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Posted on August 18, 2014 1:27 pm
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Aslihan Unal
Aslihan Unal
Reps: 435
Music Teacher Question
How much emphasis grades should be given and whether they really represent a certain level?

The reason I ask this is because I'm sick of the pressure associated with parents and the grades system. Martin has done his grade 1 already and he's only been learning for 12 months. However, in reality they don't know what a crotchet is. For me it seems quite easy to teach somebody the same 3 pieces for a year or two and then for that individual to say they are grade 7 standard for example. However, if that particular student were to pick up a piece independently they would rarely know where to start with it. I think that it has become so pressured that teachers feel like they have to get students to a certain grade level as quickly as possible and often with the student covers very little repertoire. I'm not sure about other instruments, but I know this is very common on the piano where students often struggle with sight-reading. How many times do students even have time to think about the dynamics or tempo, because they are just about trying to read the notes. I just wondered how many people agree with the fact that actually it is fairly easy to 'cheat' the exam system to some extent.
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Solution 1
Posted October 13, 2014 9:16 pm

Michael Brown
Michael Brown
Reps: 103
Dr. Unal,
While I believe the system you are referring to is not commonly used in the United States, some common principles are standard and relate to our classrooms here as well. Music, as well as most arts, is completely interpreted... Everyone has an opinion on where to put "stock" into. I believe that it is all about the basics or what I call, "Daily-drill" If you teach students to approach their instrument to common principles, they will be able to play anything. That's teaching. If you rehearse one song with them, they'll be able to play one song. Not teaching. I put no emphasis on what other people who are musicians (and especially not non-musicans) think about my classroom... At the end of the day, I teach what I think will benefit the students the most. Sometimes, that has nothing to do with music and is simply about standing for moral principles with than leave my course. Often times, its simple concepts that help them apply to multiple situations and levels of literature.

It's very easy to cheat the system...... and lots of teachers (even non-music) do it... The beauty of that is we still have control of ourselves at the end of the day.
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