This book's interdisciplinary material is pedagogically practical, scientifically well contextualized, and adapted credibly from integrative sources. It is meticulously indexed with well-referenced chapters providing scientific justification for views, as well as a myriad of resources. The Musician's Mind makes a unique and outstanding contribution to vocal pedagogy, offering a thorough introduction as well as insight and practical guidance.— Voice and Speech Review
The Musician’s Mind offers a fascinating journey of investigation and discovery into how the brain impacts the way music is made. For musicians, this is a new concept, one that moves beyond the more familiar research of recent year that deals with the effects of listening to music. Through a study of cognitive neuroscience, Helding (vocal arts, Thornton School of Music, Univ. of Southern California) demonstrates that music begins from the outside in. Just as a composer builds a work on a musical theme, Helding has written this book using one “guiding question”: "How?" She hopes this information will help all musicians achieve their finest music making. Helding focuses on the mind—of the music learner, the music teacher, and the music performer—and she covers a variety of important topics, including how learning works, motor learning, performance studies, performance anxiety, the “digital brain,” empathy, and unifying art and science. The book is full of information that illuminates the crucial processes necessary for successful music making, e.g., the cognitive differences between music learning and music performing. The Musician’s Mind may just change the paradigm for how musicians think about music. Summing Up: Essential. Graduate students, researchers, faculty, professionals.— Choice Reviews
The Musician’s Mind is an exceptional contribution to vocal pedagogy. Helding has conscientiously collected some of the most relevant research, which she has adeptly translated and expertly applied to voice training. Her work is tremendously important for voice educators. If heeded, it stands to have a transformational impact on the field.— Classical Singer Magazine
Helding’s wide-ranging volume provides much food for thought for musicians, teachers and students, and a rich trove of references to guide readers toward topics of particular interest. I know much more than I did before reading the book[.]— Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture
A fascinating book that adds crucial pieces to the puzzle of how and why humans make music—The Musician’s Mind is a groundbreaking examination of our engagement with an art form embedded in every culture, surrounding us even before birth. For centuries, musicians at every level have studied technique, style, theory, history, and artistry, but only recently have scientists looked at the cognitive neuroscience of music-making. Synthesizing years of research into a coherent, practical resource, Helding sheds new light on performance anxiety, motor learning theory, and cognitive differences between the practice room and the stage. The book is an invaluable contribution to the field of music pedagogy, advancing our understanding of an art all too easily taken for granted.— Renée Fleming
This is the first book to address how music-making changes our brains, and how to do it better. Lynn Helding covers the latest discoveries in cognitive neuroscience with priceless information to help teachers impart knowledge to their students, and how musicians at all levels, from novice to professional, may practice effectively and optimize their performances. The final chapter is a clarion call for musicians to confront the pitfalls of the multitasking Digital Age: decreased ability to concentrate, decreased productivity, and a disturbing decrease in human empathy.— Rod Gilfry, Associate Professor of Vocal Arts, USC Thornton School of Music, baritone
Knowledge is of the mind; wisdom is of the soul. In a paradigmatic illustration of this truism, singer, voice pedagogue, and researcher Lynn Helding draws from wellsprings of personal artistry, knowledge of the vocal instrument, deep insights into the cognitive sciences, and academic experience, qualities bolstered by a probing intellect, to contribute a study of deep significance to the broader community of musicians.
— Richard D. Sjoerdsma, Editor in Chief, Journal of Singing
A well-written and accessible introduction, Lynn Helding takes us on a journey through recent theoretical and empirical works, with direct implications for music teaching and learning. This book offers many insights for anyone interested in music learning, performing, and teaching.
— Beatriz Ilari, associate professor of music education, University of Southern California
Helding debunks common myths and highlights findings that can enhance your experience both in the practice room and on stage. It’s an owner’s manual for the mind specifically for musicians.
— Noa Kageyama, performance psychologist, bulletproofmusician.com