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Grade 1 music theory question

(6 Posts)
MaryMotherOfCheeses Fri 30-Sep-11 22:52:13

DS is learning the Italian and the various symbols.

So. Hairpins. You know, getting louder, getting quieter markings.

Teacher marked him down for not writing "gradually" in front of those. She said it has to be "gradually getting louder" not just "getting louder".

Is that right?

If that's the rule then that's the rule, but seems a bit picky.

Does anyone else know?

ImNotaCelebrity Fri 30-Sep-11 23:01:58

Have just double checked in one of the 'model answers' booklets I have. The acceptable answer was listed as: getting louder/gradually getting louder, so the answer was fine.

However, I think the teacher's right to make that distinction, because it is a gradual increase or decrease, not sudden. She's making sure he is 'properly' correct from the very beginning - not a bad thing.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Fri 30-Sep-11 23:13:51

I don't know, if he plays them as gradual and understands that they're gradual (she teaches him piano too) then it just seems like making him jump through hoops. There are a couple of other examples of similar, and I fear he's getting fed up with the picky, never quite good enough attitude. As long as "getting louder" is ok, then why mark it wrong?

I'm sorry, it sounds massively PFBish to be wound up by one remark, this is just one of several.

Can you get the model answers booklets online or would i need to pay?

ImNotaCelebrity Sat 01-Oct-11 21:04:29

My teaching of theory is massively rusty (i.e. 15 years plus), so I wouldn't argue with an experienced teacher.
However, I think the problem is probably this: in the Music Theory in Practice book, and in the First Steps in Music Theory book, the definition of a hairpin is given as 'gradually getting louder' and 'gradually getting quieter'. This suggests that the students are expected to remember this as the correct definition. However, they've obviously decided that 'getting louder' and 'getting quieter' is a good enough answer to show an understanding of what a hairpin means.

I doubt whether the booklets are available online, but they're very cheap. You can get them through the ABRSM website.

ImNotaCelebrity Sat 01-Oct-11 21:11:29

Theory can be a real issue, and I can understand your frustration ...
I had a massively picky theory teacher (also my violin teacher). I didn't bother with any theory exams other than grade 5, but it's quite a tall order at 10 years old, and he was unbelievable! He was sooo pedantic about the size of the notes, he would mark it wrong if it wasn't the perfect shape, or uniform in size. And the stems had to be drawn with a ruler. I can't remember anything else specific, but I imagine he'd have been equally pedantic about wording. In the end, we tagged an extra 15 minutes onto my piano lessons and did theory with that teacher instead - a much more normal, relaxed experience! It's nearly 30 years ago, and I can still remember how much he upset and frustrated me!!!

abittoofat Fri 07-Oct-11 12:30:42

For me it would depend on the age of the child how accurate I would expect them to be.
It's the same as any test/exam - there are key words/phrases that will score you extra or top points. Why not learn them from the begining?
Was your DS upset by this marking down?

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