035 The Journey towards Mastery- An interview with Classical Percussionist Mike Tetreault

“Your ability to master something — and your ability to stand in the tension of what mastery takes — is based on your ability to hang out on the plateau of ‘I’m not getting substantially better today… but I’m doing my work, knowing and trusting that eventually those peaks will come.’ Eventually you go straight up and then you find yourself on a new plateau…If there is tension, it’s not because you are doing something wrong. Tension is a natural guest to endeavoring into anything.”

Mike Tetreault is a classical percussionist. He is currently principal timpanist for the Central City Opera and the Ft. Collins Symphony and is a percussionist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Boulder Philharmonic. Mike has performed all across the US and around the world. Listen in to hear Mike’s thoughts on mastery and how the Paterson LifePlan process has helped him to navigate his own journey.

“I find that I’m the best person and the best musician when I spend time listening. When you deliberately open your ears a little wider you end up hearing not just what you are listening for but all sorts of things you didn’t know were there.” We love this approach to listening more deeply, and we’re sure you will too.


A Musician and the Audition of His Life- Mike’s interview with Guy Raz on NPR

Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment by George Leonard

The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield

MUSIC LINKS (Mike had a lot of recommendations!)

Hanel Zadok the Priest 

Beethoven Symphony No. 9 conducted by Leonard Bernstein after the fall of the Berlin Wall

La Boheme End of Act 3

Mahler Symphony #2

Britten Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

The Girl with the Flexen Hair by Claude Debussy


* CLARIFICATION: At the time that Mike was interviewed by NPR, Guy Raz was a host of NPR’s All Things Considered. As of this podcasts’ publication, Guy is a host of How I Built This and Ted Radio Hour

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