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New to this forum! Need help with RCM exam
#2895323 09/28/19 08:46 PM
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Hello I am new to this forum!
Taking (and hopefully passing) the Royal Conservatory (RCM) level 10 exam is the biggest goal for me in these next few years. I’m also hoping to do good enough on this exam to proceed to the ARCT diploma level after level 10. I just started preparing a couple of weeks ago and I just got my celebration series level 10 etude book the other day. For those of you who know the level 10 Etudes I would love some recommendations for some Etudes that are doable and not TOO technically challenging. To give you an idea of my skill level, i am a fourteen year old high school freshman this year and I have been playing piano for nine years. I’ve never been a huge fan of competitions and exams but I’m slowly warming up to the idea of playing in those types of events. I’ve done a couple of festivals and exams while growing up and countless recitals. Growing up I practiced around 30 minutes to one hour a day depending on how much time I have. These past few months I’ve really been motivated and upped my practicing routine. Now I practice 1 hour to 1.5 hours on weekdays (because of school) and over 2 hours on weekends. The most challenging piece I’m playing right now is the Beethoven pastorale sonata, opus 28 (the coda in the fourth movement is rather challenging for me).
To give you an idea of my progress for preparing for this exam-I have decided on all my repertoire except for the list E piece in RCM level 10. (I would love to hear suggestions on that!) and of course I haven’t chosen my Etudes yet. I am working towards securing the scales and I’m playing all of them through for warmup everyday. The tempo required is pretty fast not going to lie. I haven’t determined an exam date because I want to prep everything first, then decide on a deadline. I don’t want to have a set deadline when I just started preparing and then rush to prepare everything in time.
My progress
List a : prelude and fugue bwv 881 f minor. Practicing the prelude slowly and working to play the fugue through without any pauses.
List b: Beethoven sonata opus 28 d major 1st and 2nd movements. Most nervous for this piece. I’ve never been a natural Beethoven player. I’m more of a fan of Chopin’s beautiful nocturnes. Pretty secure overall, almost memorized. Have a few tempo issues and areas to work on with my teacher. But it’s mostly polishing. I’m performing these two movements in a recital in November.
List c: Chopin nocturne posthumous 72 no 1. Haven’t done much with this piece yet except sight read the first two pages and listening to recordings of it.
List d: I’m juggling between passepied and aresbeque no 1, both by Debussy
List e: haven’t decided, open to suggestions
Etudes: need help deciding!!!
So yeah! I’m completely open to constructive criticism and suggestions. High school is really weighing me down. It’s so different from middle school. Remember I don’t have a deadline so I can take my time to really secure my program.

Re: New to this forum! Need help with RCM exam
Ijustplaypiano #2895380 09/29/19 01:35 AM
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As you plan ahead, I am sure that you realize that the you have to have the comprehensive Level 10 as a pre-requisite to the ARCT diploma. That means that you not only have to pass the Level 10 practical examination with an overall mark of 75% (or 70% in each section) and that you have to have completed the theory examinations as well in order to get your "comprehensive" Level 10 certificate. What theory examinations have you passed? Where are you in that aspect of the work towards the Level 10 certificate?

RCM recommends at least two years between completion of Level 10 and taking the ARCT practical examination and then gives you a certain amount of time to complete the theory requirements for the ARCT diploma. You may have several years of work ahead of you, depending upon where you are in the theory pre-requisites.

As far as the repertoire for your Level 10 practical examination, I would think that your teacher would be the best person to guide you through the list E choices and the Etudes list to help you choose. S/He know your skills, abilities and preferences better than we might.

P.S. Welcome to Piano World Forums.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: New to this forum! Need help with RCM exam
Ijustplaypiano #2899302 10/11/19 04:19 PM
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For etudes: You have a lot of options here, so let me help you narrow it down:

1. The Bartok is not very technically rewarding, nor is it musically difficult.

2. Never heard the Concone etude before now but it is hardly above a novice work and is neither impressive nor difficult.

3. Czerny is Czerny. It's technically useful but not good for concerts nor auditions.

4. The Burgmuller has potential. It is easy to learn but difficult to play at a quick tempo; especially if you do not have much experience with octaves. I would recommend learning this etude if only to help you build wrist strength and speed for future composers like Liszt who really love their octaves.

Interestingly, Alkan has a very similar etude but somehow much more difficult: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4sZMcWtpK4

5. Chopin 25-2 is a staple of the repertoire, not at all easy but quite learnable at your level. Probably the best choice here, since it's impressive if played well but also very technically rewarding. You could keep this work in your repertoire and potentially audition with it for future music programs or schools.

