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Soprano on Her Head: Right-Side-Up Reflections on Life and Other Performances

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$145.00
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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780911226218
  • Publisher: Real People Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1982
  • Pages: 203
  • Product dimensions: 6.09 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.47 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2002

    Read This Book

    Need help sight-reading? Take up juggling. Problems with rhythm? Crawl on the floor like a baby. Troubles getting emotionally involved with the piece you are playing? Dance. Just can't get that passage to go right? All you have to do is visualize it, and it will go perfectly. You'll find all these suggestion and more in Mrs. Ristad's book. Read this book from the standpoint of a music teacher and you will come away truly inspired, but WAIT. . . if you are not a music teacher or a musician at all, read it anyway. You also will be encouraged and motivated. You will learn how to ski and hike with more freedom, perhaps be able to give yourself permission to make mistakes in any area of your life, and rid yourself of unnecessary baggage so to 'discover abilities beyond [y]our expections.' How could all these diverse subjects be weaved into one book? The common factor: Mrs. Ristad's truly brilliant ideas on how to reduce stress in one's life, become aware of oneself in music and in all activities, and experience one's life to the fullest. She listens to her own advice by listening to her own inner wisdom as she explains how to achieve these goals. Her main point, evident throughout her book, is to encourage putting away the old 'can'ts' and 'shouldn'ts', to trick one's inner judges for a moment to reach down into oneself, and to really feel what has been there all along but has not been allowed to reveal itself. The author's talents were best utilized, it seems, in cases where a musical student, performer or composer was experiencing a sort of mental block, sometimes literally. Her creativity, based largely on using movement to become aware of the body, came to life, as often did her students, to solve musical and sometimes personal issues. Most of this creativity seemed impromptu, but she also shares moments with her readers when ideas occurred to her in everyday life. She becomes a true living testimony to her own philosophy. A music teacher might wonder how one would go about teaching in her fashion along with a set lesson plan, as is recommended for every 'good' teacher to have, but the reader has to understand that Mrs. Ristad herself would probably ask what a lesson plan is, laugh if she saw one, and then pull out a match to prepare to warm her hands over the burning paper. So, needless to say, an answer to that question will not be found in her book. Another big question many might have is: where would one come up with these wild ideas, on such a regular basis, with nothing planned ahead of time, and with such a great success rate? Again, one has to remember the fundamental vision and purpose the Mrs. Ristad shares, which is to be free of all the voices and critics inside one's head, who would immediately squelch the creativity we are all capable of having when in a state of awareness. She would believe that we could do the same things with our students (and in our lives) that she did with hers. What this critic would have really enjoyed is watching her work over a period of time, since some of the scenarios seem almost too good to be true. She admits that some the scenarios mentioned were not instant cures, and that some of her ideas did not work at all, but even just a SMALL glimpse of watching this woman at work would have been even more inspiring than her book, if that is possible. This critic only found one possible thing lacking about this book: the fact that her untimely death prevented a sequel (or ten) filled with more of her ideas so the rest of us commoners could glean even more from her inspiration. To end with her own words: 'When we over-look, over-try, over-instruct our lives, we do the same ankle-twisting stumbling. We miss the essence of an experience as a constant discovery, a consciousness of being, a journey with a view of peaks and far horizons rather than a necessary trudge along a dusty pathway.' Help yourself by experiencing this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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