Skipping grade exams

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Moonlight
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Skipping grade exams

Post by Moonlight » 03 Feb 2009, 21:03

Hi

I have just been told by my NEW teacher that I should skip grade 1 and get ready for grade 2 as I assume she thinks I'm ready for it , yes I have had 3 piano teachers now! :o :shock:

What are peoples views on this? Personally I’m not so sure on the idea of skipping grades as I don’t want to ‘cheat’. But my teacher said why waste time if your are ready for grade 2, I don’t even have the grade 2 books only grade 1.

I'm really confused as the 3 teachers I have had, have said different things, the first said I won’t be able to do it until the end of the year ( remember I only have lessons every other week ), the other one said I’ll be ready in June and my New teacher thinks I can skip the grade.

any advice anyone? :|

Descombes
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Re: Skipping grade exams

Post by Descombes » 04 Feb 2009, 18:29

My advice would be to decide which teacher you have confidence in (check qualifications, but, above all, decide which you respond to best) and then to stick to his/her recommendations. Your teacher knows what's best for you and for his/her way of teaching.

Learning the piano does not need to be a series of examinations, though that is an approach which suits some people. With children, I tend to go through the grades as a confidence builder; with adults, I'm far more flexible. Different approaches suit different people.

As an example from the past, my first teacher did not enter me for an exam until Grade 4, which I then passed with Distinction. She passed me to another teacher as I was taking Grade 6, with the suggestion that I should omit Grade 7 and go straight to Grade 8. I still have the letter to my parents from the new teacher, saying that this would not be advisable, in his opinion. He was then my teacher and it was the best advice for me.

So........listen to your teacher; and find a good one and stick to him/her!!
Last edited by Descombes on 04 Feb 2009, 20:06, edited 1 time in total.

Moonlight
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Re: Skipping grade exams

Post by Moonlight » 04 Feb 2009, 20:05

dave brum wrote:It is a fantastic endorsement of your piano playing and your hard work at the keyboard over the months Anna if a TEACHER (not for example your mother/siblings etc who are just out to flatter you anyway...) has told you this!! But I'd still insist on doing Grade 1 and aim at a Distinction pass for it, which would be within your grasp. Going straight into a Grade 2 from the beginning would for me be like building a house without digging the foundations first. Don't forget you've never been in a music exam before in your life (as neither have I) so for your first one you need to make things as easy and as understandable for you to cope with in exam conditions on a strange piano.
Awwwww, Thanks Dave :) .

Yeah I kind of agree with you, It would be good to do grade one 1st to see what its like but if my teacher thinks its waste...mmmm? :? I'll ask her again next time as I was more into what I was playing then asking questions last lesson.

I had a quick listen to some of the grade 2 pieces and they aren't too diffrent from what i'm playing now from listening to them, I'll need to go out and buy / or see at least, the grade 2 book then! :roll:. If the muisc is like what I'm playing now then I can't see how the exam would be any more harder for me playing pieces I think I would be fine, scales etc fine, the only thing I would have problems with is sight reading but my teacher would help get me up to the level for it.

I'll need to make up my mind.

btw Dave I'm sure when you have lessons again your teacher would think you could do grade 2! :D I think so!!!!!!! :mrgreen:

Moonlight
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Re: Skipping grade exams

Post by Moonlight » 04 Feb 2009, 20:28

Descombes wrote:My advice would be to decide which teacher you have confidence in (check qualifications, but, above all, decide which you respond to best) and then to stick to his/her recommendations. Your teacher knows what's best for you and for his/her way of teaching.

Learning the piano does not need to be a series of examinations, though that is an approach which suits some people. With children, I tend to go through the grades as a confidence builder; with adults, I'm far more flexible. Different approaches suit different people.

So........listen to your teacher; and find a good one and stick to him/her!!
Thank you Descombes

Like I said to Dave, I'll ask my teacher again just to make sure. Problem is I can't help changing teachers at the moment, as its a studio I go to that is run by someone for piano teachers to come to and teach, so depending on the day I have lessons etc, my teacher may be diffrent, hopefuly my new one is for good?

I'm not too bad with nerves and have never really mind tests, so if my teacher thinks I can do it I might go for grade 2. But I will have a look at the books for the grade to see what its like. From what I'm learning now I think its roughly grade 2, I have been mostly learning short Beethoven pieces; the works with WoO after them like the ecossaise, and German dances, and the easier Chopin preludes ( A major , C minor ). My first teacher thought I had technique higher then grade 1, so maby my new teacher is right.

I'll just need to think about it. :?:

markymark
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Re: Skipping grade exams

Post by markymark » 08 Feb 2009, 00:30

When I started into piano lessons, I started on grade 1 and proceeded straight to Grade 3. I did however move on through the remaining grades (4-8) without any more jumps. The rate of development is much steeper as you proceed beyong Grade 3 and so, if dealt with sensibly with insightful support from your teacher, I don't personally see what harm could come of skipping Grade 2. As Descombes mentions, doing the same to the later grades could be somewhat irresponsible however.

You may find that you and your teacher will have to do some plugging up however as there is more to Grade 2 than the pieces. New time signatures, key signatures are introduced at this level not to mention sight-reading lines of development. Moving cold to this from Grade 1 without any bridging work may leave you a bit swamped. However, I'm assuming that your teacher has thought about this before suggesting moving on in this way.

Moonlight
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Re: Skipping grade exams

Post by Moonlight » 08 Feb 2009, 18:11

markymark wrote: You may find that you and your teacher will have to do some plugging up however as there is more to Grade 2 than the pieces. New time signatures, key signatures are introduced at this level not to mention sight-reading lines of development. Moving cold to this from Grade 1 without any bridging work may leave you a bit swamped. However, I'm assuming that your teacher has thought about this before suggesting moving on in this way.
Thanks for the reply Mark,

I bought the grade 2 pieces yesterday, and have started learning B3. This is what I am thinking of doing:

A2: Biel. Allegro grazioso: 2nd mvt from Sonatina in C Op 57 No 1

B3: Delibes. Mazurka: from Coppelia

C2: Elissa Milne. Mozzie OR C6: Manfrend Schmitz. Tango fur Elise

I would really like to do C6, but that means I need to go and buy another book! :roll: Theres some nice pieces in there its diffcult to chose. And the grade 8s have so many to chose from in the C section, They are soooo lucky, they could do Chopin's prelude in C# minor! I would so do that if I was that level! hope its available to do when I'm that far into it!

I'll ask my teacher this lesson if I should move to grade 2 again to she what she says. If so I'll finsh off working on the grade 1 stuff with her and get started on grade 2 It will be fun learning more stuff! and if there is any work I need to do to prepare, any studies excersises or other pieces would be welcomed by me to get up to it :) . But if I need to do grade one I don't mind, just need her advice.

markymark
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Re: Skipping grade exams

Post by markymark » 12 Feb 2009, 23:47

Moonlight wrote:And the grade 8s have so many to chose from in the C section, They are soooo lucky, they could do Chopin's prelude in C# minor! I would so do that if I was that level! hope its available to do when I'm that far into it!
By Grade 8, most players have developed a specialism and stength in a particular period (baroque, classical, etc) or perhaps even in a particular composer. To limit a Grade 8 musician (who has passed the steepest part of their musical learning curve) by offering a choice of three or four pieces per section as you would any of the lower grades would be wrong.

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