I was wondering the criteria you (or your teacher) used in choosing concerto repertoire. Did you always just play the next hardest piece? Did you learn pieces just for "completeness"? Did your teacher give you pieces that were a stretch or only at/around your level? Does it depend on your goals? Does it sometimes come down to other factors, like picking a more/less common piece or the same/different piece from your best friend?
I think my son's teacher is spot on in her choices for my son, who has professional aspirations and is just finishing 8th grade. Her strategy this year with him has been to learn a ton of the pieces in Group I of the list for completeness, with a focus on the ones that are likely to be needed as a professional (i.e. no to Conus; yes to Mozart 3). None of the pieces was a stretch for him this year, though he did improve lots of general techniques. He played in full Lalo, Wieniawski 2, Mozart 3, and now Saint Saens 3. It typically only took him 2-4 weeks on each movement, though he spent some more time on movements he used in competitions and invited performances. He also learned the rest of Bach Partita 3 and all of Bach Sonata 1, and 4 Paganini caprices (13, 14, 16, 20).
The kids in his program tend to wait a little longer than most to play the Group 2/3 pieces, but they tend to play them really well once they do play them. For example, virtually none of them play anything in Group 2 until they are in high school.
I know we get a ton of "what should I play next?" questions here and that's not what I am interested in. I want to know people's thoughts on why you (or your teacher) make the choices you do.Tweet
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