Your REPERTOIRE

My Repertoire Image blog.jpg

Your REPERTOIRE is your own special music collection. Like how many Easter eggs or Christmas presents you have, or how many good holidays you can remember, or how many good friends you can count. The songs that you have learned and "kept alive" are unique to you, your tastes and your efforts. You can be very proud of it, because only you have shaped what it is today and you are in charge of what it will encompass over time. It is something that grows and changes, almost organically. In the first year it is a testament of your learning; well done! In the second year it already showcases your huge commitment to music and your individuality. Over time you will shape and polish your repertoire and it will become more and more uniquely yours. It will show whether you are, for instance, more of a blues player, or a pop song arranger, a composer, a film music lover, a classical player, a "bitsa", an improviser, an accompanist or a PianoEasy Song Lover.

Holidays are a nice time to take stock. I always recommend saving your repertoire on the computer, with the month and year, so you can see how it changes over the years. Are you happy with where your repertoire is at? It's always a good idea to have some "Safe Pieces". That means a piece that you can play at all times. That doesn't have to be your most complex one. On the contrary, it's the one you want to start with if someone asks you to play something and the adrenaline kicks in. "Safe Pieces" are the ones that you warm up with when you are tired and just want to get back into playing. They are good to work with if you want to add newly learned stuff; inversions, an embellishment, a new introduction, better technique or pedalling. On your repertoire you may also have pieces that are "works in progress". You could tick or annotate them, so you can easily see what's what. You can have a special section with improv ideas, or songs you do from reading or TABS.

The best way to get some valuable playing feedback is by recording yourself with your phone. You'll notice things that you don't normally notice when you're playing. Like whether you are moving your body with ease, or whether you're gentle on tapping down those keys, whether your timing is regular, whether you're sitting up straight or whether your hands and fingers are fast and relaxed. Don't worry about what you look like (videos from weird phone angles never do anyone any justice), but give yourself kind suggestions on how you can still improve your playing. Adding some grace notes, or a new introduction or instrumental can take a "Safe Piece" to a new level of "Show Piece".

Lastly: Your repertoire is only like the facade of your house; your front garden, that passers by may see. Every bit of playing, studying, experimenting helps creating who you are with music whether you remember it or not. So while your repertoire is like the flowers on the bush, if you don't have many flowers, or if they are still in bud, that doesn't mean you aren't making great progress. The bush will bloom when the time is right!

3 comments

Thank you Anneka.  You are so inspiring.  I think I have just mastered Claude's Moon after all this time!  Jan

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I love playing the piano! from indigo

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This has given me a whole new understanding to Repertoire thank you Anneka

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