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#159: Could You Learn a Piece in a Day?

music and meaning Jun 03, 2024

At one of our Harp Mastery® retreats several years ago. I presented a workshop called “Learn Anything Fast.” That sounds like a pretty ambitious topic, and I imagine that some of the retreaters were a little skeptical. After all, learning a piece of music takes time. But my point in that workshop was this: does it have to take as much time as it’s taking you now?

There’s no golden rule about how long it should take you to learn a piece. That’s something students would often love to know, and it would be wonderful if each piece came with a guarantee, like all those infomercials have: Learn this piece in 30 days or your money back!

There is no “30 day guarantee” for a piece, because each harpist approaches each piece with a different set of individual skills and strengths. Each piece requires specific skills, either technical skills or musicianship skills or both. How long it takes you to learn a piece is a combination of the demands of the piece, your own skill development relative to those demands and the systems or learning habits you bring to the piece. That’s where I think we can make big changes, the kind of changes that could drastically shorten your learning timeline for any piece.

So on today's show, we are going to look at what exactly goes into learning a piece, skills you already have in your pocket that can help you learn that piece faster, and I’ll give you some tips to tweak your learning system so you can leapfrog ahead and start playing that piece sooner. In one day? Maybe. Let’s find out.

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode: 

Get involved in the show! Send your questions and suggestions for future podcast episodes to me at [email protected]


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