Monthly Archives: March 2014

Practising Music Without Instrument, With Notation.

I suppose I was not practising the piano enough in my university years because my piano teacher suggested I practise in transit from my home to university, on the train. This, Stephen said, would be a constructive way to use

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Playing Music by Ear

Playing by ear is less frequently encouraged in traditional music lessons, which is surprising given that most musicians would love to develop this skill. Why is the ability to play without music considered second rate to sight-reading? For many students

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Playing Music from Memory: Pt 3 of 3

Continued from part 2 of ‘Playing Music from Memory’. Like most choral conductors I have my choirs perform repertoire from memory. In my early career, though, I assumed choirs had memorization limits. One day a colleague challenged me by saying,

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Playing Music from Memory: Pt 2 of 3

Verbal mediation enhances musical ‘big picture’ thinking and provides a structure for learning from memory. Some people visualise the musical score as they play. Others sing the main melody in their head, imagining the contours of the music. Rehearsing the

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Playing Music from Memory: Pt 1 of 3

For musicians, an ability to play from memory opens up the world of practising via the imagination, which grants freedom from notation. Performing from memory indicates a deep understanding and internalization of the music. Playing from memory involves performing a

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Sight-Reading

Poor sight-reading has been identified as one of the reasons students stop lessons. The most effective way to become a successful sight-reader is to practise the skill regularly. Just as with reading a book, in time students will recognise clusters

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