Making the Grade

Director: Ken Wardrop

Over 30,000 students prepare for piano exams each year in Ireland. In this delightfully quirky and uplifting documentary, we are invited into the world of the piano lesson. The film examines the special bond between piano teachers and their pupils, shares in the students’ struggles, and marvels at their teachers’ dedication.

51 participants from all over Ireland feature in the film, with each participant representing a different stage in the learning process and a different technique in teaching piano. The film charts the journey from novice to expert and presents the difficulties and rewards of the learning process along the way.

Ken Wardrop, who mastered the art of compendium portrait documentary with his critically acclaimed and immensely popular début His and Hers, brings his curious eye and signature warmth to this new study which skips along from lesson to lesson with irrepressible joy.

Notes by Sunniva O’Flynn

Classification: G

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