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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Quick Practicing Tip: "Third Part" Day

I hereby declare today to be "Third Part" Day. For today's practice, focus on shoring up the third parts in the songs.

As a teacher, I am aware that the form of many of our songs is A-B-A, such as the theme of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. This means that the first part, the A part, is repeated again at the end of the song. In other words, A-B-A means that there are two distinct parts of the song. In most of the earlier songs in the Suzuki literature, the songs have four parts, and the parts generally follow a form of A-A1-B-A1 or, as in the case of Allegro, A-A-B-A.

Notice that the third part is the part that is least repeated when playing the song. In the case of Allegro, the A part is repeated three times and the B part merely once every time the student plays the song. This is also true in the songs Lightly Row or Long, Long Ago. Even if a song has three parts, the middle part is often the "third part" -- the part that is repeated the least often.

I frequently remind my students' home practice partners of the need to work on and repeat the "third part" of the songs because these are the parts that the students know the least well. During group class review, I frequently focus on these third parts.

So today I hereby declare to be "Third Part" Day. Look through the list of repertoire to be learned, practiced, or polished, and focus on those "Third Parts." Let the other parts go for today. Spend some time really kneading and massaging those third parts until they are as strongly learned as the other parts of the song.

Happy Practicing!

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