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Grade 1 Piano

(6 Posts)
Thereyougo Sun 11-Sep-11 13:18:34

My ds, (6) just started year 2, was given the option before the summer holidays to either take his Grade 1 in November or May. At the time, he didn't feel ready to do it in November, and said May.

He now wants to do it in November.

He has all of his scales nailed, one piece perfect, one piece half, and one not started at all.

Can someone advise whether he'd be foolish to go for piano exam in November (i.e. can he do it in 12 weeks), or whether he should wait until May?


hulabula Sun 11-Sep-11 15:41:30

You (and his teacher) will be the best judge as to whether he is capable.

My dd took her grade 1 piano exam after 2 terms of lessons (aged 7) and got a distinction, whereas my ds has had 2 years of lessons and is still not ready (also 7 now). So, it really depends, as some children learn quicker than others.

Ask your ds's teacher!

ImNotaCelebrity Sun 11-Sep-11 21:52:34

The danger of leaving it til later is you can stuck in the cycle of perfecting those pieces at the expense of everything else, just because you know you've got months before the exam.

I'd imagine if the teacher gave him the choice, they thought he'd be ready for November. If your ds knows all his scales already, and half the pieces, he has plenty of time to learn the rest. He should be able to learn the rest to a reasonable standard in 2 weeks or so. Then there's a few weeks left for improving and playing them confidently.

mouldyironingboard Mon 12-Sep-11 17:34:21

How much time does your ds have to practise? If he is able to play for say 20 minutes 5 days per week, I think you should try for November. Also, is he confident at piano sight-reading? If not, he could spend the time until May learning new pieces to improve his note reading skills.

Thereyougo Tue 13-Sep-11 18:19:56

He practices for at least half an hour every day, usually up to an hour every day. Self driven.

He is a perfectionist and I worry I he'll get fed up of hearing the same songs every day.

With his right hand his sight reading is very good, and he is confident with that. With his left hand he is hesitant, as doesn't know the notes with instant recall like his right, but normally gets it.

His teacher has given him his 2 exam pieces, and 2 non-exam pieces to practice, and if he doesn't do the exam in November, between now and May he'll be playing his 3 exam pieces, with the 2 non-exam pieces changing about fortnightly.

ImNotaCelebrity Sun 18-Sep-11 00:26:36

Wow - 30 mins a day self motivated practice. Wish some of that would rub off on my lazy ds!
Have you got the ABRSM sight reading practice book? It's really very simple for grade 1. Once they've found their starting position, the hands don't move, and it's only 4 bars long.
I've just entered ds for grade 1 today, so can remember these details:
There are 5 weeks for the exam period. The earliest week is beginning 7th November. If you want some breathing space for extra practice, request the final week, which begins 5th December. They don't guarantee you'll get the week you want, but I always have done. The only way this wouldn't work is if the teacher enters lots of pupils and has a visit at their own location rather than an examination centre, which gives you personally no flexibility over the date. You have until 30th September to enter online, or 23rd September for postal entries.

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