Repertoire Rules (for students)

These rules are rules about students and repertoire, but really these are more rules for piano teachers… So for any students reading this post – this is the stuff your teacher should know! In the 11 month history of my blog I’ve discussed how  students having access to more books of music is going to have a positive impact on their musical literacy, and how learning a large number of pieces each year will have commensurate educational benefits. I’m not going to rehash either of these posts, but rather cut straight to: what are the rules we need to apply to students and their repertoire? First up: a rule of thumb. If your student learns less than 26 pieces per annum they will be bored. They may not tell you they are bored, but they are. If learning 6 pieces a year truly engages their curiosity they must be almost entirely disinterested in learning to play the piano. On the other

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Repertoire Rules (for teachers)

Yesterday I gave a one hour presentation at the BlitzBooks-organised Winter Piano School held in Sydney’s CBD with the title “An In-Depth Look at Repertoire Collections”. I went along with a suitcase full of books for an intensive show and tell session: collections for beginners, graded collections, period-collections (Baroque, for instance), geographical collections (Australian, for instance) and stylistic collections (tangos, for instance). 16 kilograms of print music material. My intention was to begin with a short spiel about the importance of repertoire, covering the need for teachers to invest their time and money in getting to know new pieces every year, as well as the need for students to work on a much greater number of pieces than traditionally has been the case (a topic I’ve covered in my blog previously). And then I was going to launch into the music in the suitcase… The “rationale for repertoire” part of my presentation was supposed to be about how music is

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