Robert Estrin - piano expert

How useful is Interlocking Phrases?

Learn the importance of "interlocking" your music

In this video, Robert talks about "interlocking phrases" in music and how useful that can be. What does that mean? Watch this video to find out!

Released on June 19, 2019

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi. Robert Estrin at, your online piano store with a fantastic tip for your memorization, which is the power of interlocking phrases.

Now, what am I talking about here? Well, if you've spent time memorizing music, you know that the most efficient way to do it is to take a small section at a time, because after all, there's a limit to how much you can learn at once. So, by learning a small chunk at a time.

What I recommend and what could really help you, because learning, first of all, if you've seen any of my other videos on how to memorize, you take hands separately, a small section at a time, mastering each hand, and then putting them together and getting that memorized. But then how the heck do you get the phrases put together? You learn this section, that section, you're going to have a whole bunch of random phrases. That's where the interlocking phrases comes in. For example, if you are learning a Mozart Sonata, like the K. 545, the famous C major sonata of Mozart, here is the first phrase that you could learn, for example.

Okay. That's a four-measure phrase. But instead of doing that, go one note further, like this.

That extra note, then, is where you start learning your next phrase.

That way, after your first ... You learn the first phrase. You get that solid. Then you have ... a common note between the two phrases, so when you finally get the second phrase learned, you go back to the beginning and you'll be able to be on the first note of the second phrase.

Interlocking phrases could be so helpful. Beyond that, when you get into more advanced stages of learning your music, you might find that, for example, you have all the phrases learned, but you can't get through everything in a fluid manner. Then you can try, for example, interlocking at different points. For example, you do first four measures, and then you tie the second measure to the sixth measure, then you practice offsetting the points at which the phrases connect, because one of the biggest challenges with memorizing music is getting everything smoothly put together.

So, that is the power of interlocking phrases in learning music. I hope this tip is helpful for you. Again, I'm Robert Estrin here at, your online piano store. If you haven't already subscribed to my YouTube channel, go for it, because you'll get all the fresh videos. Thanks for joining me. See you next time.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Sharon * VSM MEMBER * on June 19, 2019 @8:31 am PST
Thank you -- I think this will help some of my students. I have used this technique before but must have forgotten. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy your videos.
Robert - host, on June 22, 2019 @12:33 pm PST
Happy to rekindle some valuable practice techniques. There are more in the works!
jjjude1 * VSM MEMBER * on June 19, 2019 @4:12 am PST
connecting the second phrase to the sixth? Won’t that mess you up in the brain?
Robert - host, on June 22, 2019 @12:33 pm PST
You only connect consecutive phrases by having a common note which makes the connection easier.
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