Vary Your Music

One thing I’ve always been a fan of is having a range of repertoire to practice and play. By range, I mean both composer and difficulty.

It’s not difficult to find composers that we like. Especially now we don’t have to go and buy a tape (how old is that?), album or CD. It takes seconds to look up ‘piano music’ on Spotify or YouTube and you can get a huge collection of repertoire to listen to.

Once you find something you enjoy listening to you can delve in to more music by that composer. The other thing you can do is broaden out from that composer in to the era they come from. For example, you may hear and love some Chopin. From there you could start having a listen to Scriabin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and more from the Romantic era.

The other thing that I encourage people to do is have a broad range of difficulties. We don’t always have to be working on the most challenging music we can find. It’s great to have a shot at playing pieces that slot in to an easy piece and try to find medium difficulty pieces as well.

For example, at the moment I’m working on Beethoven’s Theme and Variation in F Opus 34. Some of this definitely pushes me in to the challenging territory. Working at this level all the time can crush momentum so I need to find repertoire that I can learn in a couple of weeks. I normally play pieces that may take me a couple of months to learn as well.

Having these less challenging pieces on the list is a great way to remind you that you can play piano. Regularly making mistakes in repertoire that that is at the top of your technical game can be a rough ride. Find something easy and remind yourself you are a piano player already. This can also reinforce that learning piano is a life long hobby or profession.

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