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Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available (Read 1594 times)

Offline egjv

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Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
« on: March 21, 2016, 05:50:49 PM »
Hi everyone,


I am a piano performance student at Vienna's University of Music and Performing Arts (MDW) and I would like to ask for any tips that aid in speeding the learning process of a piece WITHOUT the help of a keyboard. I will be gone for a week this Easter break and will not have a piano available for the duration of the stay (eeek, I know). To make my question more specific:


What exercises do you do away from the Tastatur that:

-speed up memorisation (aside from harmonic and form analysis)
-keep your muscle memory and fingers nimble
-basically give you slightly the same results as if you were practicing on an actual keyboard.


I am guessing there are threads on this, but I am fairly new to the site and can't find any of those threads at the moment.

Thanks!


Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 02:11:48 AM »
Welcome
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline shostglass

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 05:32:39 AM »
The imagination works. Just pictures your self playing the music or the exercises.
There are numerous studies shown that this actually not only helps your playing ability, but also helps confidence and nerves.

Offline klavieronin

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #3 on: March 22, 2016, 06:37:32 AM »
I learn all my music now away from the piano first then only take it to the piano once I can perform the piece or a section of the piece in my imagination from memory. This has at least halved the time it takes me to learn new music. It's so effective in fact that I can't believe I used to do it any other way.

It's is difficult though and the only thing I can suggest is that you the more you do it the better you'll get a learning this way. Whenever I'm playing in my head I always keep my eyes closed too. I helps the visualisation a lot.

Offline birba

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 07:33:13 AM »
I'm sure everyone knows the story of Gieseking who learned a concerto studying on the train and chasing butterflies and went directly to the rehearsal without having played one note on the piano.  There's a book by lebert-stark with an intro by gieseking explaining his "method".  I tried it so many times.  I always fell asleep after 5 minutes...i guess it's not for everyone.

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 06:06:27 PM »
I've heard the story attributed to Rubinstein with both the Chopin F minor and the Mozart D minor, but those are probably A) both true in Rubinstein's case and/or B) spread around to glorify the artists
Jazz Ambassador 8)

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #6 on: March 23, 2016, 08:33:26 AM »
Make sure you set the fingering before going mental - it's about 60% effective as practical.   Found the attached on my hard drive.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline mjames

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #7 on: March 23, 2016, 01:48:29 PM »
OKay this is some weird Jedi mindtrick thingy you guys are talking about...

Does this actually work?
Composing/improvising

Chopin's 4th ballade and 3rd sonata.
Scriabin Op. 42 no. 1, 2, and 3.
Bach Partita No.4

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #8 on: March 23, 2016, 02:11:35 PM »
.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #9 on: March 23, 2016, 04:11:42 PM »
Only if you use the force Luke!
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline diomedes

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #10 on: March 24, 2016, 03:18:56 AM »
I'd say my practice is 50% work in my mind and 50% at the keyboard as I'm in the later stages of preparing for a recital.

I have a recital in 2 days.

Especially the heavily technical stuff, you need to know it away from the keyboard just as you'd recognize blue or red. Muscle memory is always going to deceive you.

The initial stages of learning repertoire relies less on memorizing away from the score and piano both obviously.

If you're away from a keyboard a week that's an  issue, for me practice = confirmation of that you don't know, technical problem solving and ingraining the physical memory which is necessary as long as you don't let it lie to you.
Ravel, Alborada del Gracioso
Schumann, Kreisleriana
Scriabin, Sonata nr.3
Liszt, Don Juan

Offline egjv

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Offline egjv

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #12 on: April 10, 2016, 09:49:35 AM »
I'd say my practice is 50% work in my mind and 50% at the keyboard as I'm in the later stages of preparing for a recital.

I have a recital in 2 days.

Especially the heavily technical stuff, you need to know it away from the keyboard just as you'd recognize blue or red. Muscle memory is always going to deceive you.

The initial stages of learning repertoire relies less on memorizing away from the score and piano both obviously.

If you're away from a keyboard a week that's an  issue, for me practice = confirmation of that you don't know, technical problem solving and ingraining the physical memory which is necessary as long as you don't let it lie to you.


So true! Thank you!

Offline egjv

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #13 on: April 10, 2016, 09:50:32 AM »
Make sure you set the fingering before going mental - it's about 60% effective as practical.   Found the attached on my hard drive.


This is very helpful, thank you so much! All the best.

Offline egjv

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #14 on: April 10, 2016, 09:51:44 AM »
I'm sure everyone knows the story of Gieseking who learned a concerto studying on the train and chasing butterflies and went directly to the rehearsal without having played one note on the piano.  There's a book by lebert-stark with an intro by gieseking explaining his "method".  I tried it so many times.  I always fell asleep after 5 minutes...i guess it's not for everyone.


Yes, that man was a genius. Alas, I am not... but I can still try. ;) thanks for the tip.

Offline egjv

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Re: Mental Practice When No Instrument Is Available
«Reply #15 on: April 10, 2016, 09:53:01 AM »
I learn all my music now away from the piano first then only take it to the piano once I can perform the piece or a section of the piece in my imagination from memory. This has at least halved the time it takes me to learn new music. It's so effective in fact that I can't believe I used to do it any other way.

It's is difficult though and the only thing I can suggest is that you the more you do it the better you'll get a learning this way. Whenever I'm playing in my head I always keep my eyes closed too. I helps the visualisation a lot.


Thank you! I used to practice on my desk and it was mentally exhausting, but it helped so much.