Play It by Ear

MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS agree that to lead a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life, we must be able to build and nurture friendships. Yet many of us don’t know how. We struggle with making friends or alienate the ones we already have, leaving us feeling lonely and confused.    

Play It by Ear offers a fresh, jazz-inspired approach to help us connect with others in a more positive, meaningful way. Drawing on experience from his two careers, first as a professional musician and second as a therapist, Ron Carducci introduces the improvisational jam session as a model for mastering the art of relating.    

By learning how to replace our rehearsed, off-putting behaviors with the flexible, accepting ones of jazz players, we can foster the trust and spontaneity that lie at the heart of enduring friendships.    

Play It by Ear will show you how to:    

  • Bend with others to preserve and deepen your relationships
  • Resolve differences more easily—and even welcome them
  • Transform conversations into creative, rewarding “jazz dialogues”
  • Affirm your friends to bring out the best in them—and yourself
  • Keep your cool and respond appropriately in difficult situations

Filled with illustrative stories from Dr. Carducci’s practice and from the many years he performed in jazz clubs and Las Vegas show bands, Play It by Ear invites you to loosen up and engage in the present moment—and experience the joy that comes from sharing a genuine connection.    

Praise for Play It by Ear

“Far too many self-help books are preachy, dull, and/or uninspiring, but happily, Play It by Ear is none of those things—it’s a lively read, full of wisdom, humor, and anecdotes that both enlighten and entertain. Ron Carducci tempers his advice with humility; each time he reveals his own struggles, we recognize a fellow imperfect human whose stories can offer us real hope and direction.”
—Judith Schlesinger, Ph.D., jazz critic, AllAboutJazz.com, psychologist, and author of Bogie: A Life in Pictures      

“Throughout this memorable book, jazz musician-turned-psychologist Ron Carducci shows how to improve our friendships by applying some of the practices that define being a jazz musician. Play It by Ear belongs in everyone’s personal or professional library. I highly recommend it!”
Jan Yager, Ph.D., friendship coach, sociologist, speaker, and author of When Friendship Hurts, Friendshifts, and Who’s That Sitting at My Desk?    

“Dr. Carducci melds his life experience as a musician with his insight as a psychologist to create a valuable guide to satisfying relationships. Refreshingly free of psychological jargon, this enjoyable book delivers a wealth of helpful advice.”
Doug Ramsey, distinguished jazz critic, ArtsJournal.com/Rifftides, and award-winning author of Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond   

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