I can’t remember if I’ve posted on this before. It is in fact one of the most misunderstood principles of learning to play. Get this one wrong and you sound like a learner. Get it right and you’ll sound professional, no matter at which level you are playing. It is an attitude thing.
Basically, getting to know a piece of music is like discovering a world. A fantasy world that will take you on an adventure – if you let it. And the sheet music is the map to the treasure.
Knowing this gives you power. Here is a 5-level method of perfecting a piece (& moving beyond perfection to a really moving performance) :
Level 1: Sight-reading
Let’s presume you are starting a piece you’ve never heard before. You play through it; depending on your ability, you play it note-by-note, bar-by-bar or phrase-by-phrase.
The important thing here is to…
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