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Do You Memorize Exam Pieces?


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#61 saxophile

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 19:55

 

I don't quite understand how not to memorise...don't they just kind of seep in over time? I tend to find after I've played a passage 10, 20, 30 times, then I can play from memory without having to make an effort to memorise.


It seeps in, but won't be secure. If one has to stop the the middle or have a memory lapse, it is likely that one will be unable to resume.

 

 

It doesn't even seep in, for me.  I can't imagine how many times I must have played my Grade 8 pieces when preparing for the exam, but it must have been into three digits.  I tried (out of interest) playing one of them entirely from memory, and managed about a bar and a half.  I don't think I'm actually reading the piece when I play it, but I absolutely have to have the page in front of me or I can't play it.  It may even be that it acts as some kind of visual prompt to trigger the memory.  Who knows?


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#62 lubylu

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 15:45

I find I memorise very easily and can't play a piece well, with expression/dynamics/phrasing, until I am free from looking at the score. I play much better without the music. But I have an extremely visual, almost photographic, memory and this probably helps!

I played in a concert a few months ago and performed two of the pieces (all grade 8 standard) without music. I had the music on the stand beside me but I couldn't see it and it wasn't distracting me, I just had it there in case I had a memory lapse. What I discovered was that it was really hard to know where to look when playing in front of an audience! In fact it was quite distracting. My children were in the audience which probably didn't help. I did get distracted at one point and got a bit lost but my pianist was brilliant and went along with me when I made it up! If I did it again, I'd have a plan for where to look when I'm playing.
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