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A Soprano On Her Head


A Soprano On Her Head
Eloise Ristad deals with the complex problems which torment and cripple so many of our most creative and talented people, and she does so with compassion, wisdom, and wit. Methods for dealing with the problems of stage fright, self-criticism, preparation for performance, releasing creativity, etc. 201 pp.

"This is a fascinating work." —Samuel Sanders, professor, Julliard School of Music.

"This book turns traditional music teaching on its head. Control by letting go, excellence by not trying, learning by simple awareness. The principles are true; their expression lyrical, readable, helpful." —Timothy Gallwey, author, The Inner Game of Tennis.

"There are many ingenious and useful ideas here for teachers, learners, or makers of music." —John Holt, author, How Children Fail, How Children Learn.

"A wonderful book—absolutely infectious. When I wasn't laughing aloud or dancing, I found myself nodding enthusiastically in agreement with every page. —Mary Jane Cope, Lecturer in Piano, U.C. Santa Cruz

"As a professional dancer and singer, it is indeed encouraging to see these important concepts so clearly and passionately articulated." —Paul Oertel, Nancy Spanier Dance Theatre

"Aside from enjoying and savoring each chapter, I'm awed and excited by the many ideas in this book." —Angeline Schmid, Piano and Pedagogy professor at Mansfield State College, Pennsylvania

"Eloise Ristad's alternative teaching methods have given me deep insights into some of my long-standing playing 'problems' that traditional methods have failed to touch." —Patricia Zurlo, Bassoonist

"In A Soprano On Her Head, Eloise Ristad displays an extraordinary knowledge and insight into the myriad problems that beset all performers. —Endre Balogh, Concert Violinist

"Reading this book, rereading it, trying it out, living with it--these are musts for every musician." —The American Music Teacher

"Required reading for all my students at the New England Conservatory of Music." —Charles Schlueter, First Trumpet, Boston Symphony

Foreword, by Lorin Hollander, concert pianist

Eloise Ristad deals here with complex problems which torment and cripple so many of our most creative and talented people, and she does so with compassion, wisdom, and wit. The problem of stage fright, for instance, is a suffering of epidemic proportions in our society, and involves modalities of thought and projections that rob spontaneity and enthusiasm in artistic performance.

Those interested in creative education have long felt that an entirely new, holistic and nurturing process of allowing individuals to discover and express themselves is needed if our educational system is to avoid the neuroses and creative blocks of the past generation. This book illuminates through its conversational style the destructive inhibitions, fears, and guilt experienced by all of us as we fail to break through to creativity. This story is told to me day after day in conservatories and college campuses around the world. Indeed I felt at times that she was telling of my own most petty and debilitating fears.

But what is important, A Soprano on Her Head supplies answers and methods for overcoming these universal psychological blocks--methods that have not only been proven in her own studio, but which trace back through history to the oldest and wisest systems of understanding the integration of mind and body. The work bears scrutiny both scientifically and holistically.

This is a wonderful book. Read it. You are not alone.

A Soprano on Her Head is now available in a high-quality ebook edition for Amazon Kindle.

We only have a few more new paperback copies in stock. After that, this title will be permanently out of print in paperback. It will continue to be available as a Kindle book however. We also have many "near new" copies, and used copies can be purchased on and other used book marketplaces online.

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