Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

When Do You Learn New Rep?


Westgate Morris
 Share

Recommended Posts

I appreciate Mark Taylor’s post about how to learn new rep, hints and tips. Thanks Mark.

I would like to know when folks learn their new rep. Do you have a regular time? …say 9am three days a week at the church and the other days 9am on your home instrument for a 1 hour intensive? What works best for you?

I have discovered that if I am at church by 7:30am – I can learn a great deal by 9am when a colleague comes to rehearse. The trouble is that I am not disciplined enough to make it a regular thing. ...I just discovered my problem….

Share your thoughts and suggestions.

WM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish, having a 'proper' full time job and a large family, I only have the opportunity to 'escape' at 4pm on Sunday afternoon - giving myself an hour-and-a-half before Evensong rehearsal.

 

That's it.. no-wonder it takes me 6 months to prepare a 50 minute recital of new stuff B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being as im doing my A2 levels this year, i have no solid practice. Though i always learn one new outgoing voluntary for christmas + easter that are marignally more technically difficult than a previous piece i learnt, but with technique i can incorporate into other works. For example last easter i learnt the Langlais Te Deum.

 

Throughout the year i learn other pieces as and when, varying between 'standard sunday repetoire' and that for more specialist events. I haven't got anything new to learn at the minute, but might have a look at the Widor Haec Dies first movement

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest paul@trinitymusic.karoo.co.uk
I appreciate Mark Taylor’s post about how to learn new rep, hints and tips. Thanks Mark.

I would like to know when folks learn their new rep. Do you have a regular time? …say 9am three days a week at the church and the other days 9am on your home instrument for a 1 hour intensive? What works best for you?

I have discovered that if I am at church by 7:30am – I can learn a great deal by 9am when a colleague comes to rehearse. The trouble is that I am not disciplined enough to make it a regular thing. ...I just discovered my problem….

Share your thoughts and suggestions.

WM

 

OK.

I always have a stack of new stuff I would like to add to my repertoire. In the old days I had a simple (if demonstrably poor) tactic, which was simply to publish a programme in advance saying that I was going to play the work (I might have chosen ten or so items on this basis every year). This gave me a major reason to make time and nail the beeper down. I say demonstrably poor, because (on occasion) it was not fair to an audience. I haven't ever felt too conscience-ridden about this however, because of the size of fees that I have always been offered. Indeed, expecting small fees (or no fees) throughout my performing career, I haven't had the pressure that some high-profile players definitely get and I haven't felt obliged to dish up complete programmes of sure-fire winners (well-under-my-belt) at every recital. That sort of programming would bore me rigid and I don't know how some of the famous names keep fresh at all.

 

Nowadays, I try things out as soon as I can when I buy them (or they are given to me) - I often write a comment in pencil on the first page so that I know that I've tried them out and what my initial reaction was. If a piece doesn't seem to have anything to say, I don't often sight-read beyond page three or four. There's so much good stuff, why waste time with something that doesn't 'do it'? Pieces once tried out and 'approved' then sit in the heap to be tried further or found again when I have a particular need - say a CD with a missing item or a concert with a theme or a very specific gap. [As a 'for instance' I have Lemare's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (an excellent piece) just sitting there ready to be worked-in somewhere. The main reason why I haven't spent time polishing it is because Roger Fisher has already recorded it very well and we have tended to work for the same company.] Of course, if a piece is something I'm immediately very struck with I can hardly stop trying it out. Things currently in that category are Ian Hare's Three Dances, Sowerby's Pageant and some Richard Francis.

 

At the moment, I must have a pile at least a foot tall of pieces that are getting picked up, tried out, considered, part-learned and then put back.

 

Supposing I decide on a use for a piece and the time has come to nail it down, it would move off the tall pile and onto a surface nearer the console. It would then get picked up four or five times a week; if needing serious work (recital or recording getting quite near) like Westgate Morris above, I would go into church fairly early in the day and have a really good blast. It is a real luxury for me to have time during the day (if you can stand penury, I heartily recommend early retirement to all musicians). I'm still getting used to being free of my (previous) full-time teaching career. Most pieces respond to being simply played through with tricky bits getting marked in pencil. Problem patches obviously command the most attention, another reason why it is always vastly preferable to me to practice when nobody else is around.

