Monday, December 8, 2008

Mind Practice

This post over on Horn Notes quotes from a book called The Mind Gym by Gary Mack. It ties in neatly with some of the things Daniel Levitin covers in his first book, This Is Your Brain On Music.
One interesting study involved college basketball players. For three months, one group shot free throws for one hour each day. Another group spent an hour each day thinking about shooting free throws. The third group shot baskets thirty minutes a day and spent thirty minutes visualizing the ball going through the hoop from the foul line. Which group, at the end of the study, do you think improved its free-throw shooting the most? The third group did. The imagery had as much impact on accuracy as shooting baskets.
Blogger and horn teacher Ericson follows this by talking about visualizing the situation of the performance as well as how to play the music. 

Whenever I perform I want to be there way ahead of time to get used to the space, hoping to minimize any surprises during the performance. Differing acoustics call for differing approaches to performing the music.

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