10 Things to Consider... Summer Practice #6



What are you studying in your Etude or Piece?

Here are 10 Things to Consider in your Etude Practice

I first started this to help my students know what they were studying in their Etude practice, as Etude means, the study of... "What are you studying in this etude" I would ask. Now we also use it for all the things we practice and pieces we are learning too.


It is helpful to consider these questions and create more connections about learning an etude or any piece of music you are practicing, or preparing for a performance or an audition.


Consider these 10 things to help you isolate and practice what you are teaching yourself or teaching a student about an etude or piece.


The pdf of 10 Things you can download here.


Also here is a pdf list of Etudes to study that may be helpful too.

My Top 10

1. Key:

Major _______ minor _______

or? _______


2. Meter and Tempo:

2/4 3/4 4/4 __/4 3/8 6/8 12/8 __/8 or?____ Tempo ______

Make a time line on the top of your piece to meet your tempo goals.


3. Rhythms & Pulse:

What kinds of rhythms are in your this piece?

Is the challenge that they are complex?

Or are they mostly the same and it is to make them smooth, even and in your phrasing control?

Are you feeling and creating a consistent pulse?


4. Specific Elements To Practice in Etude:

Rhythms and rhythmic precision and flow, scales, 3rds, arps, chords, intervals, finger movement, balance,legato, articulations, tempo, extended techniques…


5. Phrasing:

Find the phrasing, and breathing… what is it? 3 bar 4 bar, 8 bars or ???

I’m going to ___.

231, 2341, 234561, over the bar line or… phrasing?


6. Style & Composer:

Who is the Composer ? _________________________

What is the style of this piece?

Baroque____ Classical ____ French____ 20 C ____ Modern _____

Other? _______________


7. Mood:

Make a connection to what you are learning and playing.

Describe the mood in; emotions, images, colors, textures, story, poetry, metaphor…


8. Melody vs. Accompaniment:

Find the melody and the accompanying line. Yes, in an etude too!

How are they related and phrased?

If playing with another what are they playing?

Is it melody or accompaniment?

How is it connected?


9. Dynamics & Colors:
Look for the written dynamics. Decide how to play and color them. If they are not written create colors and dynamics via your decisions about phrasing and your artistic interpretation.

10. Form:

Some Common Forms are; AB____ ABA____

ABCBA(rondo)____

Sonata Allegro____

Theme & Variations and ____________________________?

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