A seminal resource on how to make practicing a rewarding experience, and on performing with confidence and freedom. Discusses physiological and meditative ways to release physical and mental tension, as well as techniques on how to listen better to yourself. Focuses on pianists' injuries.
Researched and named by psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi, "flow" is a state of complete concentration with the activity at hand and the situation. In this seminal book, Csíkszentmihályi explains how this state of "optimal experience" could be controlled and improve one's quality of life. Video interview with the author also available online.
Applying the principles of Timothy Gallwey's seminal work The Inner Game of Tennis, this book by bassist Barry Green has helped countless musicians overcome performance anxiety and embrace peak performance. In addition to the psychological aspects of music performance, it also addresses ensemble playing, improvisation, composition, creativity, and listening skills.
Written by a famed Olympic sports psychologist and teacher, this book caters not just to athletes and coaches, but to anyone wishing to pursue excellence in professional or life goals. Through inspiration and methodical strategies, it is an illuminating guide for learning essential performance skills such as focusing, dealing with distractions, overcoming obstacles, and more.
This book is a solution-driven manual to the art of performance, containing exercises and techniques for self-evaluation and improvement. It addresses all facets of performing onstage, from preparation (both mental and physical) to performance to post-performance evaluation. It provides techniques for how to deal with stage fright, pacing, practicing, changing bad habits, and memorizing.
Written by the author of The Inner Game of Music, this book explores the artistic and personal qualities that make up a great musician through interviews and stories from successful legends in the field.
Drawing on the premise that a wrong note can be constructive or useful, this book is a treatise on how to trust one's natural musical self and set it free. Discusses alternatives for learning, music education, and ways to make practicing an adventurous and rewarding enterprise.
A former U.S. Army Ranger and Green Beret, Don Greene, Ph. D. is an Olympic sport psychologist who has been on faculty at the Juilliard School, the Colburn Conservatory, and the New World Symphony coaching musicians on how to achieve optimal performance in high-pressure situations. Performance Success is a methodical guide with many exercises and demands active participation on part of the reader, including the use of written inventories. There is also an interview with the author available for online viewing.
One of the earliest texts to discuss the psychological blocks in the field of music performance and how to overcome them. Written by a voice teacher, this book addresses fear in performance, negative self-criticism, practicing effectively, and more in 16 self-contained chapters.
Written by a German philosophy professor, Zen in the Art of Archery is an account of his experiences learning Kyūdō, a Japanese form of archery, with a teacher that combined the martial art with aspects of Zen Buddhism. Widely credited with the introduction of Zen in the West, Harrigel combines the spiritual concept of Zen with groundbreaking theories about motor learning.
Aimed towards athletes, this book describes an effective and accessible method for developing mental toughness in performances and competitions. Requiring 10 minutes of daily practicing, the provided methodology improves focus, concentration, confidence, and inspiration.
The Auditionhacker blog: Created by Metropolitan Opera percussionist Rob Knopper, the Auditionhacker blog features articles about the various facets of taking orchestral auditions. His articles often feature interviews with other successful musicians, discussing the audition circuit and possible methodologies in preparing for auditions. Public Facebook group also available.
A former U.S. Army Ranger and Green Beret, Don Greene, Ph. D. is an Olympic sport psychologist who has been on faculty at the Juilliard School, the Colburn Conservatory, and the New World Symphony coaching musicians on how to achieve optimal performance in high-pressure situations. Audition Success is based on interviews with two musicians who learned how to prepare for big auditions under Greene's guidance. There is also an interview with the author available for online viewing.
The Bulletproof Musician blog: Articles by Dr. Noa Kageyama, a former Juilliard-trained violinist with a doctorate in psychology who teaches performance psychology at Juilliard and the New World Symphony. His weekly articles, with ideas based on results from scientific studies, cover everything from performance anxiety to practice "hacks" to technology.
Natesviolin blog: An excellent blog by Nathan Cole, Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, on violin-related issues as well as general issues regarding music performance.
It is widely believed that the best motivation is the carrot-or-stick approach - rewards or fear and punishment. However, Daniel Pink argues that human motivation is intrinsic, and that this true motivation can be divided into three elements: autonomy, mastery and purpose.
A witty yet comprehensive exploration of the connections between exercise and the brain. Through various case studies and science, Ratey shows that exercise is a prime tool for sharpening mental processes and enabling peak performance in the brain.
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
BF431 C69 2009b, Marvin Duchow Music Library
Drawing from neurology and research on the world's "talent hotbeds", this book identifies three fundamental elements used by "talented" people that can optimize anyone's performance: deep practice, ignition, and master coaching.
Combining science on neuroplasticity and Buddhist practice of mindfulness, this book tries to answer one fundamental question: is it possible to change the way people think and feel by changing the brain?
Using catalogue subject headings to find information about optimizing performance
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