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One year of piano lessons, what's to be expected?

(10 Posts)
IslaValargeone Tue 26-Feb-13 20:40:35

Dc (10) has been having piano lessons, half an hour per week, term time only.
Seems to be doing ok and is enjoying it, but there has been no mention of doing any exams yet.
At what stage should I start to ask questions, I get rather concerned when I see other MN's kids taking 5 grades a year and providing the support act for Lang Lang grin

Schmedz Tue 26-Feb-13 21:46:14

Don't take exams as a guide to progress! Is piano your child's first instrument? There is a lot to learn about reading the music notation as well as playing the instrument. With a regular half-hour lesson and practise of about 10-15mons per day I would imagine an average child would be able to master a couple of those simple beginner 'pieces' a week. After about a year of learning some teachers will have introduced scales in separate hands (probably C major). Most children will have been playing 'hands together' pieces for quite some time.
It is important to remember that every student progresses at their own rate. As long as s/he is enjoying it and practising regularly (and are being taught HOW to practise) they are optimising their own personal progress.
What feedback do you get from the teacher?

Schmedz Tue 26-Feb-13 21:46:51

...typo...of course I mean 10-15 mins !

Firewall Tue 26-Feb-13 22:42:50

I agree, don't take exams as a guide. Make sure your child has a good foundation and then everything will fall into place. A friend of ours has a well respected piano teacher who starts on step 1 then step 2 which can take a year each before even starting on the grades, but these kids tend to flourish and excel through the harder grades (getting distinctions and merits with most of her pupil cohort) even though it takes them almost 2 years before they start grade 1. Whereas I know some piano teachers start straight on grade 1 as we are in a culture now where parents want to see results straight away.
As long as he is enjoying it is the main thing and practicing what they are learning each week. You could always ask the teacher what they will be working on next.

IslaValargeone Wed 27-Feb-13 09:43:55

Thanks, I feel quite reassured now, I'm not particularly exam orientated regarding her music, I'm just glad she likes playing. I just had a bit of a wobble after reading some stuff on here.
She seems to be coping well with scales (which she loves) and broken chords?
Gets a bit confused sometimes with sight reading and can be a bit impatient and downhearted if it takes too long to learn a piece.
From what you have both said though it sounds like she is getting a solid start, so I'll just go with the flow.
Many thanks.

DeWe Wed 27-Feb-13 12:50:59

Dd1 started at 6yo, and did her prep test at the end of a year and an exam every year since. I think that's usual for a typical child who practices fine with her teacher.
She does theory as well with her teacher along side the practical, which is great.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 27-Feb-13 21:09:30

Dd had lessons for 2 years before doing grade 1.

nickelbabe Thu 28-Feb-13 13:20:21

DH never took any piano exams.
the first time he did a music exam was when he started to learn the organ at 21.
he's got a tape of him playing a very difficult Chopin piece at 16.

but piano is a very hard instrument - she'll be progressing well, if she practises, and it's mainly learning how the hands move and how scales and music work for the first year. smile

rachel234 Sat 02-Mar-13 08:24:36

Each child is different. DD took gr 1 after 8 months and reached gr 5 within a few years, whereas DS has had 2 years of lessons (may take gr 1) and will probably quit as he prefers other hobbies.

ElizaFyfe Sun 03-Mar-13 18:58:59

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