This piano playing seems like a hopeless enterprise today. I need specific advice about how to practice a piece. I have a teacher who is very kindly and supportive, but not really interested in pedagogy. When I played the baroque lute, my lute teacher was fantastic in this regard, and I've transferred as much of his teaching as possible to learning the piano, but there are gaps. For instance: 1. Should I memorize the entire piece hands separately first, as some recommend? I cannot seem to memorize to save my life, although my memory for other things (foreign languages, for example) is excellent. 2. Should I practice hands together very slowly, and gradually increase speed, or practice nearer to final speed, adding one note at a time? I seem unable to gradually increase speed... 3. How can I tell if the piece is too hard for me? I've been working on the first and second inventions, which actually seem to be going successfully, but they seem LONG. My brain gets tired before I get to the end of them, playing slowly. I've been working on the little preludes and fugues for organ, in F maj and g minor. The preludes especially seem about as easy as can be, but it's taken me weeks and weeks, and they're only four pages, total. The only pieces that have seemed like a challenge, but not too much of one, are the Burgmuller Op.100 pieces (which I found for myself). They're about a page each, and it seems very satisfying to complete one. It takes me about a week to learn one, so I assume the Bach is not too hard for me. The problem with the Bach for me is not the independence of the hands, which after an initial bump came easy: it's the constant modulation. With Burgmuller, you can say "ok, here's a phrase, it's self-contained, there are a bunch like it, blah blah." With the Bach, even though there may be motifs that are easy to recognize, or just arpeggios doing something like I-IV-V7-I, there's always some goddamn wrinkle. Anyway, what I want is a second teacher, whose job it will be to supplement the first, but not to take from him the decisions about repertory, etc. My current teacher has a lot of advantages: he's cheap (free, in fact), he likes me, he's a professional organist. What I really like about him is that he's always emphasized theory and "keyboard proficiency" over everything else. But he has nothing useful to say about things like: A. How do I play scales? Is arm rotation involved? How do I get my thumb under effectively? Is there a non-thumb-under way to do it? B. How do I play arpeggios? Is there arm rotation involved? C. I mostly want to play early music, specifically the organ works of Bach. How does one play detached? Just wing it? Special fingering? D. See C. How "quiet" should my hands be? E. I cannot seem to play descending thirds quickly (Burgmuller, Op.100, no 4, for example). How do I speed up? And a million other things. My teacher (father) learned all this stuff about 50 years ago, and he hasn't taught many people in the interval, so he honestly doesn't know any more how to impart the information. So I am starting a teacher search. Question for Chris: like you, I am interested in the organ and the piano. Which kind of teacher would you choose? Thanks for listening! Jim A.