Started working on Chopin Scherzo 4 yesterday. It will take time and diligence, but everything will be squarely manageable except for all those pp thirds near the end. How I will ever get those to sound like anything more graceful than an idling engine without one of its sparkplugs is beyond me.
ambulavi asked: Another quick question - I'm just starting piano and I tend to memorize the music without thinking and then I stare at my hands the whole time so I don't screw up. Would it be wiser to force myself to look at the music while playing (so I can get used to connecting page --> fingers) or keep memorizing?
Pianists differ pretty widely on memorization, I’ve noticed. There are many who will conscientiously memorize music a few bars at a time.
The process I’ve sort of fallen into over the years goes something like this: when I’m getting to know a piece, I’ll practice it with the music for quite some time before I allow myself to even think of memorizing it. When most of the technical issues are ironed out and I’m able to do run-throughs, at some point I’ll take the music away and see how much of it I can play. Almost always I really surprise myself, but often there are a few “spots” that I have to pretty carefully review.
I would say the downside to the kind of memorization you’re describing (if I understand it right) is that it focuses on “muscle memory,” that is, memorizing movements instead of musical ideas. A certain amount of playing from memory is always going to involve muscle memory, but relying on it can create a situation in which you might find it very difficult to regain your composure, for instance, if you had to stop in the middle of a performance.
So I’d say it’s partially about connecting the page with your fingers, but mostly it’s a matter of internalizing the music as music and not as physical activity, though it certainly is that, too. It helps me to spend a lot of time just sitting and studying the score, listening to it in my head. But everyone learns and works differently, so there’s no right or wrong answer.
oh my gosh.
I need to tape this on my wall :}
omg i need this in poster size!
I love that the most popular thing I’ve ever posted (by a considerable margin) is about practice. That makes me happy. And Oddquartet is awesome, you should check them out!