QUOTE(BerkshireMum @ Oct 25 2007, 04:14 PM)
How are you getting on teaching the child piano? Presumably her sense of rhythm is no better for that? By grade 7 a candidate needs a very good sense of rhythm - or how on earth will they manage the sightreading?
Do have a word with the parents; it must be very difficult for the children to keep failing, and won't help their confidence at all. It does sound as if their teacher hasn't prepared them very well (although people on the forums are very sensitive to criticism of teachers, so perhaps I shouldn't say that!); sometimes teachers just play along with the child, and don't realise that the child is just following them without getting their own sense of rhythm or intonation.
Actually, there is a big step from playing alone to playing with accompaniment, and I'm now wondering whether this may be part of the problem? I remember the first practice with the accompanist when my son did grade 7 clarinet - I couldn't believe he was the same boy who had played so well that morning, because everything just fell apart. Up to that point I'd accompanied him myself in exams, so I'd thought he'd be fine, but he was completely overawed by having a really good pianist there. Fortunately, after a few rehearsals he was OK, but could there be something similar happening for these children?
Piano we've started from the beginning - very basic rhythms are OK, but she has problems with dotted rhythms, semiquavers etc. - it's not so much her sense of thythm, but she doesn't seem to have learnt how to work out rhythm patterns for herself. We're working through things, but obviously not up to Grade 7 level!
As to your other point about being used to the piano - yes, that could well have something to do with it as they haven't played their pieces through with a piano before - perhaps I should wait until we've had a few rehearsals and see if things improve. (Although I have to say we had lots of rehearsal last time, and things didn't improve much).
I've just realised that here I am complaining about another teacher - precisely what in the past I've had a go at other people for doing! Apologies, everyone, for being so self-righteous!