grade 5 piano age 9/10

(43 Posts)
wintertimeisfun Wed 13-Feb-13 15:03:12

i know my dd isn't g&t, she's good but not that good but i was wondering out of curiosity......having just turned 10 (few weeks ago) is it average/quite standard or above average for her to be taking her g5 piano probably around may/june? just wondered how she compared (her teacher seems really pleased with her but i am wondering if she dishes this out to everyone), cheers

OddBoots Wed 13-Feb-13 15:04:43

That sounds very good to me, my dd is the same age, she plays viola not piano but she is only just doing grade 1. smile

meditrina Wed 13-Feb-13 15:04:55

Very much above average. My DSes are good, but the earliest one started Grade 5 preparation was age 12.

Its entirely dependant on how long she's been playing. Since the ages of 4-6 pretty standard but if from 8 or 9 she's doing well.

wintertimeisfun Wed 13-Feb-13 15:12:47

she started learning when she was about 7 1/2. she also plays the violin (started about 1 1/2 years ago) and is taking grade 3 at easter. tbh i am very proud of her although i keep it quiet (don't make a big deal about it, we are quite laid back in our house ie don't force her to do alot of practive, actually we are lucky if she does more than 10 minutes). my dh is a prof' keyboard player and her gran was a piano teacher and plays cello in an orchestra. she certainly doesn't (sadly) get it from me but it is a joy to listen to when she plays with her pa smile

chocoluvva Wed 13-Feb-13 16:11:26

It's very good. My DD who goes to a specialist music school now did grade 5 piano and grade 4 violin aged 11.

titchy Thu 14-Feb-13 09:59:04

It's very good! My dd has been learning piano for 2.5 years as well and is only doing G4 next month and she's much older!

TotallyBS Thu 14-Feb-13 10:11:56

DS was grade 5 at the age of 11 after 2.5 years. It's his second instrument so he had a boost because he could already read music. For others whose main instrument is the piano, grade 6-7 seem to be the norm at that age.

I am of course talking about kids for whom music is a significant part of their lives.

newgirl Thu 14-Feb-13 16:36:53

It's very good - 2/3 is more usual for age 10.

At our local very selective school though to be considered for music scholarship y6 girls need to g5 or above in 2 instruments to be considered, so there will be a handful of children if not more in uk working at that level.

TallulahMcFey Fri 15-Feb-13 08:18:30

Yeah definitely above average. My 10 and a half year old has been playing the piano 2 and a half years and will take her grade 3 in the summer. My older daughter was, I think, more musical and at this age was grade 5 recorder, grade 3 flute, grade 2 guitar and piano (having only recently started both). However, I think it is harder to achieve a grade 5 piano than recorder and she consistently got merits and distinctions on it, as opposed to the merits/passes on other instruments. I can remember though that her grade 3 flute was considered a relatively high grade for her age. However, many private school children having music lessons will be expected to reach grade 5 by end of primary. Can't personally see the hurry though and at the rate of a grade a year (if grade 3 at end of primary) they are set to do grade 5 at end of year 8 and grade 8 from year 11 onwards. I know that you aren't pushing though and your daughter is just naturally at that level.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 15-Feb-13 08:28:58

The more she practices the better she'll be and depends how early she started of course.

How good it is depends on her objective. People I know who went on to be in the National Youth Orchestra, go to music college and become professional, or try to, had done grade 8 by age 12 and practised 3+ hours a day through their teens.

To be a good and happy amateur, getting to grade 8 by 15 would be great, as then preparation for exams doesn't clash with important school exams and she'll be able to enjoy the opportunities of long teen years playing at a high standard.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 15-Feb-13 08:32:43

Just read your second post. If she wants to be really good, she will have to get into the habit of practising, a lot. There will come a point where winging it on 10 minutes isn't enough and everyone else who was as good pulls away from her, which could come as a shock.

ZolaBuddleia Fri 15-Feb-13 08:36:02

Depends on how long she's been learning. I did grade 5 aged 10 and went on to do music at university, but I wasn't good enough to be a full time professional musician. Could have been a music teacher though.

