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Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier? (Read 4477 times)

Offline tinyhands

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Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
« on: August 08, 2016, 10:51:30 PM »
Hello, a question for teachers, I'm an amateur pianist and  I often pick up sheet music books from charity shops to practice sight reading and see that the same 'old favourites' pop up time and time again in these albums. I have noticed quite a difference in the graded levels for certain pieces. For example Schuman's Traumeri has recently been in a grade 7 book yet I saw an old ABRSM book from maybe the 1970's and I think it was grade 5 then. This has been true for a few other pieces like Mozart K545 (1st mov) which has both grade 4 and grade 6 and a Clementi sonata op 36 no 6 Again grade 4 and then also recently it is a grade 6 piece. I was wondering if exams are getting easier? Are the standards not as high now or are there different factors in the exams that make them more challenging? Just wondered if there were any teachers here who can shed any light on this, I'm just curious thanks.

Offline worov

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 05:30:11 AM »
It has been mentionned by others members too. Bernhard talk about it here :

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=5078.msg48222#msg48222

He also says that he pays no attention to grades too and I think he's right.

Offline vaniii

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 06:47:34 AM »
Grades are not fixed to pieces.

Think of them as standards, meaning at Grade 1, you are expected to have fundemental standards in your skill level, at Grade 8 you are expected to be fully formed in your standard.

At diploma levels, you have the beginnings of professional technique.

To put it plainly, a professional pianist would not perform Traumerie the same as a Grade 5 student.  Likewise, a professional performer can read Chopin B flat minor sonata at sight without issue and have something close to a performable rendition, a Grade 8 would still be trying to work out the chords in the opening bars; in regards to harmonic analysis at sight.

If you understand the standards, and what is required,  you can get from grade 1 to 8 in a very short space of time.  That is not to say, every one should skip, but I know personally some of my students have got to grade 5 merit/distinction in two years based on how they work at the instrument; they work to a standard not a grading.

Offline tinyhands

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 01:21:46 PM »
thanks for taking the time to reply.  I'm not going down the exam route myself, although sat up to Grade 5 when younger had a 20 year break and returned now a few years back.  Now  I'm 40 years old and loving the piano more than I ever did when I was younger.  I don't have any interest in doing formal exams which my teacher agrees with, I am just loving exploring and learning a wide variety of music.  In fact we went back to "easier" pieces I played years ago and now I have played and understood them to a much higher standard than I ever did years ago. I am so excited when I think about the massive range of pieces which await learning, and know I will continue my piano journey for the rest of my life. I feel I don't need to put myself through exam stress and deadlines to learn ( life is hard enough these days :P) for a bit of paper. Funny though my in laws are both teachers and were saying "oh you should do the exams for the discipline and the satisfaction of passing"  ;D  I was just curious how the exam boards applied levels to certain pieces for exam purposes since there seemed to be such a difference over the years.

Offline irrational

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #4 on: August 11, 2016, 08:32:11 AM »
I am doing UNISA exams and there are definitely some issues.
Mostly due to getting people to keep studying music and not stopping because its hard.
In my opinion the general quality of school teaching is so bad that students are unknowledgeable and therefore uninspired and uninterested.

Even though the standard of the works are still very high, the following have been reduced in the past few years.

1: 3 works now instead of 4
2: Scales and Arpeggios halved in amount
3: Scales and arpeggios speed reduced (i.e. for my grade 7 it is 108bpm scales, but new syllabus is 92)
4: Music theory exams are significantly easier and the length reduced as well. So much easier that it annoyed me as an hour exam took me 15 minutes to finish...Grade 6 theory is now 1 paper instead of 2.

Offline vaniii

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #5 on: August 13, 2016, 07:28:58 AM »
Heh.

Yes.

But that is only to accommodate the lowest comon denominator; the ceiling is still where you left it.

