So what do you guys do? Measure by measure perfecting as you go before moving on? Sight read the whole piece first? Roughly learn it all then perfect?
I feel like I am missing a trick here which is hampering my progress.
I just chime in. I'm a beginner, started July 2014, never played the piano before.
You're aware that the mentioned music piece from Chopin is level 5. I wanted to play Pachelbel Canon in D , level three, so I totally understand. You want to love what you hear.
I really think you just have to listen to yourself plus a little disciplin. I practice daily for one hour and on most days I start with scales. To loosen up so to speak. I play C, G, F, D major quite well now and work on B and A. I remember how slow it was at the beginning and how I had to watch the fingering. Not necessary anymore. I also practice chord inversions. If I dont feel like it I only practice music pieces. I mean I do my duty on technical stuff and it does help a lot.
Pachelbel was challenging for me at the beginning although the arrangement is really easy. I started with the most difficult measures. Again and again and again HS of course. This is the phase where you just have to do it and not think, just do it. Then the next one, or two or three. Again and again. Repetition in the correct way. and the memorizing just happens without any extra effort. Sometimes I put a piece aside and forget about it for a while.
This method worked for me very well when my teacher gave me Schubert: Sentimental waltz. When I saw the sheet music, well I thought I will never be able to play this. That was April this year and it's level 6. I can play it now, very slowly, still struggling with some of the chords, but it feels easier than the Pachelbel. Crazy. Sometime I just repeat many times a series of fingering to get it smoother. And it works!
I would really like to hear what you did with all this advice from here and experience exchange. I know it will getter better and better. Good luck for you.