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

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 67%)
Est. Return Date: 08/02/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 33%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $15.45
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 38%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $15.45   
  • New (8) from $21.56   
  • Used (7) from $15.45   


In The Musician's Way, veteran performer and educator Gerald Klickstein combines the latest research with his 30 years of professional experience to provide aspiring musicians with a roadmap to artistic excellence. Part I, Artful Practice, describes strategies to interpret and memorize compositions, fuel motivation, collaborate, and more. Part II, Fearless Performance, lifts the lid on the hidden causes of nervousness and shows how musicians can become confident performers. Part III, Lifelong Creativity, surveys tactics to prevent music-related injuries and equips musicians to tap their own innate creativity. Written in a conversational style, The Musician's Way presents an inclusive system for all instrumentalists and vocalists to advance their musical abilities and succeed as performing artists.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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!!" —

"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." —

"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,

"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

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195343137
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/26/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 200,885
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet 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 have drawn global praise for their insightful handling of the issues that today's musicians face.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part I: Artful Practice
1. Getting Organized
Artful Practice
Defining Practice
Creating a Practice Environment
The Five Practice Zones
Planning Your Practice
Scheduling Practice Sessions
Choosing New Material
2. Practicing Deeply, I
Practicing Deeply
Habits of Excellence
Essentials of Artistic Interpretation
Mental Imaging
Warming Up
3. Practicing Deeply, II
The Craftsmanship of Practice
Starting New Material
Managing Repetition
Solving Problems
4. Practicing Deeply, III
Ripening Your Repertoire
Taking Breaks
Memorization Concepts
Memorization Strategies
5. Practicing Deeply, IV
Building Technique
Upgrading Musicianship
Fueling Motivation
Committing to the Creative Process
6. Musical Collaboration
Musical Collaboration
Interacting in Rehearsal
Correlating Solitary and Group Practice
Igniting Synergy
Forming a Musical Group
Part II: Fearless Performance
7. Unmasking Performance Anxiety
Fearless Performance
Unmasking Performance Anxiety
The Basic Anxiety Equation
Anxiety's Effects
The Roots of Performance Anxiety
Portraits of Anxious Performers
Crafting Confidence
8. Becoming a Performing Artist, I
Becoming a Performing Artist
The Heart of Performance
The Five Facets of Preparation
Preperformance Routines
Backstage Techniques
9. Becoming a Performing Artist, II
Stage Deportment
Shaping Your Stage Presence
Starting and Ending
Harnessing On-Stage Energy
Connecting with an Audience
10. Becoming a Performing Artist, III
Dealing with Errors
Postperformance Routines
Practicing Performance
Evaluating Your Progress
11. Performing like a Pro
Performing like a Pro
The Peak-Performance Myth
Designing Concert Programs
Three Model Programs
Creating a Preparation Timeline
Auditions and Competitions
The Recording Studio
Part III: Lifelong Creativity
12. Injury Prevention, I
Lifelong Creativity
Musicians and Injuries
Causes of Injury
Warning Signs and Responses
Injury-Prevention Basics
Recovering from Injury
13. Injury Prevention, II
Balanced Sitting and Standing
Meeting Your Instrument
Voice Care
Hearing Conservation
14. Succeeding as a Student
Succeeding as a Student
Student-Teacher Dynamics
Appreciating Criticism
Embracing Career Challenges
Counteracting Substance Abuse
Boosting Creativity
Selected Bibliography

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A complete manual for serious musicians and students

    Thorough and clearly written, Gerald Kickstein lays it all out: how to organise, how to practice fruitfully, how to prevent having physical problems while training intensively- and many other topics, assembled from his extensive experience as a teacher and high-level performer. His examples are well-chosen, and the book has useful insights for players in every field of music. It is a real resource, and should be required reading for all music students!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)