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#2705923 - 01/18/18 03:42 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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earlofmar Offline
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congratulations kahtwoloo.


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

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#2705973 - 01/18/18 05:53 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Congratulations kahtwoloo! Sounds like you made good choices on how to spend your time and effort.

And Sharkeyboard...good for you too! That is a great score.

This group supports and challenges. I'm studying towards an RCM level 7 but I'm not expecting it to be this year. I want more depth of the content before I go up for the exam (if I go up for the exam I might add). Oh...and memorization. Yipes! Cagal, I'm with you on this issue. At this point, I can do a level 3 piece memorized. LOL! I'm reading a lot about memorization and watching youtube tutorials but so far, no major breakthrough. I hear the music in my head but there seems to be disconnect without the music.


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#2706112 - 01/18/18 01:37 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: SwissMS]  
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Thanks Wisebluff, Earlofmar, and SwissMS!

Originally Posted by SwissM
Which grade 7 pieces are you doing? I did 7 last spring and will be doing Grade 8 in the fall this year. It seems like a big jump from 7 to 8!


Congrats on pass grade 7! What were your pieces?

I'm doing John Loeillet: Giga, Norman Dello Joio: Bright (2nd movement), and Wanghua Chu: Love Song. I try to stay away from classical/baroque as much as possible. Pretty luck to legitimately love the Joio and Chu piece (I'm even learning the other movements from Joio's piano suite). But Giga is realllly trick for me, like if you make one little mistake everything just falls apart.

#2706342 - 01/19/18 04:16 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Costa del Sol
For grade 7 I played the Scarlatti in B minor, Chopin Nocturne in C# minor and Willy Wagglesticks Walk About. I have also played the Wanghua Chu Love Song. I love that piece! It sounds like you have a fun program put together!

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#2706376 - 01/19/18 06:59 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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bSharp(C)yclist Offline
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Congrats kahtwoloo! Good luck on your practical exam.


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#2706892 - 01/20/18 10:31 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Congrats kahtwoloo! I've been MIA as we were renovating my whole main floor but now we are done and my piano is back after 3 months in storage. YAY! I was playing on an electric with a chair at wrong height and in a fairly cold room so not at all conducive to inspiring me to practice. I'm buckling down to try for April exams which is a bit scary as I am an accountant. I've got 4 pieces 60% or more memorized. I'm only not memorizing the list E. I decided it's not worth sweating the loss of a point. I seem to be stuck on memorizing the last three lines of every piece. Wisebuff we need to figure this out!

Last edited by cagal; 01/20/18 10:36 PM.
#2706958 - 01/21/18 04:50 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Hi everyone. I’ve just signed up for ABRSM grade 2 piano in March.

I’ve taken lots of exams in my time but never with any performance element. Really looking forward to the challenge smile

#2706963 - 01/21/18 05:46 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Welcome to the group ChirpyPinguin! March is coming very soon. Have fun!

#2706967 - 01/21/18 07:08 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Best of practice for that ChirpyPEnguin. It is certainly a challenge and a learning process to prepare for an exam. We're cheering for you.


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#2707638 - 01/23/18 02:14 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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ChirpyPenguin Offline
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Thanks all!

#2711897 - 02/06/18 09:16 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Just realizing today what a big jump it is between RCM levels 6 and 7. I'm working on the etude book and just finding it way more difficult than my skills. Maybe I'm going backwards. The speed and the technical difficulty are more than I can do today but we'll see tomorrow.


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#2711946 - 02/06/18 11:45 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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SwissMS Online content
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Originally Posted by WiseBuff
Just realizing today what a big jump it is between RCM levels 6 and 7. I'm working on the etude book and just finding it way more difficult than my skills. Maybe I'm going backwards. The speed and the technical difficulty are more than I can do today but we'll see tomorrow.


I completely agree! Once you get past grade 6 RCM/ grade 5 ABRSM, the difference between grades seems huge. Over time it does start to feel possible though. I am sure tomorrow will feel better!

#2712110 - 02/06/18 06:22 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Originally Posted by WiseBuff
Maybe I'm going backwards.


I certainly can relate to that feeling. Since starting AMEB grade 6 my pieces have become much more difficult. Although I can see progress over a long time there are days when I don't know if I will ever play them properly. On the bright side I could actually start some of my aspirational pieces now, if only I had the time.


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

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#2712113 - 02/06/18 06:36 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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I feel there is a big difference between 5 and 4, but there was little difference between 3 and 4. (RCM)


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#2712549 - 02/08/18 06:54 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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WiseBuff Offline
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Thank you all for your experience...it's not just my lack of skill then. I'll be back to enjoying the work on it and if I master it, great. After all it is the journey not the destination.


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#2713034 - 02/09/18 10:30 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Hi,

I thought I would join this exam thread. My name is Stu.

I work in technology (Silicon Valley) and have a family. My two boys (15 and 11) and I all take piano lessons.

Our piano teacher asked me if I was interested in taking piano exams and I said sure, let's try it. I am planning to take the ABRSM level 3 exam late 2018. I have never taken any piano exams before so I am racing through level 1 and 2 books with her.

