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Art in Motion II

Motor Skills, Motivation, and Musical Practice

Adina Mornell

Musicians, dancers and athletes spend a tremendous amount of time and effort preparing for performance in the hope of success, aiming for certainty, flexibility and expressiveness. Their use of visualization, verbal labels, muscle energy, and emotion is often based upon intuition instead of knowledge. Art in Motion intends to fill this vacuum. Effective training and teaching hinge on motivation, self-regulation, useful feedback, and an understanding of perception, cognition, timing, motor skill learning, and automation. Information about empirical research concerning mental representations of movement and musical goals can drive the creative process, facilitating the artist at work. Innovative and intentional – purposeful and meaningful – techniques of practice are developed.

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Setting Art into Motion and Motivating Musicians’ Movement (Adina Mornell)

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Setting Art into Motion and Motivating Musicians’ Move- ment The event The last notes of the musical finale of the first Art in Motion symposium in Graz were still resonating in my ears when several international partici- pants approached me, shook my hand and said “See you in two years!” At that point, I hadn’t thought past getting everyone to the airport on time. I hadn’t fathomed that the success of the first meeting had created momentum and was picking up speed just when I was ready to slow down. During those two days in May 2008, the presentations made it clear that research about mental representations in skate boarders is rel- evant to pianists; that neuroscientific knowledge about musicians’ brains is of importance to teachers of skills in complex sports. It was exciting to mix academic presentations with live performances, to juxtapose reports of empirically gained data with tales of personal experience, and to hear both musicians and professional athletes provide details about practice strategies for motor learning. However, I didn’t realize how large a blank space in the scientific community I had exposed. The reaction of the audience, as well as letters from those who had heard about the event and wanted to come “next time” drove this point home. That’s why it was obvious in October 2009 that if I accepted the new professorial position in Munich, starting in March 2010, I would not only be moving my classes and my research, but also moving my symposium...

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