 

I would always advise pupils to start by learning everything slowly and quietly, but I'm a hypocrite. The truth is, I want to feel the piece take shape, I want to enjoy it as it's meant to go, and in the case of difficult music this means I have to work on only small chunks at a time so that they can soon be played at speed.

 

The above is as Ego-centred as always - but that's a window on my method, anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Barry Williams
OK.

I always have a stack of new stuff I would like to add to my repertoire. In the old days I had a simple (if demonstrably poor) tactic, which was simply to publish a programme in advance saying that I was going to play the work (I might have chosen ten or so items on this basis every year). This gave me a major reason to make time and nail the beeper down. I say demonstrably poor, because (on occasion) it was not fair to an audience. I haven't ever felt too conscience-ridden about this however, because of the size of fees that I have always been offered. Indeed, expecting small fees (or no fees) throughout my performing career, I haven't had the pressure that some high-profile players getting definitely get and I haven't felt obliged to dish up complete programmes of sure-fire winners (well-under-my-belt) at every recital. That sort of programming would bore me rigid and I don't know how some of the famous names keep fresh at all.

 

Nowadays, I try things out as soon as I can when I buy them (or they are given to me) - I often write a comment in pencil on the first page so that I know that I've tried them out and what my initial reaction was. If a piece doesn't seem to have anything to say, I don't often sight-read beyond page three or four. There's so much good stuff, why waste time with something that doesn't 'do it'? Pieces once tried out and 'approved' then sit in the heap to be tried further or found again when I have a particular need - say a CD with a missing item or a concert with a theme or a very specific gap. [As a 'for instance' I have Lemare's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (an excellent piece) just sitting there ready to be worked-in somewhere. The main reason why I haven't spent time polishing it is because Roger Fisher has already recorded it very well and we have tended to work for the same company.] Of course, if a piece is something I'm immediately very struck with I can hardly stop trying it out. Things currently in that category are Ian Hare's Three Dances, Sowerby's Pageant and some Richard Francis.

 

At the moment, I must have a pile at least a foot tall of pieces that are getting picked up, tried out, considered, part-learned and then put back.

 

Supposing I decide on a use for a piece and the time has come to nail it down, it would move off the tall pile and onto a surface nearer the console. It would then get picked up four or five times a week; if needing serious work (recital or recording getting quite near) like Westgate Morris above, I would go into church fairly early in the day and have a really good blast. It is a real luxury for me to have time during the day (if you can stand penury, I heartily recommend early retirement to all musicians). I'm still getting used to being free of my (previous) full-time teaching career. Most pieces respond to being simply played through with tricky bits getting marked in pencil. Problem patches obviously command the most attention, another reason why it is always vastly preferable to me to practice when nobody else is around.

 

I would always advise pupils to start by learning everything slowly and quietly, but I'm a hypocrite. The truth is, I want to feel the piece take shape, I want to enjoy it as it's meant to go, and in the case of difficult music this means I have to work on only small chunks at a time so that they can soon be played at speed.

 

The above is as Ego-centred as always - but that's a window on my method, anyway.

 

 

 

 

There is much useful information as to how professional organists approach new music in Volume 3 of Roger Fisher's new publication Master class .

 

Barry Williams

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate Mark Taylor’s post about how to learn new rep, hints and tips. Thanks Mark.

I would like to know when folks learn their new rep. Do you have a regular time? …say 9am three days a week at the church and the other days 9am on your home instrument for a 1 hour intensive? What works best for you?

I have discovered that if I am at church by 7:30am – I can learn a great deal by 9am when a colleague comes to rehearse. The trouble is that I am not disciplined enough to make it a regular thing. ...I just discovered my problem….

Share your thoughts and suggestions.

WM

 

What a luxury - I usually get to practise from around 21h30 on a Tuesday (after working since 07h45) and on some Saturdays, from around 20h. With three fully-choral services and two rehearsals on a Sunday, I am usually too tired to turn up early before evensong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...