Originally posted by Stanza:
Improvisation/comping/playing from a fakebook/playing from a hymnal...
I.e. "professional" tools that might come in handy if asked to play in a band or accompany singers. [/b]
Interesting that you mention that, I was going to say the same. I believe often as pianists, pianists are one of the lonely breeds of musicians. They often sit for many lonely hours playing away at repertoire. As a singer myself I have found this to be quite the contrary, sure I would spend hours practicing by myself (with a piano) then I would meet up with an accompanist and sometimes work with other musicians in bands.
There is no need, I believe to restrict oneself to solo piano repertoire as there is a lot out there. Ensemble work is enjoyable, not only does it help develop a musician but social aspects also come into play.
Have you mentioned this to your teacher? I am aware that Trinity Guildhall supplies students with the option of doing an accompanying exams.
Also many people mentioned theory, I can't agree more that theory IS important. I think one problem is that theory is presented in books as tedious and dull. I think to really 'immerse' oneself and enjoy theory is having a student put it into application. This can be done through: analysis and composition.
In saying this, do you tell your teachers that you want to look into such areas in music?