You would think that a book subtitled, “A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness” would tend toward dry, colorless explanations reserved for only the most devoted musicians. I can’t say that I was overly excited when Mr. Klickstein asked if I would be willing to review a copy of his book, The Musician’s Way, but within the first chapter my perspective completely changed! In addition to being an excellent writer and communicator, 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. At least I was!
The book is divided into three parts:
1. Artful Practice, which includes chapters on: Getting Organized, Practicing Deeply, and Musical Collaboration.
2. Fearless Performance, which includes chapters on: Unmasking Performance Anxiety, Becoming a Performing Artist, and Performing like a Pro.
3. Lifelong Creativity, which includes chapters on: Injury Prevention and Succeeding as a Student.
Each chapter is further separated into sections with descriptive sub-headings, making it incredibly easy to locate information relevant to a particular need. The extensive Notes, Bibliography, and Index at the back of the further contribute to the value of The Musician’s Way as a tremendous resource that would benefit any music teacher.
The Musician’s Way exposed how much my own practice habits are in need of reformation and how critical it is for me to learn these principles of effective practice, performance, and wellness so that I can pass them on to my students. I am not quite done with the latter half of the book yet, but I know that this is one of those rare books that I’ll be reading and referencing again and again as I attempt to achieve higher levels of mastery in my practicing, performing, and teaching.
Mr. Klickstein is obviously passionate about his message, and has set up a companion website with a wealth of additional materials. And…most exciting of all, he has offered to give away one copy of his book here on Music Matters Blog! Just leave a comment below if you’d like to be entered in the drawing to win. You can earn a double entry by posting about the giveaway on your blog and linking back to this post. I’ll select a winner next Friday, May 7, at noon CST. This will be a wonderful read for any musician or music teacher!