10 Steps to Learning a Notated Piece of Music

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Fun, Tips | 506 comments

1.         Acquaint yourself with the piece. This means listening to it, if possible, so you have an idea of what it should sound like.

2.         Practice the scale relating to the key of the piece. As a preparatory exercise, you could practice the scale relating to the key of the piece, making yourself aware of where sharps or flats occur.

3.         Co-ordinate hands as you go.  Begin with the first phrase, repeating until it is easy. If you are playing an instrument where co-ordination between hands is required, include this, although sometimes the technique of separating right hand and left hand parts before putting them together is applicable depending on the piece.

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4.         Make sure you settle on fingering that is comfortable and works well in the piece and use this fingering every time.

5.         Repeat until easy.

6.        Do not always start from the beginning of the piece. When the first phrase, as well as co-ordination, has been achieved concentrate on the second phrase.  You may find you have trouble joining the first and second phrases, so practise going from the end of one to the beginning of the other until it is easy.

7.         Work on the next phrase in the same way.  However, when you come to joining the second and third phrases, make sure you work only on this join.  Be careful not to always begin the piece from bar one.  This can waste time.

8.        Pinpoint the areas to work on.  Many times I have heard people play the first four bars of a piece brilliantly while the rest of it slowly falls apart.  This happens because whenever a mistake or difficulty has occurred, the practitioner has begun the piece from bar one, played until they hesitated or tripped up and gone back to play from bar one again.  Obviously nothing will get sorted out this way, although your first bars will be brilliant!

9.           Learning music is also about training muscle memory, so teach your fingers the ‘dance’ routine by drilling the movements. As you do this you will also be learning the sound of the piece and how it feels to play it.

10.         This method of learning can also be applied on a smaller scale.  You may, for example, find a section within a phrase is giving you trouble.  You will then need to work on this smaller section in the same way as you work on your phrases, breaking them down into individual notes and beats if need be.

Here is what one piano teacher, who has influenced a ton of wedding band in Melbourne, says about implementing this method of learning;

“We worked a bit more on “St Louis Blues”. Once again I understand the importance of breaking things down into small sections and repetition. I could tell that my student was struggling a bit with it but as soon as we broke it down and repeated it a few times she was able to get it.” – Leon Sampson

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Top 3 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Fun | Comments Off on Top 3 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes


The April Fool’s Tradition

On 1 April, April Fools’ Day is celebrated by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. This is an annual tradition which is wide spread across the globe. It was first mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales written in 1392. However the tradition of celebrating foolishness is probably as old as time and has its precursors in the Roman festival of Hilaria, the Holi festival of India, and the Medieval Feast of Fools. In the middle Ages, New Year’s Day was celebrated on 25 March in most European towns, however in some areas of France, New Year’s ended on 1 April. According to some writers, those who celebrated New Year’s on 1 January made fun of those who celebrated on other dates.

The Best Hoaxes

1st of April is the date when you can get a bit of laugh or get laughed at, either ways everyone love it. Even though today is not April Fool’s day, hopefully reading about these famous hoaxes will cheer you up and put a smile on your face. So, here they are! Five best of the best (of the bestest) April Fool’s day hoaxes and believe you me – the people (mostly) loved it! At least those who were laughing did!

  1. A Pitcher: part yogi, part recluse!

In April 1985 Sports Illustrated decided to play a hoax on their readers and have published a story about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a baseball at 168 mph — 65 mph faster than the previous record. According to the article, Sidd Finch had never played baseball before, but he had mastered the “art of the pitch” in a Tibetan monastery (?) also according to the article he was recruited by the New York Mets to play baseball. Ah, the letters that the Sports Illustrated received! In reality, this story was a compnobodys-foollete non-sense, made up by the author George Plimpton.

  1. Gravity Problems?

In 1976, BBC Radio 2 announced that the Earth’s own gravity would temporarily lessen due to the fact that Pluto was passing behind Jupiter. According to the presenter, who was also a British astronomer, people would experience floating sensation. Not to mention the hundreds of phone calls received by the BBC Radio 2, of many the listeners who have genuinely claimed that they have felt this floating sensation! Oh, the power of media! April Fools!

  1. Aliens In London

Richard Branson played a hoax on Londoners by creating a hot-air balloon shaped like a UFO. Even though he played the hoax one day prior to April Fool’s Day, he still managed to scare off a police man who ran in the opposite direction when he saw a small, silver-suited figure emerging from the UFO.

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