After reading 90% of the posts in this thread and reading how life unfolds and interrupts practicing for exams, I thought I would join in the "fun".

-stu

#2713074 - 02/10/18 03:51 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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SwissMS Online content
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Costa del Sol
Welcome Curious42! Are you starting as a beginner or as a restarter? It is great that you are taking lessons along with your sons. Enjoy the journey!

#2713106 - 02/10/18 07:41 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Welcome, stu. I had no idea you could take ABRSM in the US. I thought they just did RCM around here ;0


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#2713123 - 02/10/18 08:54 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Welcome Stu! Hope you enjoy your exam track. It's a grueling effort sometimes and each finish line is the start of a new one.


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#2713587 - 02/11/18 09:38 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Curious42 Offline
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I began "replaying" off and on when the boys started learning in 2010, but my 80% work travel schedule obviously limited my practice. Starting 2016 I didn't have to extensively travel, and this allowed me to practice more. I really learned that my brain felt incredibly good after practicing and playing and that my creativity and concentration level materially increased.

During this time, I realized that the music that I aspirationally want to play (both classical and jazz) were well beyond my capabilities. A new piano teacher entered the scene, coincidently, and asked me if I had considered taking piano exams.

I researched and thought about these exams over the next few weeks. This thought work eventually led me to think about what these exams would mean to me personally. I decided to take the exams with the intent that the exams create the "bridge" to help me play the music I aspirationally want to play.

Thank you for your encouragement, and I look forward to sharing and walking the path all of you are taking...life journey and all!

#2714351 - 02/14/18 09:13 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Hi all. I was really happy to see the exam thread because I just set myself a goal of doing the RCM level 5 exam.

I finished level 3 when I was a kid, maybe 1975ish, and didn’t touch a keyboard again until I acquired an old piano and started taking lessons a year ago. Surprisingly enough, it’s gone amazingly well until now. My teacher thought I should go for level 5 so that’s what I’m doing but I sure have my work cut out for me; catching up on all the scales, sight reading, etc that I haven’t done for eons. I am really hoping the workload will become more manageable once I master all the technical requirements that take me forever right now.

It’s really heartening to hear your success stories.

Carol

#2714477 - 02/15/18 07:32 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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WiseBuff Offline
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Welcome AngusOg! We will certainly cheer you on in your exam journey and remind you the exam is not the goal...it's just a guide for our work and a milestone to achievement. I have to remind myself often as I struggle with each level and the new demands. For me the technical expectations are most demanding. Cheers! (virtual glass of wine raised to you)


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#2714682 - 02/15/18 09:31 PM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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AngusOg Offline
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Thank you WiseBuff

You are so right. I am doing this in the hope that my practice will give me a well rounded skill base.

But I was hoping the technical part would get easier once I got caught up to level 5. 😊

#2714984 - 02/17/18 01:51 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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Curious42 Offline
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Welcome AngusOg! Glad to know other people "revisiting" exams.


Last week during piano lessons we learned that our piano teacher needs to leave the country and return home to help her grandmother, who was diagnosed with late stage cancer. Family first, as we say. We are very grateful for the 2 years she has helped the boys and I. She was the instructor that encouraged me to take exams and push myself. We very much liked her enthusiasm and "can do" energy; this drive will be sorely missed.

She has been actively helping us identify piano instructors and reviewing the instructor bios for the boys and I. We are very grateful for this effort; she wanted to make sure that each of her students, especially those studying for exams this year, found a good home. A stand up act.

After talking with 7 instructors, we found 2 possible instructors. We are meeting 1 of 2 instructors this coming week. Wish us luck.

The tough part for us has been trying to find an instructor for 3 of us in the same time block ( 2+ hrs together) is not easy and that also has current/recent ABRSM teaching experience.

Side notes I learned during my 7 discussions with potential instructors this past week:

* Not many adults with kids come back to play with teachers long term (2 plus years); family, work, and life get in the way. Of these few parents and later life adults taking lessons, only a few from this small population, I am told, rarely perform at the piano school recitals. I found this personally true; when I began practicing with a teacher starting in 2010, I have been the only adult in the recital each year....standing in line next to the next oldest student...maybe 14 or 15 years...is nerve racking; especially when they play well! They all applauded that I am willing to stick with lessons and take exams. I think this particular exam thread is why I gravitated toward it; it has been lonely not being able to commiserate with other adult exam takers and or adults who play in recitals. We are a very rare bird indeed.

* Many were surprised that I was interested in taking ABRSM exams; most are teaching CM and RSM yet 3 grew up taking ABRSM exams themselves. I found that quite curious.


Last edited by Curious42; 02/17/18 01:55 AM.
#2714986 - 02/17/18 02:16 AM Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff]  
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SwissMS Online content
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I am sorry to hear that you are losing your piano teacher Cousious42. It is hard to find the right fit in the first place and harder to make a change! Hopefully one of the two you are trialing will work out.

The feedback that you had from potential teachers seems to be the norm. Few of us want the rigor of exams, and in the US they seem less oriented toward the structured exam course. ABRSM seems to be relatively rare in the US, possibly because of the dominance of RCM and state programs like CM.

Good luck in your search!

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