Mark is an amazing teacher who has an equally amazing website full of tips and advice on making the most of your piano life, lessons, practicing, performing, etc etc. I'm going to be posting "book" reports on his lesson line posts, along with the link if you think that the topic will be especially helpful for you.
This first Lesson Line is on the topic, Keeping the Repertoire Alive. In my experience as a Simply Music teacher, this is a major stumbling block for students, if, once their repertoire exceeds 15 songs, who haven't yet grasped the value of the playlist.
Is it really that helpful to faithfully mark your playlist, or is it a chore that makes you sigh with exasperation?
Are you spending more energy figuring out shortcuts to marking your playlist than you would be if you just marked it?
Are there ways besides checkmarks to mark your playlist that will help you be in control of your repertoire, and the condition of the songs?
Did you know that you are striving to play each song LESS frequently?
Here's an excerpt from the Lesson Line that reveals one approach:
Another Playlist variation to consider for songs that are no longer current projects: instead of checks, score each song each time you play it:
- 5 - I can play this easily and musically (and have fun!)
- 4 - I can play this quite easily but it’s not quite “there”
- 3 - It flows but I have to play it slowly
- 2 - I know what to do but I really have to think about it
- 1 - I sometimes don’t know how to put the song together
Songs enter the repertoire at probably a 2 or a 3. As you continue practicing them, they work their way up to 5 even as you come to play them less often. Using this scoring system, though, gives you an added awareness of just how your songs are doing as you try to decrease the frequency of practice. The day you have to knock your score down one notch compared to the previous time you played the song, you know you’ve probably gone too far in decreasing frequency and ought to play the song a little more often. If you ever let a song get down to 1, it’s time to stop playing that song and start working it. Add it to your current projects list with a pencil dot, removing the dot only once the song is back up to a 2 or 3.
All of my own students use a 1-5 playlist evaluation system, but we hadn't thought about doing it this way! Give it a try!
If you'd like to read more....
Enjoy your musical life!