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Battle with teacher over grades needed for Music at Uni

(102 Posts)
circular Sun 07-Jul-13 09:11:58

Posted here on Higher Ed.

I know quite a few music teachers and very knowledgeable parents post here, so would be interested on their views.

Basically, DD1's teacher quite anti grades. Amazing teacher, gets her playing pieces across all time periods, teaching her much around her playing and over and above school musc studies.

She has a task on her hands convincing she needs to have grade 8 before UCAS/CUKAS applications in just over a year. Being told not necessary, just need the playing standard.

AuntieStella Sun 07-Jul-13 09:23:38

Looking at your other post, then you seem to be saying that she will narrow down the range of possible courses because grade 8 performance is a requirement at some (though not all).

You have to show the teacher this, in writing, from reputable sources. If she won't budge - find another teacher.

Also, has DD passed grade 5 theory or higher? If not, that's the urgent task.

BTW, the teacher is right that playing standard will be more important. The snag is that if you need to pieces of paper to get into the frame for consideration, then you're stuck. Unless she actually has any proven routes for those without grades - does she?

circular Sun 07-Jul-13 10:02:02

Thanks AuntieStella.
Yes, has G5 Theory distinction. Not sure of her plans for more theory grades.

Get the feeling that if we produce a list of several institutions that require G8 on application, he will show us just as many that do not - but we really don't want to lose options early on if it vp can be avoided.
The careers person at (hopefully) new 6th form is quite knowledgeable on music applications, both UKAS/CUKAS too, but expect will be busy with yr13s next term.

Changing music schools not an option for next year as auditions in April. Toyed with the idea of entering her independently (did for theory) or via piano teacher, but doubt music school would be best pleased.

AuntieStella Sun 07-Jul-13 10:05:11

If she is capable of preparing her pieces herself, or if her teacher will do it competently (even if with bad grace), an independent entry is probably the way to go.

You don't need theory beyond grade 5 to be eligible to enter grade 8, so that's one fewer thing to grapple with.

circular Sun 07-Jul-13 10:17:37

Should have said, Music school favour Trinity for her instrument, so took G6 (distinction) before G5 theory result.
It also looks like some Unis (Kings London) favour ABRSM, so may have a double battle.

Not sure what you meant about proven routes without grades?
I think there is one Conservatoire that the music school reference would be highly regarded for -according to teachers experience.

AuntieStella Sun 07-Jul-13 10:36:25

I based it on what one friend told me - the DC is highly talented and has been taught by a professional musician rather than a music teacher. They've never done grades. Once at audition, the DC shines, and has won orchestra places and a competitive financial award. The teacher knew how to portray this DC's talents so that the audition was forthcoming, even without the easy marker of 'grade X at age Y'. I was assuming that, in a world where a lot of people know each other, there would be ways and means. But I have no idea if there is such flexibility when it comes to stated UCAS requirements.

circular Sun 07-Jul-13 10:52:44

Yes, I think that is where her teacher is coming from to some extent.
It the institutions they have connections with may not be where she wants to go.
Its exactly the UCAS route requirements we are worried about, as they look quite rigid.
Shame to cut out options when it could be avoided with a bit of forward planning.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 07-Jul-13 11:40:53

curcular Honestly, a Uni that says it prefers ABRSM for her instrument isn't worth considering. The places that have any sort of track record prefer trinity guildhall because until very recently trinity guildhall was the only show in town so the real specialists all did trinity guildhall themselves.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 07-Jul-13 11:42:58

circular where is she thinking of applying? You do know that options are limited anyway because not everywhere accepts it as first study?

circular Sun 07-Jul-13 11:59:45

Russians - Yes, knew that but very difficult to get that info from websites. Is there any easy wayto find out, or is it just a case of calling admissions? As far as I now only 4 of the Conservatoires accept it.
She likes the look of the 4yr course at Leeds with year abroad, which does require G8 on application. Unless possible to switch from the 3yr course that doesn't.
Also likes the look of Kings London, but not sure how achievable AAA would be at the early stage.
Much will also depend on whether she can tear herself away from home lol

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Jul-13 13:44:40

She doesn't need Grade 8 for uni applications just to be playing at that standard.

Some conservatories will accept Grade 8 practical and theory in lieu of an a level for those who aren't very academic and haven't got enough Ucas points from their a levels.

For most courses she will have to audition and they will go entirely in her performance on the day.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Jul-13 13:50:37

What is her instrument circular? Dh is conservatoire trained and a teacher.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Jul-13 13:53:06

Leeds college if music state candidates have to dem

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Jul-13 13:54:10

Have to demo strate RHROUGH AUDITION that they are ABRSM grade 7 standard or equivalent for their classical/jazz degree course.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Jul-13 13:56:56

Have to demo strate RHROUGH AUDITION that they are ABRSM grade 7 standard or equivalent for their classical/jazz degree course.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 08-Jul-13 14:05:08


We heard the complete opposite and both Chets, RNCM have said they prefer ABRSM.
A trinity grade 8 used to be considered as equiv to ABRSM grade 5 grin

I think they make it up to suit tbh.

circular Mon 08-Jul-13 14:05:32

The 4 yr Bmus with yr abroad at Leeds says G8 distinction needed. think that is at time of application.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Jul-13 14:06:14

Trinity used to be seen as the poor relation but in recent years they have upped their game and are now highly regarded in terms of grades.

NotWilliamBoyd Mon 08-Jul-13 14:10:16

Hmm I'm going back a few years here (erm, lots actually) but when I was still in practice ( three G8s) then noone did Trinity as it was seen as the 'easy option'

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Jul-13 14:11:12

Same here notwilliam - but things have changed.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Jul-13 14:12:31

Very unusual criteria - wonder how they desk with international applicants - but it also says further up that applicants with non standard qualifications may be interviewed.

Seems very short sighted to me. They could be missing out on some amazing talent.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 08-Jul-13 14:17:00

morethan But you don't know what I'm talking about. So perhaps better not to make wild posts about something you don't know about. smile

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 08-Jul-13 14:17:51

Pictures For circular's DD's instrument, ABRSM is the poor relation. smile

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Jul-13 14:20:57

Recorder? An early music instrument?

Dh swooped over to Trinity for singing as he felt the rep list was far more appropriate especially for older beginners and those wanting to ding other styles. Also the viva tests.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 08-Jul-13 14:22:06

Or classical guitar?

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