At a Practice Marathon Retreat, you are removed from the pressures of performing and the distractions of everyday life. The retreat gives you the time to experiment with and incorporate new ways of thinking and playing. You are put in touch with your unique, creative energies. You learn how to control your progress, set achievable goals, improve your concentration, perform with greater consistency and comfort, develop your memory, synchronize your body, mind and spirit, and improve the elasticity of your muscles as you play. In the workshops and lessons, each participant is encouraged to explore the process of work and to try new ways of music practicing. The workshops are videotaped so that each participant can observe the effects of their new efforts and take detailed notes on the process involved. The workshops also provide an instant audience for a performance when needed. Progress is accelerated because the conditions for growth are ideal.
IDEA OF A PRACTICE MARATHON RETREAT EVOLVED FROM THE path
I took to resolve the frustrations of my own practicing. I found that
alone in the woods, on a mountaintop, or by the sea, free from the
pressures of performance for four to eight weeks at a time, I was
capable of investigating new ways of practicing to bring myself closer
to control of my instrument and the ecstasy of musical expression
My efforts were informed by the growing knowledge base formulated
in separate disciplines such as sports psychology, kinesiology, cognitive
psychology, bioergonomics, neuroscience, and acoustics. As I read,
I found ideas relevant to practicing with which to experiment. Gradually,
I developed increasingly specific strategies and techniques to help
myself, the practicer, achieve results. After my personal retreats,
I would return to teaching to impart these new ways to my students.
After 38 years, approximately 250 regular private students, 800 Magic
Mountain Music Farm participants and 50 international practice marathon
seminars, I have evolved a methodology which empowers the musician
to manage practicing in a creative and fulfilling way so that it leads
inevitably to consistent and communicative performances.
the words of some of the Farm participants:
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