- PRACTICE Intelligently and with a metronome!
- When you encounter a troublesome area, ISOLATE it and work it out at a slower tempo, drill it to perfection, then gradually increase the tempo. Finally, incorporate it into the main body of work.
- Learn the piece in the same tempo. Do not play the easier section faster than the more difficult passages.
- If or when you encounter a technical challenge, once again, slow it down, and drill it. I find that if you change the rhythm of the technical area, this will help tremendously! What I mean by this is as follows: Let's say the line is a series of sixteenth notes, change the rhythm to short/long, short/long or long /short, long/short. You need to change your paradigm, so that you don't play yourself into a rut!
- Practice the LAST measure 1st! Then add the measure before it, etc., etc., so that you are constantly reinforcing previously learned material.
- Add dynamics, ornaments, tempo fluctuations as final musical elements, so that your performance is musical and interesting. Do not forget that making music is an art form; add your heart & soul to your performance. MAKE MUSIC!!!
- SPELL & FINGER out your scales just like spelling out your name! "IF YOU CAN SAY IT, YOU CAN PLAY IT!"
- PRACTICE SIGHT READING @ LEAST 5 MINUTES A DAY!!!!!!!
- Once you get the tempo from the adjudicator, IMMEDIATELY tap your foot to that tempo and DO NOT stop tapping that tempo until you leave the room!
- Determine your KEY & TIME SIGNATURE,
- Scan for technical areas 1st and then look for dynamic, tempo fluctuations, etc.,
- Finger the rhythms as many times as possible silently in your head!,
- Once you begin to play, DO NOT STOP AND/OR CORRECT A PERCEIVED MISTAKE! Just keep playing!