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Posted By: Tom97 Time to move on (method books) - 08/23/19 10:31 PM
I am currently using the piano adventures method book and I think it´s great. I have a teacher and even though I have pieces assigned by my teacher, I also work with the method book at home as extra work. The teacher isn´t really into method books but understands why I use one (I am goal-oriented and need to have a structured plan ...). Time to time, I play something from the method book to my teacher (particularly if it´s something tricky or if I am not sure about sth).

The problem is that I don´t know how much time I should spend on any given piece from the method book. There are plenty of them (about 90 including the exercises) and obviously, I am not going to spend a week on each, trying to polish it up if I know that those baby pieces will never be a real part of my repertoire.
On the other hand, I also don´t want to progress through the book too quickly - that´s the other extreme. Usually, I just read through the music a few times - RH, LH, hands together very slow, then slow a couple of times slowly increasing the tempo and then at full speed.
There are plenty of videos on youtube done by teachers so I can see and hear how those pieces are supposed to sound - when I feel like I am close enough (I hit the right notes, I can keep the rhythm, it sounds like the thing being played on the video), I move on. It takes me 1 practice session to finish 1 piece now (sometimes I get back to it the next day, sometimes not). Any ideas? How do I know I can move on? Please note that I am asking this with respect to method books, I understand that a different approach has to be taken when playing regular pieces. Thank you.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Time to move on (method books) - 08/24/19 01:16 AM
Originally Posted by Tom97
It takes me 1 practice session to finish 1 piece now (sometimes I get back to it the next day, sometimes not). Any ideas? How do I know I can move on? Please note that I am asking this with respect to method books, I understand that a different approach has to be taken when playing regular pieces. Thank you.

What is it you want to get out of the pieces in the method books?

If it's just to ensure you're keeping up with the skills required by them, you should move on just as soon as you've gotten what you want out of them, regardless of whether you can play them perfectly or to a similar standard as what you hear from others on YT.

That's the way wise teachers would move their students on......... smirk
Posted By: Groove On Re: Time to move on (method books) - 08/24/19 03:16 AM
My personal rule for short-term learning pieces/exercises is to practice them for 7-10 days as mindfully as possible, making sure that the last repetition of each session is as perfect and mindful as possible. (Not necessarily at speed but perfect in all other ways).

I find that the 7-10 day rule is enough time for the brain to do a good job processing all the significant lessons from the piece/exercise.

On a side note, I’m still amazed at how powerfully the brain learns with one perfect-mindful repetition everyday for 7-10 days.
Posted By: earlofmar Re: Time to move on (method books) - 08/24/19 05:09 AM
there is no right or wrong answer here. It does sound like these exercises are too easy for you. You are currently assigned pieces, so your teacher will tell you when they think you have gone far enough with those. The exercises are additional, and therefore less important. Keep going until they become harder and you need to spend more time on them, that will become more obvious. If your exercises have dynamic markings then it is important to be able to play those, if not it might be good to experiment; perhaps starting soft and finishing loud or some other such combination.
Posted By: Tom97 Re: Time to move on (method books) - 08/24/19 08:29 AM
Thanks.

I realised it´s probably a bad idea to just focus on each piece one practice session and then never come back to it... There is no time for the brain to absorb things. So I´ll probably change that and focus on units instead of piece. There are approx. 5 pieces per unit so I´ll do a unit a week, focusing on more of those little pieces at once but playing through them every day during that particular week.

And yes the things from the method book (Adult piano adventures 1) are easy for me because I´ve already been playing for 6 - 7 months. I just wanted to make sure I get the absolute basics right and I believe the method books are designed in a way that helps to fill the potential knowledge gaps. When I move on to the second book, I bet the progress won´t be as fast as now.
Posted By: tangleweeds Re: Time to move on (method books) - 08/25/19 06:10 AM
Definitely make sure you have no problems with the dynamic markings or pedaling.
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