Robert Estrin - piano expert

How to Memorize and Learn Music Faster

Practical tips to improve your music-learning speed

In this video, Robert talks about a very easy technique to apply to speed up your learning process of a new piece of music. This does not only apply to the piano repertoire, but to any other instrument's repertoire as well.

Released on October 2, 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 Today I've got a great tip for you. How to memorize music faster. Don't we all want to be able to learn music faster? And you know, someday maybe they'll put a chip in your head and you'll get all the sonatas of Beethoven or the well tempered Kalvier of Bach. Wouldn't that be great? In the meantime, we've got to go through and memorize. I've explained how to do that in quite detail in some of my other videos. Today I'm not going to go into all the details about how to memorize. I'm going to show you one incredibly important technique that can save you vast amounts of time and that is practicing in chords first. Let me show you what I mean by that.

Let's say, for example, you were learning the famous Mozart's Sonata in C Major, K.545. I'm just going to play the very beginning for you.

So if you were learning that, as I've explained, you want to learn hands separately first, little section so that you can digest relatively quickly, so that you can be productive your entire practice session instead of taking a big section that wears you out for the day too early on. But there is a little technique. You'll notice the left hand. What is the left hand doing? It's what's for referred to as Alberti bass, basically broken chords.

Now, that's a lot of notes there. Or is it? Because you think about it, it's just really several broken chords. Watch. That can be reduced to simply that. The whole first measure.

Now this has many benefits for you. First of all, you understand the underlying harmony intrinsically because you'll see the chord you're playing instead of separate notes. It also enables you to find the best fingering to accommodate chord to chord instead of thinking separate notes. So you're going to understand the structure of the music better. You're going to find a better fingering and more than that, it's less to learn. Instead of learning, you just learn. And then you just figure out the pattern and you're good to go.

So this is a short tip, but it can save you hours of work in learning your music while solidifying your understanding of the underlying harmonic structure.

I hope you've enjoyed this. Again, Robert Estrin here at Your online piano store. See you next time.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Bill McClellan * VSM MEMBER * on October 2, 2019 @9:31 am PST
Many thanks for your great videos.

I'm an older adult who has been taking piano lessons for three years from a great teacher. Whenever I play a piece for her, no matter how flawlessly I've been able to play it at home (even 5 times in a row without a single error), I always hit a wrong key at some point when I perform for her. When playing for family or at a local retirement home I don't make the same kinds of errors. Any suggestions you have would be very welcome.
Robert Estrin on October 5, 2019 @1:46 pm PST
You must practice performing. Here is more information about this:
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