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Let the juries begin...


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I am freshman music performance major, and my first juries are coming up in about 6 weeks. I am supposed to be playing the first mvt of Wieniawski 2 and the Bach g minor fugue. I am starting to get quite nervous. The Wieniawski has its virtuosic moments and the Bach is pretty difficult overall. I plan to work extremely hard over these next 6 weeks in order to be ready, but if there is anything anyone can suggest to prepare - etudes, exercises, practice techniques - I would appreciate it. Fell free to share any of your jury experiences as well. Thanks!


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Here's one approach:

First divide the work into logical nesting sections. An example in the Bach would be:

I. m.1 - m.24

__a. m.1 - m.6, beat 3

_____1. m.1 - m.2, 1st eighth note

_____2. m.2 - m.3, 1st eighth note

_____3. m.3 - m.4, 1st eighth note of beat 3

_____4. m.4, & of 3 - m.5, 1st eighth note of beat 3

_____5. m.5, beat 3 - m.6, 1st eighth note

_____6. m.6 - m.6, 1st eighth note of beat 3

__b. m.6, beat 3 - m.11, beat 1

_____(etc. as above)

__c. m.11, beat 2 - m.14, beat 1

_____(etc. as above)

__d. m.14, & of beat 1 - m.20, beat 3

_____(etc. as above)

__e. m.20, & of beat 3 - m.24, beat 3

_____(etc. as above)

II. m.24, & of beat 3 - m.55

__a. m.24 & of beat 3 - m.28, beat 3

__b. m.28, beat 3 - m.35, beat 3

__c. m.35, beat 3 - m.42

__d. m.42 - m.52

__e. m.52 - m.55

III. etc

Next, go through and rate each middle division, (the small letter sections - a,b,c etc.), according to how well you can play them. (i.e. E=easy, M=medium, D=Difficult)

Calculate how many hours you have remaining for practice before the jury. As an example, say you have roughly 120 hours available to practice between now and then. You may want to alot 80 of those hours to scales, technical exercises, etudes, and the Wieniawski 2, leaving 40 for the Bach. That gives you about an hour a day.

On the first day, take section I. and devote most of the hour to the parts that you rated "D". Divide the remaining time between the parts rated "E" and "M", giving more attention to the "M" parts.

On the second day work on section II. in the same way.

On the third day work on section III. in the same way.

Re-rate the parts and repeat the pattern.

Follow this pattern until all sections of the piece have been well learned and re-rated to "E".

By the 2nd week before the juries you should abandon this method and begin playing the piece all the way through.

Starting the last week, take as many opportunities to perform the piece for an audience. (Retirement homes, hospitals, senior centers, family, friends, churches, etc.)

This method seems to serve my students well. I hope it can be of help to you.



Conservatory of the Arts

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