Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. The subject today is about how long it should take you to learn a piece of music. There are a lot of people who feel really committed to the piano. And when they are passionate about learning a piece, they don’t care if it takes a year to learn it. They just really want to learn that piece! This is not necessarily the best approach. Let me explain. In the amount of time that it would take in that year to learn one piece of music, imagine instead you focus on pieces that you can master in a couple of weeks. Then you build up a repertoire of pieces you can play on a high level.
Find music on your level.
Focus on pieces you can learn relatively quickly, each one a little bit more difficult than the last. You can expand not only the difficulty, but the style, the range, the mood, the period, all different aspects of music that you can assimilate into your technique. After a year, that piece that maybe would have taken you a year might only take you three or four weeks! The secret is finding music on your level. Now there are certainly exceptions to what I’ve just said. For example, maybe you’re a pretty serious pianist and you’ve just always wanted to study a monumental work like the Brahms Handel Variations, the Beethoven Hammerklavier Sonata, or the Liszt B Minor Sonata. Are you going to learn one of those pieces in two or three weeks? No, not likely. It could take you months to really learn and maybe up to a year to get on a performance level. A major concerto takes time to master as well. But even if you are learning such a work, I would strongly recommend that in parallel you also work on other formative pieces along the way. So at the end of the year you don’t have just that one piece, but maybe you have a dozen or more pieces that you’ve learned over the course of the year, including that one long-term piece that you’ve always wanted to learn.
Always be assimilating new music into your repertoire.
Learn music of different styles, different techniques, and you will grow as a musician far faster and greater than just focusing on one or two pieces that you really want to learn. You will actually be able to learn those pieces far sooner and get them at a higher level if you have progressive repertoire that you’re always mastering on the piano. I hope this is helpful for you and that you don’t find this discouraging. This is actually the fastest way you’re going to be able to learn that piece you’ve always wanted to learn! I’m Robert Estrin here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.
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