READ ME FIRST: Rules & FAQ for Beethoven's "6 Variations on an Original Theme" Practice Challenge!

Hello everyone and welcome to our latest tonebase piano Community Practice Challenge🎵🎹🥳 Are you ready to learn some of BEETHOVEN's music together?!  

THREE WEEKS OF Beethoven's 6 Variations on an original Theme Woo77


Download the music:

Beethoven: 6 Variations on an Original Theme

What are we doing?

  • We are going to be learning some or all of the variations from Beethoven's Woo77!
  • The aim is to practice them every day and post progress updates twice a week.
  • There is absolutely no expectation of going through the entire cycle.
  • You choose how many variations you work on, but you commit to practicing them regularly.
  • A watch party featuring your submissions will take part at the end (date below!)

When does this take place?

  • Challenge start: September 20th
  • Practice days: September 20th - October 11th (21 days)
  • Watch party: TBD! Stay Tuned! (← link coming soon!)

How to start:

  1. Start by practicing one variation of your choice. Feel free to start with no. 1 or check out these SUGGESTED SELECTIONS
  2. After 2-3 days, go to our Biweekly Updates thread and post about one thing you found easy, and one thing you found hard
  3. If you are comfortable with it, add a video or audio of yourself performing it. This is optional, but it will allow you to share your progress with others!

I encourage you to post updates twice a week. No daily update expectation in this challenge! If you want to post daily though, feel free!  

After you post an update:

  • When you feel ready, move on to another variation.
  • Repeat steps 1-3 from above every day of the challenge.
  • There is no limit on long you can spend on each variation! Do whatever feels comfortable, as long as you keep practicing one of them every day.

Why are we doing this?

  • Because we want to challenge ourselves to practice every day
  • Because learning together is more fun than learning alone
  • Because we get to share our progress with others (whether video or just text)
  • Because new music is wonderful and these pieces were written especially for us!
  • Because we want to meet our fellow tonebase community members

The Fun Part:

  • At the end of our practice challenge, we will be hosting a Watch Party on tonebase LIVE! This will feature user submissions and shoutouts!


Can I join the challenge if I wasn't there on September 20th?

Yes! Just make sure you keep practicing every day and updating us twice a week.  

Do I have to go through all 6 variations?

Absolutely not. You are free to go practice as few or as many as you wish. Even spending the entire three weeks on a single variation can be very valuable!  

I have a question, who do I ask?

Feel free to use this thread to ask any questions you might have about this challenge! If you would prefer to ask something in a more confidential setting, please use my email: [email protected]

Can I do more than one variation per day?

Of course! As always, this challenge is for you - do with it what you wish. As long as you 1) practice every day; 2) keep track of your progress; 3) share your progress with others - you are fully participating! Of course I won't be mad if this is too easy for you 😉

↓ Reply with other questions below ↓

19replies Oldest first
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    • Pauline
    • Pauline
    • 10 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Thank you, Dominic! I am looking forward to this!

    Like 3
    • Rose Chen
    • Rose_Chen
    • 10 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Can’t wait!!! 

    Like 3
    • Rose Chen Me too!!

  • Thanks! I just started to practice with Thema, Var.1, 4 and Coda.

    Like 2
    • Gayaneh Lustermann Awesome! Can't wait to hear you!

    • Tyrone Boyle
    • Pianist, Houston Ballet
    • Tyrone_Boyle
    • 10 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I missed participating in the Liszt Challenge, so I'm looking forward to participating in this Beethoven one! 😁😍

    Like 5
    • Tyrone Boyle Amazing!!! Can't wait to hear you - welcome!!!!

      Like 1
  • Huge thanks Domenic! Been busy practicing a couple of challenging Liszt

    etudes for our Sydney Amateur Performers zoom session, due to lockdown ongoing .....Plus problems with software stuff, alas no family here let alone a 7 year old grandson to sort out for me age 82.

    Your Beethoven variations piece I never heard before, although Beethoven is my God!

    I am making a very deliberate decision to not hear it played! Because:....

    Most other stuff except your previous “variations” I have heard at least on record if not live, umpteen times.

    My initial impressions? Think “Opera Buffo”, rather basic German humor, older baritone with hiccups vs pretty young lady singing..... duet? .. Who wins?

    Variations by nature must be “varied”, never all the same and boring

    .To me, variation 6 should spin like a wind, followed by a very quirky coda, many changes in tempi, ending with a little Beethoven flourish! Sans tempo indication. (I proudly do not possess a metronome........ had one decades a year ago but not seen since... maybe on a bonfire?)


    Nick Marshall

    Like 3
    • Nick Marshall This sounds like a great strategy, and I love your descriptions of these different variations! Good luck on your practice and I look forward to hearing you!

      Like 1
    • Nick Marshall Thanks! 🙂👍

      Like 1
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 10 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nick Marshall I love your descriptions!  Please tell us more about your Sydney Amateur group.  I belong to one in Atlanta, GA but we have members who log in from all over the world.  

      Like 1
    • Nick Marshall Gail Starr 

      Like 1
  • Hi Gail

    Thanks for your interest. The Amateur Performers is a group of keen amateur musicians founded in Sydney and run by the president Ilma Cave.

    there are over 100 members who come and go but at our regular events on the last Sunday of the month usually only 15 or so participate both as audience and performers. Membership is free and as well as live performances, including a guitarist, a singer and other instrumentalists but mostly pianists, we have live and concurrent zoom meetings/performances ad at least one overseas audience participant in London. I found most benefit was the experience of performing in semi public to a sympathetic audience, to help overcome performance anxiety,

    Contact [email protected] who would make you welcome.

    best wishes


    Like 3
    • Chad Leatherman
    • Pianist and Instructor
    • Chad_Leatherman
    • 10 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I just joined.  So probably too late to start this one. Looking forward to the next challenge.

    Like 2
    • Chad Leatherman Welcome! Sounds good, join us next time!

    • Pauline
    • Pauline
    • 10 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Welcome, Chad! :D

    Like 1
  • I just start to practice it today! I will try to do my best! lol! Happy to be here! 

    Like 1
    • Aline Valade Welcome! :)

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