MAKING THE GRADE invites us into the world of the piano lesson. Every year teachers and students throughout Ireland prepare for graded musical exams. These exams can be pleasing for some ...
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MAKING THE GRADE invites us into the world of the piano lesson. Every year teachers and students throughout Ireland prepare for graded musical exams. These exams can be pleasing for some but daunting for others. Each student has their own particular goal but reaching Grade Eight is considered a pinnacle. This endearing and uplifting documentary explores the bond between piano teachers and their pupils as they struggle through these grades. This is a story of the trans-formative power of music and the pride and happiness it provides both the students and teachers. It may inspire us all to keep making the grade.Written by
I'll start off by saying this film evoked horrific memories of my childhood attempts at piano playing in school. It was not for me, that's for certain.
The documentary, directed by Ken Wardrop, is set in Ireland, where piano players are attempting to pass a music exam from Grade 1 up to Grade 8. At first, this was confusing to me, living in America, where Grades 1 thru 8 are school children advancing from one level of learning to the next and has nothing to do with music.
However, in the movie individuals of all ages and backgrounds can try for advancement in the music exams and go on to the next level. The doc will introduce us briefly to a myriad of personalities striving to pass these exams, as well as their piano teachers.
This is a quiet film filled with low-key humor, so don't expect any dramatic fireworks. The power of the doc is in the interviews with each person and those teachers that earnestly try to guide them with their own personal styles. The range is enormous from a woman who openly states that she knows she'll never be very good but still wants to try, to the young enormously talented prodigy.
Overall, this movie is not for everyone but for those who can patiently focus on why some humans want to play music and the dedication of their teachers there are certainly rewards here.
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