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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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Acquisition and Loss of Skilled Movements in Musicians: A Paradigm for Adaptive and Maladaptive Brain Plasticity (Eckart Altenmüller)

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Acquisition and Loss of Skilled Movements in Musicians: A Paradigm for Adaptive and Maladaptive Brain Plasticity Summary Performing music at a professional level requires the integration of mul- timodal sensory and motor information and precise monitoring of the performance via auditory feedback. In the context of western classical music, musicians are forced to reproduce highly controlled movements almost perfectly with a high reliability. These specialized sensory-motor skills are acquired during extensive training periods over many years. The superior skills of musicians are mirrored in functional and structural plastic adaptations of sensory-motor and auditory systems of the brain. Auditory-sensorimotor integration is accompanied by rapid modulations of neuronal connectivity in the time range of 20 minutes. Finally, dys- functional plasticity in musicians, known as musicians’ dystonia, leads to deterioration of extensively trained fine motor skills. Musicians’ dystonia may be caused by training induced dysplasticity with pathological fusion of central nervous representations in sensory-motor cortical and subcor- tical brain regions. Apollos’ gift: Music making as a stimulus for brain plasticity Performing music at a professional level is probably the most complex of human accomplishments. Music, as a sensory stimulus, is highly com- plex and structured along several dimensions. Moreover, making music requires the integration of multimodal sensory and motor information and precise monitoring of the motor performance via auditory feedback. In the context of western classical music, musicians are forced to reproduce highly controlled movements almost perfectly and with a high reliability. These specialized sensory-motor skills require extensive training periods over many years,...

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