April 9, 2017 at 12:58am

This thread is meant not just for adults, but also for children. To what extent do you find taking piano exams a stressful experience? Or do you feel motivated to go for it as the outcome is rewarding?

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Liew Soo Hin

Maybe I progress at the right pace, so I didn't find it that stressful. Exams are definitely useful, and still has its place in the education system. Some of us don't progress if there isn't any... See More

Maybe I progress at the right pace, so I didn't find it that stressful. Exams are definitely useful, and still has its place in the education system. Some of us don't progress if there isn't any exam at all.

November 15, 2017 at 8:59pm
October 13, 2017 at 1:05am

My son is in P2 this year. He takes piano lessons at home, now Grade 1. Is it advisable to take piano exam every year?

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Mabel Ong

Susan, exams shouldn't be the primary goal his lessons should revolve around. Building passion/interest should take priority. Exams kinda by-the-way. And I'm not advocating totally no exams either... See More

Susan, exams shouldn't be the primary goal his lessons should revolve around. Building passion/interest should take priority. Exams kinda by-the-way. And I'm not advocating totally no exams either - definitely got plus points to take exams. ?

November 7, 2017 at 11:16am
Susan Teo

Thanks Mabel. I'm the typical parent who sees other kids seemingly learning so fast, and I'm worried my son is "losing out". Hard to shake this kiasu-ism. So, I'm struggling within.

November 7, 2017 at 12:18pm
Gavin Koh

I agree fully that what counts most is to develop passion. With a capital P.

In fact, most of the best pianists are self-taught! So this website says:... See More

I agree fully that what counts most is to develop passion. With a capital P.

In fact, most of the best pianists are self-taught! So this website says: https://pianologist.com/our-thoughts/self-taught/

And there are examples of pianists with little to no formal training who play professionally. Take for example: https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2015/07/the-self-taught-french-pianist-who...

November 7, 2017 at 2:46pm
Susan Teo

Gavin, I visited the 1st link you wrote. Thought it was a bold statement by just one person. While there are examples of good pianists who are self taught, I would be interested to know the % of... See More

Gavin, I visited the 1st link you wrote. Thought it was a bold statement by just one person. While there are examples of good pianists who are self taught, I would be interested to know the % of good pianists from the group who are self taught.

That said, I don't expect my son to be the best pianist (although it's a bonus if he can), but I would want him to enjoy and progress positively. ?

November 7, 2017 at 8:53pm
March 27, 2017 at 12:38pm

How important are graded piano exams?
Feel free to discuss and debate

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Goh Zensen

Indeed a very interesting topic!

March 27, 2017 at 10:22pm
Sng Yong Meng

Theng Beng, are your kids learning the piano currently?

March 27, 2017 at 10:41pm
Corrine Ying

Yong Meng's article has rightly pointed out the downsides of exam-oriented learning (weak sight-reading, limited repertoire and loss of interest which was also mentioned by Theng Beng). But as... See More

Yong Meng's article has rightly pointed out the downsides of exam-oriented learning (weak sight-reading, limited repertoire and loss of interest which was also mentioned by Theng Beng). But as Zensen said in the first comment, it ultimately boils down to the learner's objectives or purposes.

In defence of exams, these graded assessments are a tangible measure of one's progress, for the learner and for the parent. They are also a source of external motivation, which I believe, has its place alongside intrinsic motivation. Some kids may want to learn certain songs they like very much (e.g. from movies), but because they are unaware of the hard work and commitment needed to master the song, they may also give up eventually. Hence, being "forced" to learn something may not be as bad as it sounds.

The practical purposes would be, as Yong Meng mentioned, entry into MEP in schools or DSA, although an audition may also be held. Moreover, if a learner aspires to become a piano teacher, they would need to attain certification. A qualification from an established institution would enable employers to hire in a fair and objective way. If not, piano teachers would likely need to rely on personal connections or word-of-mouth recommendations.

March 29, 2017 at 11:10am
Gan Theng Beng

I am currently try to 'influence' my eldest daughter who is 10years old to pickup piano. I think she got good height, fingers are Long enough and still flexible. She currently still prefer guitar... See More

I am currently try to 'influence' my eldest daughter who is 10years old to pickup piano. I think she got good height, fingers are Long enough and still flexible. She currently still prefer guitar over piano. I always believe piano is the fundamental basic of all musical instruments. Once you knew piano then you could pick up and learn other musical instruments.

March 30, 2017 at 5:54pm