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What length music lesson per week for Grade 5/6 violin?

(14 Posts)
chicafuego Wed 02-Mar-16 17:38:04

My son currently has a half hour one to one lesson a week (at school) on the violin, he is soon to do Grade 5. Is this the norm or is it a good idea to either have an hour or two lessons a week? He would be keen.
He will be going to Secondary School (State) in September and we will probably need to/want to change teacher.
What do other people's DCs do?

Mistigri Wed 02-Mar-16 18:56:32

DD used to have a 1 hour piano lesson every other week. Now it's 35-40 mins a week (grade 7 ish). I think you get more out of a longer lesson tbh, but her current music school doesn't work this way.

Icouldbeknitting Wed 02-Mar-16 19:31:35

DS (brass instrument) had his lessons in school and that limited it to half an hour a week. He changed teacher after G8, took the lesson out of school and now has hour long lessons.

The dead time of sorting out your music, tuning up and packing away again really eats into a half hour lesson.

LooseAtTheSeams Wed 02-Mar-16 20:43:29

I'm a ahem! Mature student of piano and only at grade 4 but I have a 45 minute lesson and find it goes pretty quickly. Most weeks,I get two pieces and either sight reading or scales done in the lesson. Plus a little bit of music history and theory! I would say at least go for 45 minutes and if he is ok with an hour in one go that would be really good for building some depth.

Paulweller11 Wed 02-Mar-16 21:17:44

I would say an hour a week

chicafuego Thu 03-Mar-16 10:00:30

Thanks for the replies.
I am hoping he will be able to have an hour once he leaves his Primary School. For some reason the local music service teachers seem to cost more than if I found a private one. All other children at his primary school have group lessons, so don't pay as much, but his is one to one.
As neither my DH or myself are musical I don't know how to choose a good teacher.

IslaSinga Sun 06-Mar-16 21:06:25

Ds (8) has half an hour and is working on grade 5 violin. Dd (12) did grade 7 on half an hour lesson too, although she does now have 45 minutes.

ealingwestmum Mon 07-Mar-16 09:01:00

Would definitely look to getting a new teacher for senior, preferably privately so you can have longer lessons as in-school, they still tend to be half hour due to potentially missing academic lessons. They don't like to offer double due to this. If you can find one that plays piano as well, that helps with the accompanying side of violin, as from G6 it's really helpful to have more support on pieces vs the 1 or 2 accompaniment lessons that is provided before an exam by school.

We've stuck to 1/2 hour piano lesson in term times privately, this has been enough to work at a steady and non-pressured pace for 2nd instrument, DD currently Y7 about to sit G6 having started piano in Y3.

chicafuego Mon 07-Mar-16 10:01:56

This is all very useful.
I think we will try to have his violin lessons out of school. Luckily he has always managed to have them at the end of the day at his Primary and she sometimes gives him extra time. He is the only one not in a group now.
It would be great to have a violin teacher that played piano and we did have a lady that accompanied him for his last auditions that also teaches violin, but that was not her main job and now I think she is working full time at something else.
I am not sure how to find out whether a teacher is good or not. Most people we speak to locally have their lessons through the music service, so if we wanted a different teacher, I am not sure how to find out if one is better than another.
I imagine the piano is still ok to be half hour privately, as he is only at Grade 3.

ealingwestmum Mon 07-Mar-16 11:22:33

It is more tricky to find the next teacher without recommendation, but see if, when ringing/online searching round they offer a taster lesson. Some things I would look out for (as a non-musical mum also!) would be:

- How long teaching?
- What levels are the students?
- Are they grade sticklers or provide a wider teaching repertoire which your son will need being G5 plus (technical studies, concerto pieces, variety of non-grade repertoire, great duets etc)
- Success rate (if they teach grades)
- Piano accompaniment or just violin?
- Rate for 1 x hour for week (obvious, I know)
- Flexibility of times (and cancellation policy)
- Local opportunities for wider ensemble experience (some teachers encourage inclusion into their local music network, church etc)
- Web presence for private work? Testimonials?

Not all of these may appeal or be relevant to your son, and dependent on how much orchestral inclusion there may be with his senior school, but he should have no issues in being accepted if G5 plus is his entry level at 11.

Finally be clear on what his music objectives are and what he wants to achieve in senior school (and possibly beyond - I know, he's 10/11!). This will help you to ascertain the quality of teacher you are looking for. I have had a few say they only really teach up to grade x (i.e. great with junior level children, which is fine if they are up front) so do probe on this as the senior school needs are different, and he'll have other stuff to juggle compete with also!

Good luck.

howabout Mon 07-Mar-16 11:32:14

If you can hang on it might be worth staying with the school music service until he is settled in senior school. He will get a lot of interaction with a lot of different teachers if your set up is like ours. We have school ensembles and also county wide school orchestras and bands. I think by this age personality of teacher and pupil becomes more important and all the teachers, including within the school music department, tend to have contacts.

Also on accompaniment I highly recommend the new ABRSM practice app for at home.

CaughtUpNearTimbuktu Mon 07-Mar-16 16:40:33

He can get to grade 7 one half hour a week if he's prepared to practice. I'd say leave the hour lessons until he's older.

I took my piano diploma with an hour a week lesson and shed loads of practice.

Has he started learning his theory? If he's abrsm he'll need grade 5 before he can progress

chicafuego Mon 07-Mar-16 17:05:04

Howabout- he is in the music service junior youth orchestra (leader) and will be going to their higher orchestra in September. Unfortunately, they have much more connection with the Secondary that he didn't get (we got our second choice). I will have a look at the ABRSM app.

Cuaghtupneartimbuktu- He does practice a lot in both violin and piano. He is studying theory and will be taking the Grade 5 in the summer or Autumn-depending on other commitments.

Ealingwestmum- that is all great help with choosing a teacher. I will try to ask all those questions. He is very sure that he wants to continue music as far as possible.

ealingwestmum Mon 07-Mar-16 17:15:30

Sounds like he'll be a great asset to his new school chica!

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