ZolaBuddleia Fri 15-Feb-13 08:38:30

It's great that she's playing with your DH, piano can be a bit of a lonely instrument. How lovely that they play together.

FriendlyLadybird Fri 15-Feb-13 12:17:00

I don't think you can say that the actual grade is good or not. It depends on how long she's been playing and what her teacher's policy is about exams. But what sort of marks has she been getting? High distinctions? In which case, very good indeed. Merits and lowish distinctions? Good but not outstanding.

Moominsarehippos Fri 15-Feb-13 12:19:05

There was a boy at DSs school concert playing grade 5 piano (beautifully). He must have been Year 5. My friend teachers and says that you can do a grade every 2 terms if you practise.

perspective Fri 15-Feb-13 19:08:15

Yes, I think this is good but not wholly unusual as an earlier poster said. My dc Year 6 is preparing for G 5 on 2 instruments, piano and a string. He achieved distinctions in his other exams. I know of 1 other in his school preparing for G 5 and a couple who were Year 6 last year. At our local music school ( reasonably sized town ) there are around 20 kids at Grade 5 or so.

She would def be on track for a scholarship though!

Haberdashery Sun 17-Feb-13 21:57:47

I don't think it's unusual but it's good. Not sure about scholarships, though. At the selective secondary school I went to (not a music school but with a strong music tradition) I entered with grade 6 in my first instrument and grade 5 at my second (both distinctions). I was absolutely nothing special (most people had grade 4 or 5 or 6 in at least one instrument on entry) and it wasn't even a music school - I had been treated as quite the genius at my very ordinary primary school so it was a bit disappointing! Anyway, I ended up a second violin in the school orchestra and the leader of the first violins is now a professional musician (I believe she is near the back of the second violins in a symphony orchestra that most of you will have heard of).

Schmedz Mon 18-Feb-13 23:03:27

She is obviously musical but it is astonishing how many other children of that age are at a similar level in two or three instruments. As long as she enjoys it and is making progress, it sounds like she is experiencing what music should be about! I am a music teacher and the most exceptional child I've ever taught was Grade 8 distinction in cello and grade 7 piano before she turned 11. And she was a real musician, not just one of those children who churn through the grades only playing 3 pieces for their exam and passing with adequate technique and not much else! Once you get to intermediate/advanced levels in particular there is so much more to playing than just passing grades. The difference between 'being grade x' and learning to be a musician... Best to always focus on the latter, compose and create your own music, and work hard at perfecting technique. Balance that with playing for fun too.

TotallyBS Tue 19-Feb-13 07:20:10

For scholarships, at least at the more selective schools, a pianist is expected to be grade 7 whereas a violinist for example is 'only' expected to be grade 5.

I mentioned the above just in case the OP has one eye on a scholarship.

MoppingMummy Tue 19-Feb-13 07:31:13

She sounds like she's doing well. My dd is 9yrs old (yr4) and will be taking grade 5 violin in 4 weeks. It's likely she'll have taken grade 7 by yr6 (possibly grade 8).

This sounds really good, but we attend a conservatoire for lessons and it's full of amazing, gifted musicians and we often feel like we're trying to keep up!!! There are a few Chinese children who took grade 5 in yr3 and will have definitely done grade 8 by yr6 and most of them play two or three instruments! It's amazing.

Next step will be grade 5 theory.

hardboiled Sat 23-Feb-13 12:19:17

For scholarships, at least at the more selective schools, a pianist is expected to be grade 7 whereas a violinist for example is 'only' expected to be grade 5.

totallyBS sorry but just wanted to correct you here...because this is something I keep hearing and almost put us off trying for a music scholarship. My DS received five music scholarship offers a week ago. He played Grade 5 piano in his auditions.

Schmedz Sat 23-Feb-13 15:41:58

Hard boiled, he has done well. Must be a very musical boy, especially to be offered with piano!
You must be really proud - hope he enjoys his choice of school.

