Books (yes, books) still have the power to inspire and transform us in unexpected ways. Improvement just doesn’t come from staring at sheet music all the time, listening to piping recordings, or practicing. All those things are necessary of course, but exploring ideas through different types of reading has a way of bending our thoughts to create new perspectives on our efforts, overcome obstacles, and form new approaches to our music. Here are 5 (OK, technically 7) books that should crush whatever excuses you have for not making progress in your piping, and improve yourself and your piping in the process.
The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life by Thomas M. Sterner
Anxiety can be our biggest enemy when we’re working towards new experiences and goals. We want to be great achievers, yet sometimes our fear of not meeting our own high expectations can be so strong, we cripple ourselves along the way. In The Practicing Mind, we learn the techniques to develop patience and discipline when building new skills, and learning to accept the process of practice and failure before we experience success.
The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten
Musical icon Victor Wooten takes you on a journey of one musician's exploration of music and meaning. Part memoir, part fable, part allegory, The Music Lesson follows the musician and his mysterious teacher/guru through a series of life lessons to find the keys to true artistic expression through making music.
Mastery by Robert Greene
Discover the way toward achieving mastery over any aspect of your life through the lives of those who've done it. Robert Greene dives into the history and the lives of successful cultural figures, past and present, examining their unique practice in their chosen crafts. Studying these figures and their patterns of success form the foundation of building a framework for mastery in just about anything. A thorough analysis of the process of mastering any art, craft, or sport.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Meditations is on the reading lists of countless businesspeople, world leaders, statesmen, and soldiers. Marcus Aurelius was Emperor of Rome and one of the most powerful figures in world history. His book is one of the greatest texts one can read on self-discipline, ethics, personal strength, and self-improvement. It is literally almost 2,000 years old yet still expresses truths that are as relevant to humans today as they were then.
The Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy by Edmund Morris
This hefty trilogy of books is to be digested in chunks. There is no other way to take in all the accomplishments and life experiences of Teddy Roosevelt. The man truly led a legendary life. From his younger days when he learned to build his body, his travels through the Amazon basin, his days as a soldier and politician, Roosevelt's exploits will inspire you and give you the will to squash any doubt you have ever had.