Playing from memory is a very particular technique, not to be confused with playing on automatic pilot. It is vitally important that you are aware of the difference and don’t slip into the habit of not looking at the music merely because you can play on reflex. Mere repetition doesn’t create perfect performance from memory and should be avoided at all costs. Make sure you keep looking at the music, unless you are especially memorising music, otherwise you end up guessing and practicing in mistakes.
The new ABRSM remotely assessed, digital music theory exam has taken some getting used to. However, now that the dust has settled and we’ve had time to see how it all works, I find that music is always music! Here are my thoughts as a teacher. There are pros and cons, and things to watch out for. What do you think?
Time management is a fine art, especially when it comes to fitting in a music practice routine. I’m sure the earth is spinning faster and an hour passes by swifter than ever! I find myself continually evaluating tasks to see if I judge them as ‘priority important’ or not - if not I toss them overboard to save the ship from sinking. We aren’t machines however, and so family and social occasions do get thrown a life jacket. The main objective is to make sure that my time at my instrument doesn’t get washed overboard.
Extra curricular piano lessons unexpectedly result in a lovely artistic representation of Medieval stonework in Brittany. Although the various lockdown scenarios have had much negative impact, one bonus has been to find new flexibility and creativity. And so, no matter if a student is stuck in France - we can keep on playing! In the arts it can easily be a negative environment, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you get a chance to show a little kindness and encouragement - pass it on!