Books on Music, Creativity & Health
My books include fiction for young readers, nonfiction for the general public, and nonfiction for musicians.
My first book, published by Oxford University Press (OUP) in 1997, is a thorough study of the Alexander Technique and its many applications to music-making. Equally available in French, German, and Japanese; forthcoming in Chinese (simplified characters). The English version is now a second edition, completely rewritten and redesigned, and published by OUP in 2013. If you have already read the first edition, you might enjoy re-reading the book under its new, fresh guise!
Integrated Practice was published by OUP in June of 2011. It presents innovative concepts and tools for the study, practice, and performance of music, and it's useful to singers, instrumentalists, and conductors at all levels. You might want to study it as a companion volume to Indirect Procedures.
The main idea of Integrated Practice is that music itself gives you clues and indications on how you can be a healthy performer giving meaningful performances. The music score, in other words, is a map to hidden treasures, and Integrated Practice helps you read the map and navigate the terrain.
The book has its own dedicated website, with dozens of video and audio files illustrating the book's concepts and exercises.
My most recent book was published by Oxford University Press in December, 2017. Click here to read a detailed description of its philosophy and contents.
The Integrated String Player is an innovative book for violinists, violists, cellists, double-bass players, and all musicians who make music by drawing a bow across a string. The book’s core idea is that there’s no separation between the technical and the musical, the physical and the mental, or the aesthetic and the metaphysical. To make music is to celebrate your oneness, as well as the oneness between you and the creative source from which music itself flows.
The book has a dedicated website with 80 video clips and 10 audio clips with practical concepts and exercises.
An introduction to the Alexander Technique for all readers, A Skill for Life was published by the Crowood Press in 1999. I also wrote its French version, La Technique Alexander: Principes et Pratique, published by Editions Dangles in 1997. A Japanese version, which I totally rewrote before its translation, came out in 2011. The same version was published in Estonian in 2013.
My first novel for young readers recounts the story of 13-year-old Becky Cohen, a budding violinist who battles against stage fright, a mean music teacher, the scorn of her peers, and bad hair. Published by Delacorte (an imprint of Random House), Befiddled came out in hardcover in November, 2005, and in paperback in August, 2007. Currently available for Kindle.
"Writer/musician Pedro de Alcantara has penned an enchanting debut novel with Befiddled, wherein believable characters are drawn with the hand of an expert."
"Music lovers of all ages will cheer for Becky Cohen as she struggles to follow her dream. De Alcantara has hit a high note with Befiddled."
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My second novel for young readers tells the story of Tommy Latrella, a rebellious 16-year-old whose antics lead him into an epic time-travel. Watch a slideshow hinting at where the book's hero, Tommy Latrella, lives and how he likes to spend his time. Photos by Pedro de Alcantara, editing by Joanna Margueritte.
"De Alcantara’s obvious love for New York is infectious, especially for history buffs, and his ability to fashion gritty realism within a fantastical plot sets this thriller apart."
"The pace is quick, the Big Apple landmarks will be familiar to many, and the history, while necessarily condensed, comes alive. A fun, exciting story."
School Library Journal
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