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This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints".

Posted By: baudelairepianist

This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/26/18 08:40 PM

Example ~ Chopin prelude 8
1. measure 1 "first checkpoint"
2. measure 2
3. measures 1,2
4. measure 3
5. measures 2,3
6. measure 4
7. measures 3,4
8. section 1 {measures 1-4}
9. measure 5
10. measure 6
11. measures 5,6
12. measure 7
13. measures 6,7
14. measure 8
15. measures 7,8
16. section 2 {measures 5-8}
17. sections 1,2 {measures 1-8}
18. measure 9
19. measure 10
20. measures 9,10
21. measure 11
22. measures 10,11
23. measure 12
24. measures 11,12
25. section 3 {measures 9-12}
26. sections 2,3 {measures 5-12}
27. ...and so on till the end.
As you can see, I am either working on 1 measure, 2 measures, 1 section, or 2 sections.
If at the end of a practice session I can play the checkpoint (from memory/at tempo/accurately/with relative ease/decent quality) , then I move on to the next checkpoint in the next session otherwise I will try again the next day.

This is how I learned Chopin prelude 8 in under a month (one daily (10-30 minutes) session)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkh...;list=PLnrd13DbIJexll0SCZqVIHk6kF7B0_pMh
Posted By: BruceD

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/26/18 08:55 PM

I don't understand this "method." When, as a first example, measures two and five are repetitions of measure 1, why work on measures two and five as separate "check points"? There are other repetitions throughout this work that shouldn't require re-working, or is there something about your "method" that I have not understood?

Regards,
Posted By: baudelairepianist

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/26/18 09:12 PM

Of course, if the measure or section is a repeat then I skip it though it doesn't hurt to check it.
Posted By: Hakki

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/26/18 09:50 PM

Repeating measures and moving forward when a measure is safe is a common learning technique.

I congratulate you for learning this piece without having a teacher by yourself.

Now that you have learned the piece I would be glad to hear you playing on a well tuned piano with phrasing and nuances added.

For example like in this performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pYeulVTEzU

Thank you for sharing your method and performance.
Posted By: John305

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/26/18 10:05 PM

Thank you for posting this, I find it very interesting to see how other people learn.
Posted By: baudelairepianist

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/26/18 11:02 PM

Any idea how much time/effort she put in?
I know having a teacher would save a lot of time but what are the upper limits of how quickly this piece can be learned since there is still the problem of memorization and performance?
I put in what I thought was a significantly small amount of time/effort by working in that manner but are there even more efficient ways?
Posted By: Hakki

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/26/18 11:19 PM

Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
Any idea how much time/effort she put in?


How much did she like her own performance?

How much did the audience like her performance ?

How much would Chopin like her performance?
Posted By: Hakki

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/26/18 11:46 PM

As for the effort it would take to play this piece, it depends.

An accomplished pianist with very good sight reading skills would learn it in an hour or so.

Remember Liszt could sight read Grieg Concerto .
Posted By: baudelairepianist

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/27/18 12:23 AM

1 hour to memorize and perform Chopin prelude 8!? That sounds a bit far-fetched but what exactly are they doing in that hour?
Posted By: Kenny Cheng

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/27/18 05:41 AM

It's interesting to see how others work on a piece.

Just to note that concert pianists do not just play notes. They are analyzing, phasing, voicing, and polishing the pieces that they are learning. Many pianists read score and think about music even when they are not on the piano. One of my goal to get to next level is being able to analyze the structure of the music and understand it more.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/27/18 06:07 AM

Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
1 hour to memorize and perform Chopin prelude 8!? That sounds a bit far-fetched but what exactly are they doing in that hour?


I don't think that Hakki also implied "memorize and perform" when he said that an advanced pianist could "learn" this piece in an hour. Many pianists "learn" a piece in relatively short order and can play it at a very high level, reading from the score as they play. That doesn't mean that there isn't more work, polishing and refining to do.

Regards,
Posted By: BruceD

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/27/18 06:19 AM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
1 hour to memorize and perform Chopin prelude 8!? That sounds a bit far-fetched but what exactly are they doing in that hour?


I don't think that Hakki also implied "memorize and perform" when he said that an advanced pianist could "learn" this piece in an hour. Many pianists "learn" a piece in relatively short order and can play it at a very high level, reading from the score as they play. That doesn't mean that there isn't more work, polishing and refining to do.

Regards,


The other reason you may have found Hakki's statement somewhat incredulous may be explained by a comment you made elsewhere: "I never learned to read sheet music."

The ability to read music, and to read it well, is a great time-saver in learning.

Regards,
Posted By: Hakki

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/27/18 12:03 PM

Thank you Bruce. That was what I meant.

Bp it is much more efficient to learn a new piece by reading from the score. You can even start playing not so hard ones just by sight reading.
I suggest you to learn reading music in the first place.
Posted By: JohnSprung

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/27/18 04:32 PM


This seems to be an alternative to the "chunk" method -- each chunk consists of a phrase or two plus the next note. Those next notes provide an overlap that hooks the chunks together like the couplers on railroad cars.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/27/18 06:59 PM

This type of approach is very effective. It avoids the problem of sections getting harder the further you get into them. I think everyone has pieces of which they can play the opening, but after a few bars it's just a big memory void.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/27/18 08:32 PM

Originally Posted by johnstaf
This type of approach is very effective. It avoids the problem of sections getting harder the further you get into them. I think everyone has pieces of which they can play the opening, but after a few bars it's just a big memory void.


Yes; it's a question, first, of breaking a piece into sections (not necessarily measure by measure) and then, at each practice session, not start with the first section, but with a different one each time.

Regards,
Posted By: Mary Kay

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/27/18 09:11 PM

Thank you for this. I work similarly, but I begin at the end. When I practice, I first play the piece through with the music — however rough it is — and then work step by step from the end. Then I play the whole piece through again. It is slow and steady progress, which, at time, with all of the repetition, can be a form of meditation.
Posted By: zillybug

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/27/18 09:26 PM

I will usually read through it and then start at the part that is the most difficult for me. I will
Check with my teacher for his opinion . He recently suggested Chopin’s Nocturne in E flat Major, Opus 9 no 2. I looked at it and said that the last half of the last page looks the hardest . He said that the hardest part is in that section and are measures 30 and 31 so that is where we started.
Posted By: Furtwangler

Re: This is how I work through a piece using "checkpoints". - 12/28/18 05:30 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by baudelairepianist
1 hour to memorize and perform Chopin prelude 8!? That sounds a bit far-fetched but what exactly are they doing in that hour?


I don't think that Hakki also implied "memorize and perform" when he said that an advanced pianist could "learn" this piece in an hour. Many pianists "learn" a piece in relatively short order and can play it at a very high level, reading from the score as they play. That doesn't mean that there isn't more work, polishing and refining to do.

Regards,


As usual, I agree totally with BruceD

As an example, I was struggling with a Chopin Nocturne (C minor, Op. Posthumous) and my teacher reassured me by saying "Well, I could sight-read the piece. And could memorize it in perhaps 2 hours" To which I started to exclaim "Holy crap - see, that is what I am complaining about - I have been working on this darn thing for 2 months!" At which point he said "You didn't let me finish. Yes, I could play it essentially from memory in a couple of hours. But, importantly, I would never perform the piece without a great deal more work. I would want to have maybe 25-30 hours work on it before I would feel comfortable performing it".

So I felt a little better. Not a lot, but a little. Haha
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