Offline davida

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 08:29:28 PM »
Hi - a reply to the UNISA response below. I took a BMus from UNISA a few years ago and at the time it was a prerequisite that you had to pass a Licentiate in either performing or teaching in your instrument. I took a Licentiate through ABRSM to fulfil the requirement. I took a year to do it and had to wait for the conferment of my degree. Having passed the exam and got my degree the next year the condition was removed because it was deemed too difficult for students to achieve. The same goes for Keyboard Harmony - another skill which was dropped from the UNISA degree requirements quite a few years ago. I think this is indicative of the poor education standards in SA. Having said that, UNISA playlists for Diplomas and lower grades are definitely more demanding than, say, ABRSM. For example, for the Licentiate, instead of a selection of Chopin Etudes (ABRSM) you are required to do the whole set of either Op 10 or Op 25. You are also required to book the hall, produce a programme, drum up an audience and provide teas in the intermission. That is, present the recital as if it was a professional recital. I think the standard of piano teaching (private) in SA is generally quite high and talented students can be found at all levels but I do think that pushing the standard and peripheral demands to such a degree defeats the purpose somewhat. It is a bit like colonial cringe - we are not the UK, we are South Africa - so we must prove we can do it and even better.

Offline vaniii

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #7 on: January 17, 2017, 01:35:54 AM »
I am going to speak frankly, and this might upset a few people, but honestly, I do not care; the truth can be painful.

The standard for what is deemed truly brilliant, in the truer meaning of the word (exceptionally clever or talented), not the superlative thrown around in western English-speaking countries, is still where it was.  If you take the average student at a top-rank university or conservatory, the standard is still exceptionally high.

However, to accommodate the general entitlement of ‘Joe and Josephina Public’, the standards have been lowered to the point of almost forced idiocy.  I do not phrase this lightly, on purpose; I will attempted to explain my reasons below.

In the west, we live in a system that rewards sloth and mediocrity.  A child takes a test, they do not revise, they sit and waste time, but, there efforts are rewarded in the hope that ‘positive’ reinforcement will spark enthusiasm.  This is a flawed concept and ideology; if this child passes the test, they simply believe that their effort was sufficient and will repeat them, the passing grade implying they did in fact complete the task correctly despite there inactivity. Please consider that of course this is different if the student actually makes a valid attempt.

Music examinations are the epitome of this.  Students with glaring flaws in their technique, and inadequate understanding of music – who should fail – are allowed to pass.  Take any student who enters an ABRSM exam but complains about scales, sight-reading, or aural skills.  The majority of them choose not to rehearse these components because they are ‘boring’ to them, and they would rather play pieces.  Not seeing that these very same components, make up the pieces they want to play, and allow them to play better.  I think this is called having cake etcetera.

(dcstudio, please correct me if I am wrong, but in order to improvise in on those magnificent head-sheets you play, don’t you need to understand harmony, which requires scales, and ability to listen?)

Similarly so for diploma candidates who are terribly flawed in these areas.  Please see ABRSM’s latest addition to the diploma syllabus, the ARSM, which is again, an attempted to appease these candidates.  This diploma, gives post-nominals to massage the ego, but lacks the any substance.  I can understand the reasons for this, but wouldn’t it be better to address the real issue that has started this mess … the reduction in funding to music education !??!1”!  (a topic for another thread)

I digress, the point is, yes the standard has dropped significantly, but not for the pinnacle of students who are able to recieve quality tuition, and work hard at their efforts.  The lower point for a ‘passing-grade’ has been reduced significantly; distinct playing will always be distinct.

"When small [people] attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity".

In this case we only have our selves to blame.

Offline brogers70

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 01:17:21 PM »
I am going to speak frankly, and this might upset a few people, but honestly, I do not care; the truth can be painful.

The standard for what is deemed truly brilliant, in the truer meaning of the word (exceptionally clever or talented), not the superlative thrown around in western English-speaking countries, is still where it was.  If you take the average student at a top-rank university or conservatory, the standard is still exceptionally high.

However, to accommodate the general entitlement of ‘Joe and Josephina Public’, the standards have been lowered to the point of almost forced idiocy.  I do not phrase this lightly, on purpose; I will attempted to explain my reasons below.

In the west, we live in a system that rewards sloth and mediocrity.  A child takes a test, they do not revise, they sit and waste time, but, there efforts are rewarded in the hope that ‘positive’ reinforcement will spark enthusiasm.  This is a flawed concept and ideology; if this child passes the test, they simply believe that their effort was sufficient and will repeat them, the passing grade implying they did in fact complete the task correctly despite there inactivity. Please consider that of course this is different if the student actually makes a valid attempt.

Music examinations are the epitome of this.  Students with glaring flaws in their technique, and inadequate understanding of music – who should fail – are allowed to pass.  Take any student who enters an ABRSM exam but complains about scales, sight-reading, or aural skills.  The majority of them choose not to rehearse these components because they are ‘boring’ to them, and they would rather play pieces.  Not seeing that these very same components, make up the pieces they want to play, and allow them to play better.  I think this is called having cake etcetera.

