Judy Minot is a music educator and musician, and the author of the award-winning book Best Practice, Inspiration and Ideas for Traditional Musicians. She plays piano, accordion (piano and bisonoric), and fiddle in a range of styles including Celtic, Québécois, jazz, and contra.
Judy offers workshops, both in-person and online, on the principles of Best Practice.
Participants learn skills for practicing more efficiently and with greater ease, on any instrument, and for bringing joy not just to their playing but to their day-to-day practicing. They walk away with tools to use every time they pick up their instrument.
Concepts covered can include:
Improving your musicality – making more people (including you) want to hear your playing
Simple but effective practice techniques to quickly conquer playing issues
Coordinating mind/body – to play with greater control, calmness, and comfort
Techniques for becoming a better teacher (of yourself)
Practical methods to unleash creativity and build self-confidence
Judy has given in-person workshops at music camps in the US, including Ashokan Northern Week, the Northeast Squeeze-In, Northeast Heritage Music Camp, Camp de Souches à Oreilles, and Folk College, as well as to individual choral and instrumental groups. She has offered online workshops, including a six-part series held over 12 weeks.
Judy has played Celtic/Irish music with Patrick Clifford and Fiona Tyndall, and in various other groupings. For many years she was pianist in the quartet Kestrel, playing for English Country/Playford dances in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Judy annually leads pickup bands at Folk College, Princeton Country Dancers, and the All Comers' Arkestra at Northeast Squeeze-In. She currently plays with the bands Squirrel's Chair - Nathan Bishop (violin), Nathalie Levine (violin), Judy Minot (piano, accordions) and Last Chance Saloon House Band - Nathan Bishop (violin), Doug Healy (guitar, banjo), Christie Reihl (cello), Judy Minot (accordion, podorhythmie). Her solo CD, Give Us a Tune, is available via streaming on Soundcloud.
Judy is the author of the award-winning book Best Practice: Inspiration and Ideas for Traditional Musicians. She has written regularly for Acoustic Guitar Magazine. Recent articles include Playing with Lessons from the Martial Arts, How to Jam, and Making the Most of Your Practice Time. She also publishes a regular blog on the concepts of Best Practice.
Martial Arts and More
Judy holds a 4th degree black belt in the martial art of Kokikai Aikido, which she taught at Rutgers University for 12 years. She is also a certified yoga teacher.
Judy believes in removing the stigma associated with an “amateur” musician. Being an accomplished and dedicated musician does not mean you have to make a living by it. She herself had a long and successful career in broadcast television and later in digital marketing. Along the way she edited music videos, entertainment specials and documentaries, many of which can be found on IMDB. Here's a playlist of some of the videos she edited. Artists included Mariah Carey, Bob Dylan, Ozzy Osbourne, Regina Belle, John Mellencamp, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Cyndi Lauper, Donny Osmond, Rush, Shania Twain, Tony Bennett and Dr. John. She went on to produce, direct and write for cable and broadcast television, for clients including Martha Stewart, CBS News, many record labels and other well-known commercial businesses.