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The Perfect Wrong Note: Learning to Trust Your Musical Self

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  118 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
(Amadeus). In this groundbreaking book, prize-winning pianist and noted educator William Westney helps readers discover their own path to the natural, transcendent fulfillment of making music. Drawing on experience, psychological insight, and wisdom ancient and modern, Westney shows how to trust yourself and set your own musicality free. He offers healthy alternatives for ...more
Paperback, 239 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Amadeus Press (first published October 1st 2003)
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Hannah
Apr 21, 2009 Hannah rated it really liked it
I started this book for my own practice, but quickly incorporated the ideas into my own teaching as well. This book began my informal study into physical learning and self-expression, and I am still at the very beginning of this exploration. There are a lot of problems with the way music is generally taught, which has a lot to do with the fact that many students become discouraged and quit. Returning to an exploratory and not-judgmental approach to learning is ultimately more satisfying, and mor ...more
Kat
Mar 04, 2009 Kat rated it really liked it
I think the only bad part of this book is the title, which makes it sound like a self-help book. It's a lot more academic than that, and is probably more useful to music teachers than music students. It does have really fabulous suggestions for effective practicing though, minimizing frustration and time spent by paying careful attention to the specific mistakes we're making and what information the body is trying to convey through its choice of mistakes.
Sidi
Oct 24, 2015 Sidi rated it liked it
This book is on my reading list from my Juilliard piano class. I only read last two chapters: it's not about academic teaching and philosophy of self practice. Amateurs are mucks lovers with maturity and experience, sense of change and understanding of patience. Let it go and let it happen.
Ruth
Feb 05, 2009 Ruth rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It's a musician's practical and psychological guide to music-making, and how to approach both the learning AND teaching of music, turning aside from approaches that exacerbate perfectionist self-criticism and celebrating approaches that free the musician to learn from and even enjoy those "juicy mistakes" in the practice room and in the performance hall. Really,in many ways,this book is applicable to life as much (and maybe more) than it is to music. It's just as great as 'The ...more
Valarie Moyer
Apr 04, 2016 Valarie Moyer rated it really liked it
I had lessons once...this book holds true to the thought that music that is made naturally, not with pretense or strain, brings forth fascinating, pleasurable, worthwhile results.

I've gone back several times to re-read just to keep me on point!
Jeffrey
May 22, 2015 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a game changer, read it. I feel a new freedom in my approach to practice. Westney really gets it.
msjoonee
Mar 31, 2013 msjoonee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A mind-clearing, thought-provoking look at how to make an honest, positive connection with music and how to come to terms with ourselves when we sit down to embark on that most humbling of experiences...practicing a musical instrument.

The perfect book to pick up when you feel that you are starting to lose the joy in music making and are instead dreading the thought of practicing. An important addition to the library of any musician or music teacher (of which i am both).
Lacie
Feb 03, 2014 Lacie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arts, favorites
Exceptional book. (with a few disclaimers)

Full review coming soon.
Bunnydozer
Oct 11, 2007 Bunnydozer marked it as to-read
Shelves: sitting
I tutor regularly, and this book gave me a new perspective on how people learn and teach. I wasn't all the way through when the new Harry Potter came out. Me being a big dork, I put this one down to start the new book. I've been distracted since but I definatly want to finish this one.
Joe
Mar 31, 2010 Joe rated it really liked it
Interesting. I'm looking for and reading books on music practice and music theory. This one explores some of the more psychological aspects of music performance and practice. It has brought the "Delacroix' method to my attention.
Xiaoyu Li
Nov 18, 2012 Xiaoyu Li rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, not just for music, but for other things.
If we want do our best, please feel our heart, let our body know what we want, go ahead, even in a mistake.
Nancy
Mar 06, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
An extremely helpful book for pianists, especially those who have lost their love for music in perfectionism. Very helpful for restoring joy to practicing.
Becky
Jan 21, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing
An insightful rethinking of music lessons, practice time, and masterclasses with the goal of more musicality, enjoyment, and healthy playing.
Valerie
Oct 24, 2007 Valerie rated it really liked it
Very illuminating, even after so many years in the profession.
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