(dcstudio, please correct me if I am wrong, but in order to improvise in on those magnificent head-sheets you play, don’t you need to understand harmony, which requires scales, and ability to listen?)

Similarly so for diploma candidates who are terribly flawed in these areas.  Please see ABRSM’s latest addition to the diploma syllabus, the ARSM, which is again, an attempted to appease these candidates.  This diploma, gives post-nominals to massage the ego, but lacks the any substance.  I can understand the reasons for this, but wouldn’t it be better to address the real issue that has started this mess … the reduction in funding to music education !??!1”!  (a topic for another thread)

I digress, the point is, yes the standard has dropped significantly, but not for the pinnacle of students who are able to recieve quality tuition, and work hard at their efforts.  The lower point for a ‘passing-grade’ has been reduced significantly; distinct playing will always be distinct.

"When small [people] attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity".

In this case we only have our selves to blame.

I keep seeing things like this, from friends, and in opinion pieces about what's wrong with the millennials. But I don't see it in the actual millennials that I meet. I don't find this "special snowflake," "participation trophy" fragile, "safe-space," whiny caricature that shows up in print all the time. The millennials I know, friends of my young adult children or people working in my town, are generous, hard-working and idealistic, nothing at all like the delicate, lazy, entitled waifs I keep reading about. To me the important question is not whether exam standards are changing but whether the number and quality of pianists being produced by the system as a whole is getting better or worse. I'm a retired doctor, and when I was in medical school there were lots of older attending doctors who thought it terrible that interns and resident didn't live in the hospitals anymore, or that we were arguing for (wimpy) 80 hour work weeks, or one full day off each month. The point is not whether a system seems tough and demanding enough to people who've been through it, but how well it works in producing whatever it's supposed to produce (good pianists or good doctors).

Offline vaniii

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #9 on: January 17, 2017, 04:28:48 PM »
I keep seeing things like this, from friends, and in opinion pieces about what's wrong with the millennials. But I don't see it in the actual millennials that I meet. I don't find this "special snowflake," "participation trophy" fragile, "safe-space," whiny caricature that shows up in print all the time. The millennials I know, friends of my young adult children or people working in my town, are generous, hard-working and idealistic, nothing at all like the delicate, lazy, entitled waifs I keep reading about. To me the important question is not whether exam standards are changing but whether the number and quality of pianists being produced by the system as a whole is getting better or worse. I'm a retired doctor, and when I was in medical school there were lots of older attending doctors who thought it terrible that interns and resident didn't live in the hospitals anymore, or that we were arguing for (wimpy) 80 hour work weeks, or one full day off each month. The point is not whether a system seems tough and demanding enough to people who've been through it, but how well it works in producing whatever it's supposed to produce (good pianists or good doctors).

Agreed.

Shall I be more precise.

The people I am referring to, in music, or otherwise, are a minority; however they are the age-old vocal minority.

Analogically speaking, you are far more likely to tend to the needs of a screaming child, than one who remains silent.

Every now and then, I get an inquiry for lessons from one of these millennial types.   They are utterly deluded, they expect to become a fully fledged concert pianist or similar standard in only a few weeks; like most other areas in their life, patience is a sin.  Of course, they get a shock when they soon realize that simply arriving and being in the room wont allow them to achieve a professional level of playing.

These students often stop after a few lessons.

The problem is not with the generation of millennials, but their behavior is a symptom that is now rearing its ugly head. An abridged version.

Baby Boomers: As a direct result of the war these children became the hippies in the 60s, a direct result of the past wars and looming wars after. It was a rebellion to the old ideologies of separation, elitism and class warfare.

Generation X-ers: Raised in a post war world where personal freedom took priority over that of social responsibility.  This generation saw rise of women in the work place; it became socially acceptable to leave your children to their own devices; with the advent of broadcast TV, this was easier to do.  Cartoons and children's entertainment became higher profile (worth-mentioning, the ideals they depicted were that or more traditional and nationalist values, and sometimes outright racism).

