This wise and timely book enlightens amateur and professional musicians about a way of practicing that transforms a sometimes frustrating, monotonous, and overly strenuous labor into an exhilarating and rewarding experience. For a great many musicians, poor practice habits destroy the joy of making music and cause tension, strain, and disabling injuries. Acclaimed pianist and teacher Madeline Bruser offers practical techniques for cultivating free and natural movement, a keen enjoyment of sounds and sensations, a clear and relaxed mind, and an open heart. Conveying deep personal understanding of the musician's working life, The Art of Practicing deals with common problems that arise, including impatience, distraction, anger, and stage fright, as well as posture, phrasing, motivation, memory, and other issues that every musician must address to develop his or her skill to its highest level.
"Madeline Bruser has put together a valuable and insightful look at the art of practicing. If more people read this this book, perhaps we might see an increase in the number of inspired and joyful music makers who, rather than viewing practice as a punitive activity, regard it as the supreme opportunity to explore their own creativity."
American Music Teacher "An essential and brilliant book. Madeline Bruser gives us insight, wisdom, and tremendous practicality."
--Don Campbell, author of The Mozart Effect
"I've often thought of practice as playing--in the stretching, somersault, skipping, serenely special sense of the word--and The Art of Practicing reaffirms that. It gently and joyfully reminds us of the beautiful reasons we love music and become musicians in the first place."
--Richard Stoltzman, clarinetist
"The attitude and approach presented in this book ring true and can inspire us to open up to music with stimulated imagination and inquisitiveness and to play from the heart every time we sit down to play. I recommend this book and its ideas very highly."
--Peter Serkin, pianist
"An excellent sourcebook for musicians...logical, well thought-out, and clearly written, as well as medically tenable...thoughtful, sensitive, and very practical."
--Alice G. Brandfonbrenner, M.D., founding director Medical Program for Performing Artists, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, editor, Medical Problems of Performing Artists
"This is a book to read and read again, whether you are a performing musician or a serious listener."
The Washington Times
"Give this book to any musician you love and to any person who loves what music does for them and for the world. " --Richard Stoltzman, clarinetist
"Luminous and inspiring. "
--Paula Robison, flutist