Together with keeping notes, another way to acquire a sort of documentation of your lessons is to actually record your lesson using a digital recorder. There are many types of recording machines, such as Mini-Disk recorders, tape-recorders etc.
Use you recorded lessons as feedback for practicing at home. Although a recorder can produce faithfully what took place in your lesson, it is not to be used exclusively. The reason is that you will have to listen through the complete recording in order to point out the most important suggestions from your teacher. This can take a lot of time and can be frustrating too; That’s why having a notebook as a map of our lesson is more important. However an actual recording can be helpful for the following reasons:
- By listening at your own pace how your instructor articulated a particular passage, it might help you to better understand how to play it. It is a fact that sometimes in the course of our lesson, some minor suggestions made from our teachers pass unnoticed and those can sometimes make the difference between interpreting a piece with the right or wrong technique.
- Listen to your own interpretation and find out why your teacher made that particular comment on a passage. Ask yourself: was his remark a correct one? Did you actually interpret a passage wrongly without realizing it? Or perhaps, should you try next time to explain to your teacher why you played it in that fashion? This way you may both reach an ”interpretational” consensus. .
- Tracking your progress of a piece will benefit drastically by recording your playing in your lessons. Observe how a piece improves in the course of a few weeks or a month and learn from your practicing habits.
Naturally, a teacher should be ok with your recording his or her lesson, but ask them first, just in case.