Latchkey kids: Due to parents being absent at work, this generation was raised by television.  Evening cartoons and computer games became their past time; the content used to reinforce gender roles. Cartoons often arrived coupled with toys and merchendise due to lower manufacturing costs in a post war world. To make up for their absence, parents would shower these children with gifts (usually the merchendise and toys from the cartoons); often at birthdays and Christmas, and if afforded at intervals during the year.  This is also exasperated by the social normality of divorce, prompting divorced parents to shower their children with gifts to make up for more absence.

Mellenials: Raised in a world with technology, these children were born in the information age.  Social networking, and mass-media and mass-marketing prevail.  Children as young as five with  high-priced electronics.  Adults taking out loans to pay-for said electronics that now, with improvements in manufacturing, are cheaper.  Children are used to getting what they want, when they want.  Even the people dangerously close to the poverty line, crave the latest electronics, cars and social lifestyle.  Reality TV paints a picture of what the 'perfect' life is, duly imitated by the consumer masses (these pictures targeted to specific demographics in metropolitan society).  Traditional ideologies are not marketable, and so, in mainstream media, they take a secondary or even tertiary place over more marketable practices, concepts and products. 

Its worth mentioning, businesses or institutions marketed to the upper-middle class, or upper class, still very much drape them-self in tradition, and longevity; a reason why top-ranked universities and businesses that survived the millennium have a rustic ambiance with hard-wood, leather and high-polished brass.  They also do not need to market themselves because the applicants, candidates and clients generally do not fall into the archetypal structure of the general masses; hidden curriculum, and stealth-elitism.

Obviously, these are broad generalizations, but these are demographics and do not account for individuals.

How does this relate to exam-standards?

Due to cultural change in the west (i.e. social freedom, technological improvement), children in the general public are not used to the draw-backs of a pre-industrial world.  Before the war, many practises carried out by machines today were carried out by hand.  Imagine, there was an entire generations in the 80s and 90s, that were not taught grammar or arithmetic; the result a generation of illiterate children.  With the introduction of computers and tablets in the classroom during the 90s and 2000s, there is an entire generation of children who struggle to spell and use pen and paper to write.  Also worth mentioning, with the rise of film and media, how can the wonder of the grand canyon, or history of west-minster abbey compare with Kanye West's latest drama, or Justin Bieber's latest meltdown?  Going back to the latter part of victorian society (ca. 1900) the world was smaller, and the lens to view it came through knowledge gathered through study.

When we consider that Classical music, is from a time-span where people were used to waiting days if not months for various activities to run-through to completion, it should not be hard to see why many children born today are not used to the concept of waiting, being patient and taking responsibility.  Couple this with the novelty of discovering a frontier, and, much, much larger world, today's children take for granted education and learning.  People died for the right to learn, vote and be equal; now, we see it as common place, and quite mundane.

Also, we have a button for that now.

---

Disclaimer: this is merely a social commentary based on my ready and research over the years, not a crtique of 'today's youth'.  My opinion on the mentioned is that they, the youth are under tremendous pressure: inflation, no job prospects, and betterment syndrome.

Offline brogers70

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 12:15:28 PM »
Agreed.

Shall I be more precise.

The people I am referring to, in music, or otherwise, are a minority; however they are the age-old vocal minority.

Analogically speaking, you are far more likely to tend to the needs of a screaming child, than one who remains silent.

Every now and then, I get an inquiry for lessons from one of these millennial types.   They are utterly deluded, they expect to become a fully fledged concert pianist or similar standard in only a few weeks; like most other areas in their life, patience is a sin.  Of course, they get a shock when they soon realize that simply arriving and being in the room wont allow them to achieve a professional level of playing.

These students often stop after a few lessons.

The problem is not with the generation of millennials, but their behavior is a symptom that is now rearing its ugly head. An abridged version.

Baby Boomers: As a direct result of the war these children became the hippies in the 60s, a direct result of the past wars and looming wars after. It was a rebellion to the old ideologies of separation, elitism and class warfare.

Generation X-ers: Raised in a post war world where personal freedom took priority over that of social responsibility.  This generation saw rise of women in the work place; it became socially acceptable to leave your children to their own devices; with the advent of broadcast TV, this was easier to do.  Cartoons and children's entertainment became higher profile (worth-mentioning, the ideals they depicted were that or more traditional and nationalist values, and sometimes outright racism).

