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#2057504 - 03/31/13 07:21 PM Taking ABRSM exams as a self-learner?
pianotimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/13
Posts: 51
I started the piano about 3 days ago and am using the Alfred's Adult Course. I am 17. As of right now, I can play When the Saints Go Marching In fluently with both hands (Melody RH or Melody LH w/ chords). I want to know how long it generally takes for a person to become fluent enough to pass the Grade 1 exam (and the exams following it). Thanks!


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#2057599 - 04/01/13 12:40 AM Re: Taking ABRSM exams as a self-learner? [Re: pianotimo]
poggler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 35
Wow that video was tough to watch. I'm a grown man and I probably would have been blubbering like a baby halfway through. The girl did very well, IMO. I wonder if she passed the test.

I have no idea how long it would take to get to grade 1 after just starting the piano. Probably depends whether you are learning on your own or from an experienced instructor. Roughly, probably at least a year.

#2057603 - 04/01/13 12:43 AM Re: Taking ABRSM exams as a self-learner? [Re: pianotimo]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014

Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1389
Loc: Cameron Park, California
There's no reason to concern one's self with "how long" it takes until goals are reached, except for out of curiosity (and you know what they say about curiosity...), but none of us here can predict your unique future - only you can by setting realistic goals and working hard to achieve them. Instead, spend your spare time researching better practice methods and possibly learning music theory (see below for some great resources) so that your practicing is more efficient and enjoyable; when all your time and energy can finally be efficiently devoted to practicing, you'll be reaching (or have already reached) your goals before you know it.

http://practisingthepiano.com/?page_id=2261 (Graham Fitch is a well-respected piano teacher and writer who published a great and inexpensive eBook on practicing)

Theory resources thread:
Bernhard - Always Have a Plan

#2057610 - 04/01/13 01:01 AM Re: Taking ABRSM exams as a self-learner? [Re: poggler]
Whizbang Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 1131
Originally Posted By: poggler
Wow that video was tough to watch. I'm a grown man and I probably would have been blubbering like a baby halfway through.

I'm with you on the video.
amateur ragtime pianist

#2057655 - 04/01/13 06:01 AM Re: Taking ABRSM exams as a self-learner? [Re: pianotimo]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
After 3 days i asked the same enthusiastic question i imagine. Dedication and application will get you to your goals. Try to structure your practice time to include the abrsm sylabus subjects and you will soon get a better grasp of what youll have ti cover...

Scales, broken chords, arps, sight reading, rythm practice and pieces ...

Sight reading is a pain. . But very important to get into the habbit of a little bit every day.... your goals will be acheived like the rest of us... slow, steady and regular...

Good book to start with for sight reading i found is hannah smith sight reading exercises...

I did a few a day and now on the last few pages... excercise 450ish... its definately a slow process but regular practice of all tye different aspects will get you to your goals.... enjoy the journey and do t get hung up on how long things will take... it will only frustrate you!

Good luck

#2057656 - 04/01/13 06:03 AM Re: Taking ABRSM exams as a self-learner? [Re: pianotimo]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
Few spelling mistakes there..... joys of using a phone and having giant thumbs!

#2057887 - 04/01/13 04:16 PM Re: Taking ABRSM exams as a self-learner? [Re: pianotimo]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
Who cares how long it takes? (Oh, and if you truly are concerned, invest in a good teacher. Best way to "shorten" the amount of time it does take.)
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

#2059490 - 04/04/13 10:17 PM Re: Taking ABRSM exams as a self-learner? [Re: pianotimo]
Weiyan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 795
Loc: Hong Kong
If you are matured and well disciplined, with an examine oriented teacher, you can pass grade in one year. I passed grade five in clasic guitar with half year preparation. Besides can strung some chords, no prior formal music education received.

Better think about why take the exam?
Working on:\

J.S.Bach Prelude in C Min: No. 2 from Six Preludes fur Anfanger auf dem
Am Abend No. 2 from Stimmungsbilder, Op. 88
60s Swing No. 1 from Swinging Rhythms


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