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Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? #2367427
12/30/14 10:44 PM
12/30/14 10:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
For the past 6 months or so I have been preparing for the AMEB grade 8 piano exam. I plan to take the exam in mid-2015. So I have roughly 5 more months to go.

Anyone here doing the same exam and would like to share practise experience and answer each other's questions? Any teachers have any good advice or tips or answer to my questions?

My exam pieces are:
- BACH - Prelude & Fugue in Fm, Book II
- MOZART - Sonata in A, 1st movement, K331
- CHOPIN, Nocturne No. 19, Opus Post. 72 Nr. 2 (whatever that means)
- MESSIAEN, Prelude No. 1 La Colombe

My chosen technical work group is Group 1: C, E-flat, B (and relative minors for scales)

I have done an AMEB grade 8 exam before in 2008 on the violin. So I have a general understanding of the requirements in General Knowledge and Aural Tests. My sight reading is terrible so I better start practice NOW!

My first question is, what piano do they use at the AMEB Hawthorn Exam Centre for grade 8 piano exam (brand and model, upright or grand)?

My second question is relating to Technical Work requirements:

In the latest Syllabus 2015 which I just purchased, the required arpeggios (including dominant and diminished) are C, C minor, E-flat, E-flat minor, B and B minor. I recall in the technical workbook and the old syllabus 2010 I had (I don't have them with me now) that the required arpeggios are supposed to be in the relative minor of the required major keys, e.g. A minor, C minor and G# minor, just like what is required for the scales. I suppose I should follow the latest Syllabus 2015, but the AMEB Victoria website says "no changes to the technical requirements". So which minor keys should I practice for the exam? It's not a major issue at the moment as I know all the above keys (E-flat minor arpeggios though is a pain with all black keys)! I just wanted to know which ones I should concentrate near the exam date.

So far I've posted 2 videos on YouTube, Bach's Fm prelude and Messiaen's prelude no. 1. I'm not very happy with them. Hearing myself play I know what I am not happy with, so I will work on it. I'll work on posting the rest of my exam pieces soon so I know where is good and not. Here are the 2 videos. What do you think? Passable?

BACH:


MESSIAEN:








Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
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Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2367543
12/31/14 07:41 AM
12/31/14 07:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Since no one is doing the same exam here and no one has answers to my questions, I'm just gonna use this post as my practice journal.

Here are my technical works so far. I've omitted:
- Dynamics for scales (p, f, p<f>p)
- Staccato for scales
- Inversions for arpeggios
- Separate hands for scales and arpeggios

I've cut out all the bad attempts and left the relatively ok ones. Obviously some of the elements are not up to tempo yet.

I'm sitting higher than usual because my piano bench is too squeaky for the video. It's not ideal and it's making my wrists sink, causing my RH 5th finger to curl up and RH 2nd finger to stick up all the time. Note to self: watch out for these!

Oh, and I absolutely hate 6ths. All sorts of 6th!





Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2367560
12/31/14 09:15 AM
12/31/14 09:15 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 344
Europe
V
vevurka Offline
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vevurka  Offline
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V
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 344
Europe

Watch out the articulation, sometimes you "slip" a note instead of playing it (especially at the end of scale).

It's better to fix the bench or buy a new one. Don't play in the position which isn't right for you, it may lead to injuries.

Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: vevurka] #2367595
12/31/14 11:34 AM
12/31/14 11:34 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Thank you. Noted about articulation.

Will revert back the squeaky piano bench. The stool is just too high.



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2367837
12/31/14 11:19 PM
12/31/14 11:19 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Ok, here's the fugue. My teacher and I both like the slower and softer version than the faster and louder version that is more commonly played.

So difficult to play contrapuntal. It's a nightmare to manage several voices at once, both on the fingers and in the head! I also find it to keep the tempo steady, especially when anxiety kicks in.




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2367864
01/01/15 01:53 AM
01/01/15 01:53 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
I find this to be the hardest of my exam pieces, 1st movement of Mozart's piano sonata in A. I could play the variations separately but when playing the movement as a whole, I loose confidence for some reasons and slips and mistakes start creeping up.

Here are the theme and variations sown together. Honestly, if I could play like in this video at one go during the exam, I'll be most satisfied!

Note to self: need to take care of those ornaments and rests in the left hand.

