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Advised jazz grade to start grade 5 classical piano students

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#1 Nicci



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Posted 05 November 2020 - 13:16

Would you advise as to what abrsm jazz grade I should start my  grade 5 classical piano students


They have both shown an interest in trying something different and taking a break


Would it be best to start from scratch or say grade 2 jazz as it seems the solo part would be a stretch on any grade for a classically trained student.


Please advise

with many thaniks


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#2 Clovis


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Posted 05 November 2020 - 15:35

My son was grade 5 classical when he switched to ABRSM jazz. He started at jazz grade 2. The syllabuses ask for some very different skills.

I met a parent in a jazz exam waiting room whose teacher alternated classical and jazz grades, but the jazz grades were always one or two levels below the classical, at least at first.

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#3 maryellen



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Posted 07 November 2020 - 13:39

I have used ABRSM Jazz exams for several reasons 

1. If a student shows a particular interest in Jazz/improvisation 

2. If a student is slightly losing motivation with the classical piano exams 

3. As a sideline skill to those who prefer a holistic experience in their lessons rather than racing through exams 


Whatever their level of playing, I generally start them off with grade  1 Jazz so they can understand the principle of the exams, but I don’t always do all the grades after that.  
Or I have started students with grade 1 Jazz and they have never taken classical exams. 

Some students find Improvisation easy and exciting so don’t have a problem starting their exams with grade 1 Jazz Piano.  Others definitely need to be above grade 3 piano before they would cope with Jazz exams 


it really does depend on the individual 

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