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#2108932 - 06/27/13 07:39 AM Re: ABRSM Grade 5 Theory [Re: adultpianist]  
Joined: Feb 2012
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zrtf90 Offline
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Originally Posted by adultpianist
my other difficulty that we are trying to overcome is that when I need to play a piece from the score, I cannot jump into the middle of the score and play from that point. I always have to start over from the beginning and that is wrong. If I am stuck on a particular bar, then I cannot start from that bar
That's overcome quite quickly.

With every piece you learn play each bar, hands separately once or twice to establish the correct fingering, then hands together once or twice. Play from the the first note in each bar to the first note on the next. When all is going well go through the piece/section again two bars at a time, then four, etc.

If it's a complex piece you might write the correct fingering over the first note of each bar just to make sure you start with the right fingers.

How does your teacher take you through this stuff?

Originally Posted by adultpianist
who cares what theory I know and don't know. Who is going to listen and judge me? Nobody.
Nobody other than you. Ever!

Why are taking any exams other than your own satisfaction?

What exactly do you think Grade V theory is going to give you that you don't or won't need to read and understand music at Grades 6, 7 and 8?



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#2108938 - 06/27/13 07:49 AM Re: ABRSM Grade 5 Theory [Re: adultpianist]  
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I think you seem to be talking yourself out of doing it. This suggests you don't want to! At least not yet. In which case that's absolutely fine, as you said earlier, you're doing it because you enjoy it, and you're right to do so. My suggestion would be to wait a while, until it either feels right to take the theory exam, or until you have a more solid feeling that you don't want to. Decisions where you're not certain are often best avoided for as long as possible. I have been learning for nearly a year now and still havent decided whether I'll even take any exams at all. At some point the decision will work itself out I think - either I'll feel ready and work towards taking one, or I'll carry on as I am and not bother. Ultimately it doesn't matter either way as long as I feel satisfied. I liked your approach that you bought the grade 4 books when you felt ready. Leave the theory, put the idea on the back burner and sooner or later you'll probably find you've already made the decision. x


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#2108940 - 06/27/13 07:52 AM Re: ABRSM Grade 5 Theory [Re: adultpianist]  
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Andy Platt Offline
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Originally Posted by adultpianist
Keystring, my hesitation was not about doing the exams, but doing a grade which requires theory. I love the challenge of taking a piano exam and find that it enhances my playing ability. However, as I progress up the grade scale, I am hesitant to do Grade 5 because I have been told I will have to learn stuff that as a home pianist, I do not need to know about. If it was just a matter of playing the piano in the exam and not have to sit a written theory and learn stuff that only professionals need to know about then I would be fine to take Grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 and learn how to play to that standard and have a qualification to prove it.


This is a long time ago, gulp, but I took grade 5 theory at the age of 15 because I needed it for grade 6 flute. I did no work for it at all. Now, I will add that I was studying for music O Level (that dates me) but, even so, I still had a year before the O levels so it was basic stuff.

I don't do exams now but I have completed the entire Snell Fundamental of Piano Theory series ... until you get to book 10, which is way past grade 5 theory level, do you get much that makes you think too much.

Having said all that, I don't take exams myself and, as an adult, I think you need to decide if it's important to you to take them. You might not. But please learn the theory anyway, it's important for your progress!


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#2108944 - 06/27/13 08:08 AM Re: ABRSM Grade 5 Theory [Re: adultpianist]  
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Quote
My teacher said to me "But you like doing the Grade exams" and I do, its merely the thought of learning all this extra unnecesary stuff that usually people who want to take music up as profession would do.


The last time I took an ABRSM was over 20 years ago. If I remember correctly (and if the rules haven't changed), you only need grade 5 theory and that should be good enough for up to grade 8 practical.

I enjoyed learning music theory. It helps me understand the music I play a bit better. I find that the knowledge from music theory do compliment the practical and vice versa. I wouldn't go to say "all this extra unnecessary stuff...". Why sit there and stress about it? Give it a go and if you really don't like it, at least you tried. You never know until you have a go.

