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Piano grades; one a year?

(9 Posts)
Suki2 Tue 08-Dec-15 11:35:45

DS aged 10 is at a local music school(overseas) which is excellent. Their policy is one grade a year, so he'll be entered for grade 4 piano in May. My problem is he is much better player than this. He is regularly playing grades 5 and 6, and he has distinctions on his previous grades taken.

Piano teachers, what's your view? Do you insist on such a slow and steady approach? I know that he can also play pieces outside of the syllabus, but all teachers inevitably have a huge focus on the exam pieces particularly in the couple of months before the exam, as obviously they want the highest result possible. I think he'll be bored of his pieces by then and wish he could do a higher grade.

Eroica Tue 08-Dec-15 11:39:46

It's probably different as he's in a music school. My DD has done grades as and when she's ready. The amount of practice they do has the biggest impact. She has skipped a grade when she's been ready too early for exam season though.

Wafflenose Tue 08-Dec-15 11:55:18

As long as he is learning lots of other things, it probably doesn't matter too much. Could he just take either Grade 6 or 7 the following year?

TeddTess Tue 08-Dec-15 11:58:37

i understand that one grade/exam per year is about right but why can't he skip a grade?

mom17 Tue 08-Dec-15 14:00:49

Till Grade 1-2, there are so many techniques/musicality aspects to work on, Does it become so easy after this that just doing few pieces covers all aspect ? DS is at Grade 1-2 level and does 2-3 pieces per week and practice daily for 45 mins. around but still teacher didn't think he can give Grade-1 exam by this winter. He does so many other things apart from Method books, I am just wondering is our teacher super slow ?? He has been learning for 1.5Yrs with this teacher and some 8 months with 3 years gap in between ( but had retained his learning).

Suki2 Tue 08-Dec-15 18:33:50

TeddTess he can't skip a grade as they don't bend their rules for anyone! No Wafflenose it'll be grade 4 in the summer term, then grade 5 the following summer etc; a very rigid system.
mom17 DS will be playing lots of pieces, most of them at a higher grade than the one he'll be taking. I think it takes around 2 years to reach grade 1 for the average student; if your DS practices for 45 minutes a day that sounds like more than average practice for grade 1, so maybe your teacher is a little slow.

Ferguson Tue 08-Dec-15 23:09:36

That is a shame if it is so rigid: Music should not be a 'rigid' activity!

He can play other pieces, even in completely different genres, to maintain his interest, and practise exercises, scales, even transposing easy pieces at sight into different keys, to build knowledge. And I assume he will do Theory, and Sight Reading.

NewLife4Me Tue 08-Dec-15 23:16:56

My dd is at a music school, she is well beyond the graded pieces she is playing and no idea when she will take an exam.
I have found the focus is on far many other things and they really don't care about grades.
They do take exams at some stage but they skip one or even 2 because the teacher is doing something different. Then it'd grade 8 and 2 Diplomas before they leave at 18, so I believe.
If you like the school go with the flow, they will know what they are doing.
I have found you have to trust them 100%, which isn't always easy I know.

Worriedandlost Tue 08-Dec-15 23:20:19

This is a very interesting question. If system is rigid - what can you do about it? How close this system is to the UK exams? Does first year of study corresponds to the grade 1 in the UK, etc? How about taking part in festivals and competitions? He may not be allowed to skip the grade/year but is stretched anyway?

How about "slow students"? Do they also take one exam per year?

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