How to Develop and Maintain an Extensive Musical Repertoire

Over time, a professional musician will be exposed to countless compositions across a fairly broad range of circumstances. It may be a piece to be used in an upcoming concert performance or it may even be an informal request made during a small social gathering, and both of these situations clearly require different strategies for preparation. Obviously, it is of critical importance for a musician to develop a fairly extensive repertoire that they can call on in a wide variety of circumstances — professional or otherwise — yet even the most accomplished of musicians can find it difficult to expand their repertoire without sacrificing a great deal of the time needed to keep the other pieces already in the repertoire sharp enough to be considered ready for performance.

Though it may be something of a surprise, there are quite a few similarities between the practices used by 1 Stop Maintenance and the practices used by musicians with impressively extensive repertoires. In both circumstances the parties involved develop a highly efficient schedule that allows them to devote the time necessary to achieve the results expected of them. In the case of One Stop Maintenance, this means that the company is able to serve its vast array of clients incredibly well through its strategies for providing exceptional property management. For a musician, the orientation of their practice schedule has to consider similarly efficient strategies so that new pieces can be learned while others can be revisited and sharpened for an upcoming performance.

Musicians who work on implementing strategies for expanding their musical repertoire enjoy benefits that go well beyond the simple ability to play a broad range of compositions quite well. In addition to a clear improvement in playing ability, the skills needed to expand a repertoire also stimulate a greater degree of creativity that is beneficial in composing and arranging original music. With so many positive developments stemming from an expanded repertoire, it only makes sense for musicians to seriously consider including the following strategies into their daily routine.

The Benefits of a Well-Rounded Skill Set

Musicians often favor one style of learning over the other, with their personal preferences often resulting from the manner in which they originally learned to play. It is simply human nature to utilize that which is most familiar, and quite a few musicians are incredibly skilled at learning through one method but are merely passable when tasked with utilizing the other. To be able to thoroughly expand a repertoire in the most efficient way possible, musicians are best served by developing their ability to learn both by ear and by the page.

It is important to note the difference between merely being able to learn using both styles and being extremely proficient in both to the point that there is no longer any preference for one or the other. For those who learn by ear, the benefits of expert proficiency in reading music from the page are clearly evident, while those who utilize the page sometimes develop an almost psychological dependence on having the sheet music available at all times even when a piece is committed to memory. Those who are highly proficient in both styles often find that they have more memorization cues at their disposal and are therefore able to expand their repertoire by a significant degree.

Strategies for Encouraging Memorization

Committing a piece of music to memory is a critical part of building an extensive repertoire that can be accessed on relatively short notice. When musicians arrange their daily practice sessions, they often favor the pieces that are part of an upcoming performance and adopt what seems to be an efficient approach for preparation. While this is an intuitive strategy, it is actually an inefficient use of time in the long run. When other pieces are ignored in favor of those required for an impending concert performance, the musician will have to devote more time and energy in the future to sharpen the other pieces in their repertoire that were largely ignored in advance of a performance.

New pieces being added to a repertoire will require a greater investment of time at first, but that does not mean that a musician should drop everything else while learning something new. Instead, the pieces that are already included in the repertoire should be made part of the daily practice schedule using a rotating and overlapping approach. This means that the pieces are rotated into the practice schedule with enough frequency that they remain sharp and become firmly entrenched in the memory of the musician.

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