My child is 7 years old - What grade should they be in?

 
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The recent abolishment of the streaming system in secondary schools by the Ministry of Education puts an end to the downsides of customised education, such as stigmatism and labelling. This goal is also shared in music education, where examination boards such as ABRSM aims to motivate learners at all levels and ages, providing realistic goals and tangible rewards for their achievements. Music exams serves as a good motivating tool for students to challenge themselves, performing their own personal best. However, it should not be regarded as a measure of their self-esteem or how good they are.

Music interest begins at different points of life for different people. For many people, the impetus to pick up an instrument is kick-started by the desire to play a song that they like and connect with emotionally. Varying from person to person, this might happen as early as in one’s childhood years, or later on in adulthood, after one’s musical preferences has been developed. With the proliferation of music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play Music, children of this generation have the advantage of being exposed to a diverse range of music from young, which helps to develop their musical interest.

An integral part of the learning process for a music student is the individual practice routine that one establishes at home. Learning an instrument requires dedicating a portion of one’s time to regular practice sessions which involve an assortment of musical tasks, such as learning new songs, practicing scales, and undergoing ear-training, to name a few. For practice sessions to be effective, students are advised to employ deliberate practice, which makes use of specific goals that are set at the start of the practice session to let students track their progress. To learn more, check out our previous blog post on deliberate practice here!

Taking music examinations has always been a common choice for most music students in order to mark a certain milestone that they’ve achieved in their musical journey. This option provides students with an assessment on how they perform under pressure and the level of mastery they have over their instrument. For students who are learning for leisure, the option not to take up exams may relieve some pressure and stress generated from the need to sit for examinations. At its core, all music education aims to enable music practitioners to gain music literacy, to develop an individual sense of musicality, and most importantly, to enjoy playing and making music.

To sum things up, music education has always been a two-pronged approach. Music educators are always trying their best to develop and nurture young talents who may contribute to the music industry in the future. At the same time, music educators are also preaching the art of music-making to the rest of the world, in hopes of discovering passionate music-makers along the way.

Play on and Tinkle Away!