Monday Broadcast: Eye Gaze During Piano Playing

003 Eye Gaze During Piano PlayingGreetings! During today’s live broadcast via Periscope, we discussed the role of the direction of our gaze during piano playing, and what strategies we can use with our students to help them use their eyes to become better sight-readers, memorizers, and more. Please enjoy watching the video conversation below.

By the way, there was a bit of a tech fluke today: Periscope was showing that there were zero live viewers and did not show any of your comments — so I didn’t ask some of the interactive questions I was hoping to ask during the talk! I apologize to those watching live from Periscope today for not being very interactive and for not responding to your comments. Hopefully, this won’t be an issue again. 🙂

All past broadcasts are here: To watch future broadcasts live, download the free Periscope app (for iOS or Android), search for @joymorinpiano, and hop online on Mondays at noon Eastern time. Hope to see you next time!

Do you have suggestions about what we could discuss in future Periscopes? Please submit your ideas by clicking here. I appreciate your input!

Memorization, Practicing

Practicing, Learning, and Memorizing for Piano Teachers

I’ve blogged before about my thoughts on and struggles with memorizing music.  I can definitely see improvement over my college years as far as successful memorization goes, but I admittedly still find it discouraging.  I think what makes it frustrating for me is the fact that sight-reading is so easy for me, and memorizing is so not easy.  🙂

Some days, I feel like I’ve finally find a method for this memorizing madness, and other days, I feel so far away from reaching a dependable process!  A few weeks ago, I made the decision to when practicing, only “learn” as much music as I can also memorize during the same sitting.  During some practice sessions, I only learn 4 or 8 bars.   On a good day, I can learn a whole page of music.  It’s slow, tedious work, but I looking forward to seeing the results of this experiment once I finish a few pieces using this method.  (It will be awhile.)

So, I’m curious — what do other teachers do?  First, do you find it difficult to find time to practice regularly?  Do you make it a priority to continue learning new classical repertoire?  Do you find opportunities to perform solo classical repertoire, or do you learn it only for your own enjoyment and personal development?  Do you memorize?  HOW do you memorize?!  🙂

Photo Credit: MaltaGirl | CC 2.0


improving as a teacher, Memorization, Performances, Practicing

12 Tips for Memorizing Piano Music

I’ll be the first one to admit: memorizing music does not come easily to me.  I really have to work at it, and it takes a lot of time.  Over the past couple of years, I have been reading and trying out everything I could find about memorizing music, and I’ve come up with a number of tips that have been helpful for me.

Some people memorize effortlessly, without even trying.  These are practical tips for the rest of us.  🙂

12 Tips for Memorizing Piano Music:

  1. From Day 1, practice your music with the intent of internalizing and memorizing it. Don’t wait until you’d got the piece learned to begin memorizing it.
  2. Use good fingering and use it consistently. It will take a lot longer to learn the piece if you are using different fingerings every time.  Writing your fingerings in the score will help (especially if you decide to use fingering other than what is indicate in the score).
  3. Always memorize the dynamics, articulations, and other markings on the page along with the notes. Don’t wait until you have the notes mastered!  It’s difficult to go back and fix things later.  It’s better — although perhaps more tedious initially — to learn it right the first time.
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