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Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2474861
10/28/15 11:48 AM
10/28/15 11:48 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 26
Singapore
T
TheKing Offline
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TheKing  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 26
Singapore
I'm glad to see this thread! I started learning piano about 7 months ago as an adult beginner and just finished my ABRSM grade 2 theory exams last September and waiting for the results! I was originally planning on taking up grade 2 exams next February / March 2016 however my teacher has moved me up a grade and now I am planning to take grade 4 theory next April 2016 followed by ABRSM grade 3 practical next July / August 2016. I just started practicing grade 3 scales from this week! I have quite a bit of time to go, but will be following this thread for motivation!


Started Learning: March 2015 | Current Level: Adult Beginner | Instrument: Yamaha U1
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Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: nicolini] #2474865
10/28/15 11:58 AM
10/28/15 11:58 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 205
California, USA
grace_note Offline
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Posts: 205
California, USA
Originally Posted by nicolini
Thank you very much, 8 Octaves.
I am doing ABRSM and have all the Grade 1 books, I practice the site reading from the book and clap the rhythm sometimes. But it is when I come to listen when my music tutor plays a piece that I can get the pulse wrong. Weird I know.
I haven't heard of 'Time Travel' it sounds very good.

I was also wondering about if I don't get all the dynamics exactly right in my exam, will I lose points?


I'm in RCM Level 1 now, and I do well on pretty much everything except being able to tell if a melody is in 3/4 or 4/4 time. Sometimes they play 2 measures, sometimes 3, and in that short time I can't get a sense of the pulse. If you buy Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests for Level 1, you can use the code in the back of the book to go to RCM website and use their free Aural tools. It's starting to help.

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2476202
11/01/15 12:26 PM
11/01/15 12:26 PM
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
Greetings all,
My mom died two weeks ago and although I've played the piano in the mornings as a way of coping with the process and the loss, I haven't attended to preparing for my RCM level 6. Time to start anew.

Question for you. On the broken chords (I chord), should those be played as a triplet at 80 or as 1/8 notes? If it is triplets I'm worried that I can't move at that speed.



[Linked Image]

Wise as in learner
Buff as in Colorado Buffalo
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2476243
11/01/15 02:25 PM
11/01/15 02:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,648
USA
8
8 Octaves Offline

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8 Octaves  Offline

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8

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,648
USA
WiseBuff, so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you're able to find solace in your piano, and heal over time, perhaps even dedicate the RCM 6 achievement to her.

Yes, you should play the broken chord and its inversions as triplets at 80, legato without break/rest to the end where you play the perfect cadence (V-I).

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2476249
11/01/15 02:44 PM
11/01/15 02:44 PM
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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W

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
Thank you 8 Octaves. I appreciate the info.


[Linked Image]

Wise as in learner
Buff as in Colorado Buffalo
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2476288
11/01/15 04:15 PM
11/01/15 04:15 PM
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
Originally Posted by WiseBuff

Question for you. On the broken chords (I chord), should those be played as a triplet at 80 or as 1/8 notes? If it is triplets I'm worried that I can't move at that speed.



My condolences for the passing of your mom. May she rest in peace.

With regards to arpeggios (I assume that's what you're having issues), Edna Golansky has a really good video for it.



In the video, she demonstrated the following techniques to play arpeggios:
1. Rotation
2. In and Out
3. Shaping

What you have to remember when practising using the above techniques are:

1. Your hand shape maintains (fingers never stretched of curved). Look at Edna's hand. They almost always look in one shape! It's the forearm that gets your where you want to go. Not your fingers.

2. Your wrist never drop too low. If it does, the shape of your hand would "break".

3. a lot of the movements come from the forearm, especially when you practice slow. All the techniques (rotation, in and out, shaping comes from the forearm). Only when you start to speed it up that you make your fingers come more alive.

4. I find it very helpful that when you start to practise these techniques, forget about joining the thumb. Once you get the hang of your forearm doing all the things correctly and you can play arpeggios relatively fast, then start to gradually join the notes with the thumb. As you join more of the thumb, check that all your other techniques are in place.