Good luck!


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#2108951 - 06/27/13 08:28 AM Re: ABRSM Grade 5 Theory [Re: Tubbie0075]  
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adultpianist Offline
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I gues by doing Theory exam at Grade 5 or 6 will give me a better understanding of music. I go to classical music concerts by the London Symphony Orchestra or the Australian Chamber Orchestra, or indeed any well known orchestra. It will give me more pleasure in listening to the orchestra if I learn some theory so I know why bits of the orchestra do what they do and when etc etc. It is fine to listen to a good concerto but its nice to actually understand what you are listening to. I may not be a professional pianist but at least the Theory will be put to some use, if only for listening to sonatas and concerto with piano and orchestra or just orchestra thumb

#2108965 - 06/27/13 09:08 AM Re: ABRSM Grade 5 Theory [Re: adultpianist]  
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Originally Posted by adultpianist
I gues by doing Theory exam at Grade 5 or 6 will give me a better understanding of music. I go to classical music concerts by the London Symphony Orchestra or the Australian Chamber Orchestra, or indeed any well known orchestra. It will give me more pleasure in listening to the orchestra if I learn some theory so I know why bits of the orchestra do what they do and when etc etc. It is fine to listen to a good concerto but its nice to actually understand what you are listening to. I may not be a professional pianist but at least the Theory will be put to some use, if only for listening to sonatas and concerto with piano and orchestra or just orchestra thumb

Yes. And like I said before this thread degenerated into a food fight over your gender, get the ABRSM exam prep books from their online store.

I see they have "Music Theory in Practice, Grade 5" and "Music Theory in Practice, Grade 5 Model Answers" available together for $14.21. I don't know how much that is in pounds sterling, but not prohibitive.

I suspect you'll find you already know a lot of it, and the rest may be more interesting than you think.

Your teacher may unwittingly have made the exam sound like a big hurdle because it probably is for 12-year old kids learning piano as an extra-curricular activity. But I'm sure it won't be a problem for you.

#2108974 - 06/27/13 09:32 AM Re: ABRSM Grade 5 Theory [Re: BrainCramp]  
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adultpianist Offline
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Last edited by adultpianist; 06/27/13 09:33 AM.
#2108986 - 06/27/13 10:09 AM Re: ABRSM Grade 5 Theory [Re: PianoStudent88]  
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PianoStudent88. I'm in Maine at the moment in Lubec. Chilly here but beautiful...very unplugged which is relaxing (except here I am on the laptop). Summerkeys next week.

Just took the RCM level five theory and found the study uncovered some of my weaknesses. I can read the music without much problem but committing the scales and ideas to paper was a struggle in just an hour. The good news is that I passed.

Increasingly PROPER English seeks to use gender neutral terms to avoid mistaking a he for a she and a she for a he. I'm a she for the record and in life practice as well.


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#2109145 - 06/27/13 03:30 PM Re: ABRSM Grade 5 Theory [Re: adultpianist]  
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PianoStudent88 Offline
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WiseBuff, enjoy Lubec and Summerkeys.

Congratulations on passing your theory exam.

On an international forum with a wide variety of posters, I try not to get too fussed about different people's ways of using English. Don't know if I always succeed.

adultpianist, on tenor clefs, and just playing for enjoyment: for me, more knowledge about just about everything increases my enjoyment. That may not be you, though. I also have a high tolerance for theory on paper, although the weakness of this tolerance is that I really have to work to connect my theory to aural and playing skills. I don't think all teachers approach teaching theory in a highly practical way, though, so I don't know if you will be fortunate enough to have a teacher who can connect your theory with your music in a way that makes musical sense to you.

