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DD failed her G5 theory.

(29 Posts)
FiveHoursSleep Wed 30-Mar-16 10:48:51

We thought she would as it was a rush to get her up to speed and she only got 44% so didn't even nearly pass.
At the moment she's upset and says she won't sit it again and it proves she's a loser and useless. She has ASD and is going through a very difficult stage self confidence wise. ( She is 12 and in Y8).
We are trying to make a big thing about the fact she tried and that she can sit it again in June with more experience.
I wonder if anyone has any stories of their kids failing G5 the first time around but managing to pass it eventually?

ReallyTired Wed 30-Mar-16 10:54:13

Failing an exam is never nice. Its better that she failed grade 5 theory than her GCSEs. What preparation did she have for the exam? Did she attend any classes to prepare for the exam? If she is going to resit in June then you really need to think how you are going to prepare her, otherwise she will fail again.

ReallyTired Wed 30-Mar-16 11:08:08

If confidence is an issue would it be worth her tackling a lower grade first. Did she do any practice papers and were they marked by her teacher?

MuddhaOfSuburbia Wed 30-Mar-16 11:12:18


this is tough

how's she on her practical, and what does the teacher say?

is it worth just playing for fun/expanding her repertoire till, say, Christmas?

or is she dead set on doing it?

Bromeliad Wed 30-Mar-16 11:13:00

I hated music theory. I failed my G3 and was devastated, convinced I was never going to pass, wouldn't be able to continue with my instrumental exams etc. I comfortably passed my G5 six months later.

Sometimes things just need a little extra time to settle in. She'll do it! But I understand exactly how she feels. Good Luck!

claraschu Wed 30-Mar-16 11:13:50

Why do people do music exams? The only reason for them is as a goal and confidence builder, as far as I can see. If they aren't useful for your particular child, there is absolutely no reason to do them.

Icouldbeknitting Wed 30-Mar-16 11:14:22

If she fails again in June that will reinforce her feelings of being hopeless, is it not better to skip a session (or more than one) and have longer to prepare? Is there a reason that there's such a rush?

claraschu Wed 30-Mar-16 11:14:44

I guess I would point out to your daughter that these exams are just a tool to help her learn, and are not important in themselves.

MuddhaOfSuburbia Wed 30-Mar-16 11:15:09

sorry just saw the bit in your OP about not wanting to do it again

I'd step right back from it, encourage her to just keep practicing and build her confidence that way

is she part of any ensembles, orchestras or what not

Wafflenose Wed 30-Mar-16 11:15:14

I'm so sorry. Did you apply for the extra time she is allowed, and would any other access arrangements help her? Is she having lessons? I'm in the south west and will help out if I possibly can.

I have a pupil with ASD who failed with 59 a few terms back. I was a bit shocked because I thought he would pass, but he has difficulty processing all aspects of a question at once. For example, he will begin writing out a given scale, before noticing that it's meant to be descending, in semibreves. We worked really hard on the bits he didn't do so well in, and he managed to pull it up to 76 the following term.

My colleague once entered someone who totally bombed on the day, scoring only 21%. She, too, passed on the second attempt.

O I have, and I remember another girl, who had been taught inadequately in the past, and failed twice. Her mum eventually sent her round to me, but only wanted to pay for 4 hours of tuition. I had my work cut out, as in my opinion, this young lady should have been working towards grade 3, not sitting grade 5 yet. But together, we managed to do just enough to get her over the pass mark.

BertrandRussell Wed 30-Mar-16 11:20:45

Why is she doing theory exams? That's a perfectly neutral question by the way- no nuance at all!

FullMoonTonight Wed 30-Mar-16 11:24:17

All my DCs struggled with theory. Maybe consider doing Guildhall/Trinity exams, then no need for ABRSM grade 5 theory?

LotsofDots Wed 30-Mar-16 11:25:10

If she dislikes the theory exams, could she do practical musicianship instead - I did this instead of theory a million years ago (it was an alternative giving you the same pass into higher grades) presuming it is still a thing, I found it much more enjoyable (and I wasn't bad at theory, this was just more fun!)

Wafflenose Wed 30-Mar-16 11:31:33

Yes, practical musicianship is still an option. It would suit pupils who are good at aural and sight reading. You still have to do transposition and ornaments, but in a practical way. No writing.

howabout Wed 30-Mar-16 11:33:51

I feel so sorry for your DD. However I do know a fair few professional musicians who view being bad at theory as a badge of honour and scraping past grade 5 as being one of life's most traumatic events.

