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June, 2011:

The Importance of Playing by Heart

As I was a student my guitar teacher always forced me to play every piece by heart. If I didn`t memorize a piece, I was not allowed to learn a new one till I could play the old one by heart and without any mistakes. I continued to do so my whole lifetime.

But working as a teacher I have a big problem: most of my students are not willing to practice like that. If I try to convince them to memorize their pieces, they often tell me, that they can not do that. And if they try, they often need a lot of time to finish one piece. And if they have memorized one piece, they start to forget another one. Why?

Most important reason for that difficulty is the fact, that my students are too busy with school and a lot of other activities. Often they even don`t have time to meet their friends or to play something during the week. Till ten o`clock at the evening they are still busy doing homework. And if they have a little free space, they like to watch TV or play with the computer.

The more busy a child, the worse the ability to imagine music and memorize the guitar pieces. That is really pity. Sometimes I think, it would be better for some of my students to do less at school and to spend more time with “nothing”, till the naturally ability comes back. Because it is “naturally” to remember a song that you ve played severall times. If you can not do this, means, that your brain is over stressed.

To play by heart helps you to develop your imagination and everything your right site of your brain is responsible for. It is evident, that people, who plays by heart have a better feeling as people who needs to watch the sheet.