SCHOOL OF MUSIC
A monthly newsletter to inform
and entertain our friends
Are You Ready for
Our Recitals and music contests are coming up, and our students are excited! When you are studying an instrument,
it’s very important to have positive performance experiences. You’ll have fun and be motivated to work toward
your next performance!
Here are some tips to help you as you prepare!
•Choose your piece early, so you have plenty of time to be familiar with it. Make sure it’s one you enjoy!
•Give yourself extra time to practice during the first few
weeks you’re working on your piece. That way, you don’t have to panic as the recital date nears!
•Practice mentally. Think through your song when you are
on your lunch break or on the bus, and target the problem spots.
•Focus on rough spots: WHY are they hard? Create solutions!
•Choose several go-to spots in your piece and practice starting from them in
case you lose your place or make a mistake.
on playing if you make a mistake in practice! Finish the song, THEN go back and fix the problem area.
•Memorize your song, even if you plan to perform with the book.
•Play for your family and friends, so you’re used
to an audience. Ask them for feedback so you keep improving!
to Improve Music Memorization Skills
Memorizing music can be a daunting task for musicians of all stripes. Unfortunately
for many of us, repetition alone is not enough. Simply playing a piece of music from a score over and over again only
teaches you to play the piece extremely well. . .but with the aid of the written page. The key to “getting off
of the page” is identifying what kind of musical learner you are, and which strategies will be most effective for you
as an individual.
#1 Prepare the piece for memorization
For technically challenging
works, memorization will be much more difficult if you don’t have a firm grasp of the most difficult sections beforehand.
In a similar fashion, you should have a clear picture in mind of how you would like to articulate and phrase each section
before committing it to memory.
#2 Break the music down
into manageable pieces
Even if you have to go one-note-at-a-time,
progress is progress!
#3 Analyze the piece’s underlying form
The first step to breaking down all of the information in a song into manageable pieces
is understanding its form. Is the piece through-composed, with no information repeating itself? Is there a discernible
first section, followed by a contrasting section, and then an eventual return to the initial idea, perhaps with some variations?
This is a good step to organizing and internalizing a piece of music.
Identify smaller, recurring patterns in the music
Such as arpeggiated
chords, passages resembling scales or other familiar musical fragments. These can be quickly ingrained in one’s
muscle memory and easily recalled.
#5 Learn by ear
Some people find music much easier to retain once they work it out by ear. If you are brand new to a
song, and it is one you would find reasonably simple to read on the page, you might consider simply skipping the reading step
altogether, and simply working the tune out from a recording, if one is available.
#6 Start and stop in different places throughout the piece
is essential to prevent the need to start all the way back at the beginning if you get flustered during a performance! As
mentioned before, knowing the “big picture,” musically speaking, is crucial for the sake of flexibility
#7 Distract yourself
things or take a short break, then go back to memorization. This will get you accustomed to the recall process more
quickly. Work those neurons!
#8 Play along with recordings
Playing along with some sort of accompaniment is not only fun, it inspires confidence
and helps simulate the performance experience. Don’t have an orchestra, accompanist or rhythm section awaiting
your every command? Check out some great play along titles in more genres than you can shake a baton at!
#9 Record a rehearsal
No play alongs available for ensemble
you are auditioning for? Create your own play-along by recording a rehearsal and documenting the energy of your fellow
#10 Memorize often
As is the case with
most musicians, practice makes perfect! If memorizing music becomes a regular process as opposed once-in-a-career ordeal,
your memory will only get stronger. Through experience, you can learn which tools will work most effectively for your
particular artistry. (Courtesy of Sheet Music Plus)
Over 100 recital videos are now on YouTube! Visit "Sweet Sounds
for You" to see you and your friends performing at past recitals!
Recital videos are also available on facebook!