Top tips for learning a new piece

1. Break the piece into sections. Mark the sections with a pencil and practice each section hands separately.

2. Pay attention to the finger numbers, it will help you to play fluently.

3. When you have practiced hands separately and feel comfortable, start playing hands together phrase by phrase.

4. Play the sections of the piece ‘andante’ (at a walking pace) and don’t try and play quickly.

5. Pay attention to any special markings such as staccato, and dynamics.

5. If you hit problems then reduce the speed by at least one third, or better still by one half.

6. When you have learnt the whole piece, keep playing it at a walking pace to consolidate learning.

7. If the piece is for an exam you should play it at a walking pace until a month before the exam, then gradually increase the tempo until you can comfortably play it at exam speed.