Sunday, February 13, 2011

Importance of Playing Review Pieces

Rita Hauck titled this Parents as Partners presentation The Importance of Playing Review Pieces.

The importance of playing review pieces well:
To learn to play with...
  • Excellent technique - good posture, hand position
  • Beautiful tone - music is first and foremost about sound
  • Appropriate tempo - a slow tempo ensures accuracy
  • Sensitive musicianship - phrasing, shaping, dynamics, ritards, rubato, the overall projection of the deeper meaning of music
  • Balance between melody and accompaniment (right and left hands of piano)
  • Development of intellect - memory
 Ability breeds ability - playing review pieces is more important than playing new pieces.

Benefit and value of playing review pieces well:
It is motivating to the students and parents to be playing something well.

The three stages of learning Dr Suzuki outlines:
1) Learn the notes and new techniques of a piece
2) Gain fluency, ease, consistency
3)Artistic stage - more focus on the musical aspect - the spirit and heart of the music

Playing common repertoire of Suzuki pieces allows for group playing locally, at camps, or workshops.

How do you accomplish the enormous goal of playing review pieces well?

Divide book 1 into sections  1/2 or 1/3 the book or 1/4 to be reviewed every day. 
Book 2 and beyond: "Special treatment."  Use a metronome.  A: hands separate up to tempo, next day B: hands together slowly, C: together up to tempo (for piano)

Review pieces at every lesson, with praise.

Have a graduation recital for each book completed - review the entire book daily for one month first.

Teachers, stay on the same page with parents and students:  not leading from ahead, pushing from behind, criticizing from above, but working together for common goal of beautiful playing, which will motivate everyone: student, parent, teacher.

"After the first piece is internalized, train some more, and add the next piece.  Master and add the next. Keep each piece learned so that it can be played at any time.  This is not just the power of memorization, but the power of internalization." - S. Suzuki (Ability Development)

"Just playing through many pieces is not good training if there will be no one piece that is really played with excellence.  Just being able to say, 'I can play all these pieces,' is in fact insufficient, if it results in not developing musical sense, fine interpretation, and beautiful tone."  - S. Suzuki (Ability Development)

“Create fine ability with an old piece—if this method is carried out correctly, every child will grow splendidly.”
—S. Suzuki (Where Love Is Deep)

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