WANT TO LEARN A PIECE OF MUSIC WITH LESS PRACTICE AND MORE ACCURACY?
Evaluating your music before practicing will save hours of time.
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
These are all elements that must be prepared and practiced.
Use this check list as a guide.
The quality of your practice time is more important than the quantity of your practice time. In fact, a large quantity of practice with poor quality might even set-back your progress.
01. RHYTHM: COUNTING AND METER
(Do you memorize the rhythm or do you understand it first before memorizing it?)
02. NOTE READING
(Can you read the music notation?)
03. FINGERING (INCLUDING SHIFTING AND GUIDE NOTES)
(Is the fingering you are using the most practical or musically fitting for the piece you are playing?)
04. KNOWING WHOLE AND HALF STEP FINGERINGS
(Do you know before putting a finger down whether it is a whole step or a half step to the next finger or do you just use your ear to determine the proper intonation of the pitch?)
05. BOWINGS: DOWN AND UP PREPARED
(Before practicing do you know what direction you bow needs to be for every note?)
06. BOWING PROPORTIONS AND BOW SPEED PLANNED
(Do you play with your bow anywhere or do you pre-plan where you are going to start and stop each note, how much bow will be used for each note, and the speed the bow needs to be at?)
07. TONE PRODUCTION/ARTICULATION OF BOW ON THE STRING
(Is the beginning of every separate note played started with an articulation and do all the articulations produce the same tone quality?)
(Do your fingered notes that have corresponding open strings have a beautiful “ringing” tone quality to them caused by the sympathetic vibration of the open string?)
09. PHYSICAL MUSCLE MOVEMENT TECHNIQUE
(Can your fingers and/or bow move effortlessly to their proper positions at will?)
10. MENTAL FOCUS/CONTINUITY THROUGH MISTAKES
(Can you play completely through a piece of music at performance speed without stopping or getting nervous even if you make a mistake?)
11. EMOTIONAL FEELINGS/DYNAMICS AND BOWING PLANNED FOR THIS
(Do you play notes or do you play music? Do you pre-determine where in the music you are going to play soft and loud? What role does the bow have in producing this?)
12. WHEN PLAYING WITH OTHERS
(Do you listen and watch others as you play? If you are playing the same passage as someone else has your bowing been planned exactly the same way as theirs? When more than one violin plays the same musical passage does everyone together sound like one large violin or many violins?)
a. ARTICULATING AND BOWING TOGETHER
b. MATCHING PITCH INTONATION TOGETHER
13. DEVELOPMENT OF AUTOMATIC REFLEXES THROUGH REPETITION
(When you play your music are you thinking about technical matters or are you only feeling the music?)