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#1968782 - 10/04/12 04:33 PM Re: Repertoire - to maintain or not?? [Re: CebuKid]
JimF Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 2309
Loc: south florida
So far I've kept almost nothing in repertoire. For me it doesn't seem worth it to trade valuable practice hours to keep beginner and intermediate repertoire alive. I always think that if I use that time for improving my abilities at the bench, it will be that much sooner that I can graduate to more complex and interesting music.

I do understand that my attitude sounds a bit like chasing after a moving target, and I guess it is to some extent. When I've talked to my teacher about it she has always said "well, if you still want to play it a year from now, you will be that much more skilled and can pick it back up that much quicker... but you can't pick up something you haven't started working on or don't have the skills for yet."

I do play a handful of jazz standards just because I enjoy playing them when I come home in the evening. But I don't consider them part of my training, except as an exercise in daily reading, and I don't keep any one of them going for very long.

Lots of room for different ways to handle this for every individual IMO.
Sonatine, No.2 Menuet - MRavel
Invention No.13 A-minor - JSBach
Consolation no.3- FLiszt

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#1968906 - 10/04/12 11:10 PM Re: Repertoire - to maintain or not?? [Re: mom3gram]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
mom3gram, I would like to impress you, but please be reminded, that the tunes/exercises are on average are 8 measures long in Book one of Fletcher piano Book 1 - so very, very tiny exercises/tunes.

Someone commented that playing tunes/exercises that you know (review) doesn't move you forward as opposed to learning something new - challenge you.

I totally agree with that statment.

As a beginner, it is challenging to always be learning new tunes.

It is awesome to sit down day or night and just place my fingers on the piano keys and play page by page what I have learned/struggled through for the last 6 months learning Book 1.

There is a benefit in playing in this fashion because I try to play without mistakes, play it musically as if I was playing a mini concert - the pressure to try to do my best - not fooling around.

I never seem to tire playing stuff I have learned because I am always trying to play pp which is difficult for me to do -
playing very softly and evenly on an acoustical piano.

Additionally, I am working my way slowly through Book 2 a bit every day and I have at least 6 or 7 books to work my way through so lot of piano playing ahead of my - note by note.

#1969021 - 10/05/12 09:02 AM Re: Repertoire - to maintain or not?? [Re: CebuKid]
Sam S Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 2218
Loc: Georgia, USA
Last summer I picked 5 pieces to "bring back from the dead". I came up with a schedule that involved concentrating on two at a time. All of the pieces where things I had "learned" before. The object was to go to a summer music camp with a bunch of pieces I could get help on. I followed the schedule for about three months.

Surprisingly, it worked. I did not memorize them, at least not all of them. There are passages in each that I have to memorize in order to play them, but I play from the music, which is a big plus at my age. Playing from memory is very frustrating for me, and what's the point in being frustrated about something that is supposed to be fun or relaxing or cathartic (fill in your favorite reason for playing).

When I started lessons again in August I stopped playing the 5 pieces, instead concentrating on new things. But this past weekend I got out two of the pieces and played through them. I made mistakes, of course, but I surprised myself again with how much I remembered.

So I think it is a long-term goal. Each time you relearn a piece it is a little easier. After a few iterations of bringing something back to playable condition I bet you could pick it up at any time and play it with little difficulty.

So I plan to pick the best and most enjoyable pieces that I have studied and bring them back from the dead occasionally. It is a lot of fun to just be able to sit down and play some old pieces that you enjoy.

Just to be complete, here are the 5 pieces from last summer:
Bach Prelude and Fugue X from WTC#1
Clementi Sonata Opus 7 #3 - first movement
Mendelssohn Song Without Words opus 53 #5
Schubert Impromptu Opus 140 #2
Khachaturian Toccata

I'll probably try to keep all these except the Clementi alive...


#1969284 - 10/05/12 11:27 PM Re: Repertoire - to maintain or not?? [Re: CebuKid]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1354
Loc: Southern California
I like the 20% time slice suggestion, offered in the book The Musician's Way.

20% on old material
40% on new material
20% on technique
20% on sightreading, theory, musicianship

Whatever old pieces a person can maintain in that 20% is what is worth keeping. When using those slices, each individual practice session may vary greatly. For example, when a performance date is coming up, there isn't much time for starting anything new because the focus is polishing the performance pieces.

Like most things in music, it is just an idea. Others may have other ideas and suggestions. There is rarely a right or wrong answer. Each person can look at the suggestions, experiment, and find what works best for them.

Edited by Sand Tiger (10/06/12 12:33 AM)
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#1969292 - 10/06/12 12:17 AM Re: Repertoire - to maintain or not?? [Re: CebuKid]
mr_super-hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4289
I keep my repertoire manageable by limiting it to my favorites. The rest of the stuff I tend to forget but in a way, that's even better. This is because if I want to re-learn a tune, I will, but now I'll do it with newly updated melodies in my head and hopefully better playing skills and abilities.

It can be fun to re-discover a piece and update it from time to time. Even the pieces that I do keep in my repertoire get tweaked here and there on an ongoing basis so for me at least, not maintaining a huge playlist is no big deal.

I can lose a piece fairly quickly if I don't 'maintain' it but like I said, it can be more fun taking a new path each time. This way you don't create a trail!

#1970179 - 10/08/12 06:27 AM Re: Repertoire - to maintain or not?? [Re: CebuKid]
Newman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/27/11
Posts: 708
Loc: Australia
I'm still working out what my repertoire is. But my pop/rock material isn't so hard to keep in mind. I have about 60 odd songs in my folder of lyrics with chords. I select songs that I think I can master and which might help me learn something new.

I work backwards and forwards through the book and start in the middle etc as the mood takes me. Things I struggle with I leave for a while and come back to waiting for when I've improved enough to play it. I've tossed out about a dozen or so that I decide against persevering with.

I've been blessed since childhood with an excellent memory for melody so don't have trouble remembering the 'tunes' and as pop songs they are pretty well known anyway.
Guitar since 1966. Piano (Kawai DP80) since 2011.

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