For students that are cautious by nature, speeding up their playing can be very nerve-wracking. These students are so concerned with playing “correctly” that they can’t let go enough to play quickly.
Allegro Anxiety: Duet Sightreading
Playing with other musicians means you can’t change the tempo, you have to keep going and throw caution to the wind! Perfect for students with allegro anxiety.
- Pick out a duet that is at least a few levels below your student’s playing level.
- Set the tempo by counting in and start playing together.
- Tell your student that if they get lost they should find their way back in whenever they can. Point and give them hints but don’t stop playing and don’t slow down.
- When you’re finished, mention any note errors you made and how you kept going so it sounded fine anyway. Stopping would have been much worse than the incorrect note.
- Repeat this at many lessons. Make it a regular part of your routine.
Allegro Anxiety: Metronome Ladder
The metronome ladder is the perfect way to increase the tempo in such small increments that your student won’t even notice. This way, she can reach the performance tempo without nervousness.
- Choose a tempo your student is comfortable playing at for the first tempo.
- Choose an amount to increase your tempo by each time (3-5 bpm is a good choice).
- Repeat the playing, increasing the tempo each time.
- When she gets stuck at a particular tempo and can’t seem to go any higher, write down this in the plateau tempo box and move on to other activities.
- Reiterate the steps involved and assign metronome ladder practice using the tracking chart below.
Download these steps and the tracking chart to print by clicking here.