Becoming the Instrument by Kenny Werner

becoming the instrument“How can you channel your potential to live a more creative and fulfilling life? Offering guidance on how musicians and others can allow their “master creator” within to lift their performance to its highest level, Becoming the Instrument shows us how to be spontaneous, fearless, joyful, and disciplined at work and in life. Werner teaches that mastery is neither perfection nor virtuosity, but rather, the gift of self-love, forgiving your own mistakes, and not allowing the world to diminish your special gifts inside you.”

Reading this book, it’s obvious that Kenny Werner, director of the Effortless Mastery Institute at the Berklee College of Music, is an incredibly gifted teacher and coach. He has the most endearing, quirky sense of humor. At no point was this book boring!

The summary for Becoming the Instrument says it’s aimed at “musicians, artists, or even business people,” and while I do feel like that’s accurate, I think musicians will get the very most out of this book simply because he covers so many of the most difficult aspects of our careers—whether it’s efficient and effective practicing, learning to improvise, overcoming performance anxiety, or finding our way into “the groove” while performing. While not completely necessary, I do think it’d be helpful for readers to have at least some sort of background in music—even if it was back in middle school.

“I think the thing I was looking to be liberated from was me!”

Becoming the Instrument is perfect for readers open to ideas in a similar vein as Richard Bach and Eckhart Tolle’s writings. Werner includes guided exercises to help readers learn to access that coveted state of “flow” in order to truly achieve mastery. He also includes a link where you can listen to those meditations. If you’re new to mindfulness and other spiritual practices, or haven’t tried applying those concepts to your goals, this is a must-read.

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