Piano - should I memorize a piece before moving to the next one?

I've just started teaching myself piano from Alfred's adult piano book.

I'm confused as not sure when to progress to the next piece in a book:

- should I move to the next piece once I can play a piece flawlessly but sight reading or do I need to memorize it before so I can say I've learned it?

- also, does anyone know how long I'm supposed to work through book 1? Found somewhere it's for the whole year but that sounds so long to complete 1 book?


But I don't have a piano teacher.

As I said above, I am teaching myself.That's why I asked on here.

6 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Alfred's adult piano book 1 is intended for 1 year of study assuming adult with average musicality and without previous knowledge od playing. Having that in mind, actual time required vary widely from person to person from 3 months to 2 years.

    Adults who had several years of training in childhood but haven't practiced since, are capable of rapid progress of 10 pieces a day until they reach plateau when learning suddenly slows down to expected pace.

    You don't have to memorize the song unless you like it much and intend to play it later more often, for friends or for your own pleasure.

    To "play a piece flawlessly" doesn't mean just to hit all keys from sheet. Equally important is to get the spirit of the piece you play. If you play a valse without missing a single key and yet it doesn't sound like something to dance along, than something is wrong. It is common beginners mistake. In reality nobody will care if you miss a few notes here and there as long as overall feeling is correct.

    Since you don't have teacher compare your playing with CD that comes with such books, or if you don't have one then listen to recordings on YouTube, there are several channels devoted to Alfred's adult piano book.

    It is good habit to devote some of your practicing time to review of last few pieces you previously played. For example if you practice 1 hour per day, 10-20 minutes should be a review of what you have learned previously.

  • 2 months ago

    Since you're teaching yourself,it's up to you as to whether you  should memorize a piece or not. As for how long it will take you to complete the book no one can answer that. Each individual learns at a different rate. It depends on how quickly you progress, your practice habits and length of time you practice. That's why it helps to have an experienced piano teacher 

  • 2 months ago

    How do you know you are playing the piece correctly?  I am mostly self-taught but I started with lessons from a degreed teacher.  If you are comfortable playing a piece, you can move to another one.  Keep practicing the ones you already know.  

  • 2 months ago

    I mean, you COULD. Personally I don't really see the value in it. It's not a measure of how well you know the piece - you might have memorised it but still not be able to play it properly for instance. Equally you may not really be at a stage where you're capable of 'finishing' it, and it would be better (or at least more interesting) to refine your technique with a different piece of a similar standard.

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  • 2 months ago

    WITHOUT a decent teacher, you will have no idea if you are doing anything right or wrong.  So do what you want when you want - but do not expect to every learn to play even acceptably.  If self-teaching in music were a strong possibility, then THAT would have replaced years of lessons with a master - centuries ago.If you just want to flail and paddle thru things, then when you think it is *good enough* - move on.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Ask your piano teacher for help with this.

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