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Syllabus overlaps


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#16 jenny

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 20:56

[quote name="Latin pianist" post="1366155" timestamp="1559937309"]

I hope so, but know of lots of teachers who switch to Trinity to avoid the grade 5 theory.[/quote

 I teach theory right from the very beginning but ai simply don’t have the time in a 30m lesson to nag, cajole etc and relentlessly police it. 

This is why almost all of my pupils have 45 minute lessons. My very young beginners start with 30 minutes, but most of them quickly progress to longer lessons, so that I can use around 10 - 15 minutes on theory work. 


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#17 BabyGrand

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 22:04

I never thought I would want to see the requirement dropped because I too am a keen theory teacher and I think it's important. However my theory teaching is complicated by the fact that the theory books which cover the ABRSM Grade 5 syllabus are  all in English. when I taught theory to English speaking pupils they often worked on in theory book without help, reading the explanations and applying what they had already learnt. I then only had to check the answers and see that the concepts had been fully understood. So it didn't take anything like the amount of lesson time it takes with my present pupils. It is extremely difficult for youngsters whose mother tongue is not English to do this.

 

Do they not have French language version of any theory books, Aquarelle?  Or the exams themselves??  I am with Jenny in that I love theory and think it's so essential, and so would be sad to see the requirement dropped purely for what it symbolises.  I think removing it sends a message that theory isn't important.  But asking a child to take a Grade 5 (or any grade) theory exam in their second language sounds ludicrous!  Even more so when it used to include word setting!!  Do they not make any allowances / adaptations?  Surely if they want to offer an exam in France, they should offer it in French!  If not, then they should perhaps make an exception and say that the requirement does not apply to students who can't take the exam in their own language?  


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#18 Aquarelle

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 14:04

You can ask for a translation of the theory paper and the AB will provide that.As far as i know the ABRSM theory books are published only in English and - I think - Chinese. (I am ready to be corrected if that info is not accurate). Anyway, I have never found a French version and in any case I gave up using even the English AB theory books ages ago as the Lina Ng and Ying Ying Ng  books are light years better.

 

For practical exams they usually send us a French speaking examiner. If the examiner is fluent then all is fine and above all capable of understanding the replies to the aural tests that's fine. where the examiner is not very fluent or has difficulty in understanding the child our local rep  goes in to help out - though she did one year come out of an exam to ask me for a translation of a child's answer as she didn't understand what he meant. I train all my candidates to cope with the language situation in the practical exams and it has never been a problem. They are, after all, used to my own gaffs!

 

I don't think they could remove the theory requirement for non English speakers. it would be unfair the other way round and open to abuse. I have a rather confused attitude to all this. I support the theory requirement in principle but  I think it is unfair to my students. I don't see how it could be changed unless for every one and I don't really see why Trinity and LCM should higher grades should get the same number of UCAS points without a theory requirement.

 

It's a bit messy!


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#19 Sautillé

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 18:47

Aquarelle, I just can’t imagine how you deal with this. Although I would say in my English side experience I’m actually running up against a similar problem to you although language isn’t the cause..... I used to be able to teach theory largely based on the available books. But, I now find that children have zero ability to read / work at / puzzle out anything and cannot access any of the syllabus unless I adapt and spoon feed it to them. I now refuse to teach anyone G5 unless parents are willing to commit to at least some theory lessons and have spent the last few years writing my own teaching notes for just about everything. It’s taken me ages - way beyond the amount I’ve earned from the lessons but I felt it was the only way I was going to get anyone through who wasn’t quite exceptional..... to be fair to the children, most Gcse exams are an hour or 90m long. The idea of doing a 2 hour exam in Y7 or 8 is a massive ask.
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#20 Hildegard

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 17:09

You can ask for a translation of the theory paper and the AB will provide that.As far as i know the ABRSM theory books are published only in English and - I think - Chinese. (I am ready to be corrected if that info is not accurate).

 

According to the ABRSM 'shop' website (http://shop.abrsm.or...c-Theory/100016) the theory books are available in German, Spanish and Swedish, as well as Chinese - but not French. sad.png


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#21 fsharpminor

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 18:55

I believe if you are going above  Grade 5 on piano, you should know all the theory at least to that level.  When I took organ ATCL back in 1965, I had to do a dip level theory exam as well as the practical  (passed the theory, failed the practical. Went off to Uni and didnt touch an organ for several years !). I am fairly sure when I took ALCM piano the previous year, I didnt have to do a Dip theory exam, because I had a Grade 6 theory LCM pass.

 

My piano teacher would not take any piano pupil on unless they were prepared to do some theory work as well, and we all did theory grades as well as the practical. (I omitted grades 7 and 8 though, and went straight to ALCM from Grade 6.It didnt seem such a big gap as it seems to be now, and we had to do virtually every scale in the book for ALCM)


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#22 Aquarelle

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 19:59

I believe if you are going above  Grade 5 on piano, you should know all the theory at least to that level.  When I took organ ATCL back in 1965, I had to do a dip level theory exam as well as the practical  (passed the theory, failed the practical. Went off to Uni and didnt touch an organ for several years !). I am fairly sure when I took ALCM piano the previous year, I didnt have to do a Dip theory exam, because I had a Grade 6 theory LCM pass.

 

My piano teacher would not take any piano pupil on unless they were prepared to do some theory work as well, and we all did theory grades as well as the practical. (I omitted grades 7 and 8 though, and went straight to ALCM from Grade 6.It didnt seem such a big gap as it seems to be now, and we had to do virtually every scale in the book for ALCM)

F# minor, with all due respect, our generation were light years away from what pupils have to do nowadays.  I never took Grade 5 theory because I had O Level music and with the O level syllabus as it then was, Grade 5 theory would have been a piece of cake. Not only that, I didn't need my piano  teacher to spend time on it in lessons because we had a decent musical education at school. I am not against learning theory - I am all for it. What I am against is putting barriers in the way of pupils. It is very sad and discouraging when  Grade 5  theory becomes an insurmountable hurdle for pupils who very much want to have a go at a higher practical exam before leaving school. These days you have to time students'  musical routes alongside their school  work load and school exams much more than was ever the case for us. And routes are very different for individual learners. I just don't like the "you can't do this because you haven't done that" approach.


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