Practicing Music by Design: Historic Virtuosi on Peak Performance explores pedagogical practices for achieving expert skill in performance. It is an account of the relationship between historic practices and modern research, examining the defining characteristics and applications of eight common components of practice from the perspectives of performing artists, master teachers, and scientists. The author presents research past and present designed to help musicians understand the abstract principles behind the concepts. After studying Practicing Music by Design, students and performers will be able to identify areas in their practice that prevent them from developing.
The tenets articulated here are universal, not instrument-specific, borne of modern research and the methods of legendary virtuosi and teachers. Those figures discussed include:
Luminaries Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin
Renowned performers Anton Rubinstein, Mark Hambourg, Ignace Paderewski, and Sergei Rachmaninoff
Extraordinary teachers Theodor Leschetizky, Rafael Joseffy, Leopold Auer, Carl Flesch, and Ivan Galamian
Lesser-known musicians who wrote perceptively on the subject, such as violinists Frank Thistleton, Rowsby Woof, Achille Rivarde, and Sydney Robjohns
Practicing Music by Design forges old with new connections between research and practice, outlining the practice practices of some of the most virtuosic concert performers in history while ultimately addressing the question: How does all this work to make for better musicians and artists?