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Reverse Chaining

1 year ago

Tom Raynor

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“Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’The King of Hearts in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland may advocate linear progression for when you are stuck, but when it comes to music practice reverse chaining is a great way to break down a piece. Reverse chaining, or backward chaining, is used in a variety of educational settings and in music it can transform intimidating passages of music into manageable chunks. Chaining, according to ABRSM’s Chief Examiner John Holmes, ‘is an idea that sounds complex, but which is actually quite simple. You practise the very last bit, and then when you’ve got that ‘perfected’, you practise the previous bit that leads up to it.Simply put, it is starting at the end and working backwards. Often it can be easy to stay within the comfort of the familiar first few bars and avoid practising the more difficult end sections. We like to begin at the beginning but the end can seem like an uphill struggle. By beginning at the end, learners are moving towards the familiar rather than the unfamiliar. This helps to increase confidence and as John suggests, ‘it is a good way to achieve a sense of fluency and direction right through a tricky passage.’ Being mindful in your practice and tackling challenges are essential to progressing with music. Practise right with ABRSM Music Case. Music Case is a free practice tracking app helps you to organise and reflect on your practice, making practice time more effective. #Practiceimproved



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