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PracticeMind for Everyone

By Hans Jørgen Jensen and Oleksander Mycyk

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"Practice Mind for Everyone is truly revolutionary and a must-read for anyone practicing music. It is beautifully laid out, crystal clear, and incredibly exciting and inspiring."

—Dr. Jacqueline Leclair,
Associate Professor of Music, Schulich School of Music of McGill University

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How this book will help you

  • This new version of PracticeMind is for ALL instrumentalists.* Winds, Percussion, Brass, Piano, etc.
    *String players see PracticeMind: The Complete Practice Model
  • Using proven methods backed by extensive research and teaching experience PracticeMind provides a complete model for improving and sustaining an effective practice routine.
  • Harness the power of your practice mind to improve the effectiveness of your daily practice and bring joy to the process of advancing your abilities as a musical artist..
  • Build practice skills and habits that will elevate your playing (and teaching) to new heights.

About PracticeMind for Everyone

PracticeMind for Everyone is a groundbreaking pedagogical method book for all musicians that will transform your practice and performance. Hans Jørgen Jensen and Oleksander Mycyk define a mental practice model for piano, percussion, brass, wind, and more, filling the book with research-backed practice techniques and methods that will dramatically improve your performance results. The first section delves into the mental, motivational, and psychological aspects of learning. Demystifying the powerful metacognitive learning cycle, the second part of the book focuses on topics such as goal setting and practice planning. The chapters focusing on implementation explore the active part of practicing and the proven techniques you can apply in your daily practice sessions. The final section of this definitive guide to developing your practice mind encourages active listening, feedback, and evaluation of all steps of your musical journey. PracticeMind for Everyone promotes a practice mindset that inspires greater motivation, effectiveness, and inspiration in all aspects of a musical life on and off the stage.

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12 Things This Book Will Teach You

  • How to develop great practice habits
  • The secrets behind successful goal setting
  • How to become much more patient
  • How to become stronger and deal with setbacks
  • A simple but smart method for mental practice
  • Effective problem solving techniques
  • The value of fundamental practice
  • The reason that the Deliberate Practice Method is so important
  • The importance of score study
  • The many ways of listening
  • The significance of intuition for musicians
  • The urgency and importance of recording yourself

Praise for PracticeMind for Everyone

"This book, while mostly written with the music student in mind, is a valuable read for students, teachers and performers alike. Students will gain insights that will save them hours of time and effort, helping them get to their goals faster. As an experienced professional, it was satisfying to see the various practice strategies I've used over the years explained in detail. I've also picked up many new strategies and tools for my own performing and teaching."

- Keith Buncke

Principal Bassoon, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

"PracticeMind is a must-read for anyone interested in seriously raising the level of their game. Highly recommended!"

- She-e Wu

Associate Professor of Music, percussion
Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University

"PracticeMind for Everyone is an essential resource which provides information that is presented in a well-organized and thoughtful way, allowing readers to progress through theoretical and scientific concepts to practical implementation and subsequent evaluation of daily practice techniques. PracticeMind for Everyone is an in-depth guide that provides important concepts that can easily be applied by students, professional performers, and pedagogues, regardless of instrument or preferred style of repertoire. This unique book is a “must have” addition to every musician’s practice room and will facilitate purposeful and successful practice sessions. Readers will understand why the concepts presented work, how to employ them in real time, and subsequently learn techniques to measure success."

- David Bilger

Professor of Trumpet,  Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Curtis Institute,  Former Principal Trumpet, Philadelphia Orchestra and Dallas Symphony

"PracticeMind for Everyone is an enlightening and inspirational resource for anyone wanting to achieve a high degree of accomplishment at their instrument. In the demanding world of classical music, the process of bringing one’s playing to a world-class level can often feel obscure. Students may sometimes feel mystified as to how one becomes successful.This book breaks down the different elements of preparation to pieces that extend far beyond simply the act of practicing an instrument. This holistic viewpoint, drawing on concrete concepts from educational and cognitive psychological research, fills in the gaps that practice alone may create. This will become an indispensable resource for myself as well as my students. I will certainly be directing anyone with a strong desire to be their best at their instrument to it."

- Dr. Henry Kramer

Professeur Adjoint en Piano - Faculté de musique - Université de Montréal

"PracticeMind comes in with brilliant solutions, raising our interest and curiosity about what we do and how to reach our goals. This marvelous book teaches us to replace tediousness with discovery, to change our habits from mere repetitiveness to organization and purpose so we always have a goal in mind and never just practice for the sake of practicing.
In PracticeMind we see how all of this works in the practical sense, without the need to dive into neurology or chemistry themselves but accessing the beauty of scientific thought into what used to be considered mere emotional work. Music and science do indeed meet when we organize our practicing and explore how it all works. The answers are there, clear, and disposed in an attractive way as much as practicing itself should be attractive.I congratulate authors Hans Jensen and Oleksander Mycyk for their splendid work, and thank them for this gift to all of us who strive for excellence in music."

- Alex Klein

Principal Oboe Emeritus, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Artistic Director, FEMUSC - Santa Catarina Music Festival
Grammy Award, 2001, “Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra”

About the Authors

Hans Jørgen Jensen
Professor of Cello, Northwestern University
Bienen School of Music

Hans Jørgen Jensen, Professor of Cello at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 2010 Artist Teacher Award from the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), the Presidential Scholars Program Teacher Recognition Award from the US Departmentof Education, and the Danish Music Critics Award in Copenhagen, one of Denmark’s most prestigious awards. Professor Jensen has performed and taught master classes across the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Europe, Israel, Japan, and South Korea. Many of his students are first prize winners in numerous national and international competitions, as well as members of major US orchestras and leading music schools. Professor Jensen is also a faculty member of the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, Canada, and the Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, New York. Jensen has published the following books: Fun in Thumb Position, The Galamian Scale System for Cello: Volume I and Volume II, CelloMind, and ViolinMind, the latter two books published by Ovation Press. Jensen studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Denmark with cellist Asger Lund Christiansen and at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose and Channing Robbins. 

Oleksander Mycyk
Cellist, Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Canadian cellist Oleksander Mycyk enjoys a multifaceted career as a solo, chamber, and orchestral performer and teacher. He completed a Doctorate in Musical Arts at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music with Hans Jørgen Jensen and was recently appointed as section cellist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He finished the Certificate in Performance program at Northwestern while a full-time member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra and regularly performs as a substitute cellist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra. Previously, Oleksander received a Bachelor of Music Performance degree at the University of Toronto studying with Simon Fryer and David Hetherington and a masters in Solo Performance at McGill University under the guidance of Matt Haimovitz. He has performed in master classes for cellists such as Lynn Harrell, János Starker, Laurence Lesser, and Aldo Parisot. As part of a collaborative duo, Oleksander was a top prize winner in the Canadian Music Competition and currently teaches applied cello at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago alongside his diverse performance schedule across North America.