Skip to Content

School of Music

School of Music building

New book release on achieving expert skill in performance

Guitar professor Christopher Berg writes on the development of peak performance

Guitarist Christopher Berg, a University of South Carolina Distinguished Professor, has published a new book with Routledge, Practicing Music by Design: Historic Virtuosi on Peak Performance, released June 2019. The book explores the development of expert skill and artistry through links between the documented practices of legendary musicians and modern research on peak performance.

Practicing Music by Design outlines the practices of some of the most virtuosic concert performers in history while addressing the question: How does all this work to make for better musicians and artists?

The book explores pedagogical practices for achieving peak skill in performance. An account of the relationship between historic practices and modern research, examines the defining characteristics and applications of eight common components of practice from the perspectives of performing artists, master teachers and scientists. Berg presents research past and present designed to help musicians understand the abstract principles behind the concepts. After studying Practicing Music by Design, students and performers will be able to identify areas in their practice that prevent them from developing.

The tenets are universal, the result of modern research and the methods of legendary virtuosi and teachers:
•    Luminaries Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin
•    Renowned performers Anton Rubinstein, Mark Hambourg, Ignace Paderewski, and Sergei Rachmaninoff
•    Extraordinary teachers Theodor Leschetizky, Rafael Joseffy, Leopold Auer, Carl Flesch, and Ivan Galamian
•    Lesser-known musicians who wrote perceptively on the subject, such as violinists Frank Thistleton, Rowsby Woof, Achille Rivarde and Sydney Robjohns

More information about the book here.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

©