Mar 28 2005, 07:51 PM
Hi everyone, I was just wondering whether any of you have noticed a leap in the difficulty of Grade 8 pieces in the new violin syllabus? I'm retaking to get a better mark, last time I played the second movement of Bach Sonata in A minor, Wieniawski "Obertass Mazurka" and Turina "La Oracion del Torero", and this time I'm playing first movement of Vivaldi "Spring", Brahms "Scherzo" from the Sonata in C minor, and "Lullaby" from Britten's 'Three pieces from a suite". The first pieces seem so simple now! Has anyone else noticed this jump? I'm finding the intonation of the Britten particularly difficult, especially hearing the intervals in the middle section up the octave. Any thoughts?
Mar 29 2005, 03:49 PM
Grade 8 has, and always will, consist of standard repertoire works that would get played in a public recital.
Technically the difficulty in every piece is quite different, but that's what they are expecting at that level. Strictly speaking, Grade 8 is the last exam you would take as an 'amateur', from there on examinations are of professional level - whether they be in performance or teaching - which is why many of the pieces at G8 are also on the Diploma lists.
Once you've been playing these new pieces for a while you'll suddenly think they're not so difficult after all. Try widening your range of playing to include some of the other works in the G8 lists - not just those you've chosen - it will help expand your technique and make you feel a bit more confident about tackling difficult music that you aren't necessarily familiar with.
Break down the learning process into small chunks, or, another suggestion I once got given was to learn things from the end of the piece and work backwards. It's very easy to keep playing the beginning and getting it sounding perfect, putting less work into the middle or end sections with the result that those parts often end up sounding tatty or not very well prepared.
Mar 30 2005, 10:45 PM
Is it horrible to say that you yourself may have progressed? Or your mindset have altered so you dont find these pieces as challenging anymore?
Mar 31 2005, 12:43 PM
|Is it horrible to say that you yourself may have progressed? Or your mindset have altered so you dont find these pieces as challenging anymore?|
I would hope that it's a combination of both. Progression slows down at an advanced level and it requires more intense and proper practice to achieve what you want, but most pieces should always remain a challenge in some respect - even if it's simply looking for your own interpretation on the work rather than copying someone elses.
Even professional players find their technique improves, or their interpretation changes over time. In some respects you should never stop seeking to learn something new from whatever music it is you're playing.
I play professionally and also teach, but I also have lessons myself (professional guidance from more experienced colleagues) at regular intervals to open my eyes to things that might very well have become a rut in my technique or interpretation.
Apr 1 2005, 11:06 AM
Hi Sardine...as a violin teacher myself I would agree with you that the new list is harder. Maybe harder isn't the right word but in particular the List C pieces are not very enticing. The only piece I have managed to get my hands on, well because I had it myself, is the Britten Lullaby. How do you find that? I have been teaching students to Gr8 for a few years now and this is the first time that I am not pleased with the choice of pieces. I have 1 student preparing for it for next year and we really are having trouble finding pieces to suit. I thought last years selection was great!
Apr 2 2005, 02:19 PM
Find yourself a good recording of the piece and play it again and again anf agian until you know the pitch of the notes it off by heart. Also if you find a good recording, please point me in the right direction cos i can't pick the C section piece atm, haven't heard any of them yet.....
Apr 7 2005, 12:05 PM
Fiddlingfee: I agree - although I think the Britten is beautiful it isn't very enticing or as attractive as I immediately found some of the pieces from the last list (particularly Turina - La Oracion del Torero). I do love it though, it's just that horrible octave up middle section, scrambling around for pitches practically off the fingerboard! I've also found the pieces immensely difficult to find music for - I searched round every single music shop in central London (quite literally, every single one) and still couldn't find copies of them all.
Chimpyang - I'm looking for a recording at the moment but I'm finding that even harder than finding the music! I definitely will let you know if I find one. Don't the ABRSM also make their own CD of all the syllabus pieces? I'm slightly put off because its about Â£30 and having already chosen my pieces it seems rather much for me to pay in order to listen to three tracks. If I get desperate I will though, and it might be a good idea for you if you're still making up your mind.
Charlottethemuppet - obviously it's true that I had progressed in those pieces but I was comparing my initial reaction to them with my reaction to these. I would have hoped that, having progressed, I'd find starting these pieces easier, but either they've gotten more difficult or I seem to have gone backwards - maybe I just made a bad choice of pieces though!
Apr 7 2005, 01:09 PM
Yes i think they do, but for some reason it's not coming out till June/July time. Plus, have you tried online?
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