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progress in flute and piano

(9 Posts)
rubberdubber1970 Sun 06-Mar-16 14:31:04

Hi I wonder if any one can give me some advice

My daughter has been playing the flute and piano since she was 9 (shes 12 now)

her piano teacher wasn't very good so I moved her last Feb to a new teacher who is excellent. Last feb she was at grade 2 exam level, she missed grade 3 exam but is now working from the grade 4 exam book.
The teacher says she is very musical, has a great ear and will go all the way - grade 4 should be in Autumn term. so that would work at 2 grade in 18 months.

Her flute was lessons were at school and she made good progress, and got to her gold music medal I then put her in private lessons.
She took her grade 2 flute last march and progress has been slow, the flute teacher also says she has a good ear.

last week I spoke to the teacher and commented on her progress as it seemed slow shes working from songs from the grade 3 flute book now. the teacher said that she should do the grade 3 exam in the summer.

I have accepted this but my worry is that it's over 3 months away which means it will be 15 months on 1 grade of the flute that she is pretty good at, and we now have 3 months of playing 3 pieces of music which is going to bore her totally.

I don't want to be pushy but its strange how she can do 2 piano levels but 1 flute level in the same amount of time when the flute is so much easier

Can I have some opinions please


catslife Sun 06-Mar-16 16:00:28

I don't want to be pushy but its strange how she can do 2 piano levels but 1 flute level in the same amount of time when the flute is so much easier

Actually I disagree that the flute is easier than piano. This is because flautists have to produce the notes by themselves rather than just pressing down keys on a piano.
For grade 3 flute your dd will have to be able to consistently play a greater range of notes than for grade 2. This includes more notes in a higher register and also learn the fingerings for the new sharps (and flats) in the scales. The teacher cannot really enter pupils for the exams if they cannot manage the range of notes needed. For the exam she will need to play 3 pieces, but there is a greater number available in the music books and she could work on several of these over the next few months before making a decision about which ones would be best performed in the exam.

Mistigri Sun 06-Mar-16 16:15:06

Does she have to do flute exams at all?

I think piano probably is "more difficult" than most wind instruments because of the additional hand coordination and the cognitive demands of reading two staves at once. But a lot depends on how hard your dd works at each instrument, and the teacher's style. Sometimes it's just that for personality reasons, certain teschers get the best out of certain pupils.

Trumpette Sun 06-Mar-16 16:15:13

The flute is definitely not easier as making the higher notes requires mouth/ breath control as well as phrasing with breath too!

I would speak with the teacher and ask but you are not comparing 'like with like'. Different instruments and skill base IMO.

catslife Sun 06-Mar-16 17:03:06

She may have a good ear and be able to read music well etc. but that does not necessarily mean that she will be a good flute player! Has the teacher said anything more specific about her flute playing technically? What was the feedback from the grade 2 exam like?
Many flute players will start joining junior wind-bands at this sort of ability level - is this an option? You can learn a lot from playing in groups and this is a big advantage of wind instruments.
The flute medals are all pre-grade 1, so I think you may be giving these higher standing than they are actually worth imo.

Ferguson Sun 06-Mar-16 19:57:08

If she IS to do the flute Grade, over a long period of time, she can play any music of similar difficulty - you can probably find sheet music in car boot sales and charity shops, and provided the RANGE of notes is similar, it doesn't even have to be flute music; possibly violin, clarinet, even saxophone could be adapted - anything to give her a variety of variety of music.

This site may help:

Musicmom1 Sun 06-Mar-16 20:31:33

I agree with others - also practice on two instruments has to be factored in. I suggesting Helping your dc find a lot of nice pieces to play to stave off the 3 pieces only boredom, and to make sure she is really secure. It sound like she is progressing steadily - others will spend longer on lower grades (and yes some move more quickly but often when they had a few years on a first instrument before starting on the second).

LooseAtTheSeams Mon 07-Mar-16 08:49:23

You'd need to check with the teacher on this but one reason for slowing down exams in flute is to build up stamina - you need to be able to breathe from the diaphragm and control the breath and it takes time. The other problem is that from grade 3 onwards, exam pieces can be pitched very high, which makes everything more difficult if the breathing isn't right. So that would be my guess.

Madcats Mon 07-Mar-16 13:19:55

My daughter has been playing the flute for a few months and working through a "beginner's" book with her teacher. That cat doesn't run out the house any more and we recognise the I was having a look at other music books on Amazon.

There seem to be quite a few books of tunes pitched around the grade 2-4 level with music from musicals/movies/pop songs transposed (and simplified) for the beginner: Adele/ABBA/Wicked/Frozen/Star Wars/Harry Potter/Disney movies.....

Lots of reviewers commented that their children were much more inclined to practice (and therefore improve technique and stamina) popular music. Most seemed to come with backing track CD's or piano parts.

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