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Piano exams - ABRSM grade 1 - how often do pieces change?

(9 Posts)
Fleecyleesy Mon 22-Jun-15 13:18:53

I remember when I was a child, the examination books seemed to relate to one year so if you took the exam in 1985, you chose pieces from the 1985 book. I just looked online for the modern equivalent and saw that there are books for 2013/2014 and 2015/2016. Are the pieces now valid for 2 years now? Also, how long does a child prepare a grade 1 piece for roughly before taking the exam? I cannot remember at all. (DC aged 8 if it makes any difference). I failed a piano exam and was then terrified of them and continued to play the piano without doing exams!

SomewhereIBelong Mon 22-Jun-15 13:24:40

They change every 2 years. My DD took about 2 months at the early grades to learn a piece fully (she was 10 now 14)- including up to speed and putting in some "pizazz". You don't need to do the exams at every grade... DD did the odd's up to G5 - G1,3,5, has just done her G5 theory exam and is working on G6 now.

Fleurdelise Mon 22-Jun-15 13:41:15

The current syllabus is valid as it says 2015/2016 with new syllabus being issued around July 2016 for 2017/2018.

The current syllabus can also be used until the A session (March) in 2017 so they overlap for one session.

My DD (7yo if it is relevant to you) took grade 1 piano exam in March. She started her first piece in November last year and by entry deadline (end of January) her teacher wanted her to know all the scales and broken chords, and at least 2 pieces learnt correctly and one in progress. She wouldn't have entered her otherwise.

The time from end of January to March (she got allocated the first week) she spent it on mastering the said pieces, adding all the dynamics and so on.

So you could say it took November till March (just under 5 months as she got the first week) preparing for the exam but until mid January she also worked on additional piece so not only the exam ones.

Fleecyleesy Mon 22-Jun-15 15:05:54

Thanks both, very helpful. So we will definitely be using this 2015/6 book that is currently available.

It sounds as though we should be aiming to do similar to your dd Fleur, starting the pieces mid way through next term and taking the exam in March.

Fleurdelise Mon 22-Jun-15 15:15:23

Good luck Fleecy

balletgirlmum Mon 22-Jun-15 15:18:10

Also don't forget that the syllabus goes by the academic year starting in September but there is usually a cross over period.

Fleurdelise Mon 22-Jun-15 15:36:15

Not sure it does actually ballet I thought the new syllabus is issued around July and the first time you can use it is session A which is March the following year.

The overlap is session A so in March/April this session you could have used both 2013/2014 and 2015/2016.

But when 2015/2016 was issued in 2014 you couldn't use it in the November session. Am I wrong?

ChocolateWombat Mon 22-Jun-15 18:29:56

My DS sat Grade 1 in December 2014.The teacher originally issued the book to him in July (as it was published) and planned for him to do the exam in March 2015, which you'll have been the first sitting of that syllabus. However, he was ready quicker than expected and was entered for December 2014.
Strictly speaking her syllabus wasn't 'live' but the head of music rang up the board and asked about it - they said they didn't encourage it, but would hear a pupil who had prepared for the 'wrong' syllabus. He went on to get a really good distinction.

LilyBolero Sun 12-Jul-15 23:25:58

Regulations say that the pieces come in on the A Session (normally the March, but could be a Special Visit in January or February). They then run till Easter after the end of the specified time (ie 2015-16 goes Jan 2015-Mar 2017 broadly speaking).

If you do the wrong pieces, the examiner will still mark them, but London HQ will evaluate whether it's ok or not after the exam.

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