The Inner Game of Music
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The Inner Game of Music

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,457 ratings  ·  45 reviews
By the best-selling co-author of Inner Tennis, here's a book designed to helpmusicians overcome obstacles, help improveconcentration, and reduce nervousness, allowing them toreach new levels of performing excellence andmusical artistry....more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 21st 1986 by Doubleday (first published 1986)
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Erik Dabel
Great book. Every musician, every music student, and specifically every music teacher, should not only read it, but own it for future references.

There are so many great tips and ideas, and ways to both play music and teach it that get better long term results. Some of which I have already implanted in my own playing and teaching, some of which I am simply waiting for the opportunity to do so.

That being said, there are also several sections that seem like a bit of overkill to me. We must remember...more
Tyrone Steele
This is an astounding work related to breaking down the walls that prevent us from executing a relaxed and enjoyable performance. I recommend this for all musicians, but is applicable to nearly any type of performance.
This was accidentally given to me by my viola instructor after being recommended as a way to improve my performing skills. However, while many of the concepts the book gives are excellent, I found the writing patronising and long-winded. While it is sometimes useful to have the 'Inner Game' techniques spelled out in musical concepts, I have found that 'the Inner Game of Tennis', which I am currently reading, is generally more useful in spelling out concepts. Many of the exercises in 'the Inner G...more
Helped me learn how to deal with my stage anxiety and helped me to focus better while performing
The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green is a book any musician, young or old, should read. There are many helpful tools that it provides. Whenever a tool is discussed, there is an excercise for the reader to try. Thus, rather than just reading the book you can put the tools to practice and remember them easier.

I appreciated these excercises. There were simple to understand and made a big difference in my music playing. The book describes a self 1- the voice in your head that is always criticizi...more
Tony Ren
My vocal teacher recommended this to me. I thought it was alright. The techniques and tips the book covers are things that may marginally improve your abilities. But it in no way can substitute a real teacher.

A common theme in the book is to: try this, now try that, and notice if it feels and sounds different. For example, the author would suggest try playing a passage as loud as you comfortably can, then as soft as you comfortably can, and suggest you to try and find a middle level in between....more
The useful devices in this book are its repetition of main point, and its brevity. It continually repeats the elements of the "inner game" throughout the book and thus drives them home. In other works, this would be tedious, but it is highly desirable in a work that is trying to change mind habits. The book is also very brief, so it can read quickly. I found it quite helpful, since I have a huge piano exam coming up in April.
While I know that the inner game works, I had an issue with this book - all of the examples of problems were too easily solved. As a music teacher, I know that solutions aren't always easy - even inner game solutions. Sometimes it takes more than noticing and awareness to solve a problem. I wish the book explored that - and dealing with ongoing frustration - that would have been helpful.

As for the end when he mentions that he forgot black socks for a gig - and solved that particular problem by s...more
The Inner Game is a sort of teaching system originally popularized in a book on Tennis. Barry Green was so impressed with the idea he'd read in this Tennis Book that he asked if he could write an application of the "system" for music. After several years testing the system and adjusting it for musical practice, the result is this book, which is rather highly acclaimed.

The "system" takes ages old concepts of awareness; think making your practice sessions more like mindfulness meditation. It's an...more
Lisa Crowder
This book focuses on the real reason we sing or play music--for enjoyment, self expression, and authentic expression of the human spirit. If this then becomes the focus, all the rest will fall in place.
I actually did not even finish this book. I was recommended to it by my piano teacher, hoping that it would help me with some of my performance anxiety. However, I found it completely unhelpful. I found myself falling to sleep while reading it when it wasn't even bedtime.

To keep it short and sweet, I found the analogies and connections from sports to music a little far fetched, and it didn't keep me interested. There was too many mathematical equations as to how this plus that would equal doodl...more
I read this many years ago on the recommendation of one of my piano teachers. I'm so glad I did. I can't think of anything new I'd add to the recommendations made by others except to agree with them. It is hugely helpful.
Feb 07, 2008 Ann added it
Shelves: already-read
This book contains a lot of interesting pointers for overcoming performance anxiety as an instrumental musician. The method, while written specifically for musicians, could be applied to other areas of performance and probably to public speaking as well. It reads like one of those over-the-top self-help books they sell in the magazine aisle of the grocery store, but in spite of this, I found it to be useful in terms of providing a different perspective on how to approach public performance.
Anne Barkema
An excellent read about taping into the creative subconscious and creating an environment where it can thrive. Often, we become our own worst enemies by trying too hard and inadvertently blocking the creative flow. The book provides a recipe of focusing on our awareness of what is happening and trusting in our own creative process to take us where we want to go.

