Tip Of The Week Collection:


There are things you just have to do and things that have to be trained during a longer period! Try to know the difference!


Play the love…the love for the music, for your fellow musicians, for the audience!


We are different every day. This means that we play differently every day. Don’t try to play like the day before. Embrace the difference!


Every situation is a learning experience!


Make it easy for yourself to play your instrument!


Just listen....That's all!


A new day with the opportunity to play music...Great!


Let your fingers/mouth/voice chords do what they have to do. Don't interfere too much. Enjoy it!


What do you need?


Just follow the sound!


When you want to learn something you have to repeat things a lot! Make repetition as interesting as possible! Add variations!


Skip your ego! While practicing try to serve the music in the very best way!


Use only the muscles and the muscle power you really need to play what you want to play!


Practicing means to take something you want to add to your playing and to work on that!


What's the weakest point in your playing? Take care of that first! Practice that first! In small units! Don't exaggerate!


When you play or sing some stupid exercises make them sound as the best music ever!


Make sure that you know what you want to hear sound wise when you play something!


Play a lot. You need a great amount of time with the instrument in your hands.


Playing music is such a good medicine.


Get up in the morning and practice - Just do it!


Wake up your sound: sound is sound-phrasing-intonation..


First thing to do: just play and be aware of any good ideas coming across.


You are where you are - just start from there.


Ask yourself: what do I want to add to my playing.


Play gigs! Check what didn't work out well! Practice that! And again, play gigs!


Make yourself feel relaxed by playing your instrument.


Practice: Don't move more than necessary when you play your instrument.


Switch on the awareness knob before you start practicing: how do you feel mentally and physically?


Music (nearly) never wants you to feel bad or sad!


Play a lot...play...on 80% of your energy!


The day after: clean up your mistakes after rehearsals and gigs: post-paration is the best preparation


Don't focus too much on technique. Focus on the sound - Your Sound!


There is a maximum velocity for your growth. You cannot speed up real growth. Try to get close to that maximum.


What works better: a good teacher and a bad student or a bad teacher and a good student?

A teacher is just a source of inspiration. The rest has to be done by the student


Latest Tip: Tip of the week



Michael Gustorff is the author of ‘Practising Without Problems’ and ‘Creativity & Everyday Life’.


These two books are the result of teaching all kinds of instrumentalists and singers on different conservatories and music academies throughout the last 25 years. (Codarts Conservatory Rotterdam, The Netherlands 1900-1997, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne, Germany 1992-2016, ArtEZ Conservatory Arnhem, The Netherlands since 1990…).
They have been sold to Australia, Austria, the Benelux, Canada, China, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the USA.


The books of Michael Gustorff are short, comprehensive and to the point, helping many musicians to find their way through the jungle of practicing and combining their creativity with everyday life.



Book 1


‘Practising without Problems - Mental Training for (Jazz)musicians’

Front view of the Book

80 pages, writtten in ‘easy’ English, € 14,80


Illustrations by Mona Sabine Meis - Design by Han Halewijn

Printed by HP Nacke KG - Wuppertal, Germany.


Table of Contents:

Preface - Who is this Book for - How to Use this Book - Mental Preparation - Dealing with New Information - Getting Started -Practice Plans - While Practising - Practising Technique - Practising Jazz/Improvisation - Problems and Solutions -Teaching and being Taught - On Stage - Finally - Contemplation Collection - Appendix - Recommended Books - Acknowledgements - About the Author.


Order ‘Practicing Without Problems’


Reviews & Comments:


Good book!

Lee Konitz, saxophone player


Michael Gustorff has organized the basics of practicing in a highly organized and simple presentation.

Dave Liebman, saxophone player


It’s a fresh and honest approach to how we (as musicians, teachers and students) can deal with practicing. The ideas are easy to assimilate.

John Taylor, piano player


The best book on the subject that offers advice on developing an efficient practicing mentality is Michael Gustorff’s ‘Practising Without Problems’.

Hal Galper, piano player


Receiving this book was well worth any extra fees!

Patrick C. Dorian, Associate Professor of Music East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania


Highly recommended. A true learning experience!

Reviewed by: Lee Prosser, www.jazzreview.com


Thanks for writing such a wise & useful book. I look forward to using these ideas in my own practice as well as my students practice.

