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Educational book levels
#2986948 06/02/20 08:59 AM
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Hello All. I am an adult student with a question that, in my humble opinion, could be best answered by teaching professionals. So here I am. I hope you all don't mind.
My question is this... It seems that all the educational books that are out their are graded as level one, level 2 etc. Are these levels tied into a standardized grading system such as ABRSM?
As an example, one of my many books is the Keith Snell Etudes.
Thank you all in advance for your comments and answers.

Ralph

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Re: Educational book levels
rdon1966 #2987010 06/02/20 12:40 PM
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Simple answer, no. A lot of “grading” systems out there and one very large country with a lack of one. Others will chime in. Publishers want to make it easy to sell music and giving a grade level to your publication helps. This is where a teacher will help to clear the muddy waters of grading.

Last edited by IntermedPianist; 06/02/20 12:41 PM.
Re: Educational book levels
rdon1966 #2987078 06/02/20 03:18 PM
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I think you'll find the standard to be that higher numbers are generally more advanced than lower numbers.

Also, why does it matter?
And, why do you care?

Last edited by malkin; 06/02/20 03:20 PM.

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Re: Educational book levels
malkin #2987087 06/02/20 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
I think you'll find the standard to be that higher numbers are generally more advanced than lower numbers.

You'd think that's true. But there are certain systems that play around with the concept of "levels" by making the grouping of repertoire a series of overlapping circles. By "level 5," they really mean 10 pieces at level 5, 7 pieces each at levels 4 and 6, and 3 pieces each at levels 3 and 7. And that book will be labeled and sold as "level 5."

Originally Posted by malkin
Also, why does it matter?
And, why do you care?

Good questions!


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Re: Educational book levels
rdon1966 #2987090 06/02/20 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rdon1966
It seems that all the educational books that are out their are graded as level one, level 2 etc. Are these levels tied into a standardized grading system such as ABRSM?
As an example, one of my many books is the Keith Snell Etudes.
As a rule of thumb, if the book is a British publication and the author/compiler is British, the levels will correspond to ABRSM/Trinity grades. Usually, the blurb makes that plain, for instance, like this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grade-Piano-Solos-Graded/dp/1783059761

This long list, which is used by high school Music students in the UK, also corresponds to ABRSM/Trinity grades (if >8, it's more like diploma level):

https://qualifications.pearson.com/...evel-Music-Difficulty-Levels-Booklet.pdf

But if the book (and author) is American, anything goes. Sometimes, the levels may be related to RCM (Canada) 'levels', which go up to 10. To convert RCM to ABRSM, multiply by 0.8 (or ABRSM grade x 1.25 = RCM level). The Keith Snell books are American, so......anything goes.


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Re: Educational book levels
malkin #2987094 06/02/20 04:03 PM
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Thanks for the input. The main reason I ask is out of curiosity. Being a beginner it can be overwhelming with all the information and sometimes reaching out for a simple easy answer works. That's one of the many reasons this site is so great. So to answer your questions, I do care and it does matter because I think every endeavor that someone embarks on should fill them with all kinds of curious questions. I'm in this for the long haul. I am at the point in my life where the joy for me is in the journey.

Thanks again!!!

Ralph

Re: Educational book levels
rdon1966 #2987572 06/03/20 06:54 PM
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I wanted to address your use of the Keith Snell books.

Those books, levels preparatory to 10, were aligned with the California exam system called Certificate of Merit (CM). However, since the publication date of the Snell series, CM has changed the repertoire requirements a few times, so some of the repertoire choices no longer aligned with the corresponding levels in the current syllabus.

My "overlapping circles" argument applies to this set of books. You might be perplexed why there's such a range of difficulty within each level. These books were never intended to be used by students who are self-teaching. They were intended to be used by experienced teachers who understood the exam system.

You might want to get an experienced teacher who can take you through the journey.


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Re: Educational book levels
AZNpiano #2987837 06/04/20 01:29 PM
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Thank you for your explanation of how the Snell series works. The "overlapping circles" argument explains it well. I do have a teacher, but I always seem to remember to ask these questions long after our lesson. LOL. Once again....another reason this site is so great. Thank you. Much appreciated.


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