5/5

A Soprano on Her Head

$9.97

Eloise Ristad deals with the complex problems which torment and cripple so many of our most creative and talented people, and she does so with compassion, wisdom, and wit. Methods for dealing with the problems of stage fright, self-criticism, preparation for performance, releasing creativity, etc. 201 pp.

Foreword, by Lorin Hollander, concert pianist

Eloise Ristad deals here with complex problems which torment and cripple so many of our most creative and talented people, and she does so with compassion, wisdom, and wit. The problem of stage fright, for instance, is a suffering of epidemic proportions in our society, and involves modalities of thought and projections that rob spontaneity and enthusiasm in artistic performance.

Those interested in creative education have long felt that an entirely new, holistic and nurturing process of allowing individuals to discover and express themselves is needed if our educational system is to avoid the neuroses and creative blocks of the past generation. This book illuminates through its conversational style the destructive inhibitions, fears, and guilt experienced by all of us as we fail to break through to creativity. This story is told to me day after day in conservatories and college campuses around the world. Indeed I felt at times that she was telling of my own most petty and debilitating fears.

But what is important, A Soprano on Her Head supplies answers and methods for overcoming these universal psychological blocks–methods that have not only been proven in her own studio, but which trace back through history to the oldest and wisest systems of understanding the integration of mind and body. The work bears scrutiny both scientifically and holistically.

This is a wonderful book. Read it. You are not alone.

Endorsements for A Soprano on Her Head

John Holt, author, How Children Fail, How Children Learn
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"There are many ingenious and useful ideas here for teachers, learners, or makers of music."
Samuel Sanders, professor, Julliard School of Music
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"This is a fascinating work."
Mary Jane Cope, Lecturer in Piano, U.C. Santa Cruz
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"A wonderful book—absolutely infectious. When I wasn't laughing aloud or dancing, I found myself nodding enthusiastically in agreement with every page."
Paul Oertel, Nancy Spanier Dance Theatre
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"As a professional dancer and singer, it is indeed encouraging to see these important concepts so clearly and passionately articulated."
Patricia Zurlo, Bassoonist
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"Eloise Ristad's alternative teaching methods have given me deep insights into some of my long-standing playing 'problems' that traditional methods have failed to touch."
Patricia Zurlo, Bassoonist
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"Eloise Ristad's alternative teaching methods have given me deep insights into some of my long-standing playing 'problems' that traditional methods have failed to touch."
Endre Balogh, Concert Violinist
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"In A Soprano On Her Head, Eloise Ristad displays an extraordinary knowledge and insight into the myriad problems that beset all performers."
Charles Schlueter, First Trumpet, Boston Symphony
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"Required reading for all my students at the New England Conservatory of Music."
The American Music Teacher
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"Reading this book, rereading it, trying it out, living with it--these are musts for every musician."
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