Jump to content


Photo

Relative difficulty of same grade syllabuses


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Witzend

Witzend

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 430 posts
  • Member: 892899
    Joined: 20-January 15
  • Kingston on Thames

Posted 10 March 2017 - 08:58

Or should that be syllabi?

Was just wondering what others have found, especially teachers who are perhaps best placed to judge.

I was working for many months on the former G5 syllabus but for various reasons involving a lot of time away from home and piano, I knew I wasn't going to be ready for the final exam session. Or at least not ready for more than a 'maybe scrape through'.

So I have been working for a few weeks on the current G5 syllabus. Is it me, or are the pieces rather harder - or at least the ones I like best? I did not find the Adagio (A) or Am Abend (B) too daunting at all, but can't say the same for the Waltz in A or the Sostenuto, both of which I really like. I found the former C piece relatively easy, but can't comment on current one yet, since have yet to choose.
  • 0

#2 fsharpminor

fsharpminor

    Maestro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16410 posts
  • Member: 7089
    Joined: 07-June 06
  • Heswall, Wirral (originally Keighley, Yorks)

Posted 10 March 2017 - 09:16

I dont think the general level of difficulty of piano grades has changed much, apart from in mid 90's when Grade 8 used to require a whole sonata instead of just movement as now. I guess it was to reduce the timing and the Sonata dominating the set of chosen pieces. Thus grade 8 piano became less demanding as the same sonatas are still bieng used.  However on organ the difficulty has certainly got harder from when I did it in 1964 !   Two of the pieces I did then have been in Grade 7 more recently.


  • 0

#3 Digby

Digby

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1992 posts
  • Member: 480
    Joined: 21-January 04

Posted 10 March 2017 - 10:15

I think you do get some years that are easier than others, I adore the current grade 2 syllabus, but I think its generally quite tricky, if you compare the C list pieces with previous years its quite a bit harder.  


  • 0

#4 Latin pianist

Latin pianist

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2504 posts
  • Member: 711500
    Joined: 01-April 13

Posted 10 March 2017 - 12:09

I think Gospel Flair is quite straightforward to learn. And Allegretto is a doddle compared to any of the last list of A pieces.Much prefer the new grade 2 pieces.
  • 0

#5 Digby

Digby

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1992 posts
  • Member: 480
    Joined: 21-January 04

Posted 10 March 2017 - 16:48

I think Gospel Flair is quite straightforward to learn. And Allegretto is a doddle compared to any of the last list of A pieces.Much prefer the new grade 2 pieces.

Actually yes Gospel is quite straightforward but no one has yet has liked it, so they've all chosen the piper or the cat both of which are quite tricky. :) 


  • 0

#6 Saxwarbler

Saxwarbler

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 528 posts
  • Member: 768786
    Joined: 29-May 13
  • Leicester

Posted 10 March 2017 - 17:41

I think Gospel Flair is quite straightforward to learn. And Allegretto is a doddle compared to any of the last list of A pieces.Much prefer the new grade 2 pieces.

Actually yes Gospel is quite straightforward but no one has yet has liked it, so they've all chosen the piper or the cat both of which are quite tricky. :)

I did find it to be the easiest of the C pieces but conversely find it very cheesy. I didn't get on very well with The Cat because of reading/playing bass clef on both hands. And again, it's just a bit contrived, especially if you've listened to much of the original. I found Piper the most difficult - six weeks ago it was barely coming together, never mind playing it at exam standard. A couple of weeks of slow, intensive practice fixed it though and I can now play it at tempo with just a couple of minor fluffs. I have to say, I feel a tremendous sense of achievement having cracked it. I'm also playing La Mourisque and the Reinecke Song.


  • 0

#7 Digby

Digby

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1992 posts
  • Member: 480
    Joined: 21-January 04

Posted 10 March 2017 - 20:50

May I apologise to Witzend, as I inadvertently diverted the topic onto the wrong grade for a bit, but I don't think the current grade 5 is much harder than the older one, you may just have picked pieces that come less naturally to you.  I really like both of your choices (especially the Chopin)  although I always give a bit of a push towards Maikapar.  Keep at it, and don't neglect the fingering on either of these two as that will help with the fluency of them.  It may be that its just been a while since you started something new so is requiring a bit more brain power.  Hope they start to come together soon and hope you are enjoying learning them D x


  • 0

#8 Witzend

Witzend

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 430 posts
  • Member: 892899
    Joined: 20-January 15
  • Kingston on Thames

Posted 11 March 2017 - 09:15

May I apologise to Witzend, as I inadvertently diverted the topic onto the wrong grade for a bit, but I don't think the current grade 5 is much harder than the older one, you may just have picked pieces that come less naturally to you.  I really like both of your choices (especially the Chopin)  although I always give a bit of a push towards Maikapar.  Keep at it, and don't neglect the fingering on either of these two as that will help with the fluency of them.  It may be that its just been a while since you started something new so is requiring a bit more brain power.  Hope they start to come together soon and hope you are enjoying learning them D x


No apology needed. Re fingering, one thing I have finally learned to do is work out the optimum fingering first, and stick to it! Hence pencil marks all over the pieces.

I'm sure you're right about pieces coming naturally, or not. I always find more 'wandery' pieces far harder to commit to muscle memory than those with very regular rhythms and clearly defined sections. But I don't suppose I'm alone in that.

Thank you all for your replies.
  • 0