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#2664856 - 07/29/17 07:01 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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bSharp(C)yclist Offline
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I'm thinking of taking RCM 4 this December/January, and then the theory exam in the spring. Although I wonder if it's better to ask my teacher to pass my on level 4 when the time comes, and instead take the grade 5 exam when I'm ready, maybe end of 2018. It will help to eliminate cost ;0


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#2664867 - 07/29/17 08:46 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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SwissMS. So envy you! How are you able to learn several grade 7 pieces in just over a month time? I will take me several months to do that. Of course I work full time and almost over 60 hours a week so I don't have too much time for practice. Do you work as well? I am starting to learn grade 8 scales as well. To the contrary, I feel 6th apart is actually harder. It is driving me nuts. I am not sure when I will be taking the actual grade 8 exam though. I need to start the aural part practice as well. Are you really good at the sight reading part? First, I thought the sight reading is very tough and I almost gave up that part at the exam, but the score shows I am ok. I believe play a new piece every day does help improve that. Anyway, good luck on your preparation journey for grade 8.


In Progress:
1.Debussy Arabasque1
2. Czerny 740 no 3
3. Mozart Sonata K330 1st Movement
4. Bach Prelude and Fugue in C Major
#2664901 - 07/30/17 02:19 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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We will see if I make it by next Spring! I have to commit by the end of January. If I do not feel ready, it will be fall next year.

You are right about the grade 8 aural. I have started working on them already. I have two helpful Apps on my Ipad - AuralBook, and Ear Master. Both of them record and grade you answers which is really helpful. AuralBook is kind of funny. It has a bored sounding British lady moderating the tests who says things like "Hummmm, I have heard some problems with your singing", or Don't give up and try again". So far I get a lot of those comments!

#2664910 - 07/30/17 03:08 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: bSharp(C)yclist]  
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earlofmar Offline
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Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I'm thinking of taking RCM 4 this December/January, and then the theory exam in the spring. Although I wonder if it's better to ask my teacher to pass my on level 4 when the time comes, and instead take the grade 5 exam when I'm ready, maybe end of 2018. It will help to eliminate cost ;0


One thing to consider is to experience both the intense preparation and how to cope with the pressure of being tested (something that hasn't happened to me in over 30 years). So if you find the grade 4 exam material to be easy perhaps treat it as a practice run.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2669204 - 08/19/17 08:37 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: earlofmar]  
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bSharp(C)yclist Offline
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
I'm thinking of taking RCM 4 this December/January, and then the theory exam in the spring. Although I wonder if it's better to ask my teacher to pass my on level 4 when the time comes, and instead take the grade 5 exam when I'm ready, maybe end of 2018. It will help to eliminate cost ;0


One thing to consider is to experience both the intense preparation and how to cope with the pressure of being tested (something that hasn't happened to me in over 30 years). So if you find the grade 4 exam material to be easy perhaps treat it as a practice run.


I wouldn't say it's easy. It's definitely challenging. My plan is to take exam 4 this winter, theory exam in the spring and then RCM 5 at the end of 2018. I think those are reasonable goals. My teacher told me there isn't much difference between 3 and 4, but there is a significant difference between 4 and 5. Don't' know yet. I haven't' really looked at the pieces in 5 yet.

PS - Got my exam certificate in the mail yesterday. That was nice ;0


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#2670217 - 08/24/17 09:37 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Hi Team,

I have been pretty MIA from the forums lately. I've been training for a triathlon. Between training and work and piano I haven't had much time for anything else!! Good news is that the tri is done and I didn't come in last. Phew!

Piano exam is TODAY. I feel quite well prepared and my nerves don't seem too bad as yet.

#2670237 - 08/24/17 11:38 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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SwissMS Online content
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Good luck sara elizabeth! You have done the hard work. Now just enjoy the rewards!

By the way, I cannot imagine training for a triathlon and doing an exam! Congratulations on your triathlon finish. That is a major accomplishment!

#2670239 - 08/24/17 12:07 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Wow I just found just finished the exam and I feel really good about it. A few nervous mistakes at the beginning but it got better as I progressed. I ended super strong. My technique and ear stuff was great. I'm going to throw a lot of the credit to the beta blocker my mom gave me. My hands were finally under control. I'm going to look forward to the marks. The examiner told me it was "beautiful music", which was promising. Maybe he tells everyone that lol. Or maybe he was referring to the girl before me haha. She must have been doing a very high grade because she played forever.

#2670242 - 08/24/17 12:15 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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bSharp(C)yclist Offline
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Congrats, Sara. Sounds like you did great!


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#2670265 - 08/24/17 01:29 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Congrats Sara! I had wondered why you hadn't been around for a while, and was hoping you were still pursuing the piano 😊 Not only were you still playing, but preparing for the exam. You should feel proud of yourself for this

Last edited by dogperson; 08/24/17 01:30 PM. Reason: Typo
#2670331 - 08/24/17 06:00 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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congratulations on the triathlon and exam. You certainly aren't trying to make life easy for yourself (keep it up lol).


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2670809 - 08/27/17 06:28 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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That sounds great Sara! Congratulations on your hard work, perseverance, and making beautiful music.


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#2671311 - 08/29/17 12:09 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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For those who did RCM exams - did they email you when the marks were posted, or did you just keep logging in to check?

