How many pieces do you work on at a time?
Logic tells me that I should work on one piece, nay even one small part of a piece and, perhaps one etude at a time. Indeed that is what I was compelled to do as a child. However, I have found that this simply does not work for me for two main reasons. First, boredom. Working a passage or even a piece kills its music in my mind and equally kills my desire to practice. The piece (and even etude) ends up as a chore and not a pleasure. This was a definite factor that caused me to quit the first time. Second, I actually get worse. After early progress the problem sections seem to become insurmountable and eventually every time I come to the same hard passage my mind seems to have given up any chance of conquering it.
If, however, I work on too many pieces I keep the interest and my mind sees each problem zone freshly - but the progress on any one becomes rather slow. However, I keep playing with enjoyment and interest and that is surely the most important factor to treasure. So what is the ideal combination? So a bit of honesty here: I'm practicing 1-2 hrs a day and seem to be having fun and making progress with a combination of Accolay 1st, Mozart 3rd, Handel 4th, Beethovern Romance in G and one etude (Kayser). But I still throw in many others for cullinary variety: Bach A minor, Spring sonata, and an almost infinite number of beautiful tunes from anthologies and whatever is lying on my deliciously messy music desk :)
Am I nuts? Obviously, I have the luxury of this approach since I don't play for a living but live to play. How about you?
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