On the cover: St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians, photographed by Sarah Carmody.

“What a great book to have in a studio or rehearsal room, just waiting for young musicians
to pick up and explore. Fascinating bits of advice from both professionals and student
musicians fill every page.” American Music Teacher

". . . filled with practical advice about how to find time to practice, how to calm down before playing in public, and how to handle that chatterbox who sits behind you at rehearsal." The New York Times

“. . . young performers will discover that the frustrations and fears they experience are not unique. . . . The guide is geared to those who dream of a professional future in the field as well as to those for whom music will remain a hobby.” School Library Journal

“From choosing an instrument to practicing regularly to learning the rules of ensemble etiquette, this guide is packed with useful suggestions and enthusiasm for music.” Publishers Weekly

“Nathan provides advice for teen musicians on topics such as choosing an instrument, finding time to practice, handling performance jitters, and dealing with others in the band or orchestra. . . . a unique and potentially useful resource.” Booklist

“Amy Nathan has provided a unique resource for the young instrumentalist.” Leonard Slatkin, National Symphony

“ She even talked to pianist/​basketball star David Robinson about conflicts between excellence in sports and music.” Dallas Morning News

“It is a book that every single school . . .should have.” St. Augustine Record

"Handy survival guide
Recently out in paperback is a book that should prove useful for any young, struggling instrumentalist. ...There's a lot of sensible advice on choosing or switching instruments, practicing, getting over concert nerves, keeping music in your life even if you decide not to be a professional musician, etc. Nathan presents the material in a manner that is neither simplistic nor condescending, drawing on interviews with teenage players and some stellar musicians. ...Talk about sound advice." Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun


Tips from the pros for learning to play an instrument.

". . . like sitting down for a heart-to-heart with a caring music teacher."
-- The Book Report

"An engaging, accessible and welcome resource for young musicians. . . . Students are offered constructive ideas that range from practice philosophies and strategies to instrument choices."
-- American Music Teacher

"...a book that should prove useful for any young, struggling instrumentalist."
-- Baltimore Sun

Learning to play a musical instrument can be fun, but also a bit of a hassle at times. Young people not only have to try to find time to practice in the midst of their super-busy schedules. They also have to deal with such tricky problems as taming performance jitters, handling pesky peers, mastering challenging pieces, coping with competitions, dealing with demanding conductors, while also struggling to make practice less of a chore. Then, there are those annoying battles with hefty music books that absolutely refuse to stay open to the right page and flutter shut at all the wrong moments.

This lively book, published by Oxford University Press and written for young people, can help with nuisances like those. Older teens who know the score offer practical, down-to-earth tips. So do more than 25 top professional musicians. In addition to the pros featured in the first edition —- such as, Wynton Marsalis, James Galway, André Watts, Joshua Bell, Paula Robison, Joshua Redman, Gil Shaham, Evelyn Glennie, Richard Stoltzman, Wu Han, and Sara Sant-Ambrogio of the Eroica Trio, among others —- the new 2nd edition adds some extra advice-giving pros: Hilary Hahn, John Adams, Marin Alsop, Gustavo Dudamel, Steven Mackey, Valerie Coleman, Erica von Kleist, Erika Nickrenz, and Susie Park.

By giving young musicians the inside scoop on performing and practicing, this book can smooth their musical path so they can weather the rough spots, and keep the fun and the joy in their music making.

The author has had a lot of first-hand experience helping motivate kids to keep on with music as the mom of two musical sons. Both of her sons started learning to play instruments at a young age. Her older son, a trumpeter and composer who majored in music at Yale, just completed a masters degree in musical composition at Indiana University and is about to start his doctorate at Cornell; her younger son is a college senior who plays lead alto saxophone in his college's jazz band.

NEW 2nd EDITION has:
-- Expanded technology & Internet coverage
-- More advice-giving pros, including: violinists Hilary Hahn and Susie Park, composers John Adams and Steven Mackey, conductors Marin Alsop and Gustavo Dudamel, pianist Erika Nickrenz, and flutist Valerie Coleman of Imani Winds
-- PLUS all the great advice from the first edition's pros: Wynton Marsalis, James Galway, André Watts, Joshua Bell, Paula Robison, Evelyn Glennie, Gil Shaham, Richard Stoltzman, Joshua Redman, Wu Han, the Eroica Trio, and many more.

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* NY PUBLIC LIBRARY'S Books for the Teen Age
* GOLD MEDAL:"Excellence in Communication"
from Association of Women in Communication (Westchester chapter)
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"This revised and expanded edition adds new sections on the ways in which technology can assist in the process of mastering an instrument; it also addresses the special concerns of young composers and conductors."
-- Teaching Music magazine

Websites of some musicians in the book