Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195343137
ISBN-10: 0195343131
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Trade in your item
Get a $5.23
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$13.75 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$21.12 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
27 New from $16.93 30 Used from $13.75
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Featured resources on green building, BIM, and sustainable design.
Books Inspired by Greenbuild 2016
Featured resources on green building, BIM, and sustainable design.Learn more.
$21.12 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness
  • +
  • Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music
  • +
  • Soundscapes: Exploring Music in a Changing World (Third Edition)
Total price: $145.84
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


"One of the most important books on musicianship in recent decades." --Joseph Docksey, Director, Lamont School of Music, University of Denver

"I predict that The Musician's Way will be an instant classic. It is the most useful, comprehensive book I have ever read on developing the skills of a successful performer. Every music lover--student, professional, amateur, and teacher alike--should own this book." --Jeffrey Solow, Professor of Cello, Temple University; President, American String Teachers Association

"The entire music profession has received a great and much-needed gift from Gerald Klickstein. The Musician's Way is a landmark and essential guide for every serious musician."--Barbara Lister-Sink, Professor of Piano, Salem College; author, Freeing the Caged Bird DVD

"The Musician's Way is the brainchild of an experienced and insightful teacher who has thought long and hard about how musicians can maximize their artistic success while coping with the stresses of music making. In clear and engaging language, the author leads us down the complex pathways navigated by musicians and provides sound directions at every turn." --Alice G. Brandfonbrener, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Founding Director, Medical Program for Performing Artists, Northwestern University Medical School

"You owe it to yourself to read this book." --The Classical Guitar Blog

"A wonderful tool for all aspiring musicians." --Music Ed Magic

"A rare example of clear, concise and useable information on music practice...If I read a better book on practice this year I'll be surprised!!" --HowtoPractice.com

"The relationship of learning, practice, and mastery in the case of musicianship is explored thoroughly in Gerald Klickstein's The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness. Written for especially classical and jazz instrumentalists and vocalists at the university level, the book nevertheless provides important lessons for musicians of widely diverse levels and backgrounds." --John Warren, Juan's World

"Mr. Klickstein presents so much helpful information that you will be itching to sit at the piano with his book beside you while you practice....A tremendous resource that would benefit any music teacher." --MusicMattersBlog.com

"The Musician's Way is strongly recommended for its focus on mental imagery and the role of the mind in effective practice...A holistic approach to teaching, The Musician's Way should be on the shelf of every aspiring professional musician and every serious music educator." --Clavier Companion

"Klickstein covers the gamut of issues, tips, and ideas that make up the world of the serious musician....Students hunger for this kind of knowledge." --Notes

"Klickstein takes a common-sense approach and works his way through techniques for improving every aspect of a performer's life, from ways to memorise a piece to dealing with performance anxiety. . . . It's all very well thought through and an interesting read." --The Strad

"A comprehensive guidebook from an experienced, insightful musician....You must read this book." --Stringendo

"Wonderfully thought-out and organized...a book to keep around and to constantly refer back to as you develop as a musician...'The Musician's Way' is a book that will benefit any musician. He touches on aspects of all performers, from guitarists to violinists to drummers to vocalists, and has plenty of tips for everyone...Regardless of what instrument you play or how long you've been playing or what level of musician you consider yourself to be, you will find a tremendous amount of beneficial material in this book. I can't recommend it enough." --David Hodge, GuitarNoise.com

"Engaging and well-written and a valuable resource for every performer seeking to develop their craft and maintain career longevity." --Psychology of Music

"Provides a wealth of information that would otherwise take years to accrue." --British Journal of Music Education

"Articulates both an artistic approach to attaining mastery of an instrument/voice and a practical approach to achieving professional goals....Uniquely holistic." --Philosophy of Music Education Review

About the Author

Gerald Klickstein (@klickstein) is a veteran performer and educator with more than 30 years of experience on the concert stage and in higher education. In July 2012, he was appointed Director of the Music Entrepreneurship and Career Center at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. From 1992-2012, he was a member of the distinguished artist-faculty of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. His book The Musician's Way and its extensive website MusiciansWay.com have drawn global praise for their insightful handling of the issues that today's musicians face.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 75%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195343131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195343137
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.7 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher A. Davis on February 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The subtitle of the book is an outline of what you'll find inside. Part one deals with, "practicing deeply." It begins with the necessary, but mundane, subjects of organizing practice time and creating a supportive practice environment. Klickstein divides practice into five zone: new, developing, and performance material along with technique and musicianship. Some of these are self-explanatory, others explore ares few people venture. How much of your practice includes sight reading and ear training?

