Kenny Werner, well-respected and world-renowned jazz musician has penned the popular Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within by Kenny Werner (Jazz Aids, 1996) based on personal experience and some study of primarily Eastern religion and mysticism. Werner has developed of a meditative process of simplifying, re-focusing, and relaxing in musical practice and performance. Effortless Mastery has some excellent ideas to get the musician started thinking about some of the issues we face.
Some of the beneficial elements Werner offers are:
• Excellent and important advice on the need for music to be without stress and anxiety.
• Important lessons on keeping music within your ability for anxiety free playing.
• Helpful and truthful connections between the benefits of meditation and musical practice and performance.
If you have already read Effortless Mastery and were left wondering or wanting, Tuned In will help you consider many of the important details even more. I am so thankful for much of Werner’s work because he opened the door; he started a conversation in this area. Tuned In begins with the premise that musicians absolutely need to be thinking about this stuff often and always, but it is also written for those who are looking for something meaningful to meditate on, because what we meditate on matters, because who we are as musicians and who we are as people cannot be separated.
The Tuned in Musician is written in a different Key
- Werner’s text doesn’t leave the musician much to meditate on apart from some contemplative ideas.
- Tuned In will offer several specific areas the musician can Tune in to, based on a historic mediation method. The book addresses important issues and meditations to deal with issues every musician faces like grief and anger, love, social justice, and the needs of the community.
- Effortless Mastery draws and incredibly important connection between meditation and the musician, and offers helpful insights into how the musician can involve meditation into their practice and playing routine to become a better musician. Tuned In will take a cue from Werner’s excellent observations and suggestions about making the music more effortless, yet consistently offer mediation for the musician that matters, extends beyond the self to a love of God and community, and is centered on the historical and reliable truth revealed in the Christian scriptures.
So, if you have read Mastery and were intrigued, maybe you dug it but you are searching for an alternative approach, or if you are convinced of the need for a historical, Creator and community centered, or biblically centered approach; stay tuned in, I think Tuned In will resonate with you well.