-----> 1st POST!!!! (Be gentle
Our 5 yr old daughter has been doing group music lessons for ages here in Brisbane, Australia. They've been primarily toddler participation stuff with lots of singing and dancing and a little bit of gently easing them toward the piano. However before Easter we noticed that she was WAAAY quicker than the rest of the class at picking up the piano stuff and seemed to be being held back.
Her teacher suggested taking an exam - and despite others in her class taking "Australian Foundation for Music Education BRONZE" level she took "SILVER" and aced it.
We've since decided to let her have a go at private 1-on-1 lessons and she's raced ahead in ability and after just 4 weeks has blitzed the "GOLD" pieces (that were expected to take her 3-6 months to master).
This was after 3 days practicing this piece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayCUd9S09-c
Teacher is blown away and using all kinds of hyperbole to describe Nicola and is now suggesting skipping AMEB "Preliminary" level and jumping straight to Grade 1 before christmas, with a view to perhaps skipping alternate grades and 'fast-tracking'.
When I was a kid I did ABRSM exmas in the UK (Gr1 when I 11ish, Gr8 by the time I was 18)- and I'm sure Grade 1 was easier than AMEB Grade 1 looks like!
Any thoughts here? Is skipping grades a good idea (Nicola certainly likes practicing and picks thing up very quickly) will it be good to keep her interested and challenged and not bored - or is there value in slowly working up through the grades not intimidating her with stuff that she might shut-down and declare 'too hard' - particularly at this early stage?
Ultimately I dont want to push her - but she loves it so much (we struggle to get her off the piano) it seems shame not to let her explore her talents fully....