the importance of student repertoire books

Are you ready for anything?

This week I was asked to give an hour long program next week. How do you make sure you're ready for anything? Keep up your repertoire and skills.

I've recommended that my students keep a repertoire book, beginning at their first week. It's a book of music they enjoy and know how to play well. Once a week, or during times when practice time is hard to find, they work on those pieces only. This practice does two things: 1) maintains skills and 2) creates a growing body of repertoire that is "ready for anything".

The repertoire book keeps you ready for that person who stops by, sees the harp and asks if you can play something. That's easy when you know what you have prepared. It also has you ready if you're asked to play for an event last minute. Easy to say yes when there's plenty of notes under your fingers.

My repertoire book, and those of my students have never been static. They're constantly changing as skills and tastes in music change. Pieces move in and out, sometimes back in, but it's always a group of pieces at the ready for anything.

Do you know what music you have ready for performance? If not, sit down at your harp and assess your music. Choose a few pieces you like and work them up, then keep them ready. Whether they're all in a physical book together or just a list so you can locate them, you need to have a body of repertoire that is "yours".