Yeime Arrieta Ramos: When She Looks Asleep, Her Accordion Playing is Most Dangerous

Meet young accordion queen, Yeime Arrieta Ramos. Her playing is great, and her attitude is even better. I’ve been writing about Flow states lately, for a chapter in the motivation section in The Practice of Practice. Young Ms. Ramos could be a poster-child for Flow. I’d love to hear more about her history and how she practices. Her musical companions, who also seem to be around 10-12, are also pretty amazing musicians. Anybody see the Smithsonian documentary on her? I think I’ll go check the Smithsonian app right now. Here’s the video of Yeime Arrieta Ramos:

Learn While You Sleep

There are some really interesting research projects coming out of the neuroscience lab at Northwestern University. A couple years ago, I wrote a blog post about a
study that shows we continue to learn after a study session if the stimulus continues while we’re doing something else. Pretty cool, right? But maybe you prefer to catch up on your sleep and continue learning.

Top 10 Practice Strategies

This is today’s top 10. On any other day, I might list different strategies. They’re all important. Don’t wait to understand something (practice, music theory, scales, love, whatever). Do it first. Do it a lot. The understanding will come later. GO SLOWLY! This is perhaps the most difficult and yet the simplest item on the…

Failing Better: The 4 Types of Mistakes (and how to learn from them)

Why Understanding These Four Types of Mistakes Can Help Us Learn By MindShiftNOVEMBER 23, 2015 SHARE by Eduardo Briceño This article was first published in the Mindset Works newsletter. We can deepen our own and our students’ understanding of mistakes, which are not all created equal, and are not always desirable. After all, our ability…

Book Extras

Nearly every chapter in the book has links to more information: images, videos, books, gadgets, research articles, and more. Below is the full list of these extras. If you’re interested in the research references used in the book, here they are. Dead links will be replaced as soon as I learn about them. If you spot one,…

Nap Your Way to Excellence

Set aside half an hour every day to do all your worrying; then take a nap during this period.

There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.
~Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid: 43 BC – 18 AD)


Sleep is one of the key strategies the brain uses for learning. It’s called consolidation in the research literature. Basically put, your brain needs down time in order to process all that you’ve taken in during the day. Naps can perform the same function.

Book Review: Talent is Overrated

Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman, orator and writer (106-43 BCE) Wear the old coat and buy the new book. ~ Austin Phelps Book Review Colvin, Geoff (2008). Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World Class Performers from Everybody Else. Portfolio/Penguin:…

The Tyranny of Perfection

This blog has been spotty so far, to say the least, and that is mostly because I feel as though what I post here needs to be finished, polished, well-reasoned, and complete In a word: Perfect. That’s ironic because it defeats the purpose I had in mind. My intention was for this space to be…