The Practice of Practice: How to Boost Your Music Skills (PAPERBACK)
265 pages, 44 chapters. (SAMPLE)
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Talent means nothing when it comes to getting better. Practice is everything. But exactly what is good practice? How does good practice create talent?
The focus of this book is music practice, but these techniques and mindsets can be applied to any skill you want to improve. Andrew Mason, co-founder of Groupon said, "This is maybe the best book I've ever read abut how to be good at something. Not just for musicians."
The Practice of Practice covers essential practice strategies and mindsets you won't find in any other book. You'll learn what research tells us about practice, but more importantly, you'll learn how great musicians in many genres of music think about practice, and you'll learn the strategies and techniques they use to improve. Includes helpful diagrams and visuals.
This book will help you get better faster, whether you play rock, Bach, or any other kind of music. It will also help you be a more informed teacher or a more effective parent of a young learner. Don't practice longer, practice smarter.
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Music Instruction & Study
By Scott Johnson - See all my reviews
I read "The Practice of Practice" on the plane home & I loved it. It's witty, well-organized, and fun to read (and I usually don't like reading).
Short, direct, well-researched chapters are practical and accessible.
Great resource for all musicians, teachers, and ANYONE who WANTS TO IMPROVE at ANYTHING. Great book!
James Jennings (REAL NAME)
For teachers and students, professionals and amateurs, this book will give everyone some useful insights into the process that so many of us struggle with. I have changed my practice routine and am finding it more effective now.
A Breath of fresh air....
By Barry C. Smith on June 24, 2014
The book is as valuable neural-psychologically, as it is musically. There are many useful tips regardless of what instrument one plays. Many Apps, and various other on-line supplements are provided for those wishing to expand outwards from the book. Supporting studies back up everything Harnum recommends. Reading this will give you many new and interesting ideas to include when you practice. Your overall musicianship will improve and practicing will be more fun.
This helpful book covers essential practice strategies and mindsets you won’t find in any other book. You’ll learn the What, Why, When, Where, Who, and especially the How of great music practice. This information comes from hundreds of research studies of practice, as well as first-hand conversations with world-class musicians in several genres of music.
Learn more about The Practice of Practice below.
Whatever instrument you want to play, The Practice of Practice will help you get the most out of your practice. This book will help you become more savvy about getting better. It will also help you be a more informed teacher or a more effective parent of a young learner. Don’t practice longer, practice smarter.
The Practice of Practice outlines 6 parts of practice:
- What (6 chapters): Definitions of what music practice is (and isn’t). Also learn about the neural mechanisms of learning and what music practice does to your brain.
- Why (5 chapters): Motivation is crucial. Learn ways of keeping the flame lit in this section.
- Who (5 chapters): A lot of people (including yourself) will impact your practice. Learn about who they (and you) are, and how they’ll help your practice.
- When (6 chapters): This section covers how much, and what times of the day are best for practice, as well as the development of practice skill over time.
- Where (5 chapters): Where you practice affects how well you practice. Learn to harness the place of your practice.
- How (18 chapters): Three times longer than the next longest section of the book, this section includes information about goals, structuring your practice, as well as specific strategies pros use to get better and effective practice techniques tested by researchers.
QR Codes and Web Links: Nearly every chapter contains links to carefully selected extra content online, rich content that will extend and reinforce what you’ve learned in each chapter. With a smart phone and a QR code reader, you can access If you’re reading on a Web-connected e-book, you can click on the link and go to the extra online goodies.
Extra Online Content (link) Includes:
video/audio of great performances
interesting and useful talks
interviews on practice
great books and recordings
helpful practice gadgets
many useful practice tools
The Stellar Musicians
Interviewed to prepare for this Book
Ethan Bensdorf, NY Phil trumpeter (vid)
Bobby Broom, jazz guitar (vid)
Avishai Cohen, jazz trumpet (vid)
Sidiki Dembele, djembe (vid–Sidiki plays first)
Adrian Holovaty, guitar, programming (vid)
Hans Jørgen Jensen, cello (vid)
Ingrid Jensen, jazz trumpet (vid)
Sona Jobarteh, kora, guitar, voice, composition/songwriting (vid)
Om Johari, rock singer, guitar, (vid)
Rupesh Kotecha, Indian classical tabla (vid)
Rex Martin, tuba (vid)
Chad McCullough, jazz trumpet (vid)
Erin McKeown, voice, guitar, bass, piano, drumset, songwriter (vid)
Allison Miller, multi-genre drummer (vid)
Peter Mulvey, voice, guitar, songwriting (vid)
Colin Oldberg, classical trumpet (vid–Colin’s on the left)
Nick Phillips, jazz trumpet (vid)
Michael Taylor, djembe (vid)
Prasad Upasani, Indian classical vocalist, programmer (vid)
Serge van der Voo, upright bass, vocals, foot percussion (vid)
Stephane Wrembel, gypsy jazz guitar, songwriter/composer(vid)