Musical Excellence: Strategies and Techniques to Enhance Performance / Edition 1

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Musical Excellence offers performers, teachers, and researchers, new perspectives and practical guidance for enhancing performance and managing the stress that typically accompanies performance situations. It draws together, for the first time in a single collection, the findings of pioneering initiatives from across the arts and sciences. Specific recommendations are provided alongside comprehensive reviews of existing theory and research, enabling the practitioner to place the strategies and techniques within the broader context of human performance and encouraging novel ways of conceptualizing music and teaching. Part 1, Prospects and Limits, sets out ground rules for achieving musical excellence. What roles do innate talent, environmental influences, and sheer hard work play in attaining eminence? How can musicians best manage the physical demands of a profession that is intrinsically arduous throughout a career that can literally span a lifetime? How can performers, teachers, and researchers effectively assess and reflect on performance enhancement for themselves, their colleagues, and their students?

Part II, Practice Strategies, presents approaches for increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of practice. These are generally for the individual and ensembles and specifically for the tasks of memorizing, sight-reading, and improvising music. Musicians spend vast amounts of time and energy acquiring and refining their skills, but are there particular rehearsal strategies that they can employ to produce better performance results or to achieve the same results more quickly? What implication does existing knowledge of human information processing and physical functioning have for musical learning and practice?

Part III, Techniques and Interventions, introduces scientifically validated methods for ordered from the more physical to the psychological to the pharmacological; however, they all address the issues of both mental and physical significance for the musician. Collectively, they stand as clear evidence that applied, cross-disciplinary research can facilitate musicians' strive for performance excellence.

Throughout, the book highlights ways for musicians to make the most of their existing practice, training, and experience and to give them additional tools for acquiring and developing new skills. Each chapter is underpinned by physical and psychological principles relevant to all performance traditions that demand dedication and resilience, unique artistic vision, and effective communication.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Musical Excellence will serve as a valuable reference source for all those involved in the quest for enhanced performances. It should be very much welcomed by the music profession, including performers, teachers, students and researchers, as it offers a valuable foundation to inform empirically the training of practitioners for the achievement of artistic potential."—British Journal of Music Education
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198525356
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/15/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Royal College of Music, London
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Table of Contents

Part I - Prospects and Limits
1. A guide to enhancing musical performance, A Williamon
2. General perspectives on achieving musical excellence, R Chaffin & A F Lemieux
3. Managing the physical demands of musical performance, C B Wynn Parry
4. Measuring performance enhancement in music, G E McPherson & E Schubert
Part II - Practice Strategies
5. Strategies for individual practice, H Jorgensen
6. Strategies for ensemble practice, J W Davidson & E C King
7. Strategies for memorizing music, J Ginsborg
8. Strategies for sight-reading and improvising music, S Thompson & A C Lehmann
Part III - Techniques and Interventions
9. Physical fitness, A H Taylor & D Wasley
10. Alexander technique, E Valentine
11. Physiological self-regulation: biofeedback and neurofeedback, J H Gruzelier & T Egner
12. Mental skills training, C Connolly & A Williamon
13. feedback learning of musical expressivity, P N Juslin, A Friberg, E Schoonderwaldt & J Karlsson
14. Drugs and musical performance, R West
Epilogue: a note on future directions for enhancing musical performance

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