Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How to Practice . . . anything

Thomas Meglioranza calls this blog entry "Singing Atonal Music for Dummies," but it is a way of learning music that is great for all instruments. I would think that would work equally as well for learning tonal music as it would for learning atonal music. I particularly appreciate this passage:
I'll practice for a while singing with very exaggerated dynamics so that I strongly associate each section of the piece with a certain dynamic feeling in my body. I'll do this with all the markings--articulation, expressive markings, ritards, etc. always doing it in a way that at first feels very exaggerated. Even if I eventually decide not to do the markings as strongly, exaggerating them helps me physically remember that they're there, rather than having to read them from the score each time.

My basic philosophy for new music study is that it's NOT sight-reading or any kind of reading at all. When I'm performing the piece, I don't want to be READING intervals and COUNTING rhythms and REMEMBERING to 'do' dynamics when I see them in the score. These things should already be deeply embedded in my body and happen automatically.

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