You have already started creating weekly and daily plans. How to work with single compositions to make your work effective? Couple of suggestions for you!
As you divided your whole practice material into parts, divide also a composition to be played. Within small forms, this is not necessary, but within larger pieces such as a movement from a concerto, this section making will her you much. Most of the time we praktice linear way – from the top to the end. Then, many compositions are out of balance. We “rule” the beginnings, manage the middle and hardly play the end… We spend most of our energy for beginnings and much less remains for other parts. So, divide your composition into couple of parts – for example: a, b, c – beginning, middle part, end. The less you know the composition, the more parts you create and then put them more and more together.
For example, during the week, switch their order. First day, start with a, b, c, then c, b, a, another day play just b, because this one is the most difficult. Try to keep balance between the parts and make the parts equivalent in your ability to play it as a whole. It means that you may practice some part more than other to make them balanced.
Consider the logic of the whole first!
Most of students starts paying and stops immediately any mistake(even negligible one) occurs. Just after couple of first notes, they stop playing and start practisting the spot. It IS the way of work, but… Many of our mistakes, performing uncertainties and ability to play a composition comes much from the nature of its whole context. We are not used to concentrate fully in longer composition time and logic, we cannot distribute our energy well… Additionally – once you know you can stop anytime, you straight do not concentrate fully! Your brain lacks of motivation and allows mistakes to come out more, because you basically have an inner plan to stop anytime anything even small to stop and fix occurs. You fetch the mistakes and wait and by this, you motivate yourself to make a material to stop…
If you stop and fix without context, then the spot – even fixed, usually does not work in the context anyway. Also, if you are not used to be concentrating to bigger wholes and distributing your energy, it will be crucially difficult to play without mistakes once you finally play the whole…
So try it also different way and work with the “whole”!
1. Play the whole composition or the part you want to practise as an interrupted whole! Do not stop. Play the way which is equivalent to your level of knowledge of the composition – particular tempo and memorizing you have already achieved. From this point of view, try to get closer and closer to final shape of composition.
2. Take a break and reflect your work. Write down everything you did not like on your little “performance”, which mistakes did you make,…
Then write down, WHY these mistakes happened. Find out the reasons, search form then within the body-motion and technique problems, mind – concentration, not enough awareness, technical facts consideration, emotions – interpretation, logic of music phrasing, ..
3. Define practice strategy. Go back and to your “WHY’S” find adequate HOW – how will you fix the spot, which way will you solve the problems?
4. Apply your strategy. Once you practice the spots, Play it again in context – as a whole.
Not every day it is possible to manage the whole circle. You can finish it in more days – one day to play a whole, the next day work on details and the other day to check the context again.
Advantage of this way of practice?
Faster learning process, you will be able to play the final shape of a composition sooner. You will be aware of the logic of the whole better. You will be more self-confident! You will be able to concentrate better, you will distribute your energy within the piece more effectively.
What not to forget?
Be aware at all times during your work! Take a break everytime you feel loosing the concentration. Do not overplay!