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The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Sep 21, 2018

International flute soloist, Mimi Stillman has a gift to make classical music current, relevant, and exciting.  In this episode, we discuss different ways to make practice more fun, efficient, and effective.

We elaborate on:

  • Why learning how to practice is so important
  • How important it is for parents to reinforce what is said in the lessons at home
  • Key elements of efficient practice:
    • Practicing slowly
    • Using a metronome
    • Monitoring the basics
    • Good posture
    • Monitoring the breath and body tension
  • Practicing with challenging modifications such as different rhythm, accents, etc.
  • A healthy balance of technique exercices vs repertoire in the practicing
  • How playing in chamber music helps elevating awareness in our playing
  • How being creative in our practice keeps in more engaging, more, and efficient
  • How legendary flutist Julius Baker taught
  • How we are our own best teacher and we need to take ownership of our practice and learning experience
  • How being interested in other art forms and history complements our musical approach




Dolce Suono Ensemble


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Twitter: @mimistillman @dolcesuonoe

Music in the Castle of Heaven by John Eliot Gardiner

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E. L. Konigsburg

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg



Flutist Mimi Stillman, acclaimed by The New York Times as “not only a consummate and charismatic performer, but also a scholar whose programs tend to activate ear, heart, and brain”, is renowned for her virtuosity, insightful interpretation, and adventurous programming. As soloist, she has appeared with orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Bach Collegium Stuttgart, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Orquesta Sinfónica de Yucatán, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, and Orchestra 2001, and as recitalist and chamber musician at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Sawdust, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Symphony Space, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, The Kimmel Center, The Verbier Festival, and Kol HaMusica. Ms. Stillman is the founding Artistic Director of the popular Dolce Suono Ensemble, “one of the most dynamic groups in the US” (The Huffington Post), performing Baroque to new music with 53 world premieres in 13 seasons in Philadelphia and on tour. At the invitation of Plácido Domingo, Ms. Stillman and Dolce Suono Ensemble enjoy a partnership with the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program

A wide-ranging and innovative artist, Ms. Stillman celebrates the canon while deeply exploring new music and Latin genres.  She is highly regarded for expanding the repertoire through her commissions, arrangements, and compositions. She can be heard on several recordings including Odyssey: 11 American Premieres for Flute and Piano and Freedom, both with her longstanding duo pianist Charles Abramovic, and American Canvas performed by her Dolce Suono Trio (Innova). Her Syrinx Journey project, a tribute to Claude Debussy on his 150th anniversary, garnered an international following.


Mimi Stillman made the leap from child prodigy to inimitable artist. At age 12, she was the youngest wind player ever admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with the legendary Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner and earned her Bachelor of Music degree. She received a MA and PhD (abd) in History at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a published author on music and history.

Mimi Stillman has won numerous competitions and awards including Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Bärenreiter Prize for Best Historical Performance for Winds, Astral Artists Auditions, and the Philadelphia Women in the Arts Award. A Yamaha Performing Artist and Clinician, strongly committed to excellence in education, she has taught masterclasses at institutions including the National Flute Association, Eastman School of Music, Cornell University, Southern Methodist University, Indiana University, the universities of Texas, California, Virginia, Florida, and Arizona, and at conservatories worldwide. A Spanish-speaker, Ms. Stillman won the Knight Foundation grant for her Música en tus Manos (Music in Your Hands) project to introduce chamber music to the Latino community of Philadelphia. She is on faculty at Temple University, Curtis Summerfest, and Music for All National Festival.


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Visit for information about past and future podcasts, and for more resources on mindful practice.


Most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme!  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.

Also a huge thank you to my producer, Bella Kelly!




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