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The “New Layout Chart” Story

The “Charts” were born out of necessity about ten years ago when I was attempting to learn the opening Fantasia movement from the Bach Third Partita. Up to this point, I had encountered no problems whatsoever learning three of the Bach Partitas from traditional sheet music & performing them from memory.

Much to my dismay, I found that the extraordinary number of repetitions of similar material with minute variations in the Fantasia movement made it a nightmare to memorize from the score. That could be particularly problematic for a piece that I had hoped to open a program with.

When I reformatted the music in the layout of a “Chart,” the structure suddenly became crystal clear to me. I could easily track & compare the many similar phrases, and went on to quickly learn, memorize, & consistently perform the piece successfully.

Since then I have made chart versions of every piece I learn & many pieces I teach. From the beginning literature to the Rachmaninoff Preludes, the “Charts” have made all the difference in the world.

                                                                         Sally Christian


Memory Lapses

Memory lapses are without exaggeration the “bane of existence” for any classical pianist who performs from memory. From the student recital to the great concert halls, there is nothing more stressful than losing one’s place in a piece & nothing more embarrassing than fumbling around in a desperate attempt to get back on track.

The “New Layout Charts” were developed to help any pianist better prepare & recover from memory lapses that can occur.

Proper study & practice from the “charts” provide a safety net & the psychological reassurance to perform from memory with confidence & security. Only then can one play with the joy that comes when one knows they are fully prepared.

Sally Christian Piano Edition

The Sally Christian Piano Edition is comprised of loose leaf charts (scores) of classical solo piano pieces reformatted & engraved in a horizontal layout, associated addendums, satellite views & companion YouTube teaching videos.

The Charts:

A paradigm shift in the way musical scores are viewed, the charts are public domain scores reformatted in systems that are complete musical phrases (thoughts) which appear to float on the page. The pages are loose leaf (like flash cards) that when printed on 11x17 inch card-stock can stand alone on a piano music rack. The bar lines of the systems are aligned so that the musical material can be compared at a glance for similarities & differences. Open measures (shared between 2 systems) help with the understanding of phrases that are begun on beats other than the downbeat. The systems are practiced by themselves & out of order to serve as jump points or “emergency exits” should memory lapses occur. The start point of each system then becomes internalized as “automatic rote memory” for seamless, instant access.


Practice Addendums:

When needed, these are pages that help analyze difficult parts of a piece such as similar trills, musical switches (where like material diverges,) inner voices, blocked chords, & other specific aspects of a piece that may be problematic for the student. Some addendums are printed with larger note heads in a magnified view.


Satellite View:

When needed, a vertical view of the entire piece that allows the structure to be seen at a glance when at or away from the keyboard. Usually with smaller note heads than the actual chart, it is an excellent reference to have available when starting to play from memory.


Working Copy:

An 11x17 inch copy printed on 60 pound weight card-stock on a laser printer. There is ample space for teachers to pencil in alternative fingerings & any other notations that they would ordinarily mark in the music.

Teaching Videos:

Companion YouTube videos that demonstrate how to use the charts to understand & practice a piece, along with other important teaching points such as voice leadings, block chord analysis, etc. The videos should be viewed repeatedly with “chart” in hand to facilitate comprehension & note taking. The videos can be viewed from the link on this website or at


How to Practice:

Each system should be practiced & memorized as an individual musical thought. Similar systems (often separated in the music & sometimes in different keys) should be practiced back & forth. Systems should be practiced out of order as “jump points” to facilitate recovery from memory lapses. Other practice suggestions are included in the companion teaching videos.


Digital Downloads:

Each piece is packaged for digital download from links to The single price includes the charts along with any other files (practice addendums & satellite views). Files can be viewed on a computer, tablet, printed at home on 8 ½ x 11 inch paper, & printed on standard 11x17 inch 60 pound weight cardstock on any commercial laser printer.



1. Easy, visualization, analysis, memorization, & practice of individual musical phrases.

2. Easy visualization & comprehension of musical sections (eg. A-B-A form.)

3. Reduction of memory lapses & quick, seamless recovery from them should they occur.

4. Specific study of problematic material.

5. Ample open space (compared to traditional scores) allows the teachers & students to add written notation without crowding the music.

6. These charts are fun!

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