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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:25 pm 
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Hello,

DS wants to learn an instrument. I don't want him to start and then flake out, so I want to tell him he has to learn for a certain amount of time. I wasn't sure whether to give an amount of time, say, a year; or whether to say he has to reach a certain level of competence. How long is it generally until DC take grade 1 from beginning to learn to play? Or is Grade 2 a better cut-off to give because he will have at least achieved some competence and will be in a better position to judge whether it's something he does or does not want to continue with? He's not sure what he wants to play yet - cello, violin? Or a brass instrument - they did a taster term at school and he quite enjoyed the trumpet.

Any advice gratefully received :? :)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:49 pm 
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My ds2 started Piano last September and he has his Grade 1 exam in April(Theory) and June(Practicals). Where as my DS1 has been learning Guitar for 2.5 years in school but have not even achieved Grade 1 :(

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:53 pm 
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It does vary between instruments - my DC skipped to grade 2 (flute).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Sometimes I think it depends on the school. DS started violin in Year 3 but did not do grade 1 till year 5 or year 6 (can't remember which). I do remember getting a bit impatient when it was getting to the end of Year 5. Have just checked with DS and grade 1 was done at the end of Year 5.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:30 pm 
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How old is DC and does he have any musical experience - even the recorder? Can he read music? If yes to the latter then he will make quite quick progress initially.

The trumpet is often a good choice for boys. It's easy to pick up and he can play it walking around the house. With larger instruments, learners often have to go to a solitary spot and make an effort to practice - they aren't really adhoc practice instruments. Trumpet is also diverse and he could enter an orchestra, brass and some jazz bands so he'd be popular at school. I would say that a child aged 10/11 could easily get to grade 2 within a year on a wind instrument, piano could take longer.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:53 pm 
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WFG, I wish you had been around when DS2 decided to take up the cello (briefly!). I can picture him with a trumpet and wish I had steered him in that direction!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:12 pm 
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scary mum wrote:
WFG, I wish you had been around when DS2 decided to take up the cello (briefly!). I can picture him with a trumpet and wish I had steered him in that direction!


Believe me, it's all hindsight. I wish DS2 had taken up the oboe instead of bassoon and double bass for those same reasons. Thankfully we've ditched double bass, for now, and I'm hoping at some point that the bassoon ends up being a hobby!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:12 pm 
You can take a Prep test (before grade 1) which you can't fail and depending on age is good if the child has no experience of an exam situation. Also which grade to start at depends on the age and musical experience.

I would focus on doing 10 mins practice per day rather than thinking how long to play it for


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:17 pm 
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My son started singing properly last year - he did his prep exam in the summer and is doing grade 1 next month. I think they are horribly slow doing these type of exams. He is singing something in Latin whicih sounds terribly impressive - followed up by "Drunken Sailor" (not so impressive :roll: )

He also did speech and drama exams for a few years and they seemed happy for the children to do one grade per year - which I think is really slow!

(the voice is even more portable than a trumpet, and no instrument hire ...) :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Thanks for all your responses. I think I shall say up to grade 1 and then we'll see ... Kindof decisive :? And I'll have a word with his future teacher when he comes down to choosing instruments. :roll:

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