I’ll bet they are sitting right on your shelf–books you bought at the last conference or even ordered or picked up for yourself that remain unopened and just waiting for you to decide to get motivated and read! I’m the same way. With the busy teaching weeks and festivals and activities, it seems that the last thing I want to do is pick up a professional book and read it. Then the guilt sets in–I should at least try read something every year. Instead it winds up suddenly in early August and I realize I’ve read nothing–not for business nor for pleasure.
So, before Memorial Day, before the summer rolls in, why not select just one book on pedagogy or a composer/pianist, or any other aspect of music making that interests you and make that your one book for the summer. Who knows, you might surprise yourself and manage two books! The key is to plan now for a good read to fill your soul. We give, give, give all year. Now and Christmas break are really the only opportunities to delve into something you’ve wanted to read. This summer, my first choice is (you guessed it) a book I’ve eyed on my shelf forever–The Art of Practicing . A Guide to Making Music From the Heart, by Madeline Bruser. (Bell Tower Books). It sounds fascinating. The book is divided into three parts. Part Two is extensive. Its content outlines a Ten-Step Approach to practicing. I want to compare notes (pardon the pun) and see what she has to offer that I’m not doing.
Select away–come up with something you could feel enthusiastic about–or go you your local library. I have found, however, that often these types of books are not available there but books and auto biographies of composers and artists are often available. If a book on teaching students with special needs is an interest, there are many fine options at your library from which to chose.
Here’s to a summer by the pool with a good book in hand–enjoy the journey!