'Let's Work Together' - hear Laurie Niles on Mind Over Finger Podcast with Renée-Paule Gauthier

September 24, 2021, 12:51 PM · As editor of Violinist.com for the last nearly 25 years, I frequently interview people, but I'm less accustomed to being the subject of an interview! Nonetheless, I enjoyed a wonderful conversation with Dr. Renée-Paule Gauthier for her Mind Over Finger podcast this week. We talked about devotion to practice, the process of learning expression, how young people can learn from collaboration and much more. Here is the episode, which you can also find on iTunes; Spotify; and Youtube. Please enjoy!

If you enjoyed this podcast, Renée has plenty more, and you can find them here. She's interviewed Mimi Zweig, Leila Josefowicz, Alisa Weilerstein, Melissa White and Elena Urioste, Jennifer Higdon, Simon Fischer, Lara St John and James Ehnes, among many others.

Here's a little more about Renée: originally from Canada, she now lives in Chicago, where she performs as a violinist and also runs the Mind Over Finger project, through which she offers podcasts, life-coaching for musicians, and an on-demand Practicing for Peak Performance workshop. She was recently featured on the new Strad podcast, in an episode about performance anxiety. She can be found on Facebook; Instagram and LinkedIn.

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September 25, 2021 at 03:02 PM · Laurie, thanks for sharing this fascinating interview! I like your comparisons between writing and playing the violin. When it comes to writing, what techniques do you find require the most practice and attention, and what inspired you to start practising writing at such a young age?

September 25, 2021 at 05:32 PM · Beautifully done, Laurie! I learned so much and came away with action items I plan to incorporate into my life (and practice regime). Brava also to Dr. Gauthier for great questions and for being such a courteous and gracious host.

September 25, 2021 at 08:18 PM · Thank you, Diana!

Mary, the "Hello Kitty" diary that I received for Christmas when I was about 10 probably inspired my first writing efforts! I couldn't tell you what led to the persistence and every-day devotion to writing, other than an innate need to do it. Some of the trickiest writing techniques involve changing passive verbs to active verbs, avoiding state-of-being verbs, having a meaningful subject and verb in every sentence (For example, if you diagram a sentence that begins "there are," the subject and verb are "there are," which means nothing) etc. etc. And those layers come on top of the basics like proper noun-verb agreement, spelling, punctuation, basic rules. Today's casual texts and social media posts might make us believe that those pesky details and rules of writing don't really matter, but if you wish to communicate well through writing, they matter a great deal.

September 25, 2021 at 10:53 PM · Laurie, thanks for your helpful reply! I read violinist.com almost daily, and this is one of the many times when a problem that I need to solve is currently under discussion on this website. I need to improve my writing effectiveness, and your explanation clarifies basic principles that I didn't understand before!

September 28, 2021 at 12:10 PM · Enjoyed the interview!

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