Are you gritty?

My latest reading material includes Carol Dweck's "Mindset" and Angela Duckworth's "Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance." I'm most taken by the following equation:
(talent) x (effort) = skill (skill) x (effort) = achievement
Our society tends to reward talent rather than skill. At the very least, we often describe someone highly skilled as "talented" or "gifted," inadvertently disregarding the many years it takes to refine and develop one's talent. This is not a new viewpoint:

"With everything perfect, we do not ask how it came to be. Instead, we rejoice in the present fact as if it came out of the ground by magic. No one can see in the work of the artist how it has become. That is its advantage. For wherever one can see the act of becoming, one grows somewhat cool."
- Nietzsche

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is demoralizing. If we are not among those innately "gifted," we feel infe…

My Fitness Pal

Many of you may remember me talking about MyFitnessPal, my favorite app (until I got my Fitbit, of course). Here's one inspirational story that might turn you into a fan, too:

Daniel's 2 lbs. Per Week

When in doubt...

...go practice.

Five Tasks of Constructive Rest

Jim Brody has mentioned on several occasions the Five Tasks we can embark upon during constructive rest. These were penned by Barbara Conable, and are very useful. Consider recording yourself speaking them, so that you can rest while giving yourself the directions.
Begin constructive rest in semi-supine position, on your back with your knees bent. Search for the leg position that feels balanced and easy, which is usually feet apart and angled slightly outward, knees just softly bent, not sharply bent. If your lower back is tense, you may need to rest your knees on each other for a time. If you are too injured or tense to be in supine position, do constructive rest seated or draped over a therapeutic ball until you are comfortable lying down. If you are pregnant, you may decide that semi-supine is not appropriate in your circumstance. You can look forward to how great it will feel in the months after delivery! Some of you may want to support your heads with a book or some other object …

Performance Class and Syllabus

Hi folks,

The syllabus is posted here on the blog (scroll down: it's on the right side of the page). If you'd like a hard copy, let me know.

As I've heard from no one that they'll miss performance class this Friday (with the exception of Addie, who will be on tour), I'll expect to see all of you there. There is no Performance Class next Friday, as the choir is performing at the Advent.

NO performance class this week

We'll resume class next Friday, January 20.

Skiing as a Metaphor for Singing

Many of you know that I love skiing, though I can’t do as much of it as I'd like while living in Alabama. My dear husband and I get on the slopes once a year, sometimes twice if we’re lucky. I suppose the infrequency of indulging in my hobby makes it not only wildly joyful, but also quite profound in many ways. I found myself drawing parallels between skiing and singing—and indeed, living—while on the slopes of Colorado this holiday season. Some of them might seem silly or just obvious, but here’s hoping that some of them might resonate with you.
Warming up makes all the difference. I know, duh.Who skis (or sings) without warming up? But to be fair, there weren’t many people who used the elliptical or bike before hitting the slopes. Doing so made all the difference for us, and the one time we spent two hours driving to the next high-elevation resort (and skipping the warm-up because we were impatient) was far less enjoyable. We also got tired a lot faster. Imagine going into choir …