Mastering the Art of Performance: A Primer for Musicians

Mastering the Art of Performance: A Primer for Musicians

by Stewart Gordon


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In Mastering the Art of Performance: A Primer for Musicians, Stewart Gordon offers seasoned advice to musicians intent on meeting the challenges of performance. Through real-life examples and pre-performance exercises, this accessible manual gives musicians and other performers practical insights into every aspect of performance. While other books merely identify and describe the problems associated with performance, this book offers detailed suggestions for solving them.
First, Gordon tackles the critical planning and preparatory stages, helping performers to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. The book's easy-to-follow exercises address the self-doubt and anxiety many musicians contend with, helping them to analyze why they perform, set goals and assess the level of energy needed to achieve them, and develop a performance philosophy. The book also offers techniques that will help musicians deal with some of the classic pitfalls of performance preparation, including repetition and drill, changing bad habits, and developing memory.
For the performance itself, Gordon's insights help musicians with pacing and managing stage fright. For the aftermath, Gordon arms performers with strategies for dealing with criticism and conducting a constructive self-evaluation, equipping them to face the challenges of a lifetime of performances, including career plateaus and burnout.
Gordon draws from more than forty years of experience in front of audiences to offer readers invaluable tips and personal reflections. While aimed primarily at musicians, the book will be useful to anyone facing the pressures of performance, such as actors, dancers, and even public speakers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195398724
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/04/2010
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 790,868
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Stewart Gordon has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a pianist, teacher, editor, composer, and author. His books and video tapes are widely used in university classrooms. His new edition of the thirty-two Beethoven piano sonatas is attracting wide attention for its scholarly research. He is currently a Professor of Keyboard Studies at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California.

Table of Contents

Prelude: Defining Performance
1: Assessing Yourself, the Performer, Achieving a Positive Mindset Toward Performance
2: Why We Perform: Forging a Performance Philosophy
3: Physical Support for Performance
4: Conceptualizing and Scheduling Goals
5: Keeping Preparation Fresh and Focused
6: Dealing with Repetition and Drill
7: Techniques to Develop Secure Memorization
8: Insuring Quality
9: Self-Regard at the Time of Performance
10: Managing Stage Fright
11: Dynamics during Performance
12: Evaluation after Performance
13: Performance and Human Interaction
14: The Career Challenge
15: Physical Challenge and Performance
16: Performance Careers in Retrospect
Postlude: Performance and Your Spiritual Life
Selected Bibliography

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