Piano Lessons in Milton Keynes Online

Active Repertoire: Getting Started

Music you can play, any time, any place

First of all, grab your FREE download:

pdf-logo  Active Repertoire Sheet 2021

You are welcome to print off as many copies as you wish for yourself and any pupils you have.

Select the three pieces which can be 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 pieces which you really love, and will enjoy playing.

Write the titles of your three pieces on the sheet and commit to:

  1. Play them regularly – if possible, daily.
    For most players this should only take a few minutes.
  2. See if you can memorise them over time.
    Unless you have a specific performance deadline, let the memorisation process be as natural and unforced as possible.
  3. Play your Active Repertoire pieces to others –
    whenever you get the chance, and preferably informally at first.

Start Easy and Develop Gradually!

Don’t delay – get started today by picking three fairly easy pieces 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, simply choose the pieces which you most enjoy playing.

While the Challenge will fit naturally alongside exam preparation, I have found that having an Active Repertoire can be even more helpful for those not following the exam route.

The Active Repertoire Challenge provides a focus for perfecting a few pieces for performance, rather than simply skim-reading lots of pieces, but not learning any of them really well.

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 Sheet includes sections for each season/quarter.

At the start of each season/quarter, reflect on your progress and update your choice of Active Repertoire pieces. Try to include something you have learnt during the previous season/quarter.

Spaces are also provided for listing New Pieces to be learnt during the coming three months. These should be varied and include sufficient challenge, so that you continue to stretch yourself as a player and make meaningful progress as a pianist.

  • Add your refreshed new Active Repertoire pieces in the three spaces provided.
  • Not every piece learnt should be added – only those that you particularly love.
  • Also list the New Pieces you are hoping to learn deeply and try to memorise.

Always keep at least Three Pieces of Active Repertoire that you can play:

  • Without Notice
  • Without Notation
  • Without Embarrassment

Having Active Repertoire enables us to develop a better balance between working at the piano and actually playing the piano.

Some Tips for Teachers

Encouraging your students to develop their Active Repertoire may lead to some radical changes in your own teaching patterns, and in their learning. I have found that pupils who develop an Active Repertoire:

  • Become more positive learners
  • Are able to better recognise and enjoy their progress
  • Are more confident in lessons
  • Are more willing performers
  • Experience less anxiety
  • Learn to balance working at the piano and actually playing the piano
  • And are more like to stick with their piano journey

To ensure that your students make the most of developing an Active Repertoire:

  • Print off copies of the Active Repertoire Sheet for all your students, and explain how to use them.
  • Note – THEY should choose their Active Repertoire pieces, without your help.
  • Ask pupils to bring their Active Repertoire Sheet to every lesson, and each time pick a piece from the list for them to play at the start of the lesson.
  • Point your students to pianodao.com/active-repertoire so that they can explore the site and pick up additional tips and encouragement here.

Enjoy developing your Active Repertoire!

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