Here's a question I posted in the Alfred's Book One Thread on PW.
What part of the learning process for a given piece is the most beneficial to long-term expertise? To illustrate what I mean, suppose there is a learning curve for a new piece, which can be broken up into five stages:
- Stage 1 - I sound like a complete idiot. It's like I've never played piano before. It takes a very long time to stagger through the new piece, and it is very painful to listen to this part of the process. (Lately, this has taken a couple of hours.)
- Stage 2 - Innocent bystanders can start to make out the tune, but I'm still not at tempo, and make errors all over the place. (Lately, this stage has been very brief, but I reckon will get longer as the complexity increases.)
- Stage 3 - A period of refinement where everything gets smoother. Once in awhile, I even make it the whole through piece without an error, causing me to think I am further along than I really am. To me, this is the fun part.
- Stage 4 - A lengthy period of time where the last couple of kinks get ironed out.
- Stage 5 - Perfection. I can play the piece in my sleep, at tempo, without errors, and it sounds like real music. (Scientists have theorized as to the existence of this stage, but it has not been directly observed in my universe.)
In which of those stages am I improving the most? Which is the most valuable? Reason I ask is, more and more, I am finding myself putting considerable time in the Stage 4, ironing out the little things that trip me up. And I am beginning to question whether or not this is the best use of my practice time.
I may pose this question to the teachers at PW, but if you have any insights, I'd love to hear them.
I'm going to miss out on that Pramberger JP-52 on eBay. Somebody placed a bid ($2,000), and there is no reserve. The timing just didn't work out for us. On the other hand, that Astin-Weight once again failed to meet it's reserve bid, so those kind folks at ANR still have it sitting in their warehouse. I think Jillian and I might pay them a visit on Friday (she has no school for some reason). It would be interesting to compare it with one of their Wendl & Lung uprights, or a used U1 or U3.