Cover Design for “The Practice of Practice”

Practice safe design: Use a concept.
~ Petrula Vrontikis


Well, after a good deal of thought and several years of research and loads of the hard work of writing,  I took some time to do something more playful, more fun: designing a cover! With help from a graphic designer, the cover design is finally finished. It’s exciting to see a project begin to shape up.

Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice.

I’m still looking for a worthy subtitle and once the manuscript is complete, before the end of the year, I’ll have a better idea of what will work best, but I’m totally open to suggestions. Feel free to comment. If you have a great idea and I use it, I’ll give you credit in the book and a complimentary copy.

Here it is:

The Practice of Practice: Get Better Faster

Have fun, and good luck with your practice.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Clyde Morgan says:

    Mr. Harnum,

    I have been following your P of P blog since its inception, and I am looking forward to the release of your book with great anticipation.

    Sorry, I have no good ideas for your cover. But the red music on the stand stands out so strongly to me that it feels discordant. I saw a metal working logo yesterday that had the same metallic gray and red palette. The red focal point had slightly softened edges and burnishing that gave it a metallic effect. Their red monogram stood out powerfully and prominently even as it fully harmonized with its surroundings. Obviously you might not want your sheet music to look like sheet metal, but could you jazz it up a bit and have it talk to the rest of the combo? ((Along with that metaphor, could you shade and shadow the stand so that the straight lines move? “walking base line” Ouch! -sorry 😉

    As a member of your audience I’d like to make a couple of requests:

    1.) Would you make your dissertation accessible? As a counselor I have a compelling interest in aspects of practice, processes of change, and human potential. I’m sure your work is a gold mine. Any chance of visiting, taking a tour? Download purchase? Or will P of P have it all?

    2.) I would like to see further development of the practice of performance. The chapter in Sound the Trumpet looks at anxiety and other individual aspects. What about social/small group aspects for the comeback players, hobbyists, high school and grade schoolers that are not ready to audition or step up to an open mike? How might we come out of the closet, take out the practice mute, and participate in small groups and combos before stepping out on the sidewalk or local park. Some of the garage band scene still exists in our culture, but is hampered in a variety of ways. So how might not-very-good-yet beginners and returners meet up, set up, and begin to venture out? (also the mention of negative aspects such as the encounters with the brutality and discouragement from semi-pros and hecklers)

    Your responses are always quite gracious.

    Thank you very much!

    1. Thanks so much for your nice comments, apt metaphors, and helpful feedback, Clyde. Very much appreciated! Am thinking about an embossed cover, so that will help the stand image (ahem) stand out, too.

      The dissertation will be available through the usual channels (ProQuest, mainly), but once it’s done, I’d be happy to send you a digital copy, no charge.

      However, the whole idea of P of P is to distill all that academic-ese into something that’s a more interesting (and shorter!) read. It’ll all be in there, but distilled and re-invigorated more with story, metaphor and other styles not suited to academic writing.

      Your second point is a great one. I, too, experience the anxiety of performing, even still after doing it for (gulp) over two decades. The “secret” is that most performers experience it. They (we–I’m still learning to do it better) turn that nervous energy and anxiety into a positive thing by realizing that this kind of pressure is exactly what’s needed to take the skills and the attention to the next level. I’m beginning to suspect that next level might not be possible without it.

      Dealing with the brutality of others however, is another matter. I’ll have to think about that one, but my own best defense is to invoke Rule #6, cultivate a thick skin, and remember that another’s brutality says more about them than it does about me. 🙂


      1. Clyde Morgan says:

        Thanks Jon,

        BTW, Did a search on “Rule #6”
        Here’s a version that really applies to you:

        And yes, that “re-invigoration” is part of the difference between an overbearing professor and a Master Teacher Educe -ator.


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