If you've done an exam in the past (say you did Grade 5 when you were 15) and you haven't played in a few years, your current playing level IS NOT at a Grade 5 standard :( This might be hard news to hear, but just because you were once at a certain level, doesn't mean you still are.

Audition

We require all new students to audition for Virtual Piano Academy so we can assess what your actual current playing level is. It might only currently be at a Grade 1 level, even though you did Grade 5 in the past.

Starting Again After a Number of Years Off Can Be Frustrating

Your teacher will instruct you on the best place to start to get your skills back, but it likely won't be right where you left off years ago. In these cases, most students find it really frustrating for the first 6 months of getting back into practice after a number of years off. The reason for this is that you know some stuff, but it's really rusty. Your fingers don't work the way you want them to, even though theoretically, you might remember a lot of things from your previous lessons.

It's easy to feel like you're an adult back in Kindergarten. But THE WORST thing you can do in this situation is to say things like "I used to be able to play this" or "I've done this in the past, I don't need to practice this".

Recipe For Success

You need to give yourself time to reconnect all the dots. Let yourself be open to learning during this time. Ask lots of questions. Embrace being "new" to this again. If you let yourself think like a complete beginner, you'll actually pick things up more confidently and more quickly, then if you have a stubborn "I've done this in the past" attitude.

If you've done Grade 5 in the past, and you come back to lessons after a number of years of not practicing, there is absolutely NO WAY you'll be immediately ready to start preparing for Grade 6. It is likely you'll need to spend the first 6-12 months on getting your technique back and re-learning a few things before you can get back to a Grade 5 level.

Be patient. Listen to your teacher. Take things slow. Practice regularly and diligently and have an open "child-like" mindset. If you do these things and push through the first 6-12 months, you'll get your skills back...and it's only onwards and upwards from there!

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