6. The Rachmaninov is very pretty and you could learn it if you want a more musical etude rather than a virtuosic one.

7. Gounod 's Periwinkle is little more than a novice piece and it's the easy way out if I'm being honest.

8. The Dohnanyi is middle-ground here, although it is by no means easy it is only an intermediate work that has no future at an audition or anything serious.

9. Haberbier is in the same situation as the Dohnanyi.

10. The Chatman is in a similar situation with the Bartok. It is interesting but not difficult enough to warrant serious attention.

11. The Brook is a good intermediate left-hand etude. I would still not pick it over the Chopin.

And as for Debussy, I would say that Passepeid is harder only because everything is so straightforward in the Arabesque (it's very overplayed anyways). Neither have much use in the future except casual enjoyment.

Here is a site I made that could be helpful in the future:

https://sites.google.com/view/repertoireguide/home

Re: New to this forum! Need help with RCM exam
achoo42 #2899395 10/11/19 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by achoo42
For etudes: You have a lot of options here, so let me help you narrow it down:

1. The Bartok is not very technically rewarding, nor is it musically difficult.

2. Never heard the Concone etude before now but it is hardly above a novice work and is neither impressive nor difficult.

3. Czerny is Czerny. It's technically useful but not good for concerts nor auditions.

4. The Burgmuller has potential. It is easy to learn but difficult to play at a quick tempo; especially if you do not have much experience with octaves. I would recommend learning this etude if only to help you build wrist strength and speed for future composers like Liszt who really love their octaves.

Interestingly, Alkan has a very similar etude but somehow much more difficult: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4sZMcWtpK4

5. Chopin 25-2 is a staple of the repertoire, not at all easy but quite learnable at your level. Probably the best choice here, since it's impressive if played well but also very technically rewarding. You could keep this work in your repertoire and potentially audition with it for future music programs or schools.

6. The Rachmaninov is very pretty and you could learn it if you want a more musical etude rather than a virtuosic one.

7. Gounod 's Periwinkle is little more than a novice piece and it's the easy way out if I'm being honest.

8. The Dohnanyi is middle-ground here, although it is by no means easy it is only an intermediate work that has no future at an audition or anything serious.

9. Haberbier is in the same situation as the Dohnanyi.

10. The Chatman is in a similar situation with the Bartok. It is interesting but not difficult enough to warrant serious attention.

11. The Brook is a good intermediate left-hand etude. I would still not pick it over the Chopin.

And as for Debussy, I would say that Passepeid is harder only because everything is so straightforward in the Arabesque (it's very overplayed anyways). Neither have much use in the future except casual enjoyment.

Here is a site I made that could be helpful in the future:

https://sites.google.com/view/repertoireguide/home




Thanks for the reply. I took a look at your guide and it’s very helpful. I probably won’t be auditioning for college or conservatory anytime soon (i still have four more years of school). I created this thread a while ago and since then I just decided to start the chopin. That etude is my favorite, the second being the Rachmaninoff. However since they aren’t exactly contrasting, I might have to give up the rachmaninoff, however much I want to learn it. Currently I can fluently play the Chopin etude through after around a week’s work and now I’m practicing it without pedal. I considered giving the Bartok etude a go, only because it contrasts with the Chopin. I don’t much like the piece though.

Re: New to this forum! Need help with RCM exam
Ijustplaypiano #2899512 10/12/19 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Ijustplaypiano

Thanks for the reply. I took a look at your guide and it’s very helpful. I probably won’t be auditioning for college or conservatory anytime soon (i still have four more years of school). I created this thread a while ago and since then I just decided to start the chopin. That etude is my favorite, the second being the Rachmaninoff. However since they aren’t exactly contrasting, I might have to give up the rachmaninoff, however much I want to learn it. Currently I can fluently play the Chopin etude through after around a week’s work and now I’m practicing it without pedal. I considered giving the Bartok etude a go, only because it contrasts with the Chopin. I don’t much like the piece though.


Play the Chopin and the Burgmuller then, it will give you a contrast in both technique and repertoire. The Chopin does not help at all with arm, wrist, or octave technique while the Burgmuller does not help at all with fingerwork; having both will cover lots of gaps and provide a foundation for later Liszt staples.

Last edited by achoo42; 10/12/19 01:16 PM.
Re: New to this forum! Need help with RCM exam
Ijustplaypiano #2899519 10/12/19 01:32 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll play through the burgmuller today and see what my teacher thinks next lesson


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