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What "grade" pianist am I?

Posted By: teachum

What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/12/04 03:19 PM

have never really paid much attn to "grades" nor did my teacher from years ago emphasize it, so I don't really know what level I am. Examples of my repetoire: I can play Gershwin 2nd Prelude, the above mentioned Chopin, most of Claire de Lune, have worked on Schubert's Four Impromptus Op. 90. So my real question is - what level or grade student am I?

p.s. - am starting lessons again next week after 12 year hiatus and am very excited.
Posted By: Dave_2003_G

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/12/04 04:57 PM

It's hard to say - the op.90 Schubert impromptus are all grade 8 standard or thereabouts but since you say you've 'worked on them' it's hard to know what standard you can play them to, since there's a difference between working on a piece and playing it well

Dave
Posted By: teachum

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/12/04 05:09 PM

Put it this way - I worked on them till I gave myself tendonitus! Actually I could play most of it presentably, but I know it was over my head and I certainly couldn't play it with the speed of Barenboim which was the recording I was listening to. How about the other pieces I mentioned? Any thoughts on their grade? Those I could play well enough to do in recitals.
Posted By: Dave_2003_G

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/12/04 07:08 PM

Well it's hard to say to be honest - not sure of the graded level of claire de lune I've never played it - what is 'the above mentioned Chopin'?

Dave
Posted By: F. Chopin

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/12/04 07:16 PM

The pieces you list are ABRSM Grade 8 or beyond, which would equate to RCM Grade 9 or possibly 10 (I'm not familiar with that system).
Posted By: Dave_2003_G

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/12/04 08:57 PM

From the pieces that people say are grade 10, I think grade 8 and grade 10 are fairly similar

Dave
Posted By: teachum

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/12/04 09:16 PM

The "above mentioned" Chopin (which I forgot to mention) is Nocturne op. 72 #1. So I guess I'm intermediate? Is that fair to say?
Posted By: Fourth Season

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/13/04 01:16 AM

I'm not sure about ABRSM, but I know that Claire de Lune is equal to a Grade 10 RCM piece; and don't exactly try to follow recordings...I was comparing one recording of Ravel's Prelude, and although the pianist played it beautifully but really fast and Prelude has lots of slow parts to it....it's really how YOU play it well.
Posted By: teachum

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/13/04 04:52 AM

Thanks - that's how I feel too. If I really like something, I'd rather play it as well as I can rather than not play it at all. Obviously I can't match the speed or technique of the pros. It's helpful to me to listen to recordings.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/13/04 10:33 AM

Quote
Originally posted by teachum:
Thanks - that's how I feel too. If I really like something, I'd rather play it as well as I can rather than not play it at all. Obviously I can't match the speed or technique of the pros. It's helpful to me to listen to recordings.
Teachum:

A word of caution. When you say you "can't match the speed or technique of the pros" you should still be able to play - if you consider a piece ready for performance - your pieces at an "acceptable" tempo. To use one of your examples: If you are unable to play the Schubert Op 90 No 4 at around 140 per quarter note, then you're not playing it up to speed and you're not following Schubert's Allegretto indication; hence, you are not playing it "correctly". Yes, of course there is a range of tempos within which one could justify a performance; some might like an individual piece slightly slower, some may play it slightly faster, but whatever professionalism or polish may yet be lacking in your performance, you should nevertheless be able to play your "finished" pieces up to speed, with appropriate dynamics and with a sense of structure if you really want to determine your performance "grade level".

Regards,
Posted By: teachum

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/13/04 02:25 PM

Probably the first thing I need to do, Bruce, is get a metronome! When I first heard the Schubert Impromptu what attracted me was the waterfall-like effect of the beginning measures. I always worked to try and achieve that effect, but I truly don't know at what tempo I was actually playing it. I've been working on my own for many years, which is going to change next week, and have often made the mistake of working on pieces that are over my head. Hopefully, my new teacher will be able to rein me in some (I think I'm ready for more guidance now) and improve my technique. I came to the piano late in life and wanted to "catch up" by playing real music and therefore skipped some basics.

I really enjoy the advice on the Forum. I've been working the Chopin Nocturne for years and can finally play the runs respectably due to the advice of people here and my sis who plays much better than I do.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/13/04 03:06 PM

Quote
Originally posted by teachum:
I've been working on my own for many years, which is going to change next week, and have often made the mistake of working on pieces that are over my head. [...] Hopefully, my new teacher will be able to rein me in some (I think I'm ready for more guidance now) and improve my technique.