There is no hard and fast rule, BS. Schools out of London tend to have lower minimum standards advertised (not necessarily lower calibre applicants) whereas grade 5 or 6 for piano/strings and slightly lower for w'wind/brass/percussion is not unusual. The junior college/academies get so many pianist/violinist applicants they tend to insist on higher minimum grade for those instruments.
It also sometimes depends what instruments the school is lacking in its student body. Any half decent oboist, trombonist, French horn, double bass, viola or bassoon player is pretty much a shoe-in!
Also, some schools have lower minimum grade standards because they realise not all children learn from an early age. To achieve Grade 5 by Year 6 is the least I would expect from a musically inclined child who started learning when they were 5 or 6 , but if someone began a few years later and reached that standard, that would be super-impressive!

Schmedz Sat 23-Feb-13 15:42:53

Hardboiled...does he also play any other instruments/sing?

wintertimeisfun Sat 23-Feb-13 17:31:02

thank you hardboiled. dd was going to try on the off chance for a music scholarship but after reading some of the posts on here i wasn't going to bother. a big well done to your ds!! you must be over the moon/very proud smile

chocoluvva Sat 23-Feb-13 22:32:40

My DD got into a scottish music school at grade 5 piano aged 11. The auditions involved aural tests, mini lessons, ensemble playing and discussing music played by the testers as well as playing on two instruments.

Her friend started playing french horn as a third study aged 12 and is now playing with NYOB at the age of 16.

hardboiled Sun 24-Feb-13 20:32:29

schmedz and wintertime, thank you, yes, in a happy state of permanent shock. I forgot to add to my post that these are not schools out of London where the requirements may be lower, they are all hugely competitive top London schools. He plays another instrument Grade 5 standard but not orchestral, and he does not sing and did not offer singing.

I really really don't mean to brag. I just want to destroy the HORROR TALES and encourage children who love music. The people you will have in the panels are heads of the music departments and teachers. This is their job. They know how to tell between a child who loves and feels the music he/she is playing and a child who doesn't but has been pushed through the grades for the sake of the scholarship - and sometimes on an instrument not of his choice! And don´t forget they chat to them.

chocoluvva thank you for your uplifting addition!

wintertimeisfun Sun 24-Feb-13 21:21:57

hardboiled thanks for that. we live in east london and BOY, is it competative. funny, i was so ignorant and naive, didn't know until recently about the correlation between playing two instruments and scholarships. dd played the piano and asked if she could learn the violin, this was out of the blue, i was against it at first but she wanted to. when i used to wait outside her classroom to collect her from her music lessons i would regularly overhear other mothers bragging to each other about this and that with regard to getting a scholarship. her music teacher told me in confidence that many of her pupils don't really want to be there but are being pushed. a girl in dd's class has the pushiest mother, does everything by the book although i admire her in part but wouldn't want to be like her. her dd plays three instruments, has singing lessons, plays in about three orchestras. can't imagine how her dd has time to do anything else (she does many other out of school things too). dd is good when she applys herself but distracted by many other things but i let her be as i want her to be happy. i still doubt highly that she would get a scholarship as she would be up against TOUGH competition although her teacher seems to think very highly of her. i am very proud of her. she is everything and more i could have asked for in a child, i am very lucky as i only have one smile (sorry to waffle, am in a thoughtful mood)

wintertimeisfun Sun 24-Feb-13 21:24:09

ps: oddly enough, dd has a fabulous voice. no, she doesn't have singing lessons (and won't) but just appears to have a lovely natural singing voice with a great unforced natural vibrato, so jealous, always wanted to sing. i worked in the music industry for nearly twenty years and have heard some voices (used to work in the dept that looked for new talent to sign for a record company). perhaps she should sing when she auditions (if that is the right word?)...

hardboiled Sun 24-Feb-13 22:13:20

She will have to sing as there is an aural test and quite tough. So don't worry, they will hear her voice!

Schmedz Tue 26-Feb-13 20:24:10

Crossing fingers for my DD who did an audition today for a music scholarship for senior school in September. She seemed very happy with herself and had a positive experience of it all so no matter the outcome, I am really proud of all the hard work she put in. Lots of stiff competition though, so waiting anxiously for outcome ( and really pleased about musical standard of her potential peers if she doesn't get one!). Am encouraged by the success of hardboiled's DS as she is around grade 5 piano as her second instrument but I fear that won't be enough at this school....

