So many big articles on piano practising. I don’t have time to write those! A few tips I actually use:
- Count how many pages in the piece, know the average number of pages you can learn in a session, and book off enough slots in your agenda to ensure learning them. if people ask you for this time, say “I’m not available”.
- Compare tempi of each section. Identify all similar phrases/ sections and learn them back to back memorizing and starring each slight difference.
- Don’t write in most finger numbers, just make shapes around groups.
- Learn the harmony, rhythm, and left hand. Right hand last.
- Star top corner of the most difficult pages. Don’t have a technique warmup, but instead, learn those pages in creative ways that mine them for musical meaning.
- Do not bring screens to practise room. Set a time when you’re allowed to check them.
- Know what you’ll wear to perform, and try practising while wearing it.
- Take out a book about the life and times of the work – especially if you’re not the soloist and the soloist isn’t inspiring you. Know for your own sake what this is about.
- Compare editions using IMSLP.
- Take a day off at least once a week.
To say, don’t indulge in unnecessary playthroughs and repetitions while angsting about your playing, is not on my list because it is not a tip but a preliminary axiom, like remembering to breathe.