You are certainly not alone in delving into works that may be beyond you. Those of us who don't regularly study with a teacher are often prone to doing just that. Congratulations, though, on realizing the value of getting teacher guidance; it may be a little discouraging initially if you have to step down a peg or two but the experience and perspective you gain from doing so will last far beyond the lessons.

Regards,
Posted By: neciebugs

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/14/04 03:07 AM

I started lessons 3 weeks ago... after 17 years... I was at about the level of Clair De Lune when i was 17 and stopped playing. I prepared or attempted to prepare Invention 8, (Bach); Chopin Prelude OP28, no. 4; Joplin's Solace and Hannon 1-10, for my first lesson. She has added an invention, put in some Hayden, and Mozarts 12 Variations k265, and one hanon a week. I am working my behind off... as it is applied music at the community college, and I am finishing my associates while I take lessons... Sometimes i think it is too much, but others... I love it... and it was intimidating to play on her 7 foot Steinway at first... because I have a digital... (nice, adequate for now)... first lesson I was ready I FLOPPED. HAHA She wants me to memorize invention 8... and it is almost there... i just find it harder to memorize at 33 then at 15. Kind of like I'm oiling the rusty spots and it takes a lot of oil and elbow grease...

I have been working myself for 18 months... and fell into the trap of picking stuff out of my reach... or settling for easy peices. Within one lesson, she knows exactly what level I should be at... and picks several pieces accordingly... and well I pick from what she picks... so it is quite a variety.

I am soooo HAPPY to be taking lessons again!! Wish I never stopped. Its nice to know I'm not alone in my journey... home :-)
Posted By: rpb1965

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/14/04 04:40 PM

Quote
BruceD
Member # 29 posted June 13, 2004 11:06 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:


You are certainly not alone in delving into works that may be beyond you. Those of us who don't regularly study with a teacher are often prone to doing just that. Congratulations, though, on realizing the value of getting teacher guidance; it may be a little discouraging initially if you have to step down a peg or two but the experience and perspective you gain from doing so will last far beyond the lessons.
Playing or learning pieces slightly beyond our reach is how we grow. Learning pieced fully within our grasp is how we gain confidence. Both are necessary.

My .02
Posted By: teachum

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/14/04 07:02 PM

Denise - I think there are a lot of us on the journey. With me, piano has been a life-long longing and love, but somehow I have always sold myself short. I feel like I'm a "fake pianist", that I can't really do anything, which of course is silly considering some of the pieces I have accomplished. I know that my major problem is not having enough instruction and being too impatient. LIke you I reach too high or settle for too simple. Keep up the work - I'll be excited to hear of your progress -

My major difficulty is not being a good reader, especially in the bass cleff. I played clarinet for a short while when very young, sang in choirs for many years - both of which only read the treble. I am a teacher and I'm just like little kids - I don't want to practice what is hard for me - in the case of kids - math facts or reading- in mine, reading the left hand. I have a tendency to figure out a piece, memorize it and then quit reading the music. That's going to stop - I'm determined to become a better reader and more discipline student. Good luck to you.
Posted By: teachum

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/14/04 07:03 PM

Denise - I think there are a lot of us on the journey. With me, piano has been a life-long longing and love, but somehow I have always sold myself short. I feel like I'm a "fake pianist", that I can't really do anything, which of course is silly considering some of the pieces I have accomplished. I know that my major problem is not having enough instruction and being too impatient. LIke you I reach too high or settle for too simple. Keep up the work - I'll be excited to hear of your progress -

My major difficulty is not being a good reader, especially in the bass cleff. I played clarinet for a short while when very young, sang in choirs for many years - both of which only read the treble. I am a teacher and I'm just like little kids - I don't want to practice what is hard for me - in the case of kids - math facts or reading- in mine, reading the left hand. I have a tendency to figure out a piece, memorize it and then quit reading the music. That's going to stop - I'm determined to become a better reader and more discipline student. Good luck to you.
Posted By: Frungy

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/15/04 04:58 AM

Is there some internet site that categorizes songs into various difficulties? I hear about many types of "grade" levels, but I can't find any examples. Short of asking everyone here what level I am given the pieces I've played, can anyone recommend a website?
Posted By: Dave_2003_G

Re: What "grade" pianist am I? - 06/16/04 06:37 PM

www.abrsm.org
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