Grade 1 Piano(10 Posts)
Has Grade 1 piano got harder?
I took grade 1 in 1989 and my mother and I both agree that the level my son is playing at is a lot higher level than I ever played at (took grade 3).
As well as using both hands fully over 4 octaves, he's using the pedal, he does chords, staccato, different beats etc.
His teacher has said she's really pleased with his progress and if he continues at the rate he's going he'll be ready for Grade 1 in March.
I can't help but feel if he did Grade 1 in 1989 and continued at the rate he's progressing at he'll be taking Grade 4 in March!!!
So has it got harder? And is this the case for all instruments?
Here's a link to a description of the syllabus. Without seeing the pieces, though, it probably doesn't answer your question. But if by 4 octaves, you mean 2 per hand, then what you've described sounds normal for grade 1 (regret as I did mine in the early 1970s I don't remember enough to compare).
IMO it's good to start with an exam he can pass easily. He can always skip grades if he's making rapid progress. If he has an experienced teacher, then she will be entering him appropriately - but remember her aim might be to build confidence and enjoyment, not rattle through set pieces quickly.
Just to clarify I am not thinking teacher is holding him back or going too slowly.
Am just in awe as to what he has to play to be grade 1 standard nowadays.
He's not started exam pieces yet, he's playing various pieces from different books. Currently doing one full page of music and having 3 new pieces a week. He has commented that he hopes he'll soon have 2 page pieces.
Yes by 4 octaves, I meant 2 per hand.
Thanks for the link I'm going to have a look at that.
some teachers like candidates to be a little betters than others before they enter them for exams - that way they get more distinctions and merits. I don't think using the pedal is expected before about grade 3 or 4, but everything else sounds normal for grade 1. As to whether the exams are easier now, I don't think there's been that much change over the years. Some of the pieces are the same, some more modern, but generally around the same difficulty I think (based on dh comparing his old grade 1 books from 30+ years ago with ds's a few years ago).
I should think other instruments are similar too, but wind instruments only used to start at grade 3, whereas now there are grades 1 and 2, so you can't compare grade 1 levels for those. I think piano grade 1 is harder than most other instruments grade 1 - it seems to me that children usually take a little longer to take grade 1 on piano than on other instruments.
I think you're probably misremembering.
Dh played the piano to grade 8, and dd1 is taking her grade 3 shortly. He's remarked how similar the grade pieces (except the modern one) are, and that the scales are slightly easier now. He was talking with a teacher about it, and I'd guess she's been teaching for round about 30 years.
Roughly dd has so far done a grade a year, which is the same as dh did too.
Ah I won't knock myself then - I was as good at this age then
I think piano exams are (and always have been) harder than other instruments, and certainly much more difficult than singing.
How old is ds? Hope he continues to enjoy his piano playing - it sounds as though he's doing well.
He's 6 I hope he continues to enjoy it. His enthusasim knows no bounds, and he'll remind me if he hasn't practiced that day. And if at the end of the pieces I say well done, you finished? He reminds me that he still has scales to do.
He practices 30mins-1 hr every day. All self driven.
Wow, one hour at six years old! He sounds fantastic.
But remember that the demand of the syllabus is a different thing to demand where standard/style is concerned. It takes a good deal of skill to play a simple piece beautifully- at Grade One they might just be required to hold down the notes for the right amount of time and not make glaring mistakes to get 3/4 of the marks available.
* So proportionally speaking, it may even out between now and twenty years ago.
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