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IIRY Podcast: 35. 2020: “What would you tell your younger self?”
An end of year review, with advice to help you on your creative journey in 2021.

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Saying “2020 has been a weird year” is an understatement. Nevertheless, I’m really grateful when I look back at the inspiring guests who were generous enough to sit down and chat with me this year. So, I thought, wouldn’t it be great to revisit some of the most popular “Is it Recess Yet?” episodes of […]

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IIRY Podcast: 34. Miki-Sophia Cloud. “Why am I doing this?”
On the importance of great mentors and choosing to find joy and purpose in music.

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I’m excited to revisit the very first episode of the “Is it Recess Yet?” podcast, from 2018. My dear friend and colleague, the wonderful violinist and human, Miki-Sophia Cloud, graciously agreed to be my first interviewee. In our chat, we talk about her former life as a strolling ‘gypsy violinist’; playing by ear versus playing from sheet […]

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IIRY Podcast: 33. Dr. Noa Kageyama. “Focus on growth.”
On growth mindset versus fixed mindset and what we can learn from making music.

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Check out my 2018 podcast interview with performance psychologist, Noa Kageyama, where we learn what he meant at age 2 when he said “oa wike mugas”; what it was like to studying with Mr. Suzuki himself in Japan as a little kid, how inconsistency in his performances lead to his study of performance psychology at […]

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IIRY Podcast: 31. Kenji Bunch. “The willingness to fail in public is so important.”
A chat with composer and musician Kenji Bunch, about taking creative risks, being a bi-racial Asian kid, and saying "yes" to everything.

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In my conversation with composer and musician Kenji Bunch, we discuss the value of listening to all music with respect and curiosity; why he draws parallels between his eclectic approach to music and classically trained food chefs; why improvising and playing in non-classical styles can be really difficult for classical musicians; what it was like […]

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IIRY Podcast: 26. Blair McMillen: “It’s okay to be vulnerable.”
A chat with pianist Blair McMillen, about performance anxiety, perfectionism, and why process is more important than product.

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 In this conversation with pianist Blair McMillen, we discuss how to manage stage fright and performance anxiety; why being a part-time musician can be a healthy option; why we should talk openly about what a musician’s life is really like; and why he wishes classical music could be more about process than product. Subscribe […]

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IIRY Podcast: 24. Celia Hatton: “You have to speak up and take up space.”
A chat with violist Celia Hatton about microaggressions, implicit bias, and institutional racism in classical music and beyond.

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In this conversation with violist Celia Hatton, we discuss racism, implicit bias and microaggressions; the illusion of meritocracy in classical music; beauty standards; institutional racism and white supremacy. Subscribe to the podcast here!  2:32 – Celia talks about growing up in a musically and artistically eclectic family and how she got started on the viola. […]

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IIRY Podcast: 22. Dr. Nadine Kelly: “I am an eclectic, nerdy black woman who is a late bloomer.”
A chat with Dr. Nadine Kelly, retired pathologist and yoga instructor about leaving medicine to follow her happiness and why we need to be nicer to ourselves.

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In this conversation with retired pathologist and yoga instructor, Dr. Nadine Kelly, we discuss how she decided to pivot from her career as a physician to becoming a yoga instructor who specializes in helping mature women; why it’s important to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable; and why we need to be brave enough […]

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IIRY Podcast: 21. Shannon Wilkinson: “You are valuable because you exist.”
A chat with life coach, Shannon Wilkinson, about when perfectionism becomes toxic; why "taking a breath" improves our ability to problem-solve; and why cultivating your creative courage may be the best thing you can do for your career right now.

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In this conversation with life coach, Shannon Wilkinson, we discuss how we turn to perfectionism to protect ourselves and “stay in the tribe”; how perfectionists may be struggling acutely with the uncertainty of the pandemic; why “taking a breath” and making things “ridiculously easy” is crucial to opening up our ability to problem-solve; and why […]

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IIRY Podcast: 19. Mai Der Vang: “I have to be twice as good to be given access, to be heard.”
A chat with award-winning writer, Mai Der Vang, about being the child of Hmong immigrants; the challenges of being a female, P.O.C. artist; and why we must trust our own creative impulses.

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In this conversation that took place shortly before the pandemic and shelter-in-place order, award-winning writer Mai Der Vang and I discuss why failure is always a way to build resilience; the burden of excellence that many immigrants experience plus the challenges of being a female, P.O.C. writer and academic in the American literary landscape; and […]

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IIRY Podcast: 17. “Don’t beat yourself up.”
A chat with Alexandra DiPalma, audio producer, editor, consultant and teacher, about pushing past perfection and why we really shouldn't put pressure on ourselves right now.

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In my conversation with audio producer, editor, consultant and teacher, Alexandra DiPalma, we discuss how podcasting can help you push past perfectionism and get your voice heard; Alex’s hit podcast, Food 4 Thot, one of the first queer podcasts; and why not putting pressure on ourselves is so important in these times of quarantine and […]