Have you ever noticed that skills you’ve spent the last 6 months drumming into your contest songs appear by themselves (at least to some degree) in the new song you started last week?

It’s true, learning new songs is an important factor in increasing your skill level, especially if you’re trying to make a big change from the ‘old way’. I’ve frequently been asked if a group should ‘chuck out’ all its old songs because of the old habits in them, rather than try to fix them, and the answer in my opinion is YES. Now, I’m not advocating mass slaughter in the repertoire, but embarking on a ‘music refreshment’ program, replacing old songs one by one, can be of real benefit.

The key issue here is that new songs be:

  1. chosen to work in with the skill set you have been working on
  2. chosen to replace in function, the song being dropped (a show starter, or tearjerker ballad etc)
  3. introduced with those new skills in mind, employed during the learning phase of the song, not once notes and words are known.

I guess this is one of my pet peeves: that so much of the time, learning the notes and words is given very little attention, especially in a chorus situation. It’s once people are supposed to be ‘off paper’ that education starts to be applied to the music. That’s BACKWARDS! If you were learning to play the piano, what would you think if your teacher gave you some music, sent you home and said, “go and learn this, and when you know it, I’ll teach you how to play it”? You’d get yourself a new piano teacher!

But that sounds like a whole other entry to me! Learn Smart, not Twice…. coming soon to a blog near you 🙂

New Music, New Level?
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