Jumping from Grade 2 to Grade 4

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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Junior Poster
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Jumping from Grade 2 to Grade 4

Post by Nat » 15 Jul 2009, 21:26

Hi everybody,
One of my students has just taken his Grade 2 exam. He started to prepare for it only in March.

Now his parents want him to try and pass Grade 4 exam by January 2010 (to get into a boarding music school)!.. They want him to skip Grade 3, and (what makes me worried even more) he has only 5 months to prepare!..

Yes, he is diligent and does what he is told to, he wants to do it himself (he is only 11 y. o.), but I am not sure if he manages to pass it!.. ( I am sure though that he could do it for 1 year).

Even though I know the difference between those grades is not that big as between the 6+ Grades, I would like to ask you for a piece of advice. Thank you.

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Re: Jumping from Grade 2 to Grade 4

Post by Descombes » 15 Jul 2009, 22:38

I've seen this from both sides: piano teacher and Head of Music in various schools. From both sides, the answer should be NO! The most important point is that the school only has these grades as a guide and they will be more impressed by a good Distinction at Grade 3 than a scraped pass at Grade 4. In fact, I feel that the level of pass says more about potential than the grade passed.

What parents don't realise is that schools will spot this sort of "hothousing" a mile off; it is a common occurrence and is really pointless. If they won't take your word, it might be worth asking them to consult the Director of Music at the school; his/her response will almost certainly confirm what I've written. Alternatively, why don't you contact the Director of Music?

There is this awful trend for parents to think they know better than teachers. I wonder if they tell their doctors what they should be doing? (Actually some probably do.) I would definitely say No; if they decide to take the child elsewhere for lessons, that's up to them.

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