Saturday, April 16, 2005

Musical Uses for Index Cards

My family and I, along with thousands of people around the world, have gone index card crazy. For all the people who have followed the trail of index cards to this page, I can offer the way I use index cards for musical purposes.

I review CDs. Every other month I get a large stack to review for the American Record Guide. While I am listening for the first time, I jot down my thoughts about the recording on an index card. Then I slide the card into the CD case (it fits very well), and listen to the next CD in my stack. After I have listened to all the CDs, I refer to the notes on the index cards when I write my reviews.

Another way I use index cards is for teaching. Many of my students (and I assume all young students) need to be reminded of basic technical elements of playing all the time. When a student is working on a piece or an etude I use a paper clip to attach a brightly-colored (young students like bright colors) index card to the opposite page with guidelines written on it. When the student needs to be reminded of something technical I simply point at the item on the index card, making it unnecessary to make the student stop playing to make the technical adjustment. When the student has overcome the particular technical difficulties listed on the card, s/he can keep the index card for future reference. One student likes this method because she says the index card acts as a bookmark. I like this method because it leaves the printed music open for written directions that have more to do with music than technique.

Related Post: More Musical Uses for Index Cards

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