Schmedz Tue 26-Feb-13 20:27:01

Ps. She also said they asked her to sing something on the spur of the moment so she played and sang a song from Matilda and apparently reduced one of the panel to tears (hoping this was in a good way!)!

wintertimeisfun Tue 26-Feb-13 21:33:44

best of luck schmedz

Schmedz Tue 26-Feb-13 21:49:17

Thank you! It would be so good for her self esteem to be successful at this.

hardboiled Wed 27-Feb-13 11:09:13

Best of luck to her Schmedz! The Matilda song anecdote sounds just the right thing!!

whistleahappytune Wed 27-Feb-13 11:19:31

Hardboiled could I add my congratulations? That is so very good to hear. Like you I'm in London with a musical child, and like you heard horror stories about the vicious competitiveness of music scholarships (abandon hope all ye who enter...) and basically had crossed that idea off my list of possibilities.

Perhaps I'll reconsider. Again, well done do your DC, and thanks for the encouragement.

musicalfamily Wed 27-Feb-13 15:41:00

Slightly surprised about being asked to sing. My DD1 was accepted on a JD (also extremely competitive) and was never asked to sing; she was asked to play both her instruments, do lots of musical tests and interviews but not singing. Maybe some of these schools want children who are also able to join the choir?

If this is true of all scholarships then my DD won't stand a chance as she absolutely hates singing and has never sang a song from beg to end!

hardboiled Wed 27-Feb-13 16:09:15

Don't panic. DS was not asked to sing except the usual aural test such as having to sing back a melody or the middle or lower o highest note in the chord they have played etc.

musicalfamily Wed 27-Feb-13 20:31:57

Ah that's good to know! Thanks for your reply hardboiled

Schmedz Fri 01-Mar-13 18:01:56

Bad news today for DD as she did not get this particular music scholarship. There was a field of 12 and the standard was apparently 'extremely high' so at least if the other girls who did not get the scholarship take up their place at the school, she will be in good musical company.
I am wondering just how high the standard of the 'winner' was as DD is grade 5 (distinction level) piano after 18 months of learning, about Grade 6/7 on violin (and was 1st violin with an NCO orchestra in 2012)' sings and composes her own music, has perfect pitch, and is a thoroughly committed member of a number of school ensembles (both selective and non selective) and has a very humble attitude. Thought she had quite a good chance, really!
Ah well, she will still enjoy her music and that is what it is really all about, isn't it?!

hardboiled Fri 01-Mar-13 23:22:14

Sorry to hear Schmedz, I am astounded at her level of playing and commitment, and she still didn't get it...Gosh. But as you say, she can still enjoy her music, play in the orchestras, ensembles, etc and end up playing better than many music scholars. I wish her the best.

wintertimeisfun Sat 02-Mar-13 18:46:44

sorry to read that (schmedz) - i may as well give up any hope i had for dd has if your dd didn't get one with all that under her belt then it must be virtually impossible. at the end of the day if she is good and wants to persue a career in music then it doesn't matter about the school. i worked in the music industry for nearly 20 years including for a major record label for 16 and trust me, most of the people i met didn't go to a swish special music school, if it is in them and they want it enough they will make something of themselves. the way i see it, aside from music, if a child is good and works hard at ANY school (within reason) they will should do well in adult life. i know MANY people that went to good private schools, including both of my cousins and neither of them nor many of the people i know who went private, went on to have successful careers

Schmedz Sat 02-Mar-13 19:31:28

I still think it is worth applying, winter - I know at least two of the other candidates who applied as they are also good friends and they are equally accomplished, of not more so. I do think that perhaps it was an exceptionally difficult field of candidates to 'beat' and I don't think that is the 'norm'.
It is also a great experience to set a goal and work to achieve it. She did actually enjoy the audition experience and received some positive feedback during the audition, so she is very glad she tried, and the letter saying she was unsuccessful also said they are looking forward to having her contribution to the music department should she decide to accept her offer of a place. I am positive that she will have some fantastic options for extracurricular music should all these super-capable musicians also accept their places!!
The school is great and has fantastic musical opportunities..I am sure she will enjoy taking part and will have her chance to shine, so to speak. It isn't a specialist music school so she will benefit from a bit more balance!

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