Neglected to Mention
One thing I've neglected to mention is what I'm learning piano on. No, it's not a Steinway. Far from it. More like it's polar opposite. It's a RockJam 54-Key Portable Electronic Keyboard. Yes, it has 54 keys.
Modern pianos have 88 keys: 52 white and 36 black. Older pianos have 85 keys.
My concern is that a truncated keyboard may impose limitations on learning certain songs, like the intro to So What. Will those gorgeous opening chords so lovingly handcrafted by Bill Evans need to be modified? I don't know. I've delegated the question to a piano teacher who actually replied to my inquiry and will get back to you.
An interesting passage I read about Steinway pianos, from the book Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible by Alan Rusbridger:
‘Steinway has its own forest?’ He looked at me quizzically, as if wondering how this could possibly be news to anyone. Yes, it has its own forest and it takes the wood from the centre of the forest, where the trees have to grow taller in order to reach the light. The trees are therefore straighter, which means you get a superior cut of wood for the soundboard. Other, lesser, piano manufacturers presumably have to make do with the punier spruce trees at the edge of whichever plantation serves as their source.
There's a documentary on the making of the Steinway, but I haven't watched it. Not sure if I ever will either, as this kind of esoterica will not help me learn piano, music theory, or the intro to So What.