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Zlata Brouwer

Where to Start Practicing a New Piece of Music?

August 23, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Do you think that if you just repeat a piece over and over again that magically you can play the piece?

No, that method is very boring, demotivating... and definitely not the fastest.

I will explain you my own version of the whole-parts-whole practicing strategy which is more fun, more variable and will get you results faster.

Is this useful to you? Please let me know in the comments below!


Violinist and Skype violin teacher at Violin Lounge

PS: Do you have questions for me on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on August 24, 2013 at 1:33 AM
Hi, thank you very much! It's very interesting...

I practiced the bad way new peices for years when I started to play the violin. It worked sure... I played 5 hours a day in high school. But so much of this time was somehow wasted.

Now with limited practice time and a bit more experience, I learned by myself how to practice a new peice more efficiently and it's very similar to your principles!

I am a big fan of the metronome to fix/discipline stuburn fingers in the tricky part and I take the tempo up gradually. I am also a big fan of slow practice to avoid automatic finger starts and work on intonation. (these are perhaps my favorite exercices in what you would probably call "make yourself exercices"...) I am also a big fan of listening to recordings with score and pencil in hand. I find these exercises are easy, fun and no brainer when I'm already exhausted by a school day or whatever. Yet, they work well so... :)

One must think a lot... not just play. It is so hard to understand this when we start.

Anyway, thanks for putting words and concepts on a very valuable method! Much better than parrot repeating I agree!!!

From Zlata Brouwer
Posted on August 25, 2013 at 5:06 PM
Thanks, Anne-Marie! :)

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