When my DD did hers she took a very very pragmatic approach. She concentrated on making sure she had the correct methodology to do the 10 and 15 mark questions. When you just focus on those there is a LOT less to conquer. Also if you can get her a panic proof approach to getting as many marks as possible in the composition question that is another way to pick up easy marks.

I am not a musician but I was quite happy to pass most of my professional exams by 1%. There were no prizes for any more marks.

In your shoes I would be tempted to walk away but I would actually strive to do everything I could to make sure your DD passes next time so she doesn't develop the failure narrative. I have a 13 and 14 year old and confidence seems to be really fragile at this age.

Big hug flowers

howabout Wed 30-Mar-16 13:19:27

PS I also know loads of lawyers, accountants and doctors who had resits every year and are now very successful.

Dapplegrey1 Wed 30-Mar-16 13:25:20

Bertrand - I'm not the op, but the op's dd may be doing grade 5 theory because you have to pass that before you can taken grade 6 and above practical exams - that is, for ABRSM.

FiveHoursSleep Wed 30-Mar-16 17:44:13

Thanks for all the replies.
DD is doing G5 theory because she wants to do G6 ( maybe beyond?) for her instruments . She has done up to G3 before but is adamant she doesn't want to sit G4 ( she has done the work for it and done practice papers though).
She has calmed down now and we are presenting it as a learning opportunity, but it has helped her to know that other people have failed before her. SO thank you.
We are going to work through the Lina Ng book and see if she has the confidence to resit later this year.

troutsprout Wed 30-Mar-16 18:07:07

Fivehours .. Sorry to hear about your dd's disappointing news.
I glad she has rallied somewhat smile
Ds has asd and we found that really thoroughly dissecting exam papers in a clinical (and rather cynical!) way was the only way he could make sense of what they were asking of him. It became a bit of a game to learn the * tricks* of passing a paper. He saw them as something that was designed to deliberately trip him up and he had to figure it out.
He isn't musical btw.. But this approach really helped with gcse papers
I don't know if this helps at all.. Has she got any books to help her?
Good luck if she decides to give it another go later in the year

MrSlant Wed 30-Mar-16 18:13:11

I failed G5 first time round, I went on to pass G8 (for fun, I know, go figure eh?) and get a diploma in my instrument, there is no shame in not getting something first time, it's not an easy subject at all. Tell her to enjoy her instrument for now and have another try in a while.

LooseAtTheSeams Wed 30-Mar-16 20:32:39

Friend years ago had to retake - she dragooned us all into helping her learn the music terms. For what it's worth ds1 has just informed me of a friend who failed grade 5 piano, retook and got a distinction. He is also convinced failing grade 5 theory is just a blip for your DD and the retake will be fine. (He hasn't actually taken grade 5 theory yet so I think he might be getting his ducks in a row just in case, but I think he has a good point that the resit may turn out to be a very good result!)

Paulweller11 Thu 31-Mar-16 21:21:29

Hi- if she doesn't want to do the gr5 theory at the moment- why not cross over to trinity for gr6- and give her a bit more extra time on gr5 theory- or skip grade 6 practical

Ferguson Fri 01-Apr-16 20:00:36

What instruments is she learning, and who was teaching her Theory?

I often compare the way Theory is taught to the way Maths is taught in some schools: students are told WHAT to do to achieve a particular result, but aren't helped to UNDERSTAND why, and what it all really means.

Some students can probably follow the rules they have been given, but if the Understanding isn't there, they don't know what to do when the rules don't seem to work, or they are asked a question if a form they haven't met before.

As others have said it isn't 'essential' to have 5 Theory, and there are other ways to move on and progress.

I'll come back sometime with ideas that may be helpful, if you let me know about her instruments.

FiveHoursSleep Sat 02-Apr-16 00:58:34

She plays piano and trombone and has been doing some theory during her piano lessons, but did a top up G5 course as well. I think she needs a bit more time to go through the material again, and to have a chance to really understand it.
As I said, we are going to try the Lina Ng book this time and go from there.

VimFuego101 Sat 02-Apr-16 01:04:05

I thought G5 practical musicianship was an acceptable alternative to G5 theory to allow you do do g6-8 instrumental? Or as a PP has said, switch to Trinity exams?

I was told that G5 theory was accepted in place of a music GCSE if you wanted to do music a level. If that's true, then a year 8 taking a good stab at a GCSE level exam is nothing to be ashamed about.

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