I am looking forward to input from others on this issue, which I haven’t been able to resolve.
I have notice a difficulty for harp students to maintain visual tracking on their score as they play their harp. I know of piano teachers who don’t allow students to look at their hands, and so perhaps some harp teachers resolve the issue in this way. I’ve personally found it useful to visually go between the score and the strings because it also solidifies my memorization more easily.For the issue of score tracking I know that breaking it down into phrases and knowing where each one begins in the score is one source of help. Lining up the score to be as close to the visual field of the hands can also help, but this isn’t enough to solve the problem for many people. What else can be done?
In the case of an orchestral setting I just memorize the music so I still just have two things to track: my hands and the conductor. This is also one reason I don’t play often with orchestras is because it takes me so much preparation. I feel I can’t do it unless my part and the sounds it fits into are all memorized. Lining up all three in the visual field in this case is also a help, but I’m wondering if there is anything more that can be done.
Just how important is it to play without looking at the hands? Are there simplified practice strategies of going back and forth between a simplified, repetitious score and the hands? Any turning of the head seems to really throw a monkey wrench into the process. I have a couple of students who really struggle with this and I have not fully succeeded in helping them yet. Any advice is hugely welcomed!