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  • variety of music

    Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

    by Simon James.

    When you are learning something new it is very rarely the case that you will be able to play it immediately. This only really happens if you have been playing a long time or are a very good reader or if you are particularly adept at picking things up by copying or playing by ear.

    Often I find that people can be deterred by this fact. They may have a sense that if they are unable to play something instantly then there is no point carrying on and so decide not to proceed any further.

    Well, let me reassure you by saying that when you are learning your teacher certainly won’t expect you to be like Mozart and play everything note for note on first hearing!

    There are certain things that need to be considered. Firstly, you have to be able to hear or read what you are about to play. This alone may take a few attempts to get it fixed in your head.

    Then you have to transmit this to your fingers. This is what takes the training. You have to build up the signals in your brain so that they can communicate effectively with your fingers and then make the music happen!

    The only way to do this is by repetition. As you are having to transmit so much information and then work your muscles, often in ways they have never been worked in before, repeating over and over is the only way.

    In so doing you will build up the necessary connections between your brain and your hands. And I guarantee you that usually it only takes a few attempts for this to work out. When I have a student and they are learning something that is catered for the level they are at it usually take three, maximum four attempts to play it.

    Just keep repeating it and you will do it! Start by playing it slowly to get those signals functioning properly and then gradually speed up.

    And do not be deterred by not being like Mozart and being unable to play music back note for note the instant you hear it! Just remember that all you need to do is give yourself a chance. Repeat it over and over and you will learn it.


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