Shifting Attention during Practice – Part 1
When practicing, one should pay attention to carefully balance listening, perception and cognition. French violist Marion Leleu described this principle in her presentation «Viola Bites», held on March 17, 2020, at the Bach-Musikgymnasium in Berlin.
Niklaus Rüegg – Marion Leleu’s main goal as an educator is to teach students the synergy between listening ahead, listening in the moment, perception and reflection. She hopes that students will draw conclusions about their own musical activity. «It usually takes years until my students have learned and internalized this method for their own use. However, once the students achieve this goal, they have grown beyond being good musicians and instrumentalists, becoming reflecting pedagogues», states Leleu and continues: «This synergy fortifies and encourages students to perform, listen and perceive in the moment, to share all these beautiful musical moments with the audience.»
Pillar 1: Listening
Leleu describes the first pillar of practice as the continuous listening to one’s own performance without judgement. Performance expression deepens through the honing effect of active listening. Musical listening is complex and comprises six parameters that require continuous and parallel listening: Intonation, rhythm, tone color, tone density, vibrato, ensemble play, and phrasing. Listening without interruption is a particular challenge, since technical difficulties often lead to a momentary loss of concentration with the practicing musician. Possible reasons include fear of the difficult element, self-criticism, or self-rejection.
Pillar 2: Perception
Musician’s perception functions through body sensations. Musicians perceive their bodies with a certain degree of self-awareness. The more intense and complete the perception and motion awareness, the better and quicker a musician draws conclusions between sound and perception. The presenter listed nine perceptional parameters:
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