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Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2449474
08/11/15 06:02 AM
08/11/15 06:02 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,777
Italy
sinophilia Offline

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Italy
If any of you (preferably in Europe) wants to sell their books from previous grades - aural, technique or repertoire - I'd be glad to buy some.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
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Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2449587
08/11/15 02:56 PM
08/11/15 02:56 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,647
USA
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8 Octaves Offline

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They introduce modes in the first lesson and their explanation gives another "angle" to look at modes compared to RCM. That's really nice and helps. Then of course, they seem to drop the whole thing just as the topic gets interesting. That's what I find problematic with these survey courses. They throw something at you to wet your appetite then and move on to something else. It's not deep enough as preparation for RCM exams, so as long as you are not using it to prepare for the exams, you're fine.

I have come to the conclusion that every etudes for each level should be learned on my own when I compared exam syllabi between 2001, 2008, and now the latest 2015. I noticed the pattern that as an exam transition to a new syllabus, almost every piece of music from the previous repertoire book is allowed in the new syllabus even though many are no longer in the new repertoire book. However, that's not the case for etudes. There is no substitution for etudes. Every etude on the current syllabus comes from the current etude book and if it's not in the current etude book it is not allowed.

The way I interpret this is that RCM is much more strict about the etudes that represents a specific level, so to be solid for a specific level and have all the skills, one should learn all the etudes just as one should learn all the scales and chords require for a specific level even though the examiner may not test you on every scale for your level.

So as far as I'm concerned, you should not pick and half of the keys to learn scales and chords for technical any more than choosing to learn some of the etudes. I have to say that I only realize this recently, and I didn't study every single etude in level 5, level 4, etc. I think that may contribute to why each new level feels much harder for me. I think not doing every etude is like saying, hmm I don't like F# minor scales and chords much, so I'll skip that one.

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2450104
08/13/15 06:14 AM
08/13/15 06:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
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WiseBuff Offline OP
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Brighton Colorado
Interesting observation, 8Octaves. I had purchased level 6 etude book but I notice that most of them are NOT on the 2015 list. Do you know if there is a new 2015 edition that equates with the acceptable list?

The Coursera course is interesting for me as an academic to see how they are laying out their online course. So far (except for modes) it is content that I know. I only spend a few minutes a day on it and it reminds me to think about theory and refresh my circle of fifths. I'm spending more time at the piano working on my chords and scales. The blocked 7th chords require more coordination so I have to work really really slow on them at first to teach my hand to move correctly.

I've been working on the Bach for what seems like forever. Although my teacher assures me that Bach is always difficult, I'm still very slow at making it come together. The Kuhlau is coming along but I still have hesitations so I'm back to slow and correct. My time at the EPP really proved my teacher correct (AGAIN!)...I have way too many hesitations.

Looking forward to receiving my four star and theory books next week.

NOW...warm up for a piano lesson and then, off to a four day dog show.


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Wise as in learner
Buff as in Colorado Buffalo
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2450304
08/13/15 08:01 PM
08/13/15 08:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,647
USA
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8 Octaves Offline

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Originally Posted by WiseBuff
I had purchased level 6 etude book but I notice that most of them are NOT on the 2015 list. Do you know if there is a new 2015 edition that equates with the acceptable list?


If there is even one etude piece in your book not on the 2015 list, you got the wrong book. You need the new 2015 Etude and Technical books for exams starting in September. You could order them from the publisher directly or many online sources.

http://www.primamusic.com/productdetail.asp?SKU=FH2555290018

http://www.primamusic.com/productdetail.asp?SKU=FH2555300007

http://www.primamusic.com/productdetail.asp?SKU=FH2555310008

I think you already mentioned you don't need the repertoire book, but for completeness, here it is. http://www.primamusic.com/productdetail.asp?SKU=FH2555290008

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2450318
08/13/15 08:48 PM
08/13/15 08:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,937
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
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malkin  Offline
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*sigh* Salt Lake City
sino- if you don't have any offers for books, check out the usual sources for used books including Book Depository and whatever else google suggests based on your location. If you really aren't interested in taking the current exam, it won't matter if you haven't got the latest and greatest edition and you could pick up some old ones at a considerable savings.


I've been trying to change my signature quote for weeks.

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2452629
08/21/15 06:53 AM
08/21/15 06:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
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WiseBuff Offline OP
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Brighton Colorado
I'm investing a LOT of time on scales and chords to train my hands to move more fluidly. Blocked 7th chords are really challenging to me. I think I've just avoided music with too much of that work. Any suggestions for speeding up my learning process?


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Buff as in Colorado Buffalo
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2452663
08/21/15 09:39 AM
08/21/15 09:39 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 195
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I love to have this exam group as I am taking ABRSM grade 5 this coming November. The pieces are not hard. Scales I have all memorized, but need to improve on speed. The only thing in aural skill that troubles me is listening to the 2 time, 3time, or 4 time. Sight reading is the toughest for me. I am spending more time on this part. But unfortunately, this does not get improved overnight.


