The Psychology of Piano Technique is much more than a musical self-help book, dealing with a large range of topics and problems that pianists of all levels constantly face. This fourth volume in the Piano Professional series takes a technical perspective on what have traditionally been seen as psychological issues, presenting a new approach for performing musicians and their teachers. Author Murray McLachlan deals with a wide range of subjects relevant to pianists including stage fright, inspiration, injury, short-term tactics for success, and long-term development strategies. He also emphasizes the importance of a positive mindset, and a comfortable, joyful, and calmly creative way of thinking.
What type of practice makes a musician perfect? What sort of child is most likely to succeed on a musical instrument? What practice strategies yield the fastest improvement in skills such as sight-reading, memorization, and intonation? Scientific and psychological research can offer answers to these and other questions that musicians face every day. In The Science and Psychology of Music Performance, Richard Parncutt and Gary McPherson assemble relevant current research findings and make them accessible to musicians and music educators. This book describes new approaches to teaching music, learning music, and making music at all educational and skill levels. Each chapter represents the collaboration between a music researcher (usually a music psychologist) and a performer or music educator. This combination of expertise results in excellent practical advice. Readers will learn, for example, that they are in the majority (57%) if they experience rapid heartbeat before performances; the chapter devoted to performance anxiety will help them decide whether beta-blocker medication, hypnotherapy, or the Alexander Technique of relaxation might alleviate their stage fright. Another chapter outlines a step-by-step method for introducing children to musical notation, firmly based on research in cognitive development. Altogether, the 21 chapters cover the personal, environmental, and acoustical influences that shape the learning and performance of music.
Why are some performers exhilarated and energized about performing in public, while others feel a crushing sense of fear and dread, and experience public performance as an overwhelming challenge that must be endured? What are the factors that produce such vastly different performance experiences? Why have consummate artists like Frederic Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Pablo Cassals, Tatiana Troyanos, and Barbra Streisand experienced such intense music performance anxiety? This is a disorder that can affect musicians across a range of genres and of all standards. Some of the 'cures' musicians resort to can be harmful to their health and detrimental to their playing. This is the first rigorous exposition of music performance anxiety. In this groundbreaking work, Dianna Kenny draws on a range of disciplines including psychology, philosophy, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and performance theory in order to explain the many facets of music performance anxiety that have emerged in the empirical and clinical literature. She identifies some unifying guiding principles that will enhance our understanding of the condition and guide researchers and clinicians in the development of effective treatments. The book provides a detailed conceptual framework for the study of music performance anxiety and a review of the empirical and clinical research on the anxiety disorders. In addition it presents a thorough analysis of the concepts related to music performance anxiety, its epidemiology, and theories and therapies that may be useful in understanding and treating the condition. The voices of musicians are clearly heard throughout the book and in the final two chapters, we hear directly from musicians about how they experience it and what they do to manage it. This book will lay a firm foundation for theorizing music performance anxiety and be of enormous value interest to those in the fields of music and music education, clinical psychology, and performance studies.
The aim of the psychology of music is to understand musical phenomena in terms of mental functions--to characterize the ways in which one perceives, remembers, creates, and performs music. Since the First Edition of The Psychology of Music was published the field has emerged from an interdisciplinary curiosity into a fully ramified subdiscipline of psychology due to several factors. The opportunity to generate, analyze, and transform sounds by computer is no longer limited to a few researchers with access to large multi-user facilities, but rather is available to individual investigators on a widespread basis. Second, dramatic advances in the field of neuroscience have profoundly influenced thinking about the way that music is processed in the brain. Third, collaborations between psychologists and musicians, which were evolving at the time the First Edition was written, are now quite common; to a large extent now speaking a common language and agreeing on basic philosophical issues. The Psychology of Music, Second Edition has been completely revised to bring the reader the most up-to-date information, additional subject matter, and new contributors to incorporate all of these important variables.