Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Mar 15, 2019

Percussionist Cameron Leach and I have a great show for you today!  In addition to some great practice tips, Cameron elaborates on some very important topics, including how to clearly communicate to our audience through intentional and empathetic performing, why students must take ownership of their own learning experience, and why musicians need to be great friends to each other!

I love Cameron’s perspective on those topics, and I hope you enjoy our discussion!

Cameron elaborates on:

  • His journey to a solo career – starting in drumcor, doing a music education degree, and transitioning to performance after a chance encounter
  • How he organizes his practice – having to handle so many instruments
  • Why he likes to practice hungry
  • What it is like to have to learn a wide variety of percussion instruments
  • Ho he transfers the sound concepts from one instrument to the next
  • Different practice modes in practice:
    • Learning mode
    • “Emoting” mode
  • Why he thinks it’s important to consider how you are sending your musical message and how it is received by your listeners
  • Clear emotional communication
  • How documenting his practice on video helped him release stress and was a creative outlet
  • Why it’s important to keep the sound of the hall in mind when we practice
  • How recording ourselves helps us narrow our focus on specific elements in our practice
  • His 3 key words – inquisitive, intentional, empathetic
  • How students must take ownership of their learning experience (SCHOOLS CAN’T TECH YOU EVERYTHING!) during their degree and remain inquisitive AFTER they’ve graduated (Pssst! We’re all lifelong learners!!!!)



More about Cameron:


YouTube channel:

Facebook page:



Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music by Angela Myles Beeching

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield



American percussionist Cameron Leach is a bold, high-energy performer acclaimed for his expressive virtuosity, musical athleticism, and daring interpretations. An engaging and thoughtful soloist, Leach has concertized across the United States, Canada, and Europe. He frequently appears as a guest artist at some of the world’s finest institutions, including the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, and Norwegian Academy of Music. Leach recently won both the Percussive Arts Society International Solo Artist Competition and Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition, in addition to receiving the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Along with his active touring schedule, he regularly performs with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and serves on the faculty of Kent State University. Leach is endorsed by Black Swamp Percussion, Beetle Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, and Malletech.

Highlights from the 2017-2018 season include the debut of his new electroacoustic solo show ELISION, a European Tour as Co-Principal of the World Percussion Group, the world premiere of Paul Lansky’s Metal Light for the Percussive Arts Society, and a performance of Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Additionally, he performed Peter Maxwell Davies’ seminal Eight Songs for a Mad King with Ensemble id, a Rochester, NY-based chamber collective. His latest project, the Leach | Peters Percussion Duo, debuted on the Eastman Summer Concert Series in July 2018.

Leach’s 2018-2019 season is marked by a diverse array of solo appearances, guest artist engagements, and world premieres. Kicking off with a performance at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China, Leach then embarks on recital and clinic tours of California, Florida, and the Midwest, featuring newly commissioned solo works by David Skidmore and Matt Curlee. In March 2019, Leach will give the world premiere of Dave Maric’s Percussion Concerto, commissioned for him by the Capital University Conservatory of Music. To close out the season, Leach will serve on faculty at the MalletLab Summer Intensive in West Palm Beach, FL, and will spend a week in residence as the featured artist for the Space City New Music Festival in Houston, TX.

Devoted to the creation and performance of new music, Leach continues to commission diverse works for solo percussion, with a focus on the inclusion of electronics. During his time at the Eastman School of Music, the institution supported his vision through the Eastman/ArtistShare Partnership, allowing Leach to organize a commissioning consortium for Decay No. 2, a massive electroacoustic solo work by Matt Curlee. Other premieres include pieces by composers Michael Burritt, Paul Lansky, Jeff Tyzik, Alejandro Viñao, Annie Gosfield, Tim Feeney, Jon Lin Chua, and Frédéric Chiasson.

Leach makes regular appearances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, having performed with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble and on the Competition Winner’s Showcase Concert in 2017, on the Focus Day Series and as a member of the All-Star International Percussion Ensemble in 2015, and with the Rhythm X Indoor Percussion Ensemble in 2011. In addition to his work as a concert artist, Leach also has a strong background in marching percussion, having won world titles with the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps and Rhythm X.


If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review on iTunes!  I truly appreciate your support!

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

Join the Mind Over Finger Tribe here!




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 fantastic producer, Bella Kelly!