Here at MUN, and at music schools all over North America, we are ramping up to jury and recital season. It’s an exciting time of the academic year and also a time when many musicians get stuck in that awkward place where their repertoire is pretty much learned, but not quite at the level they want it to be, whether technically, musically, or both. In this place, the intended result seems so close and at the same time inordinately difficult to reach. Maybe we can image imagine what we want but can’t quite get it to come out. Or, we know what we’re doing isn’t exactly what we intend, but we struggle to find clarity in our interpretation. It is easy to fill this gap with a lot of grinding of gears and spinning of wheels in an effort to just get. it. right. It seems like if we just play it enough times, it should get better, right? Well, sometimes repetition does the trick. But there is often a cost that is paid in frustration, wasted time, and physical tension and we inadvertently cultivate the opposite of the kind of freedom and authenticity we ultimately want on stage.