What to do ?(11 Posts)
My DD (age 8) has been learning violin for about 3 yrs now. She has just started preparation for Grade1 - plans to take it in March. Is this progress reasonable? She is a bright child who learns quickly and is very interested in Violin. I think her teacher is very slow / doesn't push her to ability. That could just me my wrong judgement - but that's what I "feel" it is. I found another teacher who my DD liked. In the meanwhile, I found a programme 25 miles away from me. They do a full 3 hour Saturday class - just like Trinity's string time.
DD doesn't plan to study music at Uni level - however she likes and enjoys it. Shall we take up the Saturday programme (25 miles away one) or go with the new teacher locally ? Our plan is to audition for junior departments in about 5-6 years time.
Anyone here whose DC went to Trinity String time - how did it help your DC? Are junior departments more suitable for DCs who plan to take up a career in music? Does it get too much for someone who just enjoys playing violin?
Hi Jas, come and join us on the music thread and you will find a lot of advice. DD does piano so I don't know how that compares to violin but for piano that would be slow progress, DD has done piano for 3 year now and took grade 3 after 2 and a half years.
DD's teacher thinks she's progressing fast and she is skipping some grades (only did 1 and 3 and the next one is 5) but she believes normal progress is about a grade a year so after 3 years you would expect grade 2 (takes about 18 months to get to grade 1 on piano) But that is for piano, if you join the music thread lots of violinists there to advise.
Oh and it depends if the teacher is maybe too relaxed and not pushing for the right achievements, if the lessons are at school and are group lessons, so lots of things could influence the progress made. I would probably change teachers and have private lessons (if at school).
I would say it is far too long esp taking into account that child is bright. Something is not quite right here. But as Fleurdelise said it may also depend on various on a number of reasons.
Hi it does seem quite slow though I don't know about violin, but it might also depend on how the teacher views exams . some like their students to work towards exams and the exams that their students take will be at the top of a pupils ability . other teachers don't focus so much on them and get there pupils to take them when they are playing at above a certain level ( so they might take grade 1 but be more than capable of leaning grade 2 pieces it would just take longer and they might not perform them so well) hope that makes sense.
Is she practicing everyday?
If you're planning to audition for JD age 13-14 she will need to be at least grade 7 more likely grade 8 by then. So if that's really the plan and she's into it, you really need to give her the best chance at achieving it which is the Saturday 3 hour thing as long as that includes 1-2-1 lesson of a reasonable length and she's willing to practice everyday during the week.
I learned the flute as a child and had two teachers, the first for about 3 years up to age 11 and the second 11 onwards. With the first the progress was not only very slow, but I also learned very bad habits - incorrect hand positions, playing pieces too advanced for me but very badly, not keeping time. The second teacher could not have been more different and with her i went on to play in a really decent orchestra. I haven't played now for many years and my dc are only just starting music, so others will give better advice, but if it were my child I would probably get your daughter heard by someone who could assess her to help me make a decision. It is possible the teacher has reasons for not going for grades but is teaching well (though possibly not!).
As you may have gathered from some of these responses, some 'music parents' are quite 'pushy' and anticipate their children taking music VERY seriously.
But Yes, that is a very long time to be working towards Grade 1, so I would think you could do better to try another teacher, but not aim too high at first.
It is also important to LISTEN to a wide range of music, orchestral, chamber music etc. If she also wants to 'dabble' in pop, folk, rock, stage shows etc let her try it. Sheet music or tutor books can often be found in charity shops and car boot sales.
There is also a lot of tuition and music 'on line' and look at the ABRSM web site, and I think they also have a Forum.
This free site may be worth looking at:
It is also useful to start to learn Theory, and to play piano or Keyboard; the Yamaha 'Piaggero' range are good, and this is their top model:
If you can purchase via school or a County music service you can often get cheaper, without paying VAT.
('Search' my other music replies, and come back if you need more help.)
Personally, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, don't be thinking about junior departments now. She's 8. Does she practise often/effectively? That really is the key to it.
My dd1 is 9 (just), has been playing for two years and will hopefully do grade 2 next term. She plays an awful lot, stuff she's working on as well as for pleasure. She also goes to Saturday music centre.
Contrast with the piano. Three years, and finally doing grade 1 this term. She just hasn't worked and I haven't pushed. She's finally putting in the work now and should do well.
And "doesn't plan to study music at uni"?
My 8 year old doesn't know whether she wants hot chocolate or hot milk tonight, let alone what she wants to do in 10 years.
Is that violin lesson the only exposure she has to music teaching? I.e. is she having to learn how to read music and theory at the same time? That might explain why the teacher has thought it better to wait.
3 1/2 years by the time she sits grade 1 seems a long time to me (but I was taught decades ago).
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