How to Start Learning a New Piece: Addinsell Warsaw Concerto First Practice Livestream





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Published on Sep 14, 2013

To watch the final "product"- my Proms debut with Warsaw Concerto a month later - go to BBC website :

I am re-posting here Livestream session where I open the music of Addinsell Warsaw Concerto for the first time - one month before playing it for the first time ever at BBC Proms on August 30 2013 ( if you look carefully, you see me opening the sealed envelope and wrapping). You are witnessing the first read-through and by the end of an hour the piece is pretty much in my fingers and memory.
The ONLY prep steps I took ( very important for all of you who wonders how to approach a new piece) - the night before I listened ( on YouTube , of course) to something like 15-20 different interpretations of this piece. I zeroed in on the one that I wanted to by "my teacher" for the moment - "Philip Fowke at the Proms" ( yes there are others , different and perhaps better in some parts - like incomparable Liberace ) but this video served all my purposes best - after all I WAS GOING to play it at PROMS! Why not study with the performance live from Proms?
With that - when I opened the sheet music for the first time ( and you see , it wouldn't stay open - the new score!) I knew the tunes, I knew the tempos - more or less, I watched carefully how the pianist who already knows the piece approaches it. So, I was all prepared :-) Except I never touched a single note of it before and never saw actual music.
The YouTube clip served as my guidance - I put on headphones and I couldn't hear my mistakes ( yes, I could feel them but I could't hear much ) - I heard good music instead.
IT REALLY HELPS! Try next time for yourself.
Funny, I saw some comments on Livestream claiming I was kinda "faking" it because the playing started OK and it didn't improve much from beginning to the end .
Two points for naysayers - important ones!
#1 - even back in school I won ANY sight-reading contest hands-down, on any level. I am a pro in sight-reading ! Sight-reading is a different skill from just trying to get through the sheet music , You grasp the important details , the "skeleton" and find patterns...
#2 Oh, the dreaded photographic memory :-))) I avoid using it most of the times - but the piece is easy enough to succumb, so by the time I was finishing my practice , if you look carefully - you see that I am practically not looking at the score at all. If it's not an "improvement" in an hour - what is?
The bonus hours here are dedicated to practicing Beethoven Concerto #3. Sorry, I didn't know it got here - but with 3 hours to upload let it remain rather than dealing with cutting it off and re-uploading. Enjoy my mistakes :-)

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