March 23, 2008

How to Learn a New Piece of Written Music



Always practice new material very slowly at first and gradually build up to a faster tempo this may take a week to reach a desired tempo. Use a metronome to help build up to tempo.
1. Look at the page you are about to learn and make mental notes of all the new music.

2. Break this material into small sections. i.e. (One measure or two measures or a Phrase)

3. Focus completely on the first of these small sections and allow all the details to register clearly in your mind. For example you may ask yourself what octaves, what rhythm, what fingering etc. Try to picture in your mind how you are going to play the section, then when you have an absolutely clear mental image of the section of music, PLAY THROUGH ONCE SLOWLY.

4. Try to associate this new material to something which you are familiar, for instance it may remind you of some song you have heard, etc.

5. Now, turn away from the music and PRACTICE REMEMBERING what you saw. Try to avoid taking a second look at the music. Go ahead and practice the entire section of music entirely from memory.

6. Always practice new material very slowly at first and gradually build up to a faster tempo this may take a week to reach a desired tempo. Use a metronome to help build up to tempo.

7. Once you have mastered the first small section, put down your instrument and take a short break for longer sections take a longer break.

8. When you have mastered all the small sections then start stringing them together by playing the piece from start to finish. Do not stop if you make a mistake, keep on playing through to the end. Afterwards, go back and clear up any problem spots individually. Refuse to go over and over things you already know.

Repeat this process on any music or sections of music you are learning EXACTLY and include the rest period. Immediately begin to look for places to apply what you have learned. Always be on the lookout for new ways to use what you know.

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