The following chapters look at how to work with material in each practice zone, and cover things such as mental practice, selecting repertoire, memorization, interpretative issues, and taking breaks in practice. The material is necessarily general. A book could not contain specific practice suggestions for every major piece in every instrument's repertoire. I consider the generality of this advice a strength. The practice concepts in The Musician's Way could be easily integrated with whatever your private instructor is giving you.

I have always thought that there needed to be a good, lengthy book on practicing, but I'd never found one I liked. It had gotten to the point where I thought of writing something myself. Now I don't have to. The The Musician's Way fills that gap.

Part two deals with performance issues. It begins by discussing anxiety's effects on our bodies, and continues with, "five facets of preparation," and issues of backstage and pre-performance routines.

What I like most about the section on performance is its practicality. In short, Mr. Klickstein is not afraid to discuss what most people consider trivial issues. Are your clothes prepared? Do you have the music? How do you start and end a piece? How do you walk out on stage?
Read more ›
Comment 120 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The Buddhas do but tell of the way; it is up to you to swelter at the task. ~Gautama Siddharta (c. 563-483 BCE)
I've read (and re-read in many cases) most books out there on practice and this is one of the best, hands down. Klickstein is a classical guitarist who performs throughout the U.S. and internationally and is a professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

My favorite 2 aspects of the book are the well-chosen quotations sprinkled throughout, and the use of solid research to inform and back up what Klickstein puts forth. The bibliography is solid and well-chosen. The book is fairly comprehensive, covers the nitty gritty of practice, and includes concrete things to actually do, which mostly means strategies for excellent practice, but there are other worthy tidbits, too. The second section of the book is all about performance and the strategies you can use to include performance as another aspect of your practice. Klickstein also covers aspects of the body that are important to good practice: physical warm-ups, injury prevention, resting. The final part of the book covers injury prevention and valuable advice for the student. More specifics on each section are below.

Part I: Artful Practice (6 Chapters, 124 pages)

This section is organized to reflect Klickstein's method of organizing practice. There is basic introductory stuff like definitions, creating a great practice environment, planning and scheduling and Klickstein sets up his method, the "Five Practice Zones" (new material, developing material, performance material, technique, musicianship). Each following chapter is something of an elaboration of these zones.
Read more ›
Comment 66 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Musician's Way is definitely the book that any young (or older) musician should read. Extremely informative, full of suggestions and practical advices in all the aspects of music making. I teach a program in Performance Skills and Perspectives at the Music Dep. of the University of Malta (Europe) and I use this book as one of the resources for the course.
Personally, I would have preferred a bit warmer style of writing. At times it feels like you are reading an essay on brain surgery more than an inspirational book on creativity, but this does not take anything away from the its value.

Thank you Mr. Klickstein! I look forward to your next book. :-)
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Musician's Way is an immensely useful book. Gerald Klickstein covers just about every aspect of musicianship imaginable in a concise and thorough way, very much in the holistic manner of his guitar teaching. The book is geared particularly toward young musicians in music school, but can be useful for anyone who wants to improve as a musician. There are specific instructions and suggestions that make the challenges of being a musician much easier to conquer because there's a clear plan. If you have any questions about the book or something not covered in the book, you can go to the website. Kudos and thanks to Mr. K for his dedication and enthusiasm!
Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A couple weeks ago, I was discussing with my teacher Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success and his belief in 10,000 hours of practice with something is the magic number to hit for mastery in proficiency. This lead to the observation that we both know people who have practiced a lot, but still, to put it in simplest terms, still suck.

She suggested that I read Musician's Way, and I cannot be more ecstatic by how this book helped me understand practice. I'm an intermediate level violist who has returned to playing after a hiatus. I had no idea about practice and just went in auto-pilot: no major thought, no concentration, and no plan.

This book really points out what practice is suppose to accomplish and how to go about doing that. After reading it, I realized that I wasn't thinking big picture a lot of the time while practicing, I was just trying to get it done - errors and all. A big example of this was the section on how to work on "New Music." It showed the concepts of mapping out songs, working on getting to know it deeply without picking up an instrument, and most of all, avoiding errors that become ingrained.

Since I've incorporated suggestions from this book, my practices have been more satisfying, I've shown better improvement and I have a better idea of what I'm trying to accomplish.

I would not hesitate to suggest this book to other intermediate players of any instrument. This book hit me at the right time; my old practice techniques weren't working on harder material, but I had grown use to practicing every day. It might be too much for a beginner to start out with and probably too boring for an advanced player.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: guitar technique