Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dotzauer Etude #1

My approach to memorizing was essentially:

-Play the piece few a through times to get it in my ear
-Start at the beginning and go measure by measure, adding one each time
-Work on solidifying sections/phrases before moving on
-Assess for trouble spots
-Fix trouble spots
-Repeat Larger section
-Run from beginning again
-Repeat the last few steps until whole piece is memorized

-After a while I started memorizing 2 measures at a time (because the harmonic rhythm changed)
-I memorize the Etude very quickly (I also have read through it in the past), but it takes longer to play the Etude from memory
-I tend to rely mostly on Aural Memory and Kinesthetic/Muscle Memory. Initially I visualized the notes as I played them, and this was in some ways helpful, but I'm not sure how directly helpful it was.
-I find that saying the note names to myself, as I play them, really makes me thing about each note and the intervals & this helps me memorize the entire sequence
-It may be more useful to do Add-A-Note instead of Add-A-Measure - this ensures that each part of the "Dance" has been practiced and connected. It should mean that all motions are more efficient and solidified
-It may also be worth it to do it from the End, backwards with the same method
-I barely managed to memorize this etude in time, but I also did not work on it every day.
-Initially, I did not pay attention to bow distribution/dynamics, but soon realized that I needed to. I think the earlier I do this, the better
-It is easier to memorize notes with full/on-the-string strokes than it is to memorize staccato strokes. Of course, memorizing with the wrong bowing means that I'll need to go back and re-memorize with the right bowing.
-My memory gets affected when I'm hungry or exhausted & often the best way to recall things is to not think about them ... essentially, to quiet one's mind ... it's very meditative & simultaneously very risky, because if it's broken, then one has to rely on conscious thinking or muscle memory. This same meditative state is where one wants to be when performing.

So that's it for now ... Dotzauer #2 starts tomorrow. It will be really interesting to see how I do once I start getting to the Etudes I've never played through before...

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