Beats and Budo

Beats and Budo

Several months ago, one of my fellow iaidoka (AKA, “The Tiny Samurai”) posed a question to Kim Taylor sensei of Sei Do Kai with regards to beats and budo. Taylor sensei shared some of his thoughts here, then made a reference to me (AKA, “The Tinier Samurai”) to try tackling the question.

When I first began my Iai journey in the mid 2000s, I recognized immediately the many shared themes between music and martial arts. Beats and budo, now this is something that I have been grappling with since Day One.

On Becoming a Bulletproof Musician

On Becoming a Bulletproof Musician

The theme at last week’s group classes was becoming a bulletproof musician. The idea has been percolating in my mind ever since I discovered Dr. Noa Kageyama’s blog on performance anxiety and mindful practice, called The Bulletproof Musician.

Maestro's 2016/17 Studio Challenges - Part 1

Maestro's 2016/17 Studio Challenges - Part 1

This year, I made two big changes to Maestro's Challenges. The first is that I separated the Musician Survival Skills Challenges and the Music Moxie Challenges. The biggest change, however, is how my students and I are approaching technique. It's been a bit of a gamble, especially with the ones preparing for an exam, but it's paying off.

My DIY Samurai Kanzashi

My DIY Samurai Kanzashi

My searches never quite hit jackpot. That's when I began wandering local craft stores for DIY hair stick ideas. As I stood staring at knitting needles and hat pins, I thought, "This doesn't feel right." It was only once I walked into an Asian grocery store and spied a set of metal chopsticks that the katana hair stick idea began to take shape..

Preparing My Students for Christmas Parties

Preparing My Students for Christmas Parties

This year, I decided to bring back Group Class Week at my piano studio. My reasoning was three-fold: First, my students love getting together. Second, there are also concepts that are best taught in a group class setting. Finally, with juggling multiple jobs as well as my studio, I needed to build in some time to catch up on studio administration and planning. Running one group class per teaching night gave me that much needed time to work and/or rest.

The focus for this month's group class was Bulletproofing Your Christmas Music. We explored likely scenarios one could face at a Christmas party, social or community setting...