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3.9 out of 5 stars17
3.9 out of 5 stars
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This is not so much the recipe book that some reviewers seem to want - more a discussion document on many practice topics. I think it covers the subject quite well although it could do with a little editing back - but then the writer is working in New York so I guess that's where the over explanation may come from, it's a cultural thing. I liked the chapter on stretching as it fitted well with some directions I was given on a course by another USA musician and it certainly helped with my back and shoulder aches. As a book in a set that would probably include others by Richard provost, Joseph O'Connor, Kenny Wernerand Daniel Levitin, it fits nicely into it's slot and cover ground that the others don't. If I were looking for just one book on practice I think I'd go for the Kenny Werner, Effortless Mastery (with a CD in the back cover). If I wanted lots of planning and organising tools - Richard Provost's book on practice.
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on 14 May 1999
Madeline's indepth observations of the human experience in learning the art of music are unparalleled. She keenly and with pinpointed accuracy shares with the reader what he will face in the process of learning music. And, more importantly, she presents insight on possible ways to deal with and overcome those trying times. As an adult student with only one year of piano behind me, I wish I had read this book earlier. I definitely would have learned to be more patient with myself or at least would have been more understanding of what was happening to me in the process of learning. In any case, I have a brand new and refreshing approach to my continued learning process now. Thank you very, very much.
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on 9 April 1999
I greatly regret that I should have read this book long long years ago ! I have seen many music students teachers who completely lack the most important things that the book describes. And I think that any musican-want-to-be should read this book first. This is the "Road Less Travelled" equivalent in psycology of musical practicing and performance. Her explanations were inspiring. Very often they were too conceptual. OK. That sounds very nice, but what is it exactly, and how do we achieve it ? Fortunately, at the end of each chapter, there is a section called "Questions and Answers". I think that the questions are from her students. And the questions were more "practical" ones rather than conceptual. And answers were very good. She provides 10 steps (suggestions) for practicing. Most of them are quite reasonable. Some of them may not be applied to me. However, it may be because I am still musically immature (far from her level) comparing with her.
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on 28 May 1999
For a while, I was in an uninspired musical slump. I still practiced, but it wasn't fun anymore, and as a result, the time I spent wasn't very effective. This book gave me many ways to freshen up my practice sessions and make them more enjoyable and more productive. It is very easy to read, and one afternoon spent with it can make a world of difference for your music-making.
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on 22 December 1997
If a musician could only read a single book to learn about how to PREVENT injury, this would be the one. Madeline Bruser has assembled, from a host of resources terrific practical advice that does far more than help you find a healthy approach to using your instrument: The Art of Practicing also examines how to bring the highest level of artistry and communication to your playing. It includes question/answer sections throughout and instrument-specific advice. I really can't say enough about this book: if all teachers and students would take its guidance to heart, we would not have the levels of injury among musicians we now see, and music making would be both more human and humane.
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on 3 May 2010
I really enjoyed reading this book. When she described the reasons people may feel nervous playing, either for themselves or for others, it resonated with my own experiences. It was a relief to realise that feeling so nervous because music is important to me is something entirely normal! Her suggestions how to approach practice are simple and make a lot of sense. Instead of trying to fight the nervousness she suggests to accept it as an expression of how much you care about the music.
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on 18 December 2012
This book talks about the approach to practice and ties into performance. Covers many of the important subjects often overlooked, posture etc, and other ways to connect to the music better. Its a good book, I think it could have been written in a way that made it a little more exciting to read. It is written well.
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on 31 March 2000
From the outset, it assumes that you started learning your instrument at the age of 3, have been through music school, and are now striving for perfection. It is a very deep discussion about deeply serious musical attainment. Not much of interest to the enthusiastic amateur who is simply trying to overcome basic obstacles. The author explains how she would meditate before practice, and how personal health is an issue. There's even a chapter on physical "stretching" excerises involving the whole body, with photographs expertly modelled by a contortionist. Ideal for the super-fit, musical buddist.
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on 22 June 2009
a serious book written in an easy style, with many specific tips supporting the general thesis of relaxed focus, concentration without tension, getting better at what is really important, and finding success by working according to intrinsic rather than external values. worth a second read.
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on 27 October 1998
Chock full of great stuff, but much too wordy and repetitive. The anecdotes never end. In addition, one or two suggestions are outrageous. Too bad, with so many sound ideas and well needed ergonomic advice!
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