The Art of Practicing

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby John Tudor » 02/14/03 08:55 AM

The Art of Practicing, A Guide To Making Music From The Heart
by Madeline Bruser
This is a fascinating book that I am reading that, while written for musicians, has an effective application to magic practice and performance. In particular, it stresses the means to enhance sensitivity and expressive ness while mastering technical skill.
The author is a musician and teacher who advocates a combination of body and mind processes that allows one to release tension and become not just technically advanced but emotionally open and dynamic. I can't remember ever reading much for magic in this area.
A Ten Step approach is outlined by the author of very simple disciplines and lifestyle changes, which over time leads to a natural and confident command of the instrument. Great chunks of the book will be of no direct value to magicians, unless one has musical training, (there's quite a bit for instance on proper posture with various instruments) but a good read between the lines of even the most technical areas is worth it .
My own practice and rehearsal process has benifitted immensely by actually following the guidelines set out here. And there's been a by product of a rush of new creative ideas that just semed to happen at the same time.
The book is available at Amazon.com
"Ars longa, vita brevis." (Life is short, the art so long to learn) -Hippocrates

John Tudor

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Postby Rafael Benatar » 02/14/03 07:42 PM

Thank you. That sounds interesting. Also along those lines, I mean on the meaning of practice, see Timothy galwey "The Inner Game of Tennis". It's been so succesful that the author has collaborated with specialists for similar titles in golf, skiing music and other things. I liked the tennis and golf books better than the music one (I'm a musician and have played both sports) and they are different enough among them. These Inner Game series was inspired by the classic "Zen in the Art of Archery" by Herrigel, a wondeful book itself. But the Inner Game is much more down-to-earth. Also, along the same lines: A Soprano on Her Head by Eloise Ristad.
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Postby John Tudor » 02/14/03 08:03 PM

>>Also along those lines, I mean on the meaning of practice, see Timothy galwey "The Inner Game of Tennis".

Yes! Do you know about the Inner Game Of Music?
This is a collaboration with Timothy Gallway and a musician and teacher named Barry Green. It's the same inner game program directly related to musical performance.
The formula as I understand it:
The quality of a performance is equal to the performance minus interference. (mental and otherwise) and the aim is to reduce the interference with the skills of
Awareness
Will and
Trust.
The performance then enters it's purest "unthinking" phase, through relaxed concentration.
Fascinating stuff - !
I bought the Soprano on her Head - and several others on the same topic : Performance Success ... Effortless Mastery...

What else has anybody found on this topic?

Pleased to meet you.

John
"Ars longa, vita brevis." (Life is short, the art so long to learn) -Hippocrates

John Tudor

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Joined: 06/25/08 10:06 PM
Location: Columbia, SC

Postby Guest » 02/15/03 10:55 AM

Thanks for the recommendation for "The Art of Practicing," John. I saw it in the book store a few weeks back and was intrigued.

A small book published in 1997 called "Zen Guitar" by Philip Toshio Sudo is a nice treatise on combining the inner and outer in study.

Although a little too wedded to the martial arts metaphor, I found the 12 Points of Focus and 12 Common Missteps a helpful and easy to remember delineation. (Focus: Spirit, Rhythm, Technique, Feel, Perfection, Mistakes, Stages and Plateaus, Discipline, Limits, Follow-Through, Taste, Collaboration. Missteps: Self-Doubt, Instant Gratification, Ego, Halfheartedness, Overearnestness, Speed, Competition, Obsession, Mishandled Criticism, Failure to Adjust, Loss of Focus, Overthinking.)

Along the same lines, I like George Leonard's "The Way of Aikido."

--Randy Campbell
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