Two of my favorite practice tools are:
- Backwards sections
- Precision practice
In a piece such as Etude, op.27 no.3 by Kabalevsky, I might ask my student to practice section 5-end (5 times), 4-end (4 times), 3-end (3 times) and so on. Better yet, do this memorized. Now that's security! This is a great trick if the end of the piece is weaker than the beginning.
The fast finger work passages in this etude will most certainly benefit from precision practice. Here I would have my student develop a routine for practicing each section using three variations:
- Staccato touch
- Dotted rhythms (I call it scooby practicing)
- Scooby staccatos