Do you get frustrated when learning a new piece that it doesn’t seem to stick from one day to the next? If you approach a new piece using the repeated read-through method, you’ll probably find at the end of a practice session you have managed to get it sounding better than it did at the start of the session, but how frustrating when you come back to it the next day it feels like it hasn’t stuck at all. Practice makes permanent, and only perfect practice makes perfect!

Fortunately, there is a much better way to learn. In this video, I demonstrate The Three S’s in action – slowly, separately, sections – using Petzhold’s Minuet in G minor (BWV Anh. 115) from the Anna Magdalene Notebook. Working in units of one bar (plus one note) and with each hand alone, we find as many patterns as we can as we practise. By patiently repeating a small unit of music (enough to hold in our working memory) at the speed of no mistakes and with our mind fully engaged, we are digging firm foundations for security later on.

Practice like this takes a fair deal of discipline, but the rewards are significant – and permanent!

For more detailed information on the process, follow this link to my blog post, A Daisy Chain

Further Information & Resources

  • The Practice Tools Lecture Series (click here to view the series index)
  • Q-Spots Series (click here to view a blog post on this series)
  • Practising the Piano multimedia eBook series – Part 1: Practice Strategies and Approaches (click here for more information)

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