Welcome Guest!
 Previous Message All Messages Next Message 
PRACTICE TIPS #31: Starting to Work on a New Piece, part 3  Brent Hugh
 Sep 10, 2000 20:45 PDT 
PRACTICE TIPS is an occasional email newsletter with practical
piano practice tips and ideas, by Brent Hugh

You are receiving PRACTICE TIPS because you subscribed to PRACTICE
TIPS at the Practice Tips Web Page or because you are a student of
Brent Hugh. To end your PRACTICE TIPS subscription, see the
instructions at the end of this message.

PRACTICE TIPS #31: Starting to Work on a New Piece, part 3

In the last two messages I have mentioned four ideas for starting to work
on a new piece:

1. WHOLE WORK: Get an overview; sight read sometimes; don't waste time.
2. LARGE/MEDIUM SECTIONS: Notice natural sections (phrases and larger).
3. SMALL "PRACTICE SECTIONS": Mark them in the music.
4. FINGER POSITIONS/FINGERING: Write them in, keep them consistent.

Here is another very helpful idea:

     highlight ALL markings in your music. Use a good music
     dictionary to look up any musical words you don't understand
     (keep your own personal list of new musical words). Many
     people, including Yours Truly, have found it very helpful
     to use colored pencils to highlight musical markings in
     their scores, following a scheme like this:

      * Dynamic markings (red pencil): ff, f, p, pp, cresc.,
        dim., etc.
      * Tempo markings (blue pencil): allegro, andante, rit., accel.,
        rall., etc.
      * Articulation markings (green pencil): staccato marks,
        accents, slurs, "phrase" marks, tenuto marks, written-out
        words such as "legato", "staccato", etc.

You can trace long marks such as hairpin crescendos/diminuendos and long
slur marks.

It is amazing how following this simple system can make these important
musical elements turn from invisible to visible.

Try it and you'll see!

Now that we have covered this material, I *expect* all of you to
begin following these suggestions, starting the day before
yesterday. I should see finger numbers, red, blue, and green
marks, and clearly marked Practice Sections in *every* piece
you learn. When I take a stroll by the practice rooms (which I
often do), I should hear you practicing *mostly* section by
section and only rarely indulging yourself with a Slow, Bad
Concert performance.

Your grade depends on it!

Your grade *doesn't* depend on it, but if it helps at all, you're
welcome to pretend like it does . . .

Happy Practicing!


PRACTICE TIPS is by pianist, teacher, composer, and internet nerd
Brent Hugh. Brent knows about practicing mostly because he *does*
it, and in fact is toddling off to do some of it just about now . . .

Please remember that this tip is but a small spot near the tip of the
elephant's trunk--it's not even close to the whole elephant that is
"how everyone in the whole world should practice the piano".

Practice Tips Archives (updated about once a month):


You are welcome to forward PRACTICE TIPS to others as long as the
ENTIRE message, including this trailer, is forwarded. Friends can
find out how to subscribe to PRACTICE TIPS at

++++++++++++ Brent Hugh / bhu-@griffon.mwsc.edu ++++++++++++++
+ Missouri Western St College Dept of Music, St. Joseph, MO +
+         Piano Home Page: http://www.mwsc.edu/~bhugh         +
+ Internet Piano Concert: http://www.mwsc.edu/~bhugh/recit   +
++++ Classical Piano MP3s: http://www.mp3.com/brent_d_hugh ++++
 Previous Message All Messages Next Message 
  Check It Out!

  Topica Channels
 Best of Topica
 Art & Design
 Books, Movies & TV
 Food & Drink
 Health & Fitness
 News & Information
 Personal Finance
 Personal Technology
 Small Business
 Travel & Leisure
 Women & Family

  Start Your Own List!
Email lists are great for debating issues or publishing your views.
Start a List Today!

© 2001 Topica Inc. TFMB
Concerned about privacy? Topica is TrustE certified.
See our Privacy Policy.