#2671467 - 08/30/17 05:58 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Mine were online in less than two weeks. They didn't email...I just checked.
:-)


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#2671636 - 08/30/17 08:22 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: sara elizabeth]  
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bSharp(C)yclist Offline
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Originally Posted by sara elizabeth
For those who did RCM exams - did they email you when the marks were posted, or did you just keep logging in to check?

I got no email. I believe they notify the teacher you registered with. My teacher told me to check online. I got my score back in just under two weeks.


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#2671860 - 08/31/17 04:06 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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I got my mark back. I am over the moon! I got 90. The PDF comments haven't been loaded yet. Yay yay yay!!

#2671871 - 08/31/17 04:46 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Fantastic! Congratulations!!


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#2671877 - 08/31/17 05:06 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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hearty congratulations, you sounded confident afterwards and the mark back that up.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2672066 - 09/01/17 11:32 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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FANtastic! I'm so happy for you.


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#2673891 - 09/08/17 11:39 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Congratulations Sara! That is a great score!


In Progress:
1.Debussy Arabasque1
2. Czerny 740 no 3
3. Mozart Sonata K330 1st Movement
4. Bach Prelude and Fugue in C Major
#2673904 - 09/09/17 01:44 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Fantastic Sara! Congratulations! Job well done!

#2674499 - 09/11/17 01:55 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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I started looking at "When the Planets are Aligned" piece (very last selection in RCM 4) and next to it is the acknowledgment section, which I guess appears at the end of all the 2015 books. I had to do a double take because one of the persons mentioned there was the examiner for my exam. Perhaps that explains the detail of the comments.


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#2684163 - 10/22/17 05:33 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Hi everyone. I'm going to be taking my first ABRSM exam (grade 3) in December. I want to ask those of you who have taken ABRSM exams before a question about interpretation. I've chosen a Handel sonatina as one of my pieces, and I came across a recording of it that has trills and I really like them. However the ABRSM sheet music does not have trills. I'd like to include them in my performance. Is there any kind of penalty for deviating from the written score?

There's a similar situation in another of my pieces, Dwarfs of the Mist by Carroll. It has pedal markings but I prefer it without the pedal.

#2684437 - 10/23/17 02:00 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: B.Augmented]  
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It seems ABRSM is allowing some room for ornament differentiation or omission at lower grades, but didn't specifically say you can add. So it is up to you to decide keeping in mind that adding ornaments wouldn't upset the pulse.

See page 20 of this guide: A guide to ABRSM exams


Good luck!

Last edited by Tubbie0075; 10/23/17 02:03 PM.

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#2686203 - 10/31/17 12:17 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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I'm also about to take my first Piano exam (in less than 2 weeks), although it will be ABRSM Grade 3 Jazz. At least I don't have to worry about whether I'm allowed to embellish from the score. wink

I have always been a bit sceptical about doing exams but I'm quite pleased I went for the jazz exam. The syllabus seems fun.


Playing for 3 years. Still terrible.
#2686327 - 11/01/17 04:56 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Best of luck on your exam. I'm learning that the exam is not about the final score but about the learning journey that goes with the preparation and performance.


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#2686352 - 11/01/17 08:52 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Best of luck with the exam sharkeyboard! I will be interested to hear about what a jazz exam is like.

#2686549 - 11/02/17 06:08 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Today was my big day, my first ever practical exam. At 4pm I sat AMEB grade 5 at my local music conservatory, and I can tell you it was one very long day from the wee hours when I first woke, to the time I sat down to take the exam. More than once throughout the day I asked myself why on earth I was doing this, but somehow managed to keep nerves under control and not allow negative thoughts to get in the way. I took a mock exam the weekend before last, and I did so badly at preparing, that from the outset of the mock exam I became overrun with nervousness and performed really badly. That bad experience gave me the impetus that I wasn't going to let nerves get in the way of today's exam.

A highlight of the day was a mini concert for my wife who has shown zero interest in hearing me play, (she would rather have me playing Billy Joel and not the great works of dead people). So it was she was hearing my exam pieces for the very first time, and I think was pleasantly surprised. I was quite surprised as well, I was still quite calm at this point.

I had a lesson with my teacher at 1 - 2pm, and played everything quite well. Still relatively calm at this point, and if I could only stay in this state for another 2 hours I would be ok. So for two hours I did nothing music related, I had lunch, drove round the town, bought pencils to pass time (like I need more pencils smirk), and then took my place in the queue of kids waiting for their turn with the various examiners. That was the most stressful part, dentist's waiting rooms have a merrier atmosphere, but when my name was called and I sat down at the piano remarkably I was still calm and I knew everything was going to be alright. But of course it wasn't (this ain't no fairy tale) but I think I came out of it ok. There were mistakes, several restarts and answers to questions I know I got wrong. But some of what I played wasn't complete crap so that's got to count for something. But let us never ever discuss the sight reading exercise, I don't know how the examiner kept a straight face when I did that exercise.

I think it's about a two week wait for results so I will update you all when the news comes in.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2686552 - 11/02/17 06:28 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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It sounds like you did well earlofmar! Congratulations for getting through your first exam. Grade 5 is a major milestone, and a big accomplishment. I know what you mean about the long day of anticipation. Now treat yourself to a celebratory dinner!

#2686736 - 11/03/17 01:58 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Great story and self reflection, Earlofmar. Good question...why do we do these exams? You prepared and you learned and I'll bet your scores will credit that admirably. Good for you. Now on to something new! And maybe some Billy Joel for your wife.


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