When practicing a piece or an etude, one is inclined to find the difficult spots and to give them extra attention. This has the psychological disadvantage that you remember the trouble you had with those passages and perhaps become afraid of them.
Not so with Ševcík. At the beginning of his repertoire studies he writes:
"Each section of the concerto should be played only when one has finished its relative study. But it lies entirely with the pupil to treat each section according to its grade of difficulty resulting from it."
There are lots of exercises for difficult passages, fewer for less difficult ones. Once you have finished them, you have never seen a difficult spot in the piece itself, and there is nothing to be afraid of.
So far the theory. In my own experience, another disaster can happpen: thinking while playing, on stage: "O dear, this must be very difficult. I could not possibly play this" and falling off the tightrope. To prevent that from happening, experience in performing is needed: play for anyone who cares to listen.
More entries: May 2012
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