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The Active Repertoire Challenge 2023

It’s time to play with confidence!

The Active Repertoire Project continues to help piano players around the world build fluency in their playing and the confidence to share their music with others…

New Year, New Challenge!

For 2023 the challenge remains the same: can you develop an active repertoire of three pieces to play, any time, anywhere, with joy?

Here’s your FREE sheet to plan and track your progress, and read on for a reminder of exactly how the challenge works…

What Can You Play?

Here’s a question which too often leads to such answers as:

• I’m working on Allegro, but it’s not yet ready to play
• I finished learning Andante last month, but I’ve forgotten it now
• I don’t have my music books with me, so …

What a pity!

I have received feedback from players all over the world identifying with this phenomenon, and recognising that they (or their pupils) couldn’t just sit down and play for others without prior warning.

One of the main reasons for the prevalence of this problem is shallow learning, which can result from an emphasis on quantity rather than quality.

Deeper learning involves fully engaging with, living with, interpreting, internalising and memorising music. It means so much more than simply reading and playing through lots of music, ticking off dozens of new pieces each year, or jumping through exam assessment hoops.

Professional players will have a large Active Repertoire of music ready to perform. And whether gigging jazzers or touring recitalists, they will understand the importance of balancing the new with the familiar. How odd that in music education we so rarely emulate the behaviours and practices of top musicians!

Active Repertoire

And so through the Active Repertoire project I have been challenging players to develop an Active Repertoire of initially just three pieces they have deeply learnt and can truly play.

Modelled on the practices of successful performers worldwide, and built on the fundamental pedagogic values espoused by educators from Suzuki to the present day, the annual challenge offers an approach which aims to foster a lifelong love of music by developing intrinsic motivation, rather than the extrinsic motivation that underpins grades, competitions and tick-box progress sheets.

The Active Repertoire Challenge 2023 again aims to encourage piano players from around the world to develop their own Active Repertoire of three pieces which can be played any time, any place:

• Without Notice
• Without Notation, and
• Without Embarrassment

The project is a free, non-commercial resource available to pianists and teachers internationally. It is equally suitable for enthusiastic players enjoying the piano alone, or students learning with a teacher. And it can be used alongside any other programme of study or as a positive alternative in its own right.

Wherever you are on your piano journey, I hope that you will find and make many opportunities in 2023 to perform your pieces to family, friends and in piano events near you. And if you would like advice on any of your Active Repertoire pieces, remember you can access Pianodao’s innovative Video Feedback Service any time.

Are you ready to take part? If so, head to the Getting Started Guide, which includes full instructions for how to use the sheet to support your piano journey in the coming year…

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Published by

Andrew Eales

Andrew Eales is a widely respected piano educator, writer and composer based on Milton Keynes UK. His book HOW TO PRACTISE MUSIC is published by Hal Leonard.