Quarantine-Spots


Schumann - Knight Rupert

(Op. 68 No. 12)

Knight Rupert, No. 12 from Schumann’s Album for the Young, Op. 68, is a favourite recital piece for the intermediate player, and great fun to play. The rousing A section contrasts beautifully with the more lyrical B section. Come up with a story line from your imagination, but first do some research on the character - according to German folklore Knight Rupert is Saint Nicolas’ companion, but someone who might give lumps of coal to naughty children instead of a more welcome Christmas present.

The piece places plenty of demands on the player, and I have selected three Q-spots that will benefit from some very careful, systematic practice – one snippet from the A section and two parallel spots from the B section. Provided you know how the piece should sound in its entirety from some pre-listening, it is possible to work on these extracts before you even begin work on the rest of the piece. If you work on these extracts diligently and regularly (rather than hoping they will come right after several weeks of hacking through) you can expect them to feel easy in performance, and your playing will be safe and reliable.

The three Q-spots are:

  • Bar 18 – Downbeat of bar 21
  • Bar 37 – 40
  • Bar 45 – 48
Loading video...

Preview (please log-in or subscribe to see full video)

Purchase options

This content is available as a separate, once-off purchase or as part of a subscription. Click "Buy" to purchase it or on "Subscription options" to get access to this content in addition to our growing library of over 300 articles for as little as £13.99 per month or £119.99 per year (Click here to sign-in to view this page if you are already a subscriber).

£9.99Buy More info Subscribe Back

View next...

The Practice Tools Lecture Series

Without an understanding how to approach practising the piano, day-to-day practice can often be unfocussed and unproductive. In this series of video lectures, I identify and explore various practice tools that will help pianists of any level get the most out of their time spent practising.... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools

Read Ahead - Level 3

Sightreading for the Modern Musician

Read Ahead is an exciting new program that helps piano students to improve their sight-reading ability. This unique curriculum is based on an extensive collection of carefully ordered compositions with related exercises and quizzes that help students develop the mental and tactile skills necessary for fluent sight-reading. This section features Level... Read >>


Mastering Polyrhythms

A polyrhythm (sometimes referred to as a cross rhythm) is the effect produced when two conflicting rhythms are played together and can prove very challenging indeed! This series of articles will help you tackle them in various ratios, starting with the simplest: two-against-three (2:3) or three-against-two (3:2).... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising

Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum - Part 4

Rhythm

Rhythm is perhaps the most important element in sight-reading and is the subject of the fourth (next) part of our Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum. Using simple, effective practice methods and carefully-selected pieces with annotations and guidelines, we work on keeping a regular pulse while tackling challenges such as recognising underlying rhythmic... Read >>


Ken Johansen Practising Sight reading

Practising for Long-Term Results

In this video, William Westney demonstrates a remarkably easy technique for mind and body to truly “digest” (and remember) what we’ve practised.... Read >>


William Westney Practising

Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum - Part 3

Playing by Ear

Although playing by ear might seem to be the opposite of sight-reading, we read with our ears as much as with our eyes. The inner ear helps us to navigate a new score, predict what is coming and improvise when the eyes haven’t had enough time to absorb everything. The... Read >>


Ken Johansen Practising Sight reading

Teaching & Developing Sight-Reading Skills

Sight-reading an interesting piece of music is like meeting an interesting person. We enjoy the pleasure of a new encounter, sense perhaps a mutual affinity, and look forward to a deeper acquaintance. This series of articles provides exercises and music aimed at developing confidence in playing at sight and enhancing... Read >>


Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum - Part 2

Flexibility

To give an interpretation of a piece we have never seen before requires flexibility and demands a willingness to accept wrong notes, technical stumbles, and botched details, in the greater interest of maintaining rhythmic cohesion, following the broad outlines of the score. The second part of our Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum... Read >>


Ken Johansen Practising Sight reading

Music at Sight

Sight reading is a skill you can develop, but you have to know how. This introductory course teaches the five skills you need to become an excellent sight-reader!... Read >>


Read Ahead - Level 4

Read Ahead is an exciting program that helps piano students to improve their sight-reading ability. This unique curriculum is based on an extensive collection of carefully ordered compositions with related exercises and quizzes that help students develop the mental and tactile skills necessary for fluent sight-reading. This section features Level 4... Read >>


Read Ahead - Level 2

Sightreading for the Modern Musician

Read Ahead is an exciting new program that helps piano students to improve their sight-reading ability. This unique curriculum is based on an extensive collection of carefully ordered compositions with related exercises and quizzes that help students develop the mental and tactile skills necessary for fluent sight-reading. This section features Level... Read >>


Read Ahead - Level 1

Read Ahead is an exciting new program that helps piano students to improve their sight-reading ability. This unique curriculum is based on an extensive collection of carefully ordered compositions with related exercises and quizzes that help students develop the mental and tactile skills necessary for fluent sight-reading. This section features Level... Read >>


The Body - Wiser than the Mind?

When we make music we experience fascinating integration of body and mind. As essential as it is to master certain well-defined skills (just as athletes do) there can also be moments when we manage to "get out of our own way" – and everything seems to fall into place beautifully.... Read >>


William Westney Practising

Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum

The Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum is derived from nearly twenty years of experience teaching the freshman sight-reading class for piano majors at the Peabody Conservatory. It consists of an extensive collection of annotated scores dealing with every aspect of sight-reading, together with detailed suggestions on how to practice. It covers everything... Read >>


Ken Johansen Practising Sight reading

Skeleton Practice

This series of articles will describe how to deconstruct a score and use skeleton practice by way of a number of examples. New articles and examples will be added on an ongoing basis therefore please do watch this space!... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools

Warm-Ups Revisited

A Body / Mind Approach

In this two-part video lecture, William Westney re-thinks warm-ups and demonstrates an effortless process that takes only a few minutes to ensure successful daily practice.... Read >>


William Westney Practising

An Overview of the Practice Tools

This series of articles serves as an introduction to Graham Fitch’s practice tools, including how to approach a new piece and the Three Ss.... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools

Advanced Sight-Reading Curriculum - Part 1

Eye Training

Sight-reading begins with sight. Before the inner ear can begin to imagine the sound of a score, before the mind can start to decode the patterns it detects, and before the body can translate these sounds and patterns into physical gestures that transform written notes into music, the eyes must... Read >>


Ken Johansen Practising Sight reading

Luxuriant Piano Playing

A Wellness Philosophy and Practice

In these excerpts from his presentation at NCKP 2021, William Westney shows that whether we are concert performers or beginners, we can all luxuriate in free-flowing, generous, comfortable, unfettered, and unforced movements that “feel great” at the piano.... Read >>


William Westney Practising

Separate Practice

Learning a complex piece each hand alone before putting the hands together is a strategy favoured by the majority of piano teachers. While it is of course possible to practise a fugue hands separately, this misses the point. Rather than working hands separately, I advocate strands separately (playing each line... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools

Slow Practice

If you’re serious about playing the piano, there’s no getting away from slow practice. It is a cornerstone of our work from the beginner stages right through to the advanced level, and a practice tool also used by professional pianists and seasoned virtuosos all the time. In this section, ... Read >>


Graham Fitch Practising Practice tools