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Am I the only one with few high grade pupils?

Whats changed?

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#16 Norway

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 16:06

I have a lucky dip pot of random musical tasks, and piano accompaniment is one of the things.


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#17 Dorcas

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 06:59

I have one student working towards grade 7.  The rest are either not interested in grades or working towards grades 1 to 3.  


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#18 Aquarelle

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 08:50

I have 10 young beginners  - some working on the Piano Adventures Primer, some on PA Lesson book 1, one on Ministeps to Music Book 3 and an older beginner on "The Joy of First Year Piano".  Four pupils took Grade 1 in June, four took Grade 2, two took Grade 3 and four took Grade 4. I have three  pupils  playing at about Grade 2 who are not interested in exams. I have a pre-Grade 1 and a Grade 4  (sisters) who are quite interested but the family has refused on account of the high fees. I have two older girls who are playing at about Grade 6 and would like to have a go at the exam but are having problems with Grade 5 theory. I have one boy who is totally unclassifiable. He can't sight read a Grade 3 piece  and scales are usually very haphazard but he has recently made a commendable go of the Rachmaninov Prelude in C# minor.

 

I have only ever had one Grade 7 and never a Grade 8. Over the years most of my pupils have ceilinged at Grade 4, the more able and more motivated at Grade 5. Grade 6 is the exception.

 

If they have arrived at a Grade 3 level of play (exam or no exam) by the end of their "college" years (first 4 years of secondary education in France) they usually continue during their lycĂ©e years. If they haven't then the level of the music they are playing does not really match the level of their general maturity and they tend to lose interest - though I know that some have re-started later in life, not always on the same instrument - so nothing is  entirely  lost. I have one  large family who for financial reasons rarely  go beyond Grade 4 with me but I know that they continue to play.  The mother laughingly told me that one of the older boys now has a number of female admirers because he is "cool" - he can play the piano!


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#19 BabyGrand

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 14:07

Trinity ( of course!) already offer this at Grades 5-8, and it's an interesting syllabus. 

 

I looked at the accompanying syllabus (I think Trinity) previously, and thought it was brilliant.  The tasks were really relevant to real life situations, and it looked really worthwhile.   Then a year or two later, when I had a student who wanted to have a go, I had a look at the syllabus and was sad to discover it had been changed completely.  All the good bits had been taken out, and now it was pretty much identical to an ordinary grade exam, except that you play your pieces as an accompanist rather than a soloist.  Really disappointing.  sad.png


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#20 Clovis

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 15:20

 

Trinity ( of course!) already offer this at Grades 5-8, and it's an interesting syllabus. 

 

I looked at the accompanying syllabus (I think Trinity) previously, and thought it was brilliant.  The tasks were really relevant to real life situations, and it looked really worthwhile.   Then a year or two later, when I had a student who wanted to have a go, I had a look at the syllabus and was sad to discover it had been changed completely.  All the good bits had been taken out, and now it was pretty much identical to an ordinary grade exam, except that you play your pieces as an accompanist rather than a soloist.  Really disappointing.  sad.png

 

Exactly! The skills in the old syllabus looked exciting and challenging, but, as you say, it's now basically a grade exam with a soloist for two pieces.

 

My daughter took one accompanying exam, but has decided not to do any more, even though she thoroughly enjoyed working with her singer.


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#21 Dorcas

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 06:11

I have been thinking about the initial question by the OP.  Should instrumental teachers measure themselves by their highest graded student?  A few years ago, a parent asked me what my students had achieved academically, and my answer was along the lines of, I did not know.  The parent decided against booking lessons with me, which was fair enough.  If it turns out that none of my students ever pass anything more than a grade 6, I will still be content.  I enjoy teaching youngsters, but also really appreciate adult students as well.  There is a distinct shift in social and work patterns, and that is inevitable.  When I was having my own first lessons in the sixties, it was a very different world to the one I inhabit now.  I am not particularly nostalgic, and do not wish to turn the clock back, even if I could.  


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#22 Latin pianist

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 06:18

I wasn't thinking of that, I just have enjoyed having high grade students. I enjoy all standards of pupils but it is nice to have a mix of abilities. Actually getting students playing and keeping them playing up to high grades is probably harder than teaching the high grade students.
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#23 Dorcas

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 06:29

Thanks Latin pianist. Yes, a range of abilities is always interesting.


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