On a given day of practice, how much do you think about muscle memory?
Honestly, it’s something a lot of us take for granted; if we can visualize and hear how a passage is supposed to sound and it seems doable, surely we’ve got it under our fingers, right?
Except…sometimes it’s not that easy. Even when we get it right once or twice, the touch or precision we’re going for still eludes us. Times like these might be a good opportunity to check our muscle memory on certain passagework.
How do we exactly “check” muscle memory? Well…have you tried playing a passage off the keyboard? I like to ask my students to either close the piano and play on the fallboard, or try playing it on their lap or knees. This is a great tip for beginning students, too; getting a handle early on what fingers go where is vital when the rest of the instrument can appear intimidating.
What are some other ways you can check your muscle memory?