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The Practice of Practice: How to Boost Your Music Skills Paperback – May 31, 2014
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This is maybe the best book I've ever read about how to be good at something. Not just for musicians.
Andrew Mason, co-founder of groupon --@Andrew Mason on Twitter, 1-5-15 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Jonathan Harnum is a multi-instrumentalist with over 30 years of experience practicing, playing, and performing music; he’s been a teacher for over 20 years, earned a PhD in music education from Northwestern University, and is the author of Basic Music Theory: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music; Sound the Trumpet: How to Blow Your Own Horn, and three other books. Harnum lives, plays music, writes, and teaches in Chicago and Connecticut.
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This is both a practical guide to new ways to practice and a fascinating look at the psychological and physiological processes involved. That is, not just WHAT to do in the practice room, but WHY and HOW it works. Lots of short, easily absorbed chapters written in a clear, entertaining style. This is the first book I've purchased which takes advantage of the ebook format to a full advantage in that there are many links to articles, videos, and other resources which are available in context. So, if you read on a tablet or PC you can click through as you read and see or hear the author's references on the fly. For that reason, I'd say the electronic version is superior to the printed copy, though you can enter the links manually if you like.
I read through it quickly the first time, and will now read again more slowly to get the "meat" out of this truly valuable resource. I recommend it to all my adult students, and use the material in all my teaching. I look forward to diving deeper into the material in this fine addition to my library.
Get back to the inquisitive and experimental child experience. Be rewarded by not wasting your time on deflating activities.
I have spent hundreds of hours working on my instrument in a non-musical way only to be surprised by my sounding non-musical. As soon as I started to listen and learn from the music that inspired me, the theory and technical side of playing was an exciting stepping stone this end goal of actually making expressive music.