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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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Mind, Movement and Motor Skills: Studies of Expertise in Dance (Bettina Bläsing)

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Mind, Movement and Motor Skills: Studies of Expertise in Dance Introduction Expertise has been studied extensively in many domains, ranging from chess over manual skills and various types of sports to music and dance. Based on numerous studies and rich practical experience, different perspectives have been taken regarding the nature of expertise. Erics- son (2003) has emphasized the vital role of deliberate practice for the acquirement of experts’ high-level performance, and has stated that the modification of complex cognitive mechanisms requires problem solv- ing, full concentration and exerted effort. According the expert perfor- mance approach (Ericsson & Smith, 1991), it is crucial that such practice is not just carried out repetitively but thoughtfully, including the plan- ning, execution, monitoring, and analyzing of progress in performance. The strong emphasis on a predominantly cognitive nature of movement expertise has been challenged (see Abernethy et al., 2003). There is, how- ever, much evidence for the high relevance of cognitive skills in different sports disciplines, and models that integrate physical and cognitive skills undermine these findings (e.g., Schack, 2004). This does not only apply to movement expertise in sports, and especially for open disciplines that involve adaptive behavior and decision making under time pressure, it is also true for dance. Allard and Starkes (1991) stated that for closed or technique motor skills, such as dance, “motor patterns are the skills.” They emphasized that in disciplines such as dance or figure skating, the performer has to reproduce individual movements consistently and reli- ably with reference to...

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