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You see, on previous occasions I have learned pieces slowly, whether they've been for exams or otherwise and committed them to memory, and just had the music on the stand for show. This in itself, whilst being good for playing music, has not been good for my learning to read music because it has had quite an obvious practice of cheating about it. But not any more.
Since I restarted lessons one month ago I have learned seven easy pieces, but now I'm actually studying the patterns of printed music (the shapes of the tune, the phrases, what a fourth/sixth/whatever 'looks like') and likened it to being back in infants school learning about squares, triangles, rectangles etc. Counting throughout either in my head or aloud enables me to automatically take care of the rhythm so I can devote more time to analysing these pitch shapes.
Also, reading the music away from the piano (on the bus, in the cafe etc) gives me a chance to look out for things like musical shapes and how I can train my fingers (e.g to 'feel' what a fourth is like using 1&4 or 2&5). Looking out for phrasing also, my teacher has told me it's easier to learn new pieces by phrase rather than bars (unless it's an unexpressive Baroque type piece).
I've always been in charity shops looking for used easy piano music and pieces have always had lots of pencilling in all over them. So that is something I also try and do now, just to remind myself to use a particular finger, or even if it's just to remind me to read ahead, something else that will come with practice also.
I keep on getting these Eureka! moments these days.....
I suppose once you learn how to sightread - you can again look at your fingers. It amazes me to see Horrowitz on youtube. He stares down at fingers as they dance this way and that - he almost seems to be a spectator!
Off topic maybe, but calling baroque unexpressive is a little unfair. There's an awful lot of emotion in, say a Scarletti Sonata (K.466 springs to mind), perhaps more noticeably on a piano. Even Bach's C prelude in C from WTC book1 certainly starts off with something that seems like pure 'joy' to me.
It's good to have you back on the forum. You've got me thinking re - " If Baroque 'expresses' anything, it''s grandiose and sheer opulence, usually."
I think the majority isn't opulent and grandiose - that it might be seen as such is probably the fault of the way it was played in the 20th century, until the period performance movement
arrived, for example http://www.aam.co.uk/#/who-we-are/aam-story.aspx.
I'm off to do more thinking about playing the piano (I get so little time to actually play it!)