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Joined: May 2001
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The best way to avoid memory lapses is to play with the score. Not only will you avoid memory lapses but you will also avoid the anxiety that goes along with fear about memory problems. You will also be able to learn a lot more music.
Playing with the score is not always possible.
What situations are you thinking of? For amateurs I can't think of any and even pros are using the score more and more these days.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The best way to avoid memory lapses is to play with the score. Not only will you avoid memory lapses but you will also avoid the anxiety that goes along with fear about memory problems. You will also be able to learn a lot more music.
Playing with the score is not always possible.
What situations are you thinking of? For amateurs I can't think of any and even pros are using the score more and more these days.


Here are three:

A student recital where the teacher requests to play by memory
You are at a friend’s house and they ask you to play
You find a piano ‘in the wild’ and want to play it

FWIW: my teachers recommend I have a couple of pieces memorized


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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I've stated multiple times on this forum that even though I read music a lot and I do it everyday, I still cant do it at full speed. Otherwise this would be a perfect solution.
When I've played a piece multilple times, it gets into my muscle memory and from this point I no longer read but its more like I look for the musical patterns. When I mess up, I actually have to find the exact place where I messed up in the score and then switch into reading note by note instead of just glancing on the big picture. This takes some time however..

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Is memorising doing so by sequence of beginning to end or is it that you should be able to pick it up from any random bar if asked to do so?

And should you be able to write the whole score out?
If not is it just another form of muscle memory?

Last edited by Wayne2467; 11/30/20 01:32 PM.
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Originally Posted by Tom97
even though I read music a lot and I do it everyday, I still cant do it at full speed. Otherwise this would be a perfect solution.
When I've played a piece multilple times, it gets into my muscle memory and from this point I no longer read but its more like I look for the musical patterns. When I mess up, I actually have to find the exact place where I messed up in the score and then switch into reading note by note instead of just glancing on the big picture. This takes some time however..
The trick is to always keep your eyes on the score when playing, so you know where you are at all times, even when you look away to your hands occasionally. It's no different to giving a speech, reading aloud from a script to an audience, even though most of the lines are already in your memory because you've read through it so many times.

Sooner or later, you'll have to learn to do this, otherwise you'll end up having to memorize every piece you ever learn before you can play it properly. It's easy for you at present, because your pieces are short, but what happens when you're learning a ten-page piece in a few years' time?


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The best way to avoid memory lapses is to play with the score. Not only will you avoid memory lapses but you will also avoid the anxiety that goes along with fear about memory problems. You will also be able to learn a lot more music.
Playing with the score is not always possible.
What situations are you thinking of? For amateurs I can't think of any and even pros are using the score more and more these days.


Here are three:

A student recital where the teacher requests to play by memory
You are at a friend’s house and they ask you to play
You find a piano ‘in the wild’ and want to play it

FWIW: my teachers recommend I have a couple of pieces memorized
Having a few pieces memorized to cover the second and third situation is reasonable and a far cry from memorizing everything or almost everything. For the first, I think teachers these days should be and probably are more amenable to not requiring memorization for non professional pianists.

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I will tell you right away that I am not a professional, but an amateur. I only play and write music if I have free time. But yesterday I accidentally found an interesting clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xx7MZze2RU&ab_channel=WOODJU and after reading the information on Instagram about WOODJU https://www.instagram.com/woodju22/ . I learned that this masterpiece was composed by one of my friends. What can you say about his music?

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