Alan Kaplan, trombone player


The book arrived and is helping already.

Jim Meehan, guitar player


A powerful side effect of the book is that every time I pick it up I get no further than a couple of paragraphs before I have to pick up my guitar and get to work!

Mike Bibby, guitar player


I really enjoyed reading your book and I will use it in my lessons at the conservatory in The Hague.

Niels Tausk, trumpet & bass player, teacher, coach


I want to thank you a lot for this book. It feels like a wonderful present!

Kerstin Koerte, mallet player


Your book was with me almost every day during the last two years. It was good, very good for me!

Giampiero Girolamo, piano player


I ordered your book again. I gave it to somebody and it never came back to me. This is what happens to good books.

Albert van Veenendaal, piano player, composer


It’s great fun reading your book

Stephan Braun, jazz celloplayer



Book 2


‘Creativity & Everyday Life – A Mental Guide (Not Only) For Artists & Musicians’

Front view of the Book

56 pages, written in ‘easy’ English, €14,00


Illustrations by Mona Sabine Meis - Design by Han Halewijn

Printed by HP Nacke KG - Wuppertal, Germany.


Table of Contents:

Introduction - Who is this book for? - Before we start - The Power of our Brain - Changing Something-Changing Ourselves - Learning - The Art of Healthy Repetition - Useful Memory - Some extra Tips - Energy - Focus - Long Term Planning - Attitude - The Power of Doubt - Short Term Action - Step by Step - Daily Routine - Weekly Routine - The Way We Work - The I-Company - Image - Problems, our (best) Friends - Internal Teachers - External Teachers - Mental Traps and Tips - Balance - The Realization of your Personality - Goodbye (Un)Happiness - What's your Contribution? - Finally - Appendix - Recommended Books - Acknowledgements - The Author - The Musician - The Program.

Order “Creativity & Everyday Life”


Reviews & Comments:


“Creativity & Everyday Life” is both clear and succinct. It provides concrete directions and advice; it asks questions and puts you to work. I can thoroughly recommend this “signpost” to not only students of creative subjects but also graduate artists.

Willem Hillenius, Director ArtEZ Institute of the Arts


It's an excellent book for young folks starting out!

Dave Liebman, Artistic Director IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz)


I read your books and want to thank you for putting so much natural wisdom into words.

Marcela Simons, student Codarts Rotterdam


I finished your book on the same day I got it. Great subject! 'Big issues' presented in manageable portions. Congratulations with your second book.

Ineke van Doorn, singer, teacher, author of the book 'Professioneel Zingen'


I really like your new book, it's simple and clear. I hope that it will sell well! You deserve it!

Francesc Capella, piano player, teacher at the Esmuc, Barcelona


What a good book, Michael! I just started reading and I really like it. It’s very close to the way I work with my students.

Hartog Eysman, singer/songwriter


Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your books. I'm a 2nd year Jazz singing student at the ArtEZ Conservatory in Zwolle, and unfortunately I missed your workshops last month. After hearing so many positive reactions from my fellow students after your first day, I decided to buy your books to read about the stuff you talked about in the workshops (you might remember me, interrupting your class to buy the books). I've read them now, and as I said I just wanted to let you know that you reached another student with your stories. I also bumped into many of the problems you described, and I'm sure that your way of thinking will help me solve the problems in my best way.

Joep van Weert, singer


Hey Michael, I put your books on the students reading list. I still like them very much.

Albert van Veenendaal, piano player, composer, teacher conservatory Utrecht


Somebody appears to have sent me this (pretty interesting looking) book called Creativity and Everyday Life by Michael Gustorff from Holland. Whoever you are, I thank you and look forward to checking it out. Dave Liebman blurbed it and said "It's an excellent book for 'young' folks starting out." Sounds perfect for me

Leo Sidran, composer, musician



Book order:


I want to order the book

‘Practising without Problems’


Mental Training for (Jazz)Musicians

(second edition)


Music Design ISBN: 978-90-77759-028


Order Book 1





I want to order the book

‘Creativity & Everyday Life’


A Mental Guide (not only) For Artists & Musicians

(first edition)


Music Design ISBN: 978-90-77759-035


Order Book 2





Special offer:


Order Books 1 & 2


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