Please free to shoot me after all that I've said about being more cautious about exams, but I'm considering entering an eight-year-old for the TG Initial exam after having only given her the book last week. She started with me last October, and seems to be a natural sight-reader with a great sense of pulse. She came back this week with one piece fully learnt on 15 minutes a day in four days' practice (I make them fill in a timetable), and another well on its way. I picked a third one for her (The Bus Driver) in which the hand position doesn't change throughout, and she was able to sight-read it, albeit slowly, from start to finish, even getting in all the Bbs. Up to now she's been learning pieces in a week or two, after which we've moved on to something else, so the only thing I'm not sure about is how well she'll manage to actually focus on the same things for about 6 weeks rather then just get a couple of new things every week. Am I mad to enter her for an exam so soon? The entry date is this Friday, so I have to decide without seeing her again (I'll ring her mum) and having only had one lesson with her with the exam book. Am I bonkers?
Post by Steve Hopwood on Jan 18, 2007 14:04:41 GMT
Please free to shoot me
That would definitely be an excessive over-reaction. You only get shot for daring to question the 'The L. Ron Hubbard of Music' mafia in TOP ;D
Up to now she's been learning pieces in a week or two, after which we've moved on to something else, so the only thing I'm not sure about is how well she'll manage to actually focus on the same things for about 6 weeks rather then just get a couple of new things every week.
She won't have to. How many seconds does each piece take to play? My guess is the answer is, not very many. Once she knows them, the little girl can probably play each one about ten times in two minutes. That means a maximum of half her practise time will be spent on the prep test stuff, so the rest can be spent learning new material.
Looked at like that, three months appears an excessive time to spend on three short pieces, so you will probably need to get her to learn them, then give them a break, then polish them for the last month or so leading up to the test if she is not to become suicidally bored with them.
Am I mad to enter her for an exam so soon? The entry date is this Friday, so I have to decide without seeing her again (I'll ring her mum) and having only had one lesson with her with the exam book. Am I bonkers?
We don't really know, D. Are you? ;D You teach the piano, so that certainly qualifies you for bonkerhoodness. ;D
If the lass is good enough to play the pieces and all concerned want to go ahead, then there is no reason not to. Pre-grade 6, a good pupil only needs three months to prepare for a graded test. Experience tells me that the good ones who really want to do an exam will master the material in this time. Those who do not will not master it in double the time.
Clarification - when I said 'three months', I meant that it's only three months since she was a complete beginner. The entry date is today and the exam is late feb/early March. But I'm going for it anyway!
Yes, I'm interested too. I'm entering a little girl for her Prep Test and have decided ( a bit rashly) to let her play 'Boating Lake'. The exam is in 3 weeks and she started learning it...well, yesterday. She learnt 'Jogalong' in 4 weeks. I just want to test the waters with her, as I think she can do it easily, and I'd rather give her a more challenging piece than the easy one I was going for. It's all such a learning curve for me!!!
She got a merit - only just, mind - 75. And her lowest mark for a piece was the one with the optional teacher's accompaniment... . She's now well into the Grade 1 stuff, plus lots more duets, which she loves. Great sight-reader! Nothing to do with me. It's just there.