Latchkey kids: Due to parents being absent at work, this generation was raised by television.  Evening cartoons and computer games became their past time; the content used to reinforce gender roles. Cartoons often arrived coupled with toys and merchendise due to lower manufacturing costs in a post war world. To make up for their absence, parents would shower these children with gifts (usually the merchendise and toys from the cartoons); often at birthdays and Christmas, and if afforded at intervals during the year.  This is also exasperated by the social normality of divorce, prompting divorced parents to shower their children with gifts to make up for more absence.

Mellenials: Raised in a world with technology, these children were born in the information age.  Social networking, and mass-media and mass-marketing prevail.  Children as young as five with  high-priced electronics.  Adults taking out loans to pay-for said electronics that now, with improvements in manufacturing, are cheaper.  Children are used to getting what they want, when they want.  Even the people dangerously close to the poverty line, crave the latest electronics, cars and social lifestyle.  Reality TV paints a picture of what the 'perfect' life is, duly imitated by the consumer masses (these pictures targeted to specific demographics in metropolitan society).  Traditional ideologies are not marketable, and so, in mainstream media, they take a secondary or even tertiary place over more marketable practices, concepts and products. 

Its worth mentioning, businesses or institutions marketed to the upper-middle class, or upper class, still very much drape them-self in tradition, and longevity; a reason why top-ranked universities and businesses that survived the millennium have a rustic ambiance with hard-wood, leather and high-polished brass.  They also do not need to market themselves because the applicants, candidates and clients generally do not fall into the archetypal structure of the general masses; hidden curriculum, and stealth-elitism.

Obviously, these are broad generalizations, but these are demographics and do not account for individuals.

How does this relate to exam-standards?

Due to cultural change in the west (i.e. social freedom, technological improvement), children in the general public are not used to the draw-backs of a pre-industrial world.  Before the war, many practises carried out by machines today were carried out by hand.  Imagine, there was an entire generations in the 80s and 90s, that were not taught grammar or arithmetic; the result a generation of illiterate children.  With the introduction of computers and tablets in the classroom during the 90s and 2000s, there is an entire generation of children who struggle to spell and use pen and paper to write.  Also worth mentioning, with the rise of film and media, how can the wonder of the grand canyon, or history of west-minster abbey compare with Kanye West's latest drama, or Justin Bieber's latest meltdown?  Going back to the latter part of victorian society (ca. 1900) the world was smaller, and the lens to view it came through knowledge gathered through study.

When we consider that Classical music, is from a time-span where people were used to waiting days if not months for various activities to run-through to completion, it should not be hard to see why many children born today are not used to the concept of waiting, being patient and taking responsibility.  Couple this with the novelty of discovering a frontier, and, much, much larger world, today's children take for granted education and learning.  People died for the right to learn, vote and be equal; now, we see it as common place, and quite mundane.

Also, we have a button for that now.

---

Disclaimer: this is merely a social commentary based on my ready and research over the years, not a crtique of 'today's youth'.  My opinion on the mentioned is that they, the youth are under tremendous pressure: inflation, no job prospects, and betterment syndrome.


Well, it's a good thing it's not a critique of today's youth. That critique has been going on since the invention of writing....

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

That's Plato (allegedly quoting Socrates). And you can find similar quotes throughout history. Every generation seems to think that the next generation is less moral, less hardworking, less respectful, and less diligent than they themselves were. By a shocking, society-threatening amount. And yet, if there were, in fact, such a huge generational decrement in all the virtues operating from generation to generation over thousands of years, it would be remarkable that we, today, did anything but sit helplessly on the ground. To me, the interesting question is what is the source of the cognitive bias that reliably, generation after generation, convinces the old that the young are weak, lazy, and immoral. It's the same cognitive bias that gives rise to the myth of a Golden Age and convinces some otherwise smart people that there is superior wisdom to be found in "ancient manuscripts." It's behind Confucius' reverence for the wisdom of the mythical "First Kings." And it always seems eminently plausible. All the generational characterizations you've given above sound believable, at least for white, middle class kids, and you could find similar things in the Opinion section of Time magazine over the past 50 years, but formulating those generalizations into empirical questions that could be tested, to find out whether they, in fact, are correct, never quite seems to happen.

It's possible that standards for the ABRSM and such are being loosened, but if, for example, that encouraged more students to try, and if they were motivated to keep going, while at the same time the standard for elite students kept producing excellent pianists, I don't necessarily see a problem. It's at least not obvious that more people today take up the piano with unrealistic expectations as to how easy it will be to make rapid progress that did so many years ago. Certainly, most people who take up an instrument drop it, whether you're talking about 50 years ago or last week. It's very easy to take individual examples that fit one's cognitive bias and conclude that they are evidence for the view that made one notice them in the first place.