When you practise without joining the thumb in the beginning, it will look like this (not at this speed of course), and it's ok! It frees your hand to do and feel all the other techniques correctly. See video of Valentina's thumb, hardly bent inward to try to join the notes.




Once you get it right, playing arpeggios fast feels incredible! Your arm, hand and fingers feel such unity and flow it's effortless (not relaxed but not tensed).

Here's another example video from Edna:




All the best with your exam preparation!






Be your ♮ self
YouTube channel

Studying:
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Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: Tubbie0075] #2477429
11/05/15 08:12 AM
11/05/15 08:12 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,433
Costa del Sol
SwissMS Offline

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SwissMS  Offline

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Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,433
Costa del Sol
I have not reported in a while, so I thought I would bring things up to date. There have been some changes in my life that have thrown the ABRSM grade 6 out the window for me. I decided in August to make some major changes in my life, and my piano goals will have to wait. I am relocating to another Kanton (region) of Switzerland, and have been spending a couple of days each week in southern Switzerland, evaluating potential house choices and making sure I want to live there. I have given notice on our apartment, and will move to the Italian region of Switzerland in the next couple of months. My first focus once I am there will be learning yet another language! So piano will be there when I get back to it. In the meantime I am playing when I can and just enjoying my time at the piano without pressure. At this point it really is about enjoying the journey!

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: SwissMS] #2477449
11/05/15 08:55 AM
11/05/15 08:55 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,777
Italy
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014
sinophilia  Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,777
Italy
Learning Italian from the Swiss, now that will be a challenge grin

Good luck with your life changes!


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)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia - http://youtube.com/sinophilia
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: SwissMS] #2477455
11/05/15 09:13 AM
11/05/15 09:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,942
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
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malkin  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,942
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by SwissMS
... the Italian region of Switzerland...


Beautiful!!


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

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2477477
11/05/15 10:01 AM
11/05/15 10:01 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,484
Santa Fe, NM
J
jotur Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,484
Santa Fe, NM
SwissMS, what an adventure! It will be great to have piano as a "celebration" activity, there to sit down and play at the end of another day of new things/places/activities conquered. Have wonderful time!


Cathy
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]
Practice what you suck at - anonymous
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2477514
11/05/15 11:35 AM
11/05/15 11:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,038
B
barbaram Online content

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Posts: 1,038
Big news SwissMs! I wish you the very best with your move, and I think you are 100% right to put the exam on hold until circumstances are right. Much better to have piano as a relaxing and fulfilling refuge for the moment.

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2477516
11/05/15 11:45 AM
11/05/15 11:45 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 195
P
pianofan1017 Offline
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Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 195
SwissMS good luck to your move. It will definitely be a new adventure. Sounds exciting!


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] #2477805
11/06/15 07:00 AM
11/06/15 07:00 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
W
WiseBuff Offline OP
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WiseBuff  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
Best of luck to you SwissMS. Send us pictures when you have them and you will be in my mind.


[Linked Image]

Wise as in learner
Buff as in Colorado Buffalo
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: sinophilia] #2477878
11/06/15 10:56 AM
11/06/15 10:56 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,433
Costa del Sol
SwissMS Offline

2000 Post Club Member
SwissMS  Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,433
Costa del Sol
Originally Posted by sinophilia
Learning Italian from the Swiss, now that will be a challenge grin

Good luck with your life changes!


That's all right. My German teacher was Italian. grin


Thanks for the good wishes everyone. Once I get settled, I will post pictures. The house we are looking at has a nice study that just screams "make me a piano studio!".