In Progress:
1.Debussy Arabasque1
2. Czerny 740 no 3
3. Mozart Sonata K330 1st Movement
4. Bach Prelude and Fugue in C Major
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: pianofan1017] #2452675
08/21/15 10:23 AM
08/21/15 10:23 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,432
Costa del Sol
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Costa del Sol
It sounds like we are all spending significant time with scales and other technique requirements. My teacher had me take my scales back to a speed that I could do with good evenness and shape, and then start increasing them by a tick of the metronome each week. It worked well to fix some problems. I am almost back to the required grade 6 ABRSM speed. I am still weak in the Bb minor contra, and the chromatic contra starting on A# LH& C# RH, but the rest is starting to shape up.

Pianofan1017, I have trouble distinguishing 2 time from 4 time as well. I get it right about 75% of the time, but under pressure? I don't know. I find the sight reading quite difficult as well. My teacher believes that this part of the test is actually too difficult for the level. The real test is to just keep going in rhythm, I think.

My A piece, Beethoven Minuet and Trio from Sonata in Bb, is my biggest worry right now. I am a long way from required tempo. I spent a lot of time on the trio, and it still has areas that are not secure. My marching orders for this week are ultra slow, heavy, and accurate. The left hand runs are finger twisting. The other two pieces are well in hand. I am sure my husband is hearing the Beethoven in his sleep by now. grin

Last edited by SwissMS; 08/21/15 10:24 AM.
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2452679
08/21/15 10:38 AM
08/21/15 10:38 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 195
P
pianofan1017 Offline
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Hi SwissMS:

My teacher actually ask me to just play a little slower in the exam to be on the safe side.


In Progress:
1.Debussy Arabasque1
2. Czerny 740 no 3
3. Mozart Sonata K330 1st Movement
4. Bach Prelude and Fugue in C Major
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2452684
08/21/15 11:17 AM
08/21/15 11:17 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,647
USA
8
8 Octaves Offline

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Joined: Apr 2014
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USA
Originally Posted by WiseBuff
I'm investing a LOT of time on scales and chords to train my hands to move more fluidly. Blocked 7th chords are really challenging to me. I think I've just avoided music with too much of that work. Any suggestions for speeding up my learning process?


My advise is to resist wanting speed. Your goal is to play evenly and accurately those 7ths at the speed you can deliver on evenness and accuracy. Mistakes are ok in a repertoire but not in technical skills like scales and chords. Focus on one major key and its minor key and just do it everyday and allow yourself to gradually come up to speed. It almost happens without notice. Once you reach the tempo as marked in the book naturally, you can move on to the next set of keys. For 7th chords, you could focus just on dominant 7th for one key without worrying about diminished 7th until you could tare down the keyboard with the dominant 7th. Believe me, it actually does happen given enough time, patience, and discipline. Stay relaxed.

My teacher's comment to me was "you cannot cram technical skills." Well, unless you have an exam coming up and your skill isn't there, then what else could you do? Ideally, you should give yourself an entire year to learn the whole series for the level, but that means you have to be very disciplined and organized. I had to do a bit of cramming myself for my last exam, so I made some mistakes on the exam.

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2452922
08/22/15 09:40 AM
08/22/15 09:40 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
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WiseBuff Offline OP
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WiseBuff  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
The staying relaxed is good advice 8Octaves. I'm conscious of letting my body relax because I have years of tension built into my playing. It's like I want to hang on to it with my mind (which I trust) rather than let my body just feel it and take charge. The slow playing and moving up a tick at a time seems to work for me too. I read that Mozart had to play it correctly 10 times before moving to a new phrase or scale. THAT's discipline for sure.

SwissMS...the Beethoven is there. You'll let it happen. How exciting to have it go so well at your teacher's place. I always figure if I can play it relaxed for my teacher it's easy every place else.


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Wise as in learner
Buff as in Colorado Buffalo
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2453202
08/23/15 10:23 AM
08/23/15 10:23 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline
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Tubbie0075  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Everyone's talking about ABRSM or RCM here. Is anyone doing or have done AMEB?



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: Tubbie0075] #2453399
08/24/15 04:08 AM
08/24/15 04:08 AM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 32
SA / VIC, Australia
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DorianGrey Offline
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SA / VIC, Australia
Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
Everyone's talking about ABRSM or RCM here. Is anyone doing or have done AMEB?

Agreed. I wouldn't mind taking one or two of my remaining ones. I'd be interested to see how the syllabus' differ.

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2453421
08/24/15 07:08 AM
08/24/15 07:08 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
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WiseBuff Offline OP
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Brighton Colorado
What is the AMEB and how is it different? I chose RCM because exams were possible in my area.


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Wise as in learner
Buff as in Colorado Buffalo
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: DorianGrey] #2453497
08/24/15 12:44 PM
08/24/15 12:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,632
Warsaw, Poland
Qazsedcft Offline
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Warsaw, Poland
AMEB: Australian Music Examinations Board.

Originally Posted by DorianGrey
I'd be interested to see how the syllabus' differ.

Me too, just out of curiosity, but their syllabus is not free like the others. Such a closed approach in 2015, how outdated. It's just a freaking syllabus for Pete's sake! Way to arouse people's interest in your exams by asking for money just to see the requirements.


[Linked Image]
Working on:
Haydn Sonata Hob.XVI:37
Field Nocturne no. 10
Debussy Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: Qazsedcft] #2453565
08/24/15 05:37 PM
08/24/15 05:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline
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Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
AMEB: Australian Music Examinations Board.

Originally Posted by DorianGrey
I'd be interested to see how the syllabus' differ.

Me too, just out of curiosity, but their syllabus is not free like the others. Such a closed approach in 2015, how outdated. It's just a freaking syllabus for Pete's sake! Way to arouse people's interest in your exams by asking for money just to see the requirements.


I must say I am very disappointed with AMEB charging for the syllabus. They already have it in PDF now (finally caught up to the 21st century) and they still charge for it. It's just ridiculous!

I have taken 2 ABRSM exams long before, up to grade 5 in the early 90s. I'm now preparing grade 8 for AMEB after recommencing piano lessons several years ago. In terms of levels, they are very similar. Preliminary, Grade 1 to 8, Certificate (new), Associate, Licentiate and Fellowship.

The exam structure is also very similar. Candidates are to present pieces, technical works, aural tests and sight reading. In more details for graded levels:

PIECES:
Present 4 pieces chosen from 4 rather long list of pieces, grouped more or less into periods (baroque, classical, romantic/impressionist, contemporary). 2 extra pieces of similar grade level or higher may be asked by the examiner to be presented whole or part (exempted for grade 8 and above). For general knowledge, examiner will ask a number of questions relating to any of the 4 pieces and/or its composer/period.

TECHNICAL WORKS:
Compared to ABRSM, technical works generally has more elements in less keys required. For instance, candidates are asked to present scales in octave, minor 3rd and major 6th, and with dynamics (crescendo going up and decrescendo going down, p or f).

OTHERS:
Sight reading and aural tests I presume are more or less then same.


As for the results, they are not marked with scores like ABRSM. The examiner provides a general comments on each of the exam elements and award overall from D- (failed miserably) to A+ (high distinction). Candidates get their report within days following the exam. The certificate takes a few weeks.

To obtain the certificate, candidates also have to pass a certain level of theory exam, similar to ABRSM.

Here's a sample report of my AMEB Grade 8 violin exam in 2008:

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Tubbie0075; 08/24/15 05:52 PM.


Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2454001
08/26/15 05:48 AM
08/26/15 05:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
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WiseBuff Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
Looks like you did it well Tubbie. Perhaps the biggest achievement is preparing and performing such an intense program of music and technical skills. It would be so easy to slack off on the technical skills.


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Wise as in learner
Buff as in Colorado Buffalo
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2454013
08/26/15 06:59 AM
08/26/15 06:59 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,432
Costa del Sol
SwissMS Offline

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Costa del Sol
Great job, Tubbie!

The ABRSM marking slips are very similar, except they do give a numerical value to each item. I think I like the AMEB approach better in some ways. It is emotional hard to get a 119 or 129, one point off of a merit or distinction on ABRSM. The letter grades would be easier to take. On the other hand, having a score for each area is useful. It is not like the scoring is a precise science, though. I think on the pieces things can be highly subjective.

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: SwissMS] #2454180
08/26/15 07:41 PM
08/26/15 07:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted by SwissMS
Great job, Tubbie!

The ABRSM marking slips are very similar, except they do give a numerical value to each item. I think I like the AMEB approach better in some ways. It is emotional hard to get a 119 or 129, one point off of a merit or distinction on ABRSM. The letter grades would be easier to take. On the other hand, having a score for each area is useful. It is not like the scoring is a precise science, though. I think on the pieces things can be highly subjective.


I have had 2 ABRSM piano exams long time ago, grades 3 and 5. I actually prefer the points so I get to compare my performance of each piece presented during the exam. I suppose I was lucky to not get a mark like 99, 119 or 129 (I ended up with 138 for both exams). I did an AMEB theory exam and got awarded 1 mark away from distinction. So I know how it feels! Argh!




Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
  • Chopin: Ballade No. 4
  • Rachmaninov: Prelude No. 5 (Gm)
  • Ravel: Pavane for Dead Princess
  • Bach-Rachmaninov: Gavotte
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2454182
08/26/15 07:51 PM
08/26/15 07:51 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Tubbie0075 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Tubbie0075  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,264
Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted by WiseBuff
Looks like you did it well Tubbie. Perhaps the biggest achievement is preparing and performing such an intense program of music and technical skills. It would be so easy to slack off on the technical skills.


I was frustrated to be so close to an 'A' but not get there. I wished I performed my Etude better than I did during the exam, and I know I could. I think that would have push my grade to an 'A' from 'B+'. It was the last piece I performed and I suppose lost concentration. Overall, I'm still please to have passed grade 8 violin, which was a big achievement for me. I took 2 years to prepare for it after grade 7.

In 2 months I will be sitting for my first piano exam under AMEB at grade 8, or my first piano exam after ABRSM exam in over 20 years! I'm so nervous!



Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

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