Jump to content


Photo

Post-grade 1 problem?


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 pianoviolinmum

pianoviolinmum

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Member: 895582
    Joined: 09-July 16

Posted 19 July 2019 - 17:56

Does anyone else find it hard to get pupils going again after grade 1? I have a pupil who took grade 1 at Christmas, after a lot of regular practice, and did very well (137), yet hasn’t really got going since. We moved onto PianoMix 1 and she chose Funeral March of a Marionette, and also, later, Sing Cuckoo. Neither is quite completed yet, but we have been moving through easier pieces that are helping with notation reading for sight reading. I have been checking she wants to complete these pieces and not just move on, and she has always said she does. Her technique is good. I was taken aback a couple of weeks ago when her mum revealed she only does 10 mins practice each time now....That explained a lot! I do wonder whether the steep practice curve before grade 1 almost burnt her out. Is that crazy? She was desperate to take grade 1 that term, and as I know her parents well and they were behind her, I agreed. And she did well.

Then a pupil who took grade 1 at Easter has had two long stints of not really practising, due to school exams and school play. I would explain that doing even a small amount of practise each day in a routine is the way to progress. But parents would back up the view that she has just been too busy.

What do others do after grade 1? I have plenty of ideas, but so far they are failing to stimulate enough interest. Would love to hear.
  • 0

#2 Latin pianist

Latin pianist

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3578 posts
  • Member: 711500
    Joined: 01-April 13
  • Cotswolds

Posted 19 July 2019 - 18:04

I like Encore book 1 which has grade 1 pieces for consolidation then grade 2 pieces . Sometimes after the hard slog of an exam, it's good to do something lighter. Piano Adventures Lesson book 3a has some easily learnt pieces which have been popular with my students. I think it is quite a big jump to grade 2 especially with all the scales so launching straight into grade 2 material doesn't always work.
  • 0

#3 pianoviolinmum

pianoviolinmum

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Member: 895582
    Joined: 09-July 16

Posted 19 July 2019 - 20:55

Thanks for your reply and suggestions, Latin Pianist.

I was thinking those two pieces from Piano Mix 1 might be roughly grade 1 level...PM 1 is meant to be moving from grade 1 to grade 2. Maybe not.

She took grade 1 before the syllabus change, so is capable of learning those pieces, imo. But maybe I should have gone down a notch in difficulty after the exam, for refreshment and encouragement!
  • 0

#4 maggiemay

maggiemay

    Maestro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19867 posts
  • Member: 413
    Joined: 12-January 04
  • S E England

Posted 19 July 2019 - 22:01

I find sometimes that the exam preparation process can leave a young pupil almost forgetting how to go about learning a new piece. For a child who may have spent a term or two on the same three pieces, their playing becomes semi-memorised, and starting to learn something new from scratch can suddenly feel unfamiliar. Even more so if their sight-reading is on the wobbly side.

I quite often err on the side of caution after a grade exam, and avoid pushing the level for a few weeks, although of course it depends on the individual too, and some are just raring to move on, and will respond to a challenge. But definitely not all.

I was talking to a family member last week who used to play when younger, and he commented that he never liked moving on, because he preferred playing the pieces he knew! This was a bit of an eye-opener to me, as I tend to think that a term on the same pieces gets just a bit boring, and that starting fresh stuff in the first lesson after an exam is the best part, and always welcome after the repetitive preparation routine.

No concrete suggestions - just a few random thoughts on the post-exam situation.
  • 1

#5 Gordon Shumway

Gordon Shumway

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 278 posts
  • Member: 899488
    Joined: 11-February 19
  • London

Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:28

Very difficult for me to know what to say, as I began on grade 3 on both piano and oboe. I wonder if grade 1 is a good place to start - clearly to some it seems like an end - "Phew, grade 1, that's that over and done with, now I'm finished with music." Maybe if they all began on grade 3 or even grade 2, it would seem more like an incomplete journey and they'd be inspired to continue?


  • 0

#6 Latin pianist

Latin pianist

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3578 posts
  • Member: 711500
    Joined: 01-April 13
  • Cotswolds

Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:43

I assume you mean covering grade 1 and 2 material before taking grade 3? That would take quite a few years with most students. When I was young, wind instruments and maybe others but I don't know about them, did start at grade 3. Without wishing to belittle those skills, surely it was because it was considered easier to get to that stage than on piano? From accompanying exams, the demands for these instruments are different but do not seem as demanding as grade 1 piano. And maybe because it does seem to take a long time to get to grade 1, some teachers, myself included, are sometimes persuaded by parents to start exam work when students are hardly ready rather than waiting till the exam is something that can be worked at alongside other repertoire. I try to avoid this and of course sometimes it's working for the exam which brings students on. But if they're only just ready, then the move to grade 2 is going to seem very hard.
  • 0