I'll try to record my last exam piece tomorrow, Chopin's Nocturne.




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2367931
01/01/15 09:02 AM
01/01/15 09:02 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 344
Europe
V
vevurka Offline
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vevurka  Offline
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V
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 344
Europe

Hi, I didn't listen everything you posted here to the end. Why didn't you memorized these pieces? Shouldn't you play from memory at exam?
If I were in your shoes I would worry on memorizing rather than being able to play well from scores. Recording yourself give you more performance experience if you try to play from memory.

Prelude by Bach - I think you used to much pedal. It's too "romantic" to me. I would practice it without any pedal, then add some when necessary - this approach makes me not used to this overpedaled quality of sound.

Mozart - you have some nice sound in this. I would work more on articulation, especially in ornaments. In rare spots your sixteens are not even. Probably because of some tension?

When are you taking an exam?

Best wishes for New Year!

Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: vevurka] #2368170
01/01/15 06:14 PM
01/01/15 06:14 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted by verqueue

Hi, I didn't listen everything you posted here to the end. Why didn't you memorized these pieces? Shouldn't you play from memory at exam?
If I were in your shoes I would worry on memorizing rather than being able to play well from scores. Recording yourself give you more performance experience if you try to play from memory.


At grade 8, we are not required to play the exam pieces from memory, only technical works (scales and arpeggios). I am incline to at least play the difficult passages from memory. My old violin teacher advised that even if I play from memory during the exam, it is best to have the scores up in case of memory slips.

At grade 8 violin exam, I played the first 2 pieces from memory. Then the examiner told me I could look at the score. So I did for the 3rd piece. It didn't go so well, so I played from memory again for the last one. I thought the examiner would be pleased that I played from memory, but he didn't write any comment about it in the report.

The scores, having it there helps calm the nerves a bit.


Originally Posted by verqueue

Prelude by Bach - I think you used to much pedal. It's too "romantic" to me. I would practice it without any pedal, then add some when necessary - this approach makes me not used to this overpedaled quality of sound.


Now that you mentioned it, I am a bit worried that the examiner will comment that it is not played in baroque style. I'll speak to my teacher about this. We both like it with the pedal, but for exam purposes we may decide to be more "baroque".

What do you think of the fugue? Too much pedal too?

Originally Posted by verqueue

Mozart - you have some nice sound in this. I would work more on articulation, especially in ornaments. In rare spots your sixteens are not even. Probably because of some tension?


You are right. Especially towards the end, my fingers were starting to feel fatigue, so it started to tense up to give it more "strength". But I wanted to finish the video recording so I carried on.

Originally Posted by verqueue

When are you taking an exam?

Best wishes for New Year!


I haven't enrol yet. The earliest exam to enrol for is April - May session. I'm thinking I may need a bit more time. So I'm thinking of enrolling for the June session. It suits work better as June is the end of financial year, so I can take some time off before the exam to practise.



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2368257
01/01/15 09:49 PM
01/01/15 09:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Last one for this week, Chopin!

Nerves always kick in in a bad way. There are many places I would normally take my time to phrase and voice it better. When the camcorder is on, all I could think of are notes and fingers. Damn it!

This concludes my goal for the Christmas / New year week break, record all 4 exam pieces. Wish I could have managed to play through Mozart sonata in one go tough.





Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2368264
01/01/15 10:15 PM
01/01/15 10:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Tubbie, this is a teacher's forum. It looks like you're looking for input on your playing. You probably would find and receive a lot more responses if you posted this on the Pianist Corner. Most teachers would have done this level exam back in their high school years, and wouldn't be repeating now that they're teaching. Best of luck to you on your upcoming exam.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: John v.d.Brook] #2368277
01/01/15 10:40 PM
01/01/15 10:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Hi John,

I can't post in the pianist corner. I never consider myself a pianist. I will never consider myself a pianist. I don't belong there.

Perhaps I'm wrong to think that because this is a teacher's forum that many teacher would be able/willing/eager to provide advice. They may not have done any exam lately themselves, but their students may.

Perhaps this is a place for teachers to share teaching experience with each other. Well, I am a sample right here. They can use me to share their teaching experience right here. :-)

I'm just testing the water in this forum. If it gets too cold (it already has), I'll dip myself in the beginner's forum. Most posts in that forum are people encouraging each other. I need something else.