Sorry if I'm snappy. I've read one too many tut tut opinion piece about what's wrong with millennials, and the millennials I know just don't fit the picture.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #11 on: January 18, 2017, 04:06:14 PM »
Continuing on the present off-topic topic.  Vanii, I read your synopsis of "types" of people according to generations.  Real people don't fall into such groups - let's just explore:
Quote
Baby Boomers: As a direct result of the war these children became the hippies in the 60s, .... It was a rebellion to the old ideologies of separation, elitism and class warfare.

"Baby boomer" - I was born in 1954.  I did not become a hippy, but in some ways my WWII generation parents went there.  By the time I was 12, we were "living off the land" and largely away from mainstream society.  Picture that in WWII German boys as young as 13 were forced into the army or be hanged amidst the idealistic hoopla of government propaganda, and you can see how the disenchantment with society constructs hit one generation early.

I am a "baby boomer", and was a teen when the hippy stuff happened.  We read about it in newspapers and were perplexed.

"latchkey kids" - before my parents became farmers, I was one.  I don't remember being babysat by the television.  I do remember it was lonely, and when I lost the housekey at age 11, dangerous.  Nowadays there is Neighbourhood Watch and safe havens for kids.  Or after-school programs.

Quote
Millenials: Raised in a world with technology,...  Children as young as five with  high-priced electronics.  Adults taking out loans to pay-for said electronics that now, with improvements in manufacturing, are cheaper.  Children are used to getting what they want, when they want.  Even the people dangerously close to the poverty line, crave the latest electronics, cars and social lifestyle. ....  
Those would be my now-adult kids.  Um?  No! You are describing particular strata of society in terms of the entire family unit: upper middle class and higher, ambitions, etc.  Many people were not "close to" the poverty line - they were on it and below it.

Shall I tell you of the millenial who would come to my house to write out his essays since they could not afford a computer, and the idiot teacher in school couldn't figure out poverty when she would not accept handwritten essays, no matter how neat?  That computer was already being shared out with my own children for their work.  Nobody among the kids I knew who were my children's age "craved the latest" anything.  Nor did they get them.  Nor were they spoiled.

I can tell you that the young man I wrote of split his time between school, homework, and a night job at a hamburger joint so that he could contribute to the household.  Have you ever seen a fridge and kitchen cupboard that is almost empty of food?  It was, at his house.

These are also not the social strata that are likely to show up at your studio for lessons.  What you get to see are the relatively privileged.

I had to send my "millenial" son to university, the entrance to which he earned through very hard work, with an intermediate level cheaper instrument while all around the privileged kids who had had lessons 10 years before he could start his were sporting the finest "professional level" instruments.  He was told up front that he was losing grades in every jury and exam because we didn't have the money to buy anything better.  Yet he slogged on.  Sort of like having two conservatory students do their jury, one of them on the best grand piano, the other on a poorly regulated spinnet, each having only been able to practice on these instruments.

Please do not buy into steoretypes created by the media or whoever, and then paint everyone with the same brush.


Offline vaniii

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #12 on: January 18, 2017, 11:23:41 PM »
I wrote an essay to respond.

I posted it for a moment, i deleted it because this is such a large issue that stems right the way back to elitism in music, ranging from the  very beginnings of western-classical music.  It started in church, then the courts, then the concert halls, now people's homes.

Music as we know it is not the same thing it used to be.  Its not better, its not worst, its just different.

Social-economic times have changed which effects all things, not just music.  The most notable is the standards expected.

This is neither the time or place to discuss these issues, first and foremost because the true answers will offend all parties involved, by reminding us that the system is not fair, and weighed from the top down: those who have will continue to have and gain more; those who don't will never compare or equate.

I wont post any more on the subject; sorry to all who I may have offended.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Are Piano exams like ABRSM getting easier?
«Reply #13 on: January 19, 2017, 12:26:20 AM »
Vanii, you have not offended at all.  It was food for thought.  You accurately summarized what has been written about categories of the generations as they have been portrayed to us over the years.  For years we had no voice to talk to each other: the media rained down what it was that we were to understand about our world.  Now we have a chance to discuss their ideas.  Your summary was the perfect opportunity to do so.