The discussion at this point in the thread is a general discussion about the back to front approach. In all discussions of this method in the past, what I described has been what the back to front approach has been assumed to be .....
The discussion starts this way, with a student asking a question. This is important, because that is our context.
Hello. My piano instructor is encouraging me to learn piano pieces from the end. That is, learn the last measure, then next to last, etc.
Has anyone heard about this method? Thanks.
I was once a student starting out, asking questions, and also reading discussions on such questions before having the full picture. Even if a student managed to understand an instruction correctly and managed to convey it as intended in a forum, there is more to it. But also, music learning is not like math or physics. 1 + 1 is always 2, and no teacher is going to teach something different. Music teaching is more subtle and varied, because music is. Unless a group of teachers are all following some same book or methodology system, and all of them follow it strictly and verbatim, there will be no universal thing that everyone does the same way. "Practise backward" will be as varied as the many teachers mentioning such a thing, and the moment in time that a teacher is giving this to a student at some point in his/her journey. We cannot say that "it is this precise thing, defined this way". That is not how teaching works, esp. internationally in this kind of environment. It would even be so in a same city. There is no such thing as one specific way. And this is not a science or cooking forum, where we are speculating the right timing for cooking eggs. Students are trying to wend their way through what they are encountering.
Meanwhile, when a student asks a question, there may be a more important question that the student doesn't know to ask. A good teacher will go over to that other question. There may be other broader, related things. For example, to know that you don't have to work in the order that the music is in, or with all the notes - that you can do things.
Meanwhile, the "backward" idea itself. If the student has a little 12 measure piece, that instruction will be different than if there is a whole sonata - both because of the size of the piece, and the level the student is likely to be at. In the sonata, you're looking for exposition - development - recap; the themes within them. But you may also get into some sticky area, where for 5 measures "working backward" might just be the bee's knees. A teacher who has led the student through the stages will adapt and grow the instruction. If we are learners, it's important to know these things.
Above all, if you disagree with a defined concept, and if that is not necessarily being taught, it will create a problem - can deprive a student of possible tools - because that defined concept isn't what is being taught in the first place. This goes back to the idea of "everyone uses the same textbook and methodology" which I don't think is true overall.
Sorry for writing this much. Hopefully I got some ideas out. Bowing out.