PracticePrompt Blog

Repertoire Building and Maintenance – A juggling act? (No 2)

Posted in Repertoire Building and Maintenance by elwynrees on July 5, 2009

Juggling Act - How to rotate repertoire
Juggling Act – How to rotate repertoire

Some further thoughts and ideas on repertoire building and maintenance.  

Lets consider a largish list of fairly complex pieces to learn (say 50).  In the real world if you are not a professional or studying at conservatoire level or just very talented,  it may take several months or more to learn each,  but lets assume that we can learn each in 1 week and also that subsequent to the original learning session each cyclical review to get the piece back into shape is also 1 week.  

Another piece of sensible advice on Repertoire building & Maintenance  is to spend no more than one hour a day on new pieces.  For me this effectively means one complex piece at a time (although I accept that you could learn several easier pieces below your current grade in the same period).  But for the purposes of modelling 1 new piece a day is it.   

So  what would be our workload for the two patterns of review previously described (linear or exponential) on a specific day in 1, 2 or 5 years?

The linear models are easier to predict.  In the simplest (every other week) you have to review 50% of your repertoire each week, as the ratio changes e.g 1 week review  and 3 weeks gap then its 25% each week and so on.  So with 50 pieces, it would be 25 every other week in the first model.

The Exponential review models are less easy to predict.  Lets assume that after the first study period (review 0) that review 1 takes place after 1 week, then the second review, the second gap is two weeks, the third gap is three weeks, the fourth gap if four weeks and so forth….   With 50 pieces to learn, and assuming only one new piece at a time, what would be the review pattern on any particular day in 1, 3 or 5 years?

So to start the ball rolling we need a list of 50 pieces, here’s one then:

1=Bach/Busoni Chorale Prelude, Wachet…
2=Bach/Busoni Chorale Prelude, Nunn Komm…
3=Bach/Busoni Chorale Prelude, Zu…
4=Bach/Busoni Chorale Prelude, Herr…
5=Rachmaninoff Prelude c# minor
6=CPE Bach, Solfeggietto
7=Beethooven sonata, Pastorale
8=Beethooven Sonata, Moonlight
9=Beethoven Sonata, Tempest
10=Beethoven, Sonata,Waldstein
11=Debussey, Reverie
12=Debussey, Preludes Book1, La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin
13=BT Jones, Green Onions
14=Bach, WTC Book1, Prelude & Fugue Cmin
15=Bach Invention 2-part No1
16=Bach Invention 2-part No2
17=Bach Invention 2-part No3
18=Bach Invention 2-part No4
19=Bach Invention 2-part No5
20=Bach Invention 2-part No6
21=Bach Invention 2-part No7
22=Bach Invention 2-part No8
23=Bach Invention 2-part No9
24=Bach Invention 2-part No10
25=Bach Invention 2-part No11
26=Bach Invention 2-part No12
27=Bach Invention 2-part No13
28=Bach Invention 2-part No14
29=Bach/Busoni Tocatta & Fugue Dmin
30=Bach/Busoni Chaconne Dmin
31=Chopin Etude No1
32=Chopin Etude No2
33=Chopin Etude No3
34=Chopin Etude No4
35=Chopin Etude No5
36=Chopin Etude No6
37=Chopin Etude No7
38=Chopin Etude No8
39=Chopin Etude No9
40=Chopin Etude No10
41=Chopin Etude No11
42=Chopin Etude No12
43=Chopin Etude No13
44=Chopin Etude No14
45=Chopin Etude No15
46=Chopin Etude No16
47=Chopin Etude No17
48=Chopin Etude No18
49=Chopin Etude No19
50=Chopin Etude No20

To summarise the model:

  • Only 1 new piece at a time
  • Multiple pieces for review
  • 1 week to learn
  • 1 week for each subsequent review
  • Each review Gap is equivalent to the review period in weeks  i.e review 1 after one week, review 2 is two weeks after review one, review 3 is three weeks after review 2 and so on…

Question: What would be for daily review/study lets say in 5000 days time (50 pieces, 5000 days). 

After some grunt programming….

Answer:   Open this DOC  Repbuilder_ExponentialModel_20090705   to see the results for all pieces and 5000 individual days study plans. The first piece has been highlighted so you can see the increasing gaps in reviews.  In 5000 days time its BT Jones & Green Onions! 😉


One Response

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  1. Power Home Solar Review said, on January 27, 2010 at 08:14

    Great site, I will be back. Well done

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