Can someone create a "Piano Exam" forum?



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2368293
01/01/15 11:56 PM
01/01/15 11:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
John v.d.Brook Offline
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John v.d.Brook  Offline
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Posts: 7,639
Olympia, Washington, USA
Based on your repertoire and playing, you are not a beginner. You're lower advanced. That's exactly what the pianist corner is for. Anyway, I suggest you give it a try.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2368296
01/02/15 12:02 AM
01/02/15 12:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Ok, John. I will try to repeat my post there.

Thanks.

Bye teachers.



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2368364
01/02/15 06:17 AM
01/02/15 06:17 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 6,982
Italy
casinitaly Offline

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Tubbie0075 - if you're not comfortable in the Pianist Corner, go to the ABF. Sure it is technically for beginners, but we (very) often call it "Beginners and Beyond" because people like to stick around for years and years. So while there are a great number of true beginners, there are also many much more advanced players, and even some teachers hang out with us.

Several of our members are working on exams - I think the most recent I noticed was grade 6.



[Linked Image]


Currently working on: Chopin Waltz in Amin (post), Chopin Nocturne in Cmin (post)
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2368366
01/02/15 06:24 AM
01/02/15 06:24 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 344
Europe
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vevurka Offline
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ABF forum is very nice, there are a lot of nice people there. I think I wrote more posts there instead of Pianist Corner, still definitely I'm not beginner.


Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2368368
01/02/15 06:29 AM
01/02/15 06:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,518
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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I think that teachers in general are hesitant to comment on other teacher's student's performances in public. Such comments, even when solicited, would come across as being unprofessional.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: AZNpiano] #2368715
01/02/15 10:19 PM
01/02/15 10:19 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
I think that teachers in general are hesitant to comment on other teacher's student's performances in public. Such comments, even when solicited, would come across as being unprofessional.


I had a funny feeling that the teachers here were being highly reserved. I think you are right. They didn't want to intrude on another teacher's student.

I was looking for general comments on the performances and some pointers. Some of those suggested, my teacher and me are already working on. Some other pointers (that I am not aware of and have not considered) are good because I can think about them and bring them up with my teacher. We may end up disagreeing with it but I like to at least consider, discuss and perhaps explore them.

That's what the forum is all about isn't it? We may agree, we may disagree, we may agree to disagree, all in a highly respectable manner. But we are here to share isn't it?

Anyway, thank you for those responded. I'm moving to the Pianist Corner forum. I have been in the Beginner's forum for a few years now. It's nice to be there but I need more constructive criticisms.



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: Tubbie0075] #2369860
01/05/15 03:55 PM
01/05/15 03:55 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 3
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purrfectpractice Offline
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Hi, and I think it's wonderful that you're posting looking for advice on your playing. I wish that all students were as motivated.

Regarding the arpeggios, yes they have been changed to tonic minors instead of relative minors. It's a bit odd as they no longer match the scales that you play, but that's just the way it is...

Before commenting on your playing, I need to ask, does your teacher know that you are asking for advice on this forum? I'm more than happy to give you my thoughts as long as your teacher would not have problem with it.

Re: Anyone doing AMEB Grade 8 Piano Exam in 2015? [Re: purrfectpractice] #2370055
01/06/15 02:16 AM
01/06/15 02:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline OP
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Tubbie0075  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,251
Melbourne, Australia
Hi Purrfectpractice,

No, my teacher doesn't know that I am asking questions in the forum. I hold my teacher in very high regards. I have not disagree anything he taught me so far for 5 years. This year is my first exam under his teaching. I decided myself to do the exam and asked him to help me with the the pieces I have chosen and the technical works.

In a way, I decide what to do in each piano lesson and he would help me with it. For instance, I may turn up to a lesson and say I have problems with arpeggios, and show him my problem and he'd help me with it. Or I'd turn up and say I'd like to go through such and such piece and he'd help me with it. Most of the time my teacher would suggest the pieces for me to learn, sometimes I'd ask him if I can learn such and such piece.

So you see, our lessons aren't structured. That is why I am unsure if my playing meets the AMEB requirements to pass (or perhaps better). I'm aiming for at least a 'B' . But I don't know where I stand with AMEB's standards, which makes it hard for me to work towards my aim.




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess

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