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The Musicians Mind

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SKU: 48R200109953


The Musician’s Mind – Teaching, Learning, and Performance in the Age of Brain Science by Lynn Helding

Paperback; 350 pages – Copyright 2020

Where does learning begin and how is it sustained and stored in the brain? For musicians, these questions are at the very core of their creative lives. Cognitive and neuroscience have flung wide the doors of our understanding, but bridging the gap between research data and music-making requires a unique immersion in both worlds.

Lynn Helding presents a symphony of discoveries that illuminate how musicians can optimize their mental wellbeing and cognitive abilities. She addresses common brain myths, motor learning research and the concept of deliberate practice, the values of instructional feedback, technology’s role in attention disorders, the challenges of parenting young musicians, performance anxiety and its solutions, and the emerging importance of music as a social justice issue.

More than an exploration of the brain, The Musician’s Mind is an inspiring call for artists to promote the cultivation of emotion and empathy as cornerstones of a civilized society. No matter your instrument or level of musical ability, this book will reveal to you a new dynamic appreciation for the mind’s creative power.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: A New Enchantment (New Enchantment; The Brain on Music; The “Mozart Effect”; Music and the Mind)

Chapter 1: Science, Art and The Missing Mind (What Revolution?; Mindless Behaviorism; The New Science of Mind;
Music as a Weapon; Science and Art; C.P. Snow’s “Two Cultures”; The “Third Culture”; The Theory of Multiple Intelligences;
The Rescue of Emotion; The Other Half of the Truth; The Mind-Body Problem; Neuroaesthetics; Cautious Enchantment)

Chapter 2: Groundwork: at the Foothills (Neuromyths and Brainscams; In the Shadow of the “Mozart Effect”;
Tracking a Scientific Legend; Exposure Is Not Learning; The Left Brain | Right Brain Dichotomy; Brain Personalities and Learning Styles; Real Brain Gains; What is the Use of Music?; The Big One; Know-That and Know-How the Thing Works)

Chapter 3: How Learning Works (Two Basic Modes of Information Processing; Learning Defined; The Triumvirate of Learning; Step One: Attention; Attention Aides: Emotion and Desire; Attention Aides: Motivation and Rewards; Attention Aide: Goal-Setting; Attention Aide: Sleep; Step Two: Learning; Chunking; Constructed Memories; Step Three: Memory Neurogenesis and Neural Plasticity; The Plastic Paradox; Back to the Body)

Chapter 4: Learned Movement: Motor Learning (The Question is How, Not What; Motor Learning and Performance;
Differences Between Learning and Performance; Performance Shifts: Upsides and Downsides; Negative Performance Shifts and ‘Unlearning’; The Path to Carnegie Hall; Three Rule of Practice;Motor Imagery: Thinking About Doing; Controlled versus Automatic Processes: Learning/Have Learned; Feedback; Inherent Feedback; Vision; Singers’ Alternative Facts: Cognitive Dissonance; Proprioception; Augmented Feedback; Concurrent Augmented Feedback; Terminal Feedback; Feedback Frequency; Knowledge of Performance and Knowledge of Results; Too Much Information?; Hands Off; The Theory of Attentional Focus; Attentional Focus in Music; Novice Learners and Internal Focus; Challenges to “The Maxim” and “Just-do-it”; Flexible Attention; Planning for Disruptions: Training How to Think; Training Embodied Cognition)

Chapter 5: Performance Studies (Deliberate Practice; Cognitive Demands of Deliberate Practice; Emotional Demands of Deliberate Practice; Grit; Beyond Deliberate Practice; Early Starts and Caring Mentors; Tiger Moms and Helicopter Parents;
The Inverse Power of Praise; Building Motivation; Self-Esteem Theory; Nature/Nurture; The Talent Account: So What?;
Toxic Talent and Social Justice; The Good Enough Musician)

Chapter 6: Mind Games (Break A Leg! – and Other Mind Games; Music Performance Anxiety (MPA); Causes of MPA;
The Physiological Basis of Performance Anxiety; Beyond MPA; Choking Under Pressure; Causes of Choking: The Theory of Explicit Monitoring; Causes of Choking: The Theory of Distraction; The White Bear Problem and the Ironic Effect;
The Upside of Anxiety; Researched Treatments for MPA; Standard Psychotherapies for MPA; Alternative Therapies for MPA;
Alexander Technique; Yoga; Experimental Strategies for MPA; Exposure Therapy and Stress Conditioning; Resilience Training;
Power Posing; Meditation; Holistic Word Cues; “Avoid Avoiding”; Stories of MPA; Importance of Venue and Evaluative Threat;
An Antidote to Perfectionism; Embody the Fear; Deliberate Practice Redux; Routines and Rituals; “Deliberate Calm”;
The Upside of Quitting; Good Luck – and Break a Leg!;

Chapter 7: the Digital Brain (Digital Heaven; Trouble in Paradise: The “Screen Invasion; Multitasking: “Dumbing Down the World”; Interruption Science and Acquired ADD; Zebras Don’t Multitask, Either; Internet Addiction; Who is Minding the Store?; The Plastic Paradox and Digital Technology; Who Cares if You Listen? The Problem of Audience Attention;
Dialing Down Empathy)

Chapter 8: Emotion, Empathy and the Unification of Art and Science (Emotion; Understanding Empathy; Paying Attention To Empathy; Empathy And Goodness; Empathy And Bias; Leveraging Homophily; Instilling Empathy Through Art;
Coda: The Fourth Culture And The Unification Of Art And Science)



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