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Topic: How does one learn a piece?  (Read 2262 times)

Offline ChopinLoverInPA

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How does one learn a piece?
on: August 28, 2004, 09:00:57 PM
As a beginner, I tend to work my way through the entire thing (I'm not very good at sight-reading, so my goal is to memorize it as quickly as possible).  Then I just practice the entire piece a lot to try to get it down.

Does anyone take a part of the piece and master it first before moving to the next part?  How do you attack the parts you're having trouble with, do you just keep redoing them over and over again or just get better at them as you get better at the piece as a whole (I tend to do the latter)??

Curious to see how accomplished pianists tackle this.

Best to all.

CLIPA

Offline .COM

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Re: How does one learn a piece?
Reply #1 on: August 28, 2004, 09:59:11 PM
Quote
As a beginner, I tend to work my way through the entire thing (I'm not very good at sight-reading, so my goal is to memorize it as quickly as possible).  Then I just practice the entire piece a lot to try to get it down.

Does anyone take a part of the piece and master it first before moving to the next part?  How do you attack the parts you're having trouble with, do you just keep redoing them over and over again or just get better at them as you get better at the piece as a whole (I tend to do the latter)??

Curious to see how accomplished pianists tackle this.

Best to all.

CLIPA


Welcome CLIPA,

You should really ask you piano teacher about techniques that you feel comfortable with, but here is my advice.

I'am was not quite an accomplished pianist but, after taking lessons and reading through this forum, I  became a lot more better at playing the piano.

If you are not up to speed at sight reading the piece you are working on, I would suggest that you stick to memorizing it. Or you might just practice on your sight reading by playing other pieces that you find less complicated.

Tackling a piece by parts is very helpful. Though I for one only apply this technique for difficult sections, but it doesn't mean that you don't have to do it for any section.

Playing difficult passages at a slow and comfortable rate really helps. Then if you practice them repetively as you stated, you will surely see progress on those sections.

I hope this was a good aid. If it didn't, I sure the other's replies will help.

Good luck. 8)
Perfectionist/Learner

Offline bernhard

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Re: How does one learn a piece?
Reply #2 on: August 28, 2004, 11:15:20 PM
Quote
As a beginner, I tend to work my way through the entire thing (I'm not very good at sight-reading, so my goal is to memorize it as quickly as possible).  Then I just practice the entire piece a lot to try to get it down.



Not a very efficient methodology.

Start here:

https://members.aol.com/cc88m/PianoBook.html

Then have a look here, where the process is described in some detail (there are several  other threads dealing with this subject, but these two should get you started):

https://www.pianoforum.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=teac;action=display;num=1081198385

https://www.pianoforum.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=teac;action=display;num=1083060519


Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline pies

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Re: How does one learn a piece?
Reply #3 on: August 28, 2004, 11:25:39 PM

Offline super_ardua

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Re: How does one learn a piece?
Reply #4 on: August 29, 2004, 07:22:30 PM
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I have problems memorizing my pieces all the time. Sight reading goes easily for me but it takes forever to remember the piece.  I've been experimenting with ways of learning stuff but none of it seems to work


A theory:

There are 3 [main] routes into the brain

1) audio
2) visual
3) feeling

Instead of recalling note values,  if your main pathway is 1)  it is easier to remember the way the page looks

if 2)  how it sounds

if 3) its feel
We must do,  we shall do!!!

Offline larse

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Re: How does one learn a piece?
Reply #5 on: August 31, 2004, 01:26:20 AM
I have the exact oposite problem. I must be the most hopeless sight-reader on earth. I tried to enter the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen last year. They told me my technique was excellent, my talent was greater than most others my age, and I would definately have a carrear if not...my sight-reading was so hopeless. I flunked that test within a flash.But

I have a skill for memorizing pieces, and it's because. Defining and recognizing patterns are all that matters. That goes for fast readers, but it also goes for my ear. I 'hear' the patterns and use the notes as a reference. Often I read the notes only once while rehearsing a piece. Of course, later I check the notes to be certain I have it all correct, but it's not often I find mistakes.

Offline ChopinLoverInPA

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Re: How does one learn a piece?
Reply #6 on: August 31, 2004, 04:01:18 AM
Yes, I am the king of recognizing patterns... :)

There are times I have to force myself to analyze a score so that I can actually musically interpret it instead of just remembering -- I don't see B to F# (or, I guess that's a major 5th, right??) -- I see B to the first black key in the row of 3...I'm serious.  Not that I don't know that's F#, but while I'm playing I don't think of it in those terms.

Is there something coherently wrong with doing that?
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