If you are a performing musician or training to be one, you likely realize how important individual practice is for developing your skills. Perhaps you have tried to make your practicing as thorough as it can be by making a list of the various types of performance skills you need to work on regularly. Most musicians might list technique, sight-reading, and interpretation; some might also include playing by ear, improvising, or memorization among their target skills. But how many musicians' practice routines include time for improving their expressive body movement and facial expression? Although these things are certainly extramusical and need not be addressed in practice sessions as other musical competencies are, they are, nevertheless, important skills. In fact, they may be critical to performance success.
There are still other performance skills that cannot be addressed in individual practice because they relate to group music making. A great deal of music training is delivered through one-on-one instruction and directed almost exclusively at solo performance. In this context, musicians focus solely on themselves, thinking about what is needed to perform on their instruments, monitoring the sound they are producing, and making adjustments as they go. In an ensemble setting, however, they must do all this and pay close attention to the music being made by others in the group. The challenge presented here is the reason we have rehearsals. Of course, the process of coordinating an ensemble performance is more easily accomplished when the participants relate well with one another and share a commitment to the success of the group. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Clearly, a successful performing musician must possess certain skills that fall outside the core of musical abilities covered in this book's second part (chapters 5 through 8). It is obviously the first priority of musicians to develop