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Tips & Tricks: The Power of the Number 3

December 7th, 2015 by Katherine Moller

3 digitsI know this is kind of silly, but I have a little superstition about the number three. I try to avoid making the same mistake three times in a row. I always feel like once I have made that same mistake, it becomes harder to break. There has been research to back this up, although I think the number of times you need to make the same mistake before it is ingrained may be higher than 3, but that is the number I work with. In order to counteract this feeling that I have, once I make the same mistake twice, I will take that section of the piece, slow it down to a point where I can play it without a mistake, and then play it. I want my fingers to get the feeling of playing it correctly.

My violin teacher (and also conductor at various points) also had a rule of three. Once I played a section properly, I had to play it three more times to reinforce the proper notes/rhythm, etc. The important part of this is to play it three times in a row correctly. This means that if you play it twice, and then make a mistake, that you start over again at one.

I would like to leave you with a quote that I found the other day about making the same mistake three times:

“If you make the same mistake 3 times, that becomes ‘your arrangement’“- Jorma K

Happy practicing!

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