The thing is, since moving to study with him instead of my previous teacher, everything I play seems so much more difficult. Even simple pieces such as the one mentioned here by MadTom:
Number 5 is pretty, but quite easy. It cannot be anywhere near Grade 5 level. I learned it by a mixture of playing by ear, and rote copying my grandmother, when I was 10, before I'd ever had a formal piano lesson.
Now, my new piano teacher (being half-Irish) has a tremendous love of Field's music, and when I first played the aforementioned Nocturne for him he made everything seem much more complicated and difficult, talking about how I had to listen to the decay of each note and consequently decide upon the exact amount of force with which I should hit the next note for example.
Also, when we went through Mozart's 'easy' sonata K545 (which many people describe as being of grade 5 level) there was so much to take in. He talked about the fact that there are three different voices to start with, not two, saying that the most important notes were the bass notes in the alberti bass and the melody notes in the right hand, and that the upper notes of the alberti bass were just there like 'stuffing' to fill the music out a bit. Similarly in bars 13-17 he mentioned that in the left hand semiquavers, the only important notes are the lower ones and the upper ones shouldn't be heard nearly as much. Phrasing and articulation based on things like harmony were other things he talked about and I was just completely baffled.
Can there really be this much to think about in performing a piece of music?? If so, then surely 'grade 5' pieces are much harder than 'grade 5'??
Does anyone else have any thoughts about this?