How long to get to grade 1 piano

(19 Posts)
puffinnuffin Thu 11-Jul-13 23:09:36

My DD took 5 years from age 5-10 years! Yes 5 years. I don't really understand why as she is musical and I am a music teacher (though not the piano). I have now changed her teacher and wish I had done so sooner but was worried about upsetting the teacher.

Moominmammacat Thu 11-Jul-13 22:18:27

My DS (19) has just got a 10 year old girl from start to Grade One in six months. She has a diligent mother who supervises practice.

DS1 started piano at 7. He took his prep test after around 10 months (aged 8), then Grade 1 around a year later (aged 9). He has then had a year or so of playing "for fun" as he got worked up about his exam and also changed teacher, but has just started working towards Grade 2. I imagine he will take that in around 6 months time, by which time he will be 11.

He practices 6 days out of 7, but has a lot of other interests (football, cricket, choir etc) so it isn't the be all and end all. He is however taking up violin too in September so will have to practise more

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Thu 04-Jul-13 07:14:02

DD took four terms. She practises every day though, which makes a massive difference. She is not so bothered about the clarinet and is much less good at that.

othersideofchannel Thu 04-Jul-13 07:07:32

There really is no 'typical'. My dd1 took gr 1 within two terms and then skipped to gr 3 within the following year. She loves music, is musical and has just taken gr 6 in piano and violin.
My dd2 however took 2 years to get to gr 1 and has since stopped taking piano lessons, preferring instead other hobbies.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Mon 01-Jul-13 22:46:12

DS2 started at 6.5 and took his Grade 1 at 8.5, then picked up speed and skipped to Grade 4 in 18 months. I think he got a very solid base in the first 2 years which has stood him in good stead.

His teacher gives lots of repertoire and then prepares for an exam at the level they are at.

DeWe Mon 01-Jul-13 12:51:58

Dd1 did her prep test after 3 terms and grade 1 after 6 terms. i get the impression from her teacher that's standard for a child who practices and has some musical ability-although at that stage the practice is more important.
She then did an exam every year through to grade 4, but will be taking 4 terms for grade 5 (lack of practice!)

MadeOfStarDust Mon 01-Jul-13 10:01:21

yep - my kids started age 6 and 7 and took grade 1 at age 9 and 10 - one decided no more exams, the other did grade2 age 11 and grade 3 age 12 - so took a while to get going and then one a year for us... to start with we didn't envisage exams at all, but they both wanted to have a go when they felt confident enough.

It does take longer to get from absolute beginner to grade one, than from grade 1 to 2 etc as there are so many skills to get to grips with before even looking at exam pieces. Also, if you start the pieces too early you run the risk at studying the same three pieces foe aaaaaaages and getting quite bored. Also the idea of entering pupils for first exam when they are not super ready is not the best idea.

I would say approx 1 year to get basic music reading skills (in the left hand and right hand which are both different), basic listening skills and playing basic hands together. Then another year to get up to grade 1 standard.

I find my parents, while they don't want to concentrate on exams, like the idea of having a structure to work with, as do the pupils. But, I tend to encourage more 'repertoire' work, i.e. letting the pupils choose pieces they love and really want to learn as well as exam stuff - because enjoying the music is whats its about smile

snorkie Tue 29-Dec-09 18:17:52

They say roughly one grade per year is average for music exams, but I've heard quite a few people say that piano grade 1 is harder and takes longer than on other instruments. There's a huge range of normal though and some teachers like children to be distinction level before they enter them too whereas others are more gung-ho which adds more variation to the timings as well as the childrens own differences in learning speed/amount of practice.

MrsWeasley Tue 29-Dec-09 15:39:25

My DD started Piano in year 4 so aged 8/9 and has just done her prep test and she is now year 6 (10yo) But teacher didnt want to push her into tests as she can get very upset and depressed when she is under pressure. She did very well and cant wait to do her grade 1 now!

thirtypence Tue 29-Dec-09 00:14:14

I've had lots of boys that have taken 2-3 years starting at 6 or 7, but one boy would be ready now after 2 terms.

annasmami Tue 22-Dec-09 18:16:46

DD started piano aged 6 (sept term of Y2) and took her grade 1 the following May (without any prep test beforehand) - she loves music and has since started the violin, so she is probably more musical than average. Her piano teacher is preparing her for her grade 3 exam this coming May (so she will skip grade 2).

DS on the other hand is not as interested in music so will take much longer before he is likely to take any exams.

Hulababy Mon 21-Dec-09 20:07:57

DD started piano at 6y mid January. Not done any tests or anything yet. We are, however, deliberately taking it slowly, and doing it more for fun at this stage. She has a lesson a week and practises when she remembers!

AMerryScot Mon 21-Dec-09 19:43:08

DD took her prep test just under a year after starting. Her piano teacher raves about her, and her sisters are not yet at the same stage despite starting at the same time.

It really depends on how much they practise.

PixieOnaChristmasTree Mon 21-Dec-09 19:38:16

I would guess between six months and a year and a half, really depending on:

- How much practise is done

- How much natural talent the child had

- How much the teacher wants to get pupils through exams

I think that it really does depend, though.

LIZS Mon 21-Dec-09 19:35:17

dd took her Prep test after 3 terms and will do Grade 1 this summer (6 terms)

LIZS Mon 21-Dec-09 19:35:06

dd took her Prep test after 3 terms and will do Grade 1 this summer (6 terms)

yummyyummyyummy Mon 21-Dec-09 19:27:07

for a child who started at age 7 ?I guess the answer is as long as a piece of string but a 'typical' answerwould be useful.Thanks

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