Until recently, I had what I felt was a very suboptimal method of learning new pieces. Basically, what I would do is just look the piece, and try to slight read it/play it all the way through. Then do this again and again, until I felt more comfortable, then start randomly working on individual passages more closely. The result is often poor intonation, and sloppy phrasing and bowing. Eventually I would need to relearn the piece in order to make it more acceptable.
Right now I'm using an approach that at least seems to be more practical. If it's a particularly difficult piece, I would often spend an entire practice session just practicing several measures very slowly, and making sure all the notes are played in tune and musically correct. Once I liked what I did, I would move on. Of course, it's a lot more complicated than that.
I'm curious about the best way to practice new pieces. I know that there are lots of teachers on this board, and it would be interesting to hear some thoughts.
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