I recently learned tenor, alto, and soprano clefs for my theory exam (RCM Advanced Rudiments, which I think goes with level 7 Practical... I'm way ahead in Theory far beyond where I am in Practical). I didn't mind doing it, because as I said above, I just like knowing things. I did it mostly by brute force: "if this line is middle C then (count lines and spaces) this other line is this other note". Gets the answers for the exam, but is painful. Then recently I had a need to play some music written in these clefs. This was just for my enjoyment mind, not because I'm a professional musician. I don't normally consciously read intervallically, but in order to avoid the pain of translating note by note, I pullled out what I know of intervallic reading and practiced it. I got a lot more familiar with playing from these clefs in a hurry, and learned some skills to add to my sightreading tools. I'm glad I was familiar with these clefs from studying for the exam, and glad I found a way to deepen my musical understanding of them.

I needed the clefs because I happen to be studying medieval counterpoint. You might find you want them some day for some other reason: maybe you fall in love with a cello, or bassoon, or viola solo and want to play it on the piano. Maybe you want to transcribe a string quartet for the piano. (I heard a string quartet recently that I fell in love with, and want to do exactly that: transcribe it for the piano so I can play it.) Maybe you also will find yourself interested in medieval music.

Your choice, though, whether you like learning things just to know about them, perhaps by following an exam syllabus; or whether you'd prefer to only learn something in a "just-in-time" manner, for example only learn the other clefs when you first meet actual music written in them that you desperately want to play.

I also play for my enjoyment, but for me that means I want to learn everything I possibly can about piano and music, rather than shutting off areas as not relevant.


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#2109243 - 06/27/13 07:13 PM Re: ABRSM Grade 5 Theory [Re: PianoStudent88]  
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adultpianist Offline
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Posts: 540
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
WiseBuff, enjoy Lubec and Summerkeys.

Congratulations on passing your theory exam.

On an international forum with a wide variety of posters, I try not to get too fussed about different people's ways of using English. Don't know if I always succeed.

adultpianist, on tenor clefs, and just playing for enjoyment: for me, more knowledge about just about everything increases my enjoyment. That may not be you, though. I also have a high tolerance for theory on paper, although the weakness of this tolerance is that I really have to work to connect my theory to aural and playing skills. I don't think all teachers approach teaching theory in a highly practical way, though, so I don't know if you will be fortunate enough to have a teacher who can connect your theory with your music in a way that makes musical sense to you.

I recently learned tenor, alto, and soprano clefs for my theory exam (RCM Advanced Rudiments, which I think goes with level 7 Practical... I'm way ahead in Theory far beyond where I am in Practical). I didn't mind doing it, because as I said above, I just like knowing things. I did it mostly by brute force: "if this line is middle C then (count lines and spaces) this other line is this other note". Gets the answers for the exam, but is painful. Then recently I had a need to play some music written in these clefs. This was just for my enjoyment mind, not because I'm a professional musician. I don't normally consciously read intervallically, but in order to avoid the pain of translating note by note, I pullled out what I know of intervallic reading and practiced it. I got a lot more familiar with playing from these clefs in a hurry, and learned some skills to add to my sightreading tools. I'm glad I was familiar with these clefs from studying for the exam, and glad I found a way to deepen my musical understanding of them.

I needed the clefs because I happen to be studying medieval counterpoint. You might find you want them some day for some other reason: maybe you fall in love with a cello, or bassoon, or viola solo and want to play it on the piano. Maybe you want to transcribe a string quartet for the piano. (I heard a string quartet recently that I fell in love with, and want to do exactly that: transcribe it for the piano so I can play it.) Maybe you also will find yourself interested in medieval music.

Your choice, though, whether you like learning things just to know about them, perhaps by following an exam syllabus; or whether you'd prefer to only learn something in a "just-in-time" manner, for example only learn the other clefs when you first meet actual music written in them that you desperately want to play.

I also play for my enjoyment, but for me that means I want to learn everything I possibly can about piano and music, rather than shutting off areas as not relevant.


Thanks and an interesting few points.

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