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Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music by…
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Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music

by Glenn Kurtz

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Striving for your art, becoming disillusioned with it, and then rediscovering it later with different meaning.As a musician and programmer, this story resonated with me, but it also made me at risk of blowing a ton of money on more classical recordings. ( )
  stringsn88keys | Aug 7, 2012 |
I hoped this book would be more than it turned out to be. Kurtz was a child guitar prodigy. He went on to study music at a renowned conservatory, but he abandoned the guitar and music not long after he graduated. He returned to the guitar a few years ago and uses the format of this book to discuss the pleasures of his return. I wished he had been more open about the whys and hows of his departure and his subsequent return to music. ( )
  debnance | Jan 29, 2010 |
"When you play an instrument, and playing comes easily, playing is enough. But slowly, as you play more, what you hear outpaces your ability. This music beyond you, as you are, leads you on, and you ache to lay hold of it. You sit down, you look at your hands, you hold the instrument. You listen to the musicians you admire, who have this same equipment, hands and instruments. Then you look at your own hands again, and it doesn't seem possible. How do they do it? What you want to play shimmers ungraspable in the air, or in the hands of others. I think this is when your story as a musician begins. Playing, you begin to practice. And practice makes "perfect." Now you'll never play the way you wish you could. Now one lifetime is not enough. You'll never be finished practicing."

That says it all right there, that does.

I'll Never Forget The Day I Read A Book!
  cbjorke | Sep 10, 2009 |
As a budding classical guitar player myself, I thoroughly enjoyed Glenn Kurtz's Practicing. He ably captures the ambition, dedication, and technical frustration that are characteristics of many young artists, and in contrasting that earlier portion of his life against his contemporary self, he discovers disappointments and rewards in roughly equal measure. The book also delves into the history of modern classical guitar and some of the vexing issues inherent to the art form, such as the lack of a deep repertoire. All-in-all, an excellent and honest treatment of a worthwhile topic. ( )
  dr_zirk | Nov 8, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 030726615X, Hardcover)

The remarkable odyssey of a classical guitar prodigy who abandons his beloved instrument in defeat at the age of twenty-five, but comes back to it years later with a new kind of passion.

With insight and humor, Glenn Kurtz takes us from his first lessons at a small Long Island guitar school at the age of eight, to a national television appearance backing jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, to his acceptance at the elite New England Conservatory of Music. He makes bittersweet and vivid a young man’s struggle to forge an artist’s life—and to become the next Segovia. And we see him after graduation, pursuing a solo career in Vienna but realizing that he has neither the ego nor the talent required to succeed at the upper reaches of the world of classical guitar—and giving up the instrument, and his dream, entirely.

Or so he thought. For, returning to the guitar, Kurtz weaves into the larger narrative the rich experience of a single practice session, demonstrating how practicing—the rigor, attention, and commitment it requires—becomes its own reward, an almost spiritual experience that redefines the meaning of “success.” Along the way, he traces the evolution of the guitar and reminds us why it has retained its singular popularity through the ages.

Complete with a guide to selected musical recordings and methods, Practicing takes us on a revelatory, inspiring journey: a love affair with music.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Describes how the author grew up as a young classical guitar prodigy, abandoned his instrument and his dreams of becoming a leading artist at the age of twenty-five, and rediscovered his passion for the guitar years later.

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