Instruction to learn a piece by heart (3 pages) in a brief space of time (2 days)?

  • 2
    If it's a piece you don't know very well, it could help to listen to recordings (or just one recording) when you're doing something else. A possible adverse effect is that you interpret everything the same way other people do (especially if you only listen to only one recording). But of course the real answer is: practise a lot. (Maybe someone else has some more specific suggestions, though.)
    – Remy
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 22:41

2 Answers 2


This is what I do:

  • Break it in chunks
  • Do 25 minutes of learning sessions followed by 5 minutes of anything else
  • Give yourself a 15 minute break between four sessions of 25 minutes
  • Interleave the learning sessions with unrelated tasks sessions

Sometimes I also write down the music when learning without the sheet music.


Meaningful repetition. Set aside a certain groups of time, interspersed throughout the next two days, where you can dedicate your total focus on running thru this piece, steadily, and over and over.

Mix it up with other task accomplishment. Do a load of laundry. Clean up the kitchen. Make some tuna salad and put it in the fridge. And then get back to it.

Keep your sheet music handy to reference as you go along, but wean yourself off of it each time you run thru the piece.

Meaningful repetition means repeating it until it becomes a comfortable muscle memory. But two hints; Don't over do it, and don't save it all for the last morning of the actual performance. That's too much pressure, and it'll only make you more nervous.

Make sure you have it wired-tight the afternoon before, and then get a good night's sleep.

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