Part I of The Musician’s Way presents six groundbreaking chapters that outfit musicians to practice creatively and efficiently. The links, tips, and techniques below supplement those chapters.

Portable Digital Recorders for Musicians

Audio recorders
Zoom H4N PRO. Outstanding! A musician favorite, now better than ever!
Zoom H2n. Excellent for self-study recording.
Zoom H6. Extraordinary 6-track recorder with 24 bit, 96K capability.
Tascam DR-22WL. A less-expensive option for self-study recording.

Self-Recording in Practice | 5 Benefits of Self-Recording. Articles by GK.
Audacity. Free open-source software for audio recording and editing.

Video recorders
Zoom Q4n. Exceptional video and audio quality – a great value!
HD camcorders at Amazon – wide selection & low prices.

Scores and Sheet Music

Also see Instrument-Specific Resources and For Singers.

Internet Music Score Library Project. A vast repository of 200K+ free scores.

The 4 Types of Music Editions by Gerald Klickstein. Avoid faulty editions!

Sheet Music from Amazon.

Free downloadable scores via the Sibley Music Library at Eastman.
Free online scores from the Indiana Univ. Music Library.
Staatsbibliothek Berlin. Scores, autograph manuscripts, and much more.

Bavarian State Library Digital Collections. Free downloads: complete works of Schumann, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Liszt, Handel, and more.
Music Manuscripts Online. Via the Morgan Library & Museum.
Music Treasures Consortium. Via the Library of Congress.

Bach Digital.
Beethoven Haus – Digital Archive.
Brahms Digital. Autograph manuscripts, early editions, and more.

Index of Digital Collections. Links from the Virtual Library of Musicology.
Sheet Music Consortium. Free downloads from multiple library collections. Find scores, books, and recordings in libraries worldwide.

Neue Mozart Ausgabe free digital version. The complete Mozart by Bärenreiter.
Schubert Autographs. Free online viewing of Schubert’s manuscripts.
More Schubert Autographs, via the Morgan Library & Museum. Free sheet music. Search by composer, period, instrument.
Mutopia Project. Free public-domain classical music typeset by volunteers. Free sheet music.

The Danish National Digital Sheet Music Archive.
The Düben Collection. 17th & early 18th music from the Univ. of Uppsala.
Web Library of 17th Century Music.

Juilliard Manuscript Collection. 140 documents for online viewing.

American Sheet Music, 1820-1885. US Library of Congress. 110,000 scores.
African-American Sheet Music. Thousands of scores via Brown University.
Historic American Sheet Music. From the Duke University Music Library.
Yiddish Sheet Music. From the collection at Brown University.

Warm-Ups and Restorative Movements for Musicians

See The Musician’s Way p. 37-39, 75-82 and the For Singers page.

The Total Warm-up. Crucial strategies, via The Musician’s Way Blog.

A Proper Warm-up Has Important Benefits, by physiologist Elizabeth Quinn.

Pre-playing warm-ups. Factsheet published by the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine. Please read the above article by Elizabeth Quinn and study the factsheet instructions before you try out these movements.

Relax and Renew, by Judith Lasater, Ph.D. Restorative poses (Rodmell, 1995).
The Breathing Book, by Donna Farhi (MacMillan, 1996).

David Russell speaks about warming up, practicing, maintaining a repertoire of accessible pieces, and preserving the fun in music making. (Video)

Qi Gong [Tai Chi] Exercises for Musicians.” Free video by Scott Lee.

Musical Interpretation

See p. 23-34 of The Musician’s Way.

7 Essentials of Artistic Interpretation, by Gerald Klickstein

Videos: Search YouTube for videos of master musicians teaching interpretation. Use keywords such as “Pavarotti masterclass” or “violin master class.”

Books about Musical Interpretation
The Musician’s Way, by Gerald Klickstein (Oxford, 2009).

Note Grouping, by James Thurmond (Meredith, 1982).

Musical Interpretation, by Tobias Matthay (Schirmer, 1918). Free e-book.

The Rhythmic Structure of Music, by Cooper & Meyer (Chicago, 1960).
The Composer’s Advocate, by Erich Leinsdorf (Yale, 1982).

Baroque Music: Style & Performance Handbook, by R. Donington (Norton 1982).
Interpreting Bach at the Keyboard, by P. Badura-Skoda (Oxford, 1995).
The End of Early Music: A Period Performer’s History of Music for the 21st Century, by Bruce Haynes (Oxford, 2007).

Singing in Style, by Martha Elliott (Yale, 2006).

Musical Collaboration

See p. 114-129 of The Musician’s Way.

“Ten Tips for Collaborating Musicians” & “Collaborative Criticism
Must-know info from The Musician’s Way Blog.

how to play in someone else’s band,” by Danny Barnes. Sage advice!

11 Ways to Build Trust within Your Team. Via the Lead Change Group.

Eleven steps to fixing the problem that occurs when you work harder than everyone else in the band,” by Bruce Warila.

The Secrets of Successful Collaboration,” by Keppie Coutts. Insights into collective songwriting; broadly applicable.

From Resolving team conflict | Leadership and teamwork tools | How good are your communication skills?

Two Is the Magic Number.” The creative power of collaboration (Slate, 2010).

The Role of Chamber Music in Learning to Perform: A Case Study,” scholarly article by Burt-Perkins & Mills, in Music Performance Research, Vol. 2 (2008).

“Strategies for Ensemble Practice,” a chapter by Jane Davidson and Elaine King, in Musical Excellence: Strategies and Techniques to Enhance Performance, edited by Aaron Williamon, 105-122 (Oxford, 2004).

