Listening is crucial in piano learning. Through listening we capture the mood and full picture of the music. But in some cases when I ask my piano students listening to the recording, some complain they cannot follow every notes in the running passages. Moreover they tend to follow the “performance tempo” that pianists played in the recording. Obviously their technique are not capable to cope with that tempo at the early stage of learning so stumbles are often found.
I find Speedshifter, a IT tool from ABRSM is useful in this situation. Speedshifter officially is designed for instrumental students for practice. This tool can change the overall tempo of the recording from an audio file, make it faster or slower in different degrees, and play it out. In other words instrumental students can use this tool to alternate the tempi of piano accompaniment, usually slower the accompaniment at the beginning, and then speed up progressively to reach the “performance tempo”.
I use this tool in another way. I let my piano students listening to the original version of recording first. Then I use this tool to slower the tempo of recording some how similar to the “slow practice tempo”.
Speedshifer is free for download on PC and Mac. This tool is also available as mobile app for ios and andriod, and have both free and paid version for both OS.
You may find more information from the following ABRSM officially page
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