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to think young children who are grade 8 in piano

(56 Posts)
SnarfEggbert Sun 21-Oct-12 19:33:05

cannot really understand all that they are playing?

My dc is 6 and is taking his grade 2 (no stealth boast this is not a remarkable achievement), the step up from grade 1 to 2 is huge, so therefore to grade 8 must be extreme.

My dc is having to learn about dotted quavers being worth 0.75 of a crotchet and semi-quaver being worth 0.25 of a crotchet. And add semi-quaver's to minims and all sorts of fractional equations. And how 6/8 work etc. Now my dc can play the music, but is slower at the maths (and in class is classed as being advanced at maths) element of the music.

So these children who go through music rapidly at a young age, are they just taught the music without knowing really what they are playing? Or are they all maths prodigies as well?

And do they have theory of music as well, and the scales or just the music pieces?

CrapBag Sun 21-Oct-12 19:35:10

They may just be gifted at music so I think YABU. I wouldn't have thought they could get to grade 8 without being able to understand it.

Bproud Sun 21-Oct-12 19:35:32

Maths and music talent do often go together IME

Tailtwister Sun 21-Oct-12 19:36:18

I think at that age it's all intuitive tbh, that's what makes them gifted. To them it's all natural, just an extension of them really. So easy and natural, just like walking is to us. However, I believe there is a link between musical ability and mathematical ability. Something to do with the way the brain functions?

EdithWeston Sun 21-Oct-12 19:37:33

To be eligible to take grades 6,7 and 8 you have to have passed grade 5 theory.

So yes, they will have to have a very firm grip (about O level in old money) to achieve that level.

difficultpickle Sun 21-Oct-12 19:37:35

If they have done grade 8 then they would have had to have done grade 5 theory. What age are you talking about?

I was grade 5 at 9/10 but rubbish at maths. I don't see the relationship between being able to read music and being good at maths.

Lovewearingjeans Sun 21-Oct-12 19:38:18

My 9 year old passed his grade two this year, and although he did all this theory, he didn't seem to need it for his exam? Well he didn't say it anyway.

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 21-Oct-12 19:38:54

I was grade 5 at about 10 but terrible at maths. All intuitive to me - can't remember the fractional parts of it, even with the theory. I just understood it.

EdithWeston Sun 21-Oct-12 19:39:46

Theory exams are separate written papers.

SnarfEggbert Sun 21-Oct-12 19:39:56

I wonder if they can just understand the way the music should be played, and get the rhythm from that.

Or whether if you asked them they could do the maths equations as standalone, i.e. what's a 1/2 + 3/4 + 1/4.

difficultpickle Sun 21-Oct-12 19:40:08

Ken glad I'm not alone!

HanSolo Sun 21-Oct-12 19:41:01

My brother did grade 5 theory at age 7, with minimal preparation- he is incrediblt talented musically- some children just get music- he was reacting to different composers in different ways in the womb.

So really, YABU.

Lifeisontheup Sun 21-Oct-12 19:41:19

Blimey, my piano teacher never taught me fractions when I was doing grade 2, I might have been better at Maths if he had.
Didn't really do any theory until I had to for grade 5.

SnarfEggbert Sun 21-Oct-12 19:41:33

I'm meaning kids like this www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXnjTCI6OjA

EdithWeston Sun 21-Oct-12 19:42:47

Link to ABRSM page on their exams, which has an onward link to th syllabus for each grade.

difficultpickle Sun 21-Oct-12 19:42:57

Ds is 8 and does music theory at school. Even the school's director of music is surprised that ds actually enjoys it. I didn't do music theory until I had to. I just knew how to play the notes I saw without really thinking about it.

SnarfEggbert Sun 21-Oct-12 19:43:14

That's interesting, my dc is having to tell their music teacher what each note is worth, and how it all adds up, and what total the combination of them make. Verbally before they have even played a single note.

JustFabulous Sun 21-Oct-12 19:43:45

My son has taught himself and can play amazing things from memory. Has only just started reading music though.

Viperidae Sun 21-Oct-12 19:46:35

I was Grade 5 at about 10 years old but feel that I was taught to pass the exams rather than taught to play well. I got to Grade 6 before giving up but still can't sit down and knock a tune out.

BatCave Sun 21-Oct-12 19:46:45

Hmm, I'm not overly academic - and I'm shite at Mathis, but I did my grade 5 theory in year 7 and achieved my grade 8 clarinet and grade 5 piano a couple years later. Not sure what ages you're on about though. It was just because I was insanely interested in it. I can still play well but I've lost a lot of the theory knowledge 20 <faints at realisation> years later. And at that age, yes, I did understand what I was playing.

mumblecrumble Sun 21-Oct-12 19:46:59

Becuase it doesn;t really work like maths . You start to recognise the symbols as rhyhms rather than in their split up form. Liek when you read the word 'SCHOOL' you dont see SCH OO L, you see School.

And it is taught in terms of how it fits in the 1,2,3,4 of a bar.... so crotchet, dotted crotchet, semiquaver semiquaver, crotchet is 1+ 1.5 +.25 +.25 + 1... its 1,2, 3 ++ 4 type thing.

True about grade 5 theory mind, Though again, totally different from maths. I am teaching students in grade 5 theory for their exam in two weeks and there has been very little maths. Maybe how many beats ina doubled dotted crotchet but not much more.

I expected you to talk about the emotions actually, that what i have trouble with in young high grade students. Even 16 year olds. We talk about love, death, nostalgia, pain, moarning - and they have never experienced it!

difficultpickle Sun 21-Oct-12 19:47:27

Ds wouldn't play a note if his music teacher made him do that Snarf.

He spends lots of time just playing made up tunes as he says it is the only way of getting them out of his head confused

Schlock Sun 21-Oct-12 19:51:00

Music uses left brain thinking - creative, artistic etc. Maths is right brain thinking - logical, analysis. You don't necessarily need to analyse a piece of music to 'feel' it.

My dad was absolutely useless at maths he couldn't even do his 2X tables when I was a kid and was so illogical it was a family joke. He was a professional classical musician.

3littlewomen Sun 21-Oct-12 19:51:36

There is a large difference in being able to play a grade 8 piece and passing grade 8 exam.

My DS has been able to play grade 8 and higher pieces since he was 13 - after learning piano for 3 years... He is at the age of 15 considered mature enough musically to take his grade 8 exam. He is taught by a professor of piano in an internationally recognized academy of music...

He puts lots of musicality into his playing - this is taught by his piano teacher, who insists he thoroughly researches the pieces he plays and understands what he is playing and the context of the composer etc.. Mathematically he is very gifted!

Many of these prodigies are pushed beyond belief and often have 1 or 2 performance pieces they have practiced for many years... Not sure how much they enjoy it... DS plays a huge range of music - is sat at the piano at the moment being forced to accompany his baby sisters preliminary pieces, they regularly drag him back down to earth!!

Iteotwawki Sun 21-Oct-12 19:52:31

My 6 year old wouldn't be able to play the music (he's not started music lessons yet) but I've just asked him the maths and he's easily able to add the fractions together. So I would think easier still with the added frame of reference of note lengths / time signatures.

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