Associated Chamber Music Players. Facilitates informal playing. 5000+ members!

The Art of Quartet Playing: The Guarneri Quartet in Conversation with David Blum (Cornell, 1987).
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groupsby Daniel Coyle (Bantam, 2018).
The Musician’s Wayby Gerald Klickstein (Oxford, 2009; 13th printing, 2017)
The Power of Positive Criticism, by H. Weisinger (Amacom, 2000).
Toxic Criticism, by Eric Maisel (McGraw Hill, 2006).

Music Practice, Theory, and History Resources and References

Articles about Deep Practice on The Musician’s Way Blog.

K&M Folding Music Stand | K&M iPad/Tablet Stand

Boss Dr. Beat DB-60 metronome. Excellent!
Boss DB-90
. Superior features.
Metronome Apps. A selected list from
Rhythmic Precision. Tips to use metronomes effectively, by Gerald Klickstein.

Tonal Harmony7th Edition, by Kostka & Payne (McGraw Hill, 2012).
The standard theory text used in top music schools.

Theta Music Trainer. Outstanding free ear training & music theory games. | Teorí Practice music theory and ear training. Free online ear trainer.
Dictation exercises
Online Tone Generator. Free

Theory worksheets. Print out and practice intervals, triads, and more. Music theory flash cards.

Stylistic Timeline of Music History, by Steven Estrella. Free music appreciation course by Anthony Brandt.

Multimedia Music Dictionary, from

Internet Resources for Music from the Library of Congress.
Online Resources for Music Scholars compiled by Harvard librarians.
Online Books Page. Links to free public domain texts. Articles, reviews, and other resources.

It’s Not How Much; It’s How.” By Robert A. Duke. Research pinpointing effective practice strategies. (JRME, 56/4, Jan. 2009)

The Musician’s Way, by Gerald Klickstein (Oxford, 2009; 13th printing, 2017). The most complete book ever published for aspiring musicians. Read reviews.

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, (Belknap, 2014).
Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better, by Lemov, Woolway & Yezzi (Jossey-Bass, 2012). Strategies largely geared to educators.

The Science & Psychology of Music Performance, eds, Parncutt & McPherson (Oxford, 2002). See “Practice,” by Barry & Hallam, 151-166.

Musical Excellence: Strategies and Techniques to Enhance Performance, ed. Aaron Williamon (Oxford, 2004). See: “Strategies for Individual Practice,” by H. Jørgensen, 85-103; Mental Skills Training,” by Connolly & Williamon, 221-246.

For improvisation resources, see the For Instrumentalists page.

Listening to Music

Deep Listening. An article on The Musician’s Way Blog. Search by performer, composer, title.
Amazon Prime. Unlimited streaming of both music and video. Free trial.

Pandora Internet Radio.
Spotify. Free and subscription access to HD classical music videos.
Digital Concert Hall, via the Berlin Philharmonic.

Classical Archives. Over 600,000 audio tracks; free and subscription offerings. Free. Music, news, and more.

Recordings from Naxos (classical and jazz).
Blue Note records. Jazz recordings and news. Also see Jazz Resources.

World music:
World Music, 3rd Edition –
companion website.
Smithsonian Folkways.


Effortless Sight-Reading.” A popular article on The Musician’s Way Blog.
Also see p. 99-102 of The Musician’s Way. Generate rhythm exercises; multiple levels.

Eye Movement in Music Reading. A well-referenced article on Wikipedia.

“Sight-Reading,” by Lehmann & McArthur, in The Science & Psychology of Music Performance, eds. Parncutt & McPherson, 135-150 (Oxford, 2002).

“Strategies for Sight-reading and Improvising Music,” in Musical Excellence, edited by Aaron Williamon, 143-159 (Oxford, 2004).

Sight-reading/sight singing methods for instrumentalists and singers:
Solfèges des Solfèges, by A. Dannhäuser (3 vols.). Free download.
A New Approach to Sight Singing, by Berkowitz, Frontrier, & Kraft.
Rhythmical Articulation, by Pasquale Bona.

Memorization for Musicians

See p. 82-93 of The Musician’s Way.

The Four Stages of Memorization. Powerful strategies, by Gerald Klickstein.

Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Brown, Roediger, McDaniel (Belknap, 2014).

Memorization: Psychological Data and Some Practical Tips, by Scott M. Smith.

“Memorising Music,” by Aaron Williamon, in Musical Performance: A Guide to Understanding, edited by John Rink, 113-126 (Cambridge, 2002).

“Memory,” by Aiello and Williamon, in The Science & Psychology of Music Performance, eds. Parncutt & McPherson, 167-181 (Oxford, 2002).

“Singing by Heart: Memorization Strategies for the Words and Music of Songs,” by Jane Ginsborg, in The Music Practitioner, ed. Jane Davidson, 149-160 (Ashgate, 2004).

“Performing from Memory,” by Chaffin, Logan, & Begosh, in The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology, eds. Hallam, Cross, & Thaut (2008, p. 352-363).

The Value of Performing from Memory,” by Aaron Williamon, Psychology of Music, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 84-95 (1999). Abstract of important research article.

“Strategies for Memorizing Music,” by Jane Ginsborg, in Musical Excellence, ed. Aaron Williamon, 123-141 (Oxford, 2004).

Practicing Perfection: Memory and Piano Performance, by Chaffin, Imreh, and Crawford (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002).

Read the Preface to Guide to Memorizing Music, by Alfred J. Goodrich (1906).

The Musician’s Way, by Gerald Klickstein (Oxford, 2009). Comprehensive guidelines to learn, memorize, and perform as well as build a career.

The Musician's Way book cover - click to preview the text
Back to Top