Tag Archives: contextual cues

Practice, learning and memory, part III

And a few more practice strategies to ensure effective learning and memory:

Abby Whiteside5) Practice extremely slowly.  There has been a controversy for some time about whether slow practice is beneficial for learning fast music.  Many of us were told early in our musical lives that in order to play a passage of music that is very fast, we should practice slowly and build up speed.  But not everyone agrees.  Influential pedagogue Abby Whiteside  (1881 – 1956) declared that “Slow practice can establish habits that are completely unrelated to the coordination demanded for speed.”  Abby Whiteside on Piano Playing
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Practice, learning and memory, part II

Chopin_Prelude_7Almost everyone who plays the piano has, at some point in his/her study,  learned Chopin’s Prelude in A Major, Op. 28. Only 16 bars and lasting a bit less to a bit more than a minute (depending on the performer), the Prelude is deceptively simple. A few repetitions and it feels as though we have it “under our fingers;” a few more repetitions and hey!  we’ve memorized it!

But wait – leave it for a couple of days, and all of a sudden, you begin to wonder: Continue reading