The Active Repertoire Project 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 embarrassment
- and without notation.
The Project began following the huge response to my article What Can You Play? – in which I included this concept from my own teaching practice. Please read that article right away to understand the background of the Active Repertoire project.
It has become clear that there are many around the world who wish they had an Active Repertoire, and hopefully the encouragement offered here will play a small part in helping them to fulfil that ambition.
Please download your free Active Repertoire 2017 sheet here:
Active Repertoire 2017 [PDF]
You are welcome to print off as many copies as you wish for yourself – and any pupils you have.
Following the instructions on the sheet, select the three pieces which you will develop as your initial Active Repertoire. These need to be pieces you can play well today – and if you don’t have three, then your initial project is to address that by learning (or revising previously) learnt pieces which you really love and will enjoy playing.
Once you have your three pieces, write their titles on the sheet and commit to:
- Play them regularly – if possible, daily. For most players it should only take a few minutes!
- Try to memorise them over time. Unless you have a specific performance deadline, let the memorisation process be as natural and unforced as possible.
- Play your Active Repertoire pieces to others when you get the chance, preferably informally at first.
Start Easy and Develop Gradually!
There’s no reason to delay – you can get started today by picking three fairly easy pieces that you can play well, and setting aside a few minutes each day to simply enjoy playing them. Before long you will most likely be able to play them from memory.
If you are working towards a grade exam, performance or competition, chances are that the three pieces you select to be your Active Repertoire will be those that you are preparing with that goal. Otherwise, choose the pieces which you most enjoy playing, and are keen to show to others.
While the Project will fit naturally alongside exam preparation (where there are often three pieces to perform), I have found that having an Active Repertoire can be even more helpful for those not following the exam route – it provides a focus for perfecting a few pieces for performance, rather than simply skim-reading lots of pieces.
I should stress that the Project does not replace any other existing learning programmes you are committed to; – in fact it complements those programmes.
Developing your Active Repertoire
Over the coming months, as you learn new pieces, you will want to refresh your Active Repertoire rather than continuing to play the same three pieces…
The Active Repertoire 2017 sheet includes spaces for another nine pieces, which you can add as replacements to your original three.
- Simply cross off the pieces that you are replacing, and add the new ones in the spaces provided.
- Not every piece learnt should be added. Most of my students learn more than nine new pieces in a year, often memorising them.
- But only the pieces that are personally SPECIAL become Active Repertoire.
Always make sure that you keep the three pieces that you most enjoy!
And why not try composing your own piece to add to your Active Repertoire in the year ahead?
Your target is to learn enough new pieces over the year – and to learn them really well – so that your selection of three pieces going into 2018 will be drawn from the new, alternative Active Repertoire pieces added during this year.
Each year, try to refresh the complete list. This will keep your Active Repertoire fresh, but still familiar. It will continue to evolve.
Your Active Repertoire is at the heart of your piano journey.
A new free sheet for 2018 will be available to download here in the Autumn.
Enjoy developing your Active Repertoire!