Tuesday, January 22, 2008

9. One More Time

Throughout this process I generally limit myself to playing a piece one time only. The idea here is that the second time through it's no longer sight-reading, it's practicing. The thing I want to learn is sight-reading.

On the other hand, I find that I do get some benefits from playing a song a second or even a third time:

  1. Although I have trouble making myself look ahead while playing, it's much easier the second time through. Hopefully this will give me some much-needed practice in this important skill.

  2. On the second time around, I get a chance to see the things that caused problems during sight-reading -- things that I ignored the first time. For example, on first reading I might have a problem with a few measures and think "I wonder what went wrong there?" Second time through, I can see "Oh, that was a problem because there's contrary motion in the two hands." or "That was a problem because the notes aren't what you'd expect."
By the way, it's amazing how much easier the pieces are the second time through. I'm not sure what's going on, since I certainly don't memorize the song in one run through. I guess just having a general knowledge of what's going to happen next is enough to improve my playing. Perhaps I should spend a little more time pre-reading the music before I start playing.


Anonymous said...

Hi Al,
I just found your blog and I'm intrigued. I'm an, ahem, "older" beginner, also blogging my piano learning adventure Here. I too am a terrible sight reader (although for me that adjective works for most other aspect of my playing too).

I look forward to stopping by now and then to see how it's going. I just put a link to your site on my blog roll

Hope it works out for you. If so it should provide a great resource for the rest of us memory addicts. lol.

Al said...

Thanks, BK. I'm enjoying your blog -- looks like we have a lot in common.