This is a book that I will read and re-read time and again as I suspect new insights will float to the surface each time.
Matt Fawson
I read this book a few years ago to help me with performance anxieties. Although I found that some of the techniques helped me develop my skills on stage, the book wasn't particularly interesting to read. Many of the chapters often dragged or lacked relevance to music performance.
After reading some of the other reviews on Goodreads I'm glad that other people have managed to get something out of this book, it just didn't do much for myself.
A lot of music instructional books focus on the technical, but this one emphasises bringing out the musical in your performance and learning, so is worthwhile in that respect.
Stephen Hanrahan
This is one of my favourite music books.
thought me so much about learning and enjoying my music as well as giving me the confidence to play in front of people .

the awareness exercises improved my tone and helped me practice despite being very short on time. this is a book I have time and again dipped into in order to sort various musical problems.

Read this book it helps you learn and perform and truly enjoy music
I read this in college when I was preparing for my senior recital. It is supposedly the same concept as The Inner Game of Tennis geared for musicians. It taught me some great tools to improve my performances - things that I will remember all my life. If you're not a musician I wouldn't recommend it. :)
Lesley Gentilin
This is a great book to introduce musicians to the ideas of more focused awareness while playing. It is about playing mindfully yet at the same time getting out of the way to allow the music to come through. I think it is a positive read for all musicians to help improve the quality of their music performance, introducing positive ideas that maybe they haven't explored or thought about before.
Savitra Adams
I read this book while in my middle twenties. I came away from the book a whole new man/musician; I begun hearing music with a new ear. As a musician of 36+ years, I highly recommend this book. It is good not only for the mind and intellect, but will help the one who diligently applies its principles to a higher musical experience.
This book's central premise makes a lot of sense to me: that flawed or negative thinking can cripple your natural talent. Learning to let go of conscious thought and engage fully with the music will release this talent, and Green has many wonderful ideas on how to get your inner critic to shut up so you can get down to business.
Artemisia Hunt
A book written almost 30 years ago that still has relevance for musicians and music lovers. I've always had an intuitive approach to making my own music and this book still had so many wonderful ideas and exercises to add to my own musical practice. And a book not just about the game of music, but also the game of life.
A combination of sports-derived psuedopsychology and bad advice such as, "Make a list of all the things that make you nervous." It's the only book I brought to the Boundary Waters but otherwise I would not have finished it.
This might have been a great book to read if I'm in the mood. It's an old book I've gotta return to the conservatory --- not sticky or gripping enough for my slow travel to London and back. So I'm gonna let it go.....
Some of the research in it is a little outdated at this point in time, but it also has some really great ideas and applications. I will be paging through it again to try out some of the suggestions.
Barb Blackburn
This seems like it would be a good book for soneone just starting out or learning music but for someone who has a degree in music its full of things I aleeady know. I didnt actually finish it....
Mark Yoshida
This is helpful for musicians who are hindered by mental obstacles. I would have liked this a bit more if drums were given due attention. Still, I think I'll benefit from it.
A really interesting and applicable book. I already need to read it again in order to really implement Barry Green’s strategies for enjoyable and peak performances.
This looks like an excellent read. I just finished the first chapter. It targets that evil inner critic that keeps getting in the way of connecting to real potential!
This was great to read. It basically says trust yourself, which is good to be reminded of, but also has exercises and appeals to my sense of bodily intentionalit.
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The Mastery of Music: Ten Pathways to True Artistry The Inner Game of Music Bringing Music to Life Ensōka No Tameno Kokoro No Ressun: Anata No Ongakuryoku O 100% Hikidasu Hōhō Cheeky Chimp's Tricky Day

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