Working on technique has become my top priority, followed by sight-reading.
A few years ago, quite a few got a kick out of me slaving away at the first Cortot exercises. They were ponderous. After much on-again-off-again revisitation, I have facility. And am still improving.
I’m still only working on the first chapter of five, planning to move through it in a total of two months and continue (more ponderous beginnings, no doubt).
It usually takes me an hour or more to work technique. I follow up with at least fifteen minutes of sight-reading (I’m currently going through the Singers Music Anthology Broadway series – have already been asked to play some that I’ve read). After that, I work on repertoire.
Sure, it doesn’t always happen that way due to work, but that’s what works best for me. If I’m in a time crunch, invariably I run through Brahms 51/13 quickly, until I have facility and good voicing – that exercise has helped me since high school.
It’s a good goal. Technique. Sight-reading. Repertoire.
Any favorite exercises or warm-ups for you?