Honesty Pill is an online resource designed to help you improve your practice, your performance, and your auditions.
It’s about having the courage to take a close up look at your weaknesses, and then actually do something about them. I like to call this approach “swallowing the Honesty Pill.”
Honesty Pill offers practical courses, informative articles and activities that will help you ditch your excuses and focus on the things you need to actually improve.
Honesty Pill courses are taught by Christopher Still of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Having grown up in a musical household, Christopher originally intended to become a band director and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Crane School of Music (SUNY-Potsdam). For graduate school he switched his focus to orchestral performance and received his Master of Music Performance degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston.
MY TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
The most important learning experience I had as a student was the moment I realized that I was the only one responsible for my success. When I became accountable, I discovered that not only was I capable of solving my own problems, but that I actually enjoyed the process. That experience had a tremendous impact on my teaching style and how I choose to convey my ideas.
Because I ask my students to commit to becoming their own best teachers, nothing is more rewarding for me than when they uncover their own “a-ha” moments. I set my expectations high, but that’s part of the reason the breakthrough moments happen. Nothing builds self-esteem and confidence more than solving a difficult problem on your own.
When we hear the words “teacher” or “professor,” stereotypes of heavy-handed lecture style figures often come to mind. The teacher gives the information and the students receive it. While this approach can be effective, I prefer to think of myself more like a guide, acting as a dynamic link between the students and the ideas.
Effective teaching is transformative. But I can’t make a student have a learning experience that changes the way they think. They need to show up with some motivation and self-direction. What I can do, is create conditions that encourage critical thinking skills. That’s what leads to self-discovery.
Honesty Pill is about giving you the skills to be your own best teacher. As we advance, we take more and more responsibility for our success. Many musicians fail to develop the critical skills they need to continue improving away from a private teacher, or on the days they don’t have a lesson.
My goal is to teach you to find your own way.
Learning how to identify and correct your playing weaknesses is the crux of the learning process. I designed Honesty Pill to address these issues and teach you how to fix your problems for yourself.
All of the Honesty Pill courses stand nicely on their own, but I recommend that you start with my flagship course, “Game Changer.”
You need to fix your biggest problems before you tackle something new or high level. Taking a course on advanced practice techniques or doing an audition bootcamp before you identify your Game Changer is almost pointless. It would be like planning an epic road trip without a map, and then driving around in circles until you run out of gas. No fun.
Honesty Pill courses are designed to be practical, yet concise. It might take you just a few days to get through an entire course, but making impactful change happen takes dedication.
How long it takes and how much you get out of it depends greatly on how much effort you put into it. I’ve made the courses easy for you to digest without feeling overwhelmed, but personal growth takes patience and diligence.
Whether you’re watching a training video at the coffee shop, or completing an activity at home in front of your computer, Honesty Pill courses are perfect bite-sized chunks.
When you sign up for a course, you’ll get instant access to all of the modules and lessons associated with that course. The pace of your improvement is totally up to you.
Speed Demons: While you can certainly blitz through all of the work as fast as you want, please give yourself enough time to absorb the information. Self improvement is not a race, it’s a journey. Take your time and let it sink in.
Slowpokes: Do not lose your momentum. I want you to have enough time to process the information, but don’t let too much time pass that you lose your focus.
There is no substitute for high quality, one-on-one training with a private teacher.
Honesty Pill is designed to supplement private lessons. If you are currently studying with a private teacher, consult him or her before starting one of our courses.
However, if you are not lucky enough to have a great private teacher or you’re already out of school, trying to succeed on your own can be overwhelming. I’ve been there. That’s one of the reasons I created Honesty Pill.
In the end, your best teacher has to be you.
The beauty of Honesty Pill courses is that you have access to tons of world class content available to you wherever and whenever you want. It’s like having an LA Phil musician available 24/7 to coach you.
However, if you are going to be in the Los Angeles area or want to set up a video lesson you can click here to be in touch about rates for individual sessions.
Is Honesty Pill for Me?
If there aspects of your playing or performance that could use some improvement, then Honesty Pill is for you. You absolutely do not need to be a professional.
Intermediate, advanced, and professional instrumentalists and singers can all benefit from Honesty Pill courses. This includes self-starting high school students, college students, serious hobbyists, and professionals of all ages and levels of accomplishment.
Even if you’ve already achieved some level of success, you can still benefit from trying a different approach to your practice and performance.
If you are a complete newcomer to learning an instrument, you can still get some value from Honesty Pill. However, we’ve found that it helps to have a few years of playing experience under your belt first.
I have plans to offer some beginners’ courses with you in mind, Grasshopper, so join the mailing list here and be the first on your block to know.
I designed the courses for any musician who wants to elevate their playing. While I am a professional trumpet player, Honesty Pill is for musicians on any instrument who would benefit from focused practice. This includes singers, pianists, string players, percussionists, wind players, etc.
Also, it works for all styles of music, since all of them (not just jazz and classical) benefit from a thoughtful approach.
The core concepts are based on the things I personally learned as my own career evolved. I still use them every day in my own practice or when I’m on stage with the LA Phil.
You’re never too old for school. You have to start somewhere, and getting past the “It’s too late” boogeyman is a great place to begin.
Seriously, the adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a stupid myth. And think of all the valuable life experience you bring to the table that you didn’t have before. You’re already way ahead of the game.
Still think it’s too late for you to start?
Consider the fact that author J.K. Rowling didn’t finish her first book until she was 30 years old. Ever heard of Harry Potter?
Honesty Pill is not just for advanced players. Anyone who can approach their musical life seriously will benefit from my courses. It’s more about the level of commitment and the ability to work independently than about your specific playing level.
Despite being practical and effective, Honesty Pill concepts aren’t overly complicated. The best solutions are often simple, yet unexpected.
That’s not to say it won’t be challenging! It’s good to get out of your comfort zone occasionally.
You’ll get access to my latest articles and blogs, interviews and tips from some of the best musicians in the industry.
Like this one:
What you WON’T get is an inbox full of spam.
Want more Honesty in your inbox? Join here.
Our public group “Honesty Pill” is now available to everyone. If you want to meet musicians who are struggling with similar challenges, go ahead and introduce yourself here. I hope you feel compelled to ask questions, share tips, or just reach out and engage with other like-minded musicians who have decided to step up their game.
Our private group “Game Changers” is available only to our registered students.
So hurry up and get registered already! 😉
Click this link to get your username.
Click this link to reset your password.
Now go write all of this down somewhere safe 😉
Pricing and Policies
Click here to see all of the Honesty Pill pricing details, as well as special offers and packages.
Scholarships are considered on a case-by-case basis, so email with any questions or requests.
Click here to join the Honesty Pill mailing list and be the first to hear about specials, offers, and special discounts for our courses.
You can use Paypal or credit cards through our payment portal.
And rest assured, your data is safe and secure. I use state-of-the-art payment processes and I will NEVER give your personal information to anyone, for any reason.
I’m confident you are going to be satisfied with Honesty Pill, but if you’re not feeling it, I can work with you. I’ll give you a full refund as long as you cancel before you are half way through a course.
If you feel that special circumstances apply, drop me a line to help me understand.