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Chopin Competition Aftermath: Breakfast with Tony Yang
Many have enjoyed the Chopin Competition performances live and via streaming and the “now factor” has been very well provided for. But what about after-Warsaw? During his visit to Warsaw, Patrick Jovell had a breakfast talk with laureate 2015 Tony Yang, the youngest prize winner ever – in the history of the competition. Read more >>

Topic: expanding one's repertoire  (Read 1983 times)

Offline liszmaninopin

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expanding one's repertoire
on: January 04, 2004, 05:38:00 AM
When one wants to expand one's repertoire, is it more helpful for you to concentrate on one piece, learn it, and move on to another, or juggle a couple simultaneously?

Offline cziffra

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Re: expanding one's repertoire
Reply #1 on: January 04, 2004, 05:46:50 AM
both- concentrate on one piece, learn a section, then move on to another, conentrating then entirely on that.  in essence, instead of progressing quickly in one piece, you progress slowly in many.  

that's what i do anyway- i couldn't imagine working solely on one piece- how boring!  :o
What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: expanding one's repertoire
Reply #2 on: January 04, 2004, 06:18:31 AM
I agree, it is boring, as I've tried it.  Generally I try to do about a page a day from a couple selections, but it depends, as sometimes I get completely taken by one particular piece, and spend hours on it.  By the way, how does one force oneself to learn a piece one doesn't really like?  I have to learn another Bach Prelude and Fugue, but honestly, I find most of them boring.  As soon as I declare confidently "I'm going to practice this for the next hour,"  in five minutes I'm practicing Rachmaninoff or Chopin or Sorabji or something I like.  I've just never been one for Bach, Haydn, or Mozart.  Unfortunately, I don't think I ever will be.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: expanding one's repertoire
Reply #3 on: January 04, 2004, 07:05:11 AM
Well, it will somewhat depend on the nature of pieces you tend to play, but I'll let you know the mode of operation my teacher has me on lately and it seems to be working well.  

I tend to be working on *big* pieces - sonatas with 3 or 4 movements.  They take a while, and if you are only working on one thing you get pretty sick of the thing by the time it's done.  If you work on a bunch of things at once, the darned sonata never seems to get finished up.  

SO.....  I work on one big thing as my main thing to practice.  And one or two littler things, like a Chopin nocturne or a Grieg lyric piece, as a secondary thing to work on, to break the monotony.  That way, the sonata gets done in a reasonable time, and by the time it's done you've learned 2 or 3 other things as a side benefit.  

So much music, so little time........

Offline ThEmUsIcMaNBJ

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Re: expanding one's repertoire
Reply #4 on: January 04, 2004, 08:46:59 AM
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I agree, it is boring, as I've tried it.  Generally I try to do about a page a day from a couple selections, but it depends, as sometimes I get completely taken by one particular piece, and spend hours on it.  By the way, how does one force oneself to learn a piece one doesn't really like?  I have to learn another Bach Prelude and Fugue, but honestly, I find most of them boring.  As soon as I declare confidently "I'm going to practice this for the next hour,"  in five minutes I'm practicing Rachmaninoff or Chopin or Sorabji or something I like.  I've just never been one for Bach, Haydn, or Mozart.  Unfortunately, I don't think I ever will be.


  You know I had the same problem I couldn't stand working on the Bach I was working on for more then 20 minutes.  Even though I had a 6 hour practice session I would always gravitate towards the other pieces.  And just because I didn't like the Bach didn't mean it wasn't SUPER HARD!  So it ended up taking me months more to finish that then everything else which is a little ridiculous.  

  So I decided I would buy a little timer...  Just one of those small 3 dollar timers you hang on your refrigerator to tell you when things are done cooking.  Then I look at the time and say...  I have 6 pieces and 6 hours...  Then I decide what needs the most work set my timer and start working.  Needless to say the Bach usually ended up being an hour and a half of work while the chopin was only 30 minutes, until it eventually evened itself out.  
 
  Now if I don't get all I want done in the time I set I put some more time in and subtract maybe 5 minutes from the other peices I plan on working on.  That way I ALWAYS get the minimum done because I can't stop practicing that piece until I hear that Annoying "BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!"  But the key is to turn it around so you can't see it...  If you keep looking at "ok hold in there you only got 10 minutes left" you never get anything done.  

But you know the funny thing is as soon as I really started practicing Bach I found out I really like it a lot.  And now I'm about the biggest Bach fan you'll ever find...  Hehe maybe im a little over exagerating there, but by my tastes he is definately right up there with Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Chopin!

Offline eddie92099

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Re: expanding one's repertoire
Reply #5 on: January 04, 2004, 03:36:00 PM
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By the way, how does one force oneself to learn a piece one doesn't really like?


I simply don't play pieces I don't like. If I'm told to do a Prelude and Fugue at music college I will campaign for Shostakovich :),
Ed

Offline Hmoll

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Re: expanding one's repertoire
Reply #6 on: January 04, 2004, 04:42:31 PM
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   By the way, how does one force oneself to learn a piece one doesn't really like?  


A big part of being professional is being able to play music that you don't like.  When I was in school I was assigned to three people as their accompanist for their lessons, juries and recitals. In addition, I played chamber music. Oh yes, then I had my own solo repertoire.
That was a lot of music, and it stands to reason that I did not like it all.  If you approach it with an attitude that you don't like Bach, or don't like contemporary music, etc., you are doing yourself and the people you work with a disservice.  If you keep an open mind, look on it as a learning experience, and bite the bullet and learn the music, you will not be thought of as a prima donna, you will be more respected by your teachers and colleagues, and you will expand your horizons.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: expanding one's repertoire
Reply #7 on: January 04, 2004, 07:56:03 PM
You are definitely right, Hmoll.  It's not unlikely that one movement of a sonata doesnt' float your boat either.  When my teacher does recitals she suggests working extra on the stuff you don't like.  She likes to *test* people to see if they can tell what she liked best and least in a recital.  She enjoys it when they guess wrong!  OK. So she doesn't get out much.  But it still tells you that it's important to work on things you don't like.

Also, as Hmoll says (and i used to do some accompanying as well) you don't always like the solo they've picked.  
So much music, so little time........
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