I started the new term of piano lessons yesterday afternoon. (this makes what, the beginning of my third year at them?)
I'm still working on Hanon. I'm up to the so-called "transcendent" exercises (which makes me laugh a little - transcendence really doesn't describe how I feel the first 30 or so times I play one of them). I'm also working on a Kabalevsky piece - five themes on a Russian folksong or somesuch. It was "assigned" over break and I worked on it some (at least, during the time I was in my own house). My teacher said I had made good progress on it but you know, I can't quite "feel" Kalalevsky the way I can "feel" Bach. I think part of it is that I know and like Bach - have listened to his music since childhood - and I didn't even really know of the existence of Kabalevsky before I started piano.
(Even the Wikipedia page on him doesn't give me much of a feel for him - apparently he was well-liked by the Soviet leadership, he was big in music education, and his later works are sometimes described as "popular, bland, and successful." I suppose it's possible that there is more in common between Bach's worldview and mine than between Kabalevsky's and mine, and that's why I have a hard time feeling what he is trying to "say" with the piece I'm learning. But I do feel like I can't quite get inside the composer's head the way I can with some of the other stuff I've learned.)
I also concluded - to my teacher's satisfaction - the work on the theme from "Wachet Auf!" and now have started on an arrangement of Grieg's "Morning" (from Peer Gynt). I expect that this piece will be a not-very-many-weeks' work for me; I could pretty well play the arrangement through this morning with the first 20 minutes or so of trying it. (But sometimes it's kind of fun to have something you can master quickly).
One thing I am doing is going back and revisiting pieces I learned previously. I'm doing this partly to see my own progress - for example, reviving "Ecossaise in G," I realized that my fingers have become stronger and I'm much better at doing staccato notes "crisply" than I was back when I first learned it. But I'm also fond of the idea of having a memorized "repertoire" that I can pull out easily, either when I'm practicing and bored or having a hard time with what I'm trying to work on, or, on the off chance that either someone comes and visits me and wants to hear me play, or I'm somewhere where there's a piano and someone wants to hear me play.
Also, really, part of the reason I am learning piano is for the same reason that Madeline L'Engle talked about learning it: to be able to come home at the end of the day, and to be able to play a piece all the way through, with reasonable precision.
One of the things about learning anything - any new skill - is that there's a "hard part" and a "fun part." And you have to work through the hard part to get to the fun part. (Though if you're like me, sometimes the discipline and the progress of the "hard part" is kind of fun, too. Or at least rewarding.) And so, now that I can see that I'm approaching more of the "fun part" of being able to play the piano, I want to take advantage of it.