The next time you have a student or an entire ensemble continually stumble on one note when playing a run or fast passage, try this. Have them hold that “bad” note. Then have them start on that note and continue the passage until it is firmly corrected. Next, have them play the passage starting from the note before that “bad” note. Continue to add one note at a time before what was the problem spot until they are playing the passage from well before what was that problem spot. Doing this slowly, and securely, then speeding it up should help establish new habit patterns and the kinesthetic memory to ensure success.

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America

About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft, Director of Education for KHS America, is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. He was honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.” Dr. Boonshaft was selected for the Center for Scholarly Research and Academic Excellence at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, where he is Professor Emeritus of Music.