2. Wearing turquoise anything 3. A cumbia bass-line that beckons a groove 4. Roger Federer in all-white 5. A quirky foxglove 6. Speeding around the Cornish coast […]

Continue Reading 0

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 […]

Continue Reading 1

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 […]

Continue Reading 8

“My teacher refused to teach me”. A chat with flautist Ruth Ballantyne about rising above the naysayers (+ her new flute book, too)

Surely you’ve heard about the nightmare piano teacher? She’s the one who’d hit your knuckles with a ruler if you played a wrong note at the keyboard. Shudder. While it can’t be said that ruthless teaching practices are limited to purely musical subjects, I’ve heard far too many of my flute students relate their own horror […]

Continue Reading 1

Tap into your musical flow at the upcoming Flowing Flautist Retreat in Cornwall, UK

I’m leading a second Boho Flute Retreat this year in Cornwall… and you’re invited! This retreat is called The Flowing Flautist and is taking place on the 16th-18th of September, 2016. Achieving a state of ‘flow’ is about being ‘in the zone’ and finding the magic in your playing so that you can tap into […]

Continue Reading 0

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 […]

Continue Reading 0

So, you want to (re)start taking flute lessons? (Congrats!) Here’s 9 essential questions to ask yourself first

Ready to start those lessons? Get clear about what you desire in your music-making with these 9 essential questions. Print them out. Daydream. Ponder. Fill them in. Take these to your new teacher. Discuss it. Cut to the chase. Get things rollin’ for your playing from Day 1. 1) Have you had any kind of music […]

Continue Reading 0

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 […]

Continue Reading 4

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 […]

Continue Reading 1

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 […]

Continue Reading 3