For a variety of reasons the pupils at NBHS agreed to play their concert item (Troika from Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé Suite) by memory. Some of the reasons were practical but the main one was because it’s just that kind of piece – musical lego. I do not mean this in a derogatory way – simply that the piece is made of up sections, which are all repeated in varied order – the trick is to know the order, spot the patterns and watch out for the pitfalls. The other trick, of course, was to use the play-along files on the Guitar Group Support Page.
One pupil had confessed to not having pulled this off at our last meeting before the concert. Last night she was discussing how she had managed to nail the order. She began to name sections as colours and for a while I thought we were in the presence of a synaesthete in full flow. However, it turned out that she had come up with an ingenious plan for memorising. She had colour coded the music so that all matching sections shared the same colour and then taped a colour chart onto the top of her guitar to act as an aide memoir. Clever, eh? The interesting point was that the trickiest section was coded as grey. I wonder if that was a synaesthetic reaction, or merely a sign of having run out of highlighters.