Just about every day I have a student show up for a lesson with an etude or repertoire movement they have been working on for a week or more, and there are little, silly problems that haven’t been fixed:
- A spot where a fingering choice needs to be made, but hasn’t.
- A page turn in an awkward spot.
- An unfamiliar foreign term that hasn’t been looked up.
- An ambiguous accidental that need to be double-checked against the piano part.
It’s easy for them (or me) to ignore or procrastinate small but easily-fixable issues while busily drilling technical passages. But I know they—and I—are doing our best work when those details don’t slip through the cracks.
It’s not worth it to spend a week practicing something in an incorrect or compromised way because you haven’t gotten around to fixing the fixable problems. Would any of these help you solve those issues more promptly?
- Print an alternate/trill fingering chart and keep it with your practicing stuff, or bookmark an online one on your phone.
- Put a few dollars on your copier/printer card/app so you can photocopy a page when needed.
- Keep a good music dictionary in the pocket of your instrument case.
- Keep your piano score and solo part together so you can always use them in tandem.
Consider what other easily-fixable problems you haven’t bothered to fix, and ask yourself what you can do to remove friction so they get solved right away next time you practice.