University of Cambridge > > Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars > Mastering the time in music performance (and elsewhere): Reconnecting with the past, feeling the future and enjoying the present

Mastering the time in music performance (and elsewhere): Reconnecting with the past, feeling the future and enjoying the present

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lucian Stephenson.

Time is an essential, if not the most crucial, element of music in almost all cultures. Music unfolds in time – but sometimes creates it, as music has a strong potential to suspend time. In fact, how do we feel time when we perform, or listen to, music? Based on research from music and sport psychology, attention studies and music pedagogy, I introduce a thoroughly new model of mental strategies and attentional processes underlying performance expressivity that builds on temporality. I argue that the essence of expressivity is what and how we feel in real time and this activity is connected to a vivid mental imagery process. Typically, this imagery builds on moments of deep immersion and involves a specific kind of attentional processing, i.e., a ‘navigating’ mental imagery, which includes directing of the attention forward (‘anticipation’), backward (‘retrospection’), and to the present moment (‘mindfulness’) at well-definable points of the performance process. This model has tremendous potential for pedagogical application – not only in music but in many other arts and areas of life.

László Stachó is a musicologist, psychologist and musician. Dr Stachó works at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, and at the University of Szeged (one of the two twin cities of Cambridge), and is currently Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge and Downing College. His research in music psychology focuses on emotional communication in music performance, and in music pedagogy on developing effective and creative working and instrumental practice methods. Over the past few years, he has been involved in a countrywide planning of music education curricula in Hungary, including the National Core Curriculum and conservatoire curricula. As a pianist and chamber musician, he has performed in several European countries and the US, and conducts attentional skills training workshops and chamber music coaching sessions at international masterclasses both in Hungary and abroad (including in Britain at the King’s College London, and regularly in Italy, at the Santa Cecilia Conservatoire, Rome).

This talk is part of the Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars series.

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