This practice method gives you a simple way of knowing how you are getting on with a particular piece or section of music. When your teacher asks you can very specifically tell them that you are on step 2 for the first section and step 4 for the second section of your piece. By using these “steps” you can move through the learning process of a piece, beginning with learning the initial notes to having it up to a performance standard. So what are these steps?
Step 1 – right notes. This is the first stage in learning any piece ” be able to play all the right notes.
Step 2 – correct notes and rhythm. For this stage you need to add the correct rhythm to the correct notes.
Step 3 – with metronome. This next stage is quite a challenge you may have the right notes and rhythm but can you keep in time with the metronome?
Step 4 – from memory. By now you should know the piece quite well. Now”s the time to learn it from memory.
Step 5 – from memory with metronome. No time to pause for thought here. Your memorisation needs to go to the next level to stay in time with the metronome.
Step 6 – musically from memory. If you reach step 6 then you are more than ready to give a public performance of the piece.
Now that you know the steps you have to climb you can practice to achieve the next step. For example if you are on step 2 for the first section of a piece you will need to practice with a metronome so that you can achieve step 3. For the second section of your piece you might be on step 1 in which case you need to practice the rhythm quite carefully so that you can achieve step 2.