Last edited by SwissMS; 11/06/15 10:58 AM.
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2484416
11/25/15 12:36 PM
11/25/15 12:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 195
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pianofan1017 Offline
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Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 195
Well, my ABRSM grade 5 exam is approaching after Thanksgiving holidays. The exam will be on December 4th. I had three mock exam with my teacher. She thinks I am well prepared. I should pass with no issue. As far as whether I can get merit or distinction, that is another story. Originally, I plan on trying grade 6 in the summer of 2016 since I am more like at grade 6 level now. But, my work will be somewhat busy after December so I will have less time practing. Thus, I plan on taking my grade 6 on December 2016, after that I plan on taking a year break from exam but continue practice and skip grade 7 and take grade 8 in 2018. Wish me luck!


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] #2484426
11/25/15 01:26 PM
11/25/15 01:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 56
Canada
A
AmandaH Offline
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Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 56
Canada
I hear a lot of people skip grade seven. Do a lot of people do that. What's the reason?


-Playing on a 1900 Gerhard Heintzman Upright Piano
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: pianofan1017] #2484435
11/25/15 01:51 PM
11/25/15 01:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,648
USA
8
8 Octaves Offline

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015
8 Octaves  Offline

Gold Supporter until July 22 2015

8

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,648
USA
Good luck on your exams. I am jealous that you learn so quickly and could blast through one grade level a year. It seems it takes me at least two years to finish learning the materials for one grade level.

Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2485622
11/29/15 08:57 AM
11/29/15 08:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
W
WiseBuff Offline OP
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WiseBuff  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,187
Brighton Colorado
Two years is standard for me too. Wish I had more talent but I'll accept that I have a love and passion for improving my piano ability. Perseverance is a good trait too. I do wish I'd have done more of the technical exercises when I started playing many years ago. I'm finding it challenging to move the four note chords at the requisite speed. I am better than I was a month ago so I'll be ready when I'm ready...maybe end of next year for level 6.


[Linked Image]

Wise as in learner
Buff as in Colorado Buffalo
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2485718
11/29/15 03:00 PM
11/29/15 03:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 593
Italy
torquenale Offline
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torquenale  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 593
Italy
One year ago my teacher asked me if I was interested in taking exams (ABRSM); I said no, I play for my own enjoyment and I don't need the stressful process of preparing for exams.
One year later, I'm kind of reconsidering my position: an exam path give a structured approach not only to technique and repertoire, but also to other aspect of musicianship, like sight reading and ear training. One year ago my sight reading was awful, and my aural capacity close to non-existent.
So I reconsidered my teacher's proposal and I'm thinking of taking exams. Not immediately, because I need to work on my weaknesses for a while. ABRSM 5 could be my target: I have no problem with the technical stuff and the pieces are within my grasp, BUT I need a lot of time before I'm ready for the other parts of the exam.

I'm working on my sight-reading almost daily, and one week ago a sort of quantic leap happened: before, it was a pain trying to read new music, and I felt hopeless because no signal of improvement was visible; then, at once, I started to have fun, really fun, because I started to make music (sort of) sight reading very easy stuff. It's been exhilarating! And two days ago I started learning a new piece and I found it much easier to decipher the score smile

My ear-training ability are still zero, and I'm not able to sing a single note, but I have not started yet to work on it; practice time is scarce, and I don't want stopping learning pieces because I'm doing both sight reading and ear training, so i choose to work in series and not in parallel.

In the meantime, I just started preparing ABRSM Theory 5, as a good foundation in theory and a also a mean to approach exams in a less stressful way.
The date in in March, and I have time till the begin of January to enroll... Not really much time to decide, but at the moment I'm confident I can do it.


[Linked Image] [Linked Image]
Re: Piano Exam Group [Re: WiseBuff] #2485773
11/29/15 05:51 PM
11/29/15 05:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 195
P
pianofan1017 Offline
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Joined: Jun 2015
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For sight singing, since they are going to play the chord first and give you the tonic note. Just think of each tonic note as Do. Then look at the other note whether it is Mi or Re or Fa. This way, it will be much easier to sing out with less mistake of the pitch. At least this is how I am approaching it.


In Progress:
1.Debussy Arabasque1
2. Czerny 740 no 3
3. Mozart Sonata K330 1st Movement
